January is my favourite month, when the light is plainest, least colored. And I like the feeling of beginnings. —Anne Truitt
Spring’s promises, autumn keeps.
Winter’s secrets, summer reveals.
You are born of men and women who have been utilizing plant medicines for many generations. Your blood and your body remembers; your body speaks the same language as these medicines. —Carrielynn Victor
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. —Louis L’Amour
It’s the weekend of Thanksgiving here in Canada! That time of the year when markets are brimming with produce and we gather around the table with our loved ones feasting on autumnal fare. Thanksgiving is simply a harvest festival, much like those taking place around the world since ancient times. And while the highlight of these festivals is always the crops that have come to maturity and the foods that are made with them, there is a harvest of a different sort that takes place at the same time— albeit less pronounced, but of great importance… it’s the harvest of seeds. Of great importance as it’s they that hold the promise of future harvests after all; everything begins and ends with seeds.
Continue reading “roasted pumpkin seed hummus”
Before she was born, before we even knew that pears were her favourite fruit, we planted two pear trees.
One of my son’s closest friends happens to be of Lebanese descent. The first time my son went over to his friend’s, he returned home and exclaimed rhetorically “Why can’t you make food like theirs?” I didn’t have much a choice; this one question set into motion the quest to add a few more recipes to our arsenal. Continue reading “middle eastern grilled lamb kafta with tahini yogurt sauce & whole wheat pita bread”
Grilling season is in full swing! Here is my simple and flavourful Indian grilled chicken recipe… the one everyone always asks for!
Continue reading “indian-spiced grilled chicken with cucumber raita”
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
A bubonic plague pandemic came to India in 1896 via rats on cargo ships from China. Over the next thirty years, India would lose 12.5 million people to this disease. Initially, it was confined to port cities but eventually, it spread to rural regions of the country as well. 
By the time the pandemic reached my ancestral village in Gujarat, my paternal grandfather was but a newborn. This meant that he had minimal resistance and the least possibility of survival if infected. But parents will do whatever possible to ensure the safety of their children and so, as difficult as it may have been, arrangements were made by my great-grandparents to have him taken away to live temporarily with relatives living further away until the threat would pass. But things didn’t turn out quite as planned and what was meant to be temporary became permanent. Soon after he was taken away, his entire family fell victim to this deadly disease.
This time of the year always gets me excited. Yes, there’s my birthday and the wisdom that comes with it but I think it has more to do with the allure of watching the city landscape transform after a long, cold winter. Almost overnight, lawns transform to lush green (except my lawn of course!), dormant buds burst open into gorgeous blossoms and birdsong fills the air. It’s also the time of the year when we sow seeds and reclaim our urban gardens. Of all the garden space and pots that we have in our backyard, five pots are always set aside solely for basil seeds. And though that promises a healthy supply of basil in the coming months, at the present moment making pesto requires some creativity. Kale, as it turns out, makes a great substitute. Continue reading “kale pesto”
Toum is simply a garlic sauce that hails from the Middle East and consists of no more than garlic, lemon, oil and salt. It’s very similar to the Mediterranean region’s aioli and what is often referred to simply as garlic sauce here in North America. If you’ve had a bite to eat at a Lebanese restaurant, you’re sure to have had some!