Stay-at-Home Silver Linings

The past months have been unlike any I can remember, culminating in Ontario’s stay-at-home order, which permitted leaving home only for work or essentials such as groceries.  I could share with you all the things I’ve missed most – I’m sure you’ve longed for some of the same things I […]

Strong Spirit: Hope for Women Living with Illness

Even at this time of reduced social interaction I keep (virtually) bumping into women who are sick or struggling.  There was a time when I thought I was the only odd one.  As a youngish woman living with a chronic condition, it seemed to me that the frustration and pain […]

Bagels Demystified

Who knew that making bagels was so easy? For months I’ve been baking all of our bread:  baguettes, whole wheat loaves, hamburger buns, flatbread…  Bagels, though, are a mystery.  Isn’t there an obscure ingredient that gives store-bought bagels their distinctive flavour and texture?  Haven’t I heard something about boiling bagels?  […]

Paintings that Speak

Growing up, everyone I knew hung prints on their walls: large landscapes, idyllic small town scenes, abstract splashes. Then, as a young adult, I met a man who filled my life with texture and pigment. He was always talking about Peru, his homeland: the food, the warmth, the history, the […]

Gourds

An Unexpected Kindness

As a child I found squash odious. Consequently, as an adult I never cooked it. Then, I discovered the joy of a simple, homemade butternut squash soup: fry an apple and onions in a generous amount of curry before adding broth and squash and you have the makings of a […]

Silhouette of woman standing alone in a field at sunrise

Reflections

A world in quarantine changed us all, I think, in big and small ways. We’ve heard about wild life returning, the clearing of the skies, people singing on balconies. Personally, I find it hard to articulate the subtle changes I sense in myself after months of forced seclusion. Stopping for […]

Leche asada

Better Than Ice Cream

Subtle flavour and gentle sweetness are sensory pleasures I discovered later in life. My husband and I stumbled, together, across an obscure Japanese bakery in Markham, years ago, and the lightness of a strawberry shortcake we found there is with us still. Later, I tried, for the first time, an […]

Bees collecting pollen from lavender flowers

Attracting Bees

Four years ago I became interested in bees and pollinator plants. A number of books about Colony collapse disorder caught my eye and, the way I saw it, with more bees in my backyard I could help save a species essential to our food supply and have more tomatoes and […]

A sunlit garden with iris flowers in the foreground

Abide

This morning my garden looked beautiful – full of promise. Japanese irises, discovered at a community plant sale last spring, unfurled in a show of purple. I bought five clusters, but only two have rooted deeply enough to bloom this summer. Roots: living things that must push hard in a […]

A plate of powdered donuts

Homemade Doughnuts

When my grandmother passed away I unearthed, in her garage, a large envelope stuffed full and carefully labelled: Recipes Collected For Years. In it I discovered a gold mine: booklets from the ’50s with tips on how to bake prize-winning cookies, a school-issued curriculum for young ladies, Tested Recipes, published […]