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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.

My Food Story Part 3: The Big City (Toronto)

In my last months in Edmonton I became a food sleuth. My grocery store visits got longer and longer. I would examine each piece of produce, the sign about it describing its origins and price, and then the sticker on the fruit to see whether that matched up with the sign. I couldn’t take my then boyfriend/fiancée along to the grocery store. He didn’t have the patience for this meticulousness. But I had to know more about where my food came from.

Simply in Season: My First and Favourite Cookbook

My First Cookbook

Simply in Season is the cookbook that got me cooking when I left home for university. It was one of the first cookbooks that I purchased and it was probably my only cookbook for a while (besides the few photocopied and emailed recipes I had from my mother when I moved out).

Halifax & Nova Scotia Food Scene

I’m back from a wonderful five days in Nova Scotia. It was a good mix of touring around and meetings. Last year I visited Nova Scotia in the middle of winter when it was rainy (it was early winter) and cold. So it was great to have the chance to visit when the province is at the peak of harvest season when the fall colours are vibrant. I realize that I just missed City Harvest in Halifax, so I’ll have to check that out next year.

My Food Story Part 2: University

My love of food spills over into every aspect of my life including my writing and editing work. I’d just like to share a bit of that story with you. This is part 2 of a 3-part series.

 

Living with Roommates

Like many young adults, my real interest in cooking began when I moved out for university.

My favourite part about moving out was the great roommates that I had. There were five of us women in one house. We all went about our own university lives, but we were intentional about getting together to share food.

 

My Food Story Part 1: Childhood

My love of food spills over into every aspect of my life including my writing and editing work. I’d just like to share a bit of that story with you. This is Part 1 of a 3-part series.

Good Food and Family

My appreciation for good wholesome food began with family gatherings where we would share food around the table. There would be a spread of freshly made buns, fruits, vegetables, cheese, cold cuts, and of course, baked goods. There are many amazing bakers in my family. Since that role is already filled, I gravitate to towards cooking, but that is a story for another day.

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