There are so many good reasons to make your own granola. First of all, it’s way too easy to not be making it yourself. Secondly, you can custom make it exactly how you and your lovies like it: almonds or hazelnuts or both; chocolate chips instead of raisins; maple syrup or honey…. you get the picture. Lastly, it is so much cheaper than buying from the store.
Food is never just something to eat. -Margaret Visser
Having been raised in Canada, there are so many things about my Indian heritage that I gave up or lost inadvertently. But the one thing that binds me to my past, despite how or where I live, is the food of my childhood, more specifically the simple Indian flatbread, or roti. Bread has this way with us, no? It’s a universal food, yet, each type defines its own culture, people and place, sometimes beyond nationalities and borders. In my opinion, the bread we call our own tells one more about who we are, and where we’ve come from, than our passports and birth certificates. And our last names.
And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. -Khalil Gibran
It’s time to say good-bye to our beloved Île d’Orléans strawberries until the next growing season. When I was growing up, strawberry season lasted about a month. One month. Can you believe that?! Present day, thanks to advances in farming techniques, we get to enjoy local strawberries until October! Despite a longer season though, these little wonders will surely be missed.
The beauty of dead hydrangeas is a memento of the broken promise of an endless summer.
Every year, for even a fleeting moment, I buy into the promise of an endless summer. It’s hard not to in the middle of a Montréal heat wave in the middle of July. This year has been especially deceiving because even well into October we’ve had some unseasonably warm days and a few more coming up according to the latest weather forecast. But the nights are getting cooler and the evenings darker and certainly autumn is here, settled in with deep roots. My hydrangeas can attest to that. They have dried up; beautifully as they always do, as beautiful as they were when they bloomed, only now in hues of brown and red. They are blessed, these gems, to have this endless beauty long after summer has passed, and promises of an endless summer are broken on a cool autumn evening. And celebrations of new sorts begin.
Autumn, here, is celebrated with simple delights such as apple pie.
so, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
never enough for both
When we first arrived in Canada in the 70s, we did not celebrate our Indian holidays with much fanfare. Perhaps, it was because as a young Gujarati community we lacked our own temple, or perhaps it was the financial limitations we faced, or maybe it was simply because in our new country, certain ingredients required to make our special foods were unavailable. Nevertheless, my parents would reminisce about how they had celebrated these holidays back at home. But come that special day, off we would go, to school and work, as if it were an ordinary day, with only the feeling that something fundamentally important was missing from our lives over and above a few ingredients in our pantry.
From humble beginnings come great things.
A simple vegetable curry served with fresh rotis (Indian flatbread) is a typical lunch in a Gujarati home. This sort of humble food is deeply rooted in my humble beginnings. And though, now, things may have changed on the outside, at heart, nothing has, and this simple Gujarati girl still craves these simple yet delicious curries. I cook them not only to satisfy my own cravings but to ensure that I can at least pass this portion of my heritage to my Canadian born, half-Indian children.
It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. The Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated earlier than our American neighbour’s equivalent. Living in the northern part of the continent means our harvest also occurs earlier, hence an earlier Thanksgiving.
The markets are brimming with local produce. Although Montréal is a huge metropolitan, just a short drive out and you are sure to hit farmland. There are over 30 000 farms in Québec and our produce is our pride and joy and definitely something to be thankful for. One of the crops that shine at this time of the year are our gigantic leeks. What better way to use them up than by making leek soup?