My nephew (two years old in less than three weeks!) does this thing where he covers his eyes tightly when faced with something he deems unpleasant. At one time it was a person who half-chided him for doing something he wasn’t supposed to at a get-together. For the rest of the party, my sister said, every time Jacob came face to face with him he covered his eyes. More recently, it was a bowl of mixed fruit. He wanted only the papaya so he shut his eyes while he was being fed anything other than what he wanted….
I sat at the dining table, my grandmother diagonally across from me that evening. A woman of 70-something, she hated to be alone. She would complain about it a lot when we had to go back to school after mid-term breaks or summer vacations. After I moved to Bombay to study, it was the same thing. That fear was part of her mental illness that consumed her every day. I didn’t notice it enough. I was young and self-absorbed. But that evening – like many others – she opened up about more than her insecurities.
The season of summer always feels like a fight against time, a race to accomplish, a bucket list to tick off. I usually succumb to it all but not this year. This year my goal has been to take pleasure in the simple daily privileges I am afforded to grieve, to rejoice at growth and to discover what has always been in front of me. I have been lamenting (to myself) the lack of inspiration I have been feeling when it comes to food. The one thing I most relate to feels like a burden. I have so much respect for all the Vietnamese, Salvadorean, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and so many more immigrant-owned restaurants who work hard daily (and are forced) to keep their prices low so that I can feed myself without guilt from time to time. I have respect for them for various other reasons but this is a top one. Tip well, folks….
I’ve been wasting so much time getting this pizza dough recipe to your kitchen. I’m happy to report that the wait is over. I don’t know how it feels for the rest of the world when it comes to completing tasks but I usually build them up so much in my head that I want nothing to do with them when the time comes. That’s not to say that this recipe is all hype. It’s been a vehicle for lots of delicious toppings and it’s now ready for its international debut. I thought of keeping the recipe for my future cookbook (which is a dream, by the way) but what the heck. I have had too much anxiety over dying in the last few months. Enough to not wait to share the good things with you.
Grilled food seems like such a luxury to me and it’s strange because setting wood on fire is one of the most instinctual, ever-evolving cooking techniques. Grilled vegetables and mushrooms are one of my favourite things to eat when the weather warms up. The smoke flavour imparted when it’s all laid on the grates of a classic Weber is one of the first tastes that signals summertime. …
It’s normal to make a big food blogging comeback with just 2 photos of the dish right? If the past few months are anything to go by then this is the *PERFECT* way to make a comeback. Something went wrong with the rest of the moong bean hummus photos I made so this is what I have. It’s life’s way of saying “I own you”. That’s cool, life. It’s been a while. I almost forgot how it felt like to be humbled….
If you’re wondering if food justice is disconnected from what you experience on a day to day basis, consider these questions: Who picked the produce you buy? Where do you shop? How many times a week do you eat out? Where do you eat when you do? Who are you sharing your purchasing power with?
I took a short break from writing this blog because after back to back summers of trying to keep up in the rat race, I wanted to stop. Ever since I moved here from India, I’ve had an endless to-do list of things I needed to accomplish so I could set the ball rolling on somewhat fitting in. Some of the tasks included making my house a refuge, another was turning my gardening hobby into something more than just a fling. Then there was the task of getting a driver’s license and cooking to teach myself what I really like to eat on a daily basis and making notes for a book I might want to write. To people who do jobs and keep pursuing creative hobbies on the side, you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you break. Breaks are necessary and allow you to come back energised, with more ideas and the ability to learn more about yourself and how you tick. Everybody needs one from time to time and since this blog is not my job, it felt easier to step back….
It’s that time of the year where if you’re not carting home 3/4 of your usual shopping bag weight in melons, you’re definitely not me. I have brought home slices or wholes of every kind of melon, plums and bags of cucumbers (same family!) and I have been belching sighs of happiness ever since. It’s been a hustle to “make memories” before the cooler days set in, a phenomenon that occurs when you move out to a part of the Western Hemisphere where “seasons” are a real darn thing. I don’t like it but I let the weight of my decisions rest heavily on it nonetheless. I don’t know if it will strike me until we’re in the throes of the most disgusting season – FALL (I SAID IT) – but I love the days where I’m doing nothing but sitting outside hearing the birds shout as they rustle pine needles, the dogs bark at beeping sounds and I’m just sitting there pretending to read my book as the sun readies to force its beautiful energy on this goofy day.
Fall? Birch please.
What I’m up to these days:
Reading Swing Time. I am a slow reader, which is to say I love to read so much that I feel depressed once the book ends. This is a real feeling….