Blog

A Little Free Library & a Wintry Cream Soda

The first time I discovered a Little Free Library was on one of my walks through our neighbourhood when we lived in Toronto. I was out with my dog and it was getting dark after a long summer evening. The library was somewhat in the shadows under the Norway maple trees that line the streets of many neighbourhoods, including Roncesvalles and Parkdale. We straddled both neighbourhoods, so an evening walk could take us in either direction--Roncesvalles being the preference for that particular evening.

Living Wild

Wild

adjective

(Of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated: “a herd of wild goats,” “wild strawberries.”

It’s all a little wild: my cooking, my garden, my adventures outside, my desire to travel, my experience raising my son, my inspirations, and my ambitions. Part of it stems from the fact that I get to see the world anew through my son's, Llewyn, eyes and explore with him. I’m excited for wild things that will happen.

Knowing a recipe by heart: Oma's zweiback

They got engaged by mail. He always likes to say how she got engaged two weeks after him. He knew she would say yes.

Her young love and the excitement of moving to a new country was sweet. Reality also set in. Speaking only low German is not very practical in Canada. Once they were settled and had started a family, she sent her first child to school and realized how quickly her young daughter was dropping German in favour of English.

Borscht: Shared Family Histories

This past week and next week the Olympians will be fuelling up on borscht as Russia expects to serve over 70,000 gallons of this soup with Soviet roots. Borscht became a staple recipe in my family from the many decades that my ancestors lived in the Russia before and during the Revolution. There are many different versions with minor ingredient variations as you travel from Ukraine through Russia and then make your way across the ocean to North America. Anya von Bremzen mentions in her NPR interview that borscht has its North American versions thanks to Jewish immigrants, but there were also many Mennonites that fled the Russia at the start of the revolution in 1917 through the mid 1900s and brought their versions to North America too.

Fudge from Paraguay: Baking with Oma

I arrive at Oma’s house to the smell of caramelizing cocoa and sugar on the stove. She started her pot of fudge right after I called her from the car. I was running late and she couldn’t wait. She was excited to make fudge together.

A Family of Bakers / New Year's Cookies

I’ve always been a bit intimidated by all the baking skills in my family. That’s why up until now, I’ve stuck with cooking. That’s my domain. My mother and my Oma are amazing bakers and I’ve always had the privilege of enjoying their baking. But I realize that my Oma won’t be around forever, and the only way I’m going to learn is to bake with her. And baking with her is turning out to be the most memorable time I’ve spent with her. The recipes that she uses aren’t like the recipes I use. They aren’t complete. You’re just expected to know what to do once you read the list of ingredients.