Welcome to Life, Inspired — The Weekend Review. This is the weekly column where I take a step back from the recipes so you can have a wider look at what’s been inspiring me, moving me, or just catching my fancy out there in the life beyond my kitchen.
Oh my gosh, it’s been what, two months?, since my last Life, Inspired column. Let me assure you, that’s not because I’ve been sitting around reading magazines and eating bonbons. On the contrary, life rather overtook me for some time, as I was dealing with all manner of contractors to get the new house ready and doing the work of culling and packing my possessions at the old place.
As if that weren’t enough, a week before moving day my car was rear-ended not once, but twice (after the first collision the other driver hit the gas instead of the brake and I got another bashing). It was a minor collision, but enough to leave me with a whiplash injury. Fortunately, it’s considered minor, but it’s been enough to significantly slow me down. As a result, completion of my move dragged right out to the May 15 sale closing of my former home. Honestly, it felt endless.
I’m pleased to say that most of the unpacking has been done now, and today I started hanging pictures, which always makes such a big difference. I had the whole place painted before moving day, and have done some upgrades in the kitchen as well. It’s really feeling like my home now. One of these days I’ll take you on a tour of my new kitchen.
I’ve slowly been getting back to blogging, and it’s inspiring to finally have time again to rediscover everything I love about cooking and writing. I’ve even had family over for dinner and a few friends for coffee or lunch. I’m not going to wait for this place to be perfect before sharing it with company. After all, it’s not the unpacked boxes or the huddle of lamps in the corner of the living room that counts, it’s the pleasure of casual gatherings that turn a house into a home.
My new home is convenient to London’s Springbank Park, and I’ve been enjoying walking there as often as possible. I like to think that, once all the extra work associated with moving is done, I may even get out for morning and evening power walks/strolls. We’ll see about that. In the meantime, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the greening of spring. What better way to lift the spirits and reinvigorate oneself? Through my photographs (all taken with an iPhone), I can revisit these moments and transport myself to this place of tranquility any time.
My New Buddy
A couple of weeks after moving here, I adopted a cat from the London Humane Society. I wanted a male orange tabby and was open to welcoming an older cat. Most of all, I was looking for a cat who was looking for me. I got sidetracked at the Humane Society by a charming black and white fellow named Billy, but alas, when I spent time with him he was only interested in the play equipment and hissed whenever I tried to interact with him (reminds me of some bad dates in my past).
Then I came across this gentle fellow, named Prince. When we went into the playroom he immediately plopped down onto the table in front of me and purred up a storm. He would go play, but kept coming back to me for more affection. He’s six years old, and when I adopted him had been at the shelter for about a month. I couldn’t ask for a better cat. He’s calm, gentle and unperturbed — even when I use the coffee grinder — yet has a playful side and races around here sometimes having a grand old time.
The cat formerly known as Prince is now Kalonji. If you’ve been following my Indian-inspired cooking posts (for example, here and here), you’ll know that the jet black kalonji seeds have an intense carrot flavour; hence, a perfect name for an orange kitty, don’t you agree? He’s the fourth in the line of cats I’ve had named after spices and herbs, preceded by Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. The fact that his eyes fit in with my turquoise colour scheme is totally happenstance.
Around the Web
Here are a few things that caught my eye in the last couple of months.
Have you heard about the wonderful thing they’re doing in France?
I could relate to this; how about you?
Have you tried making you own spice blends? I’ve made a few, like garam masala, chana masala and panchphoran. Whether you do or not, you’ll find this article about Indian curry powders (yes, there are many) a good read.
I’ve been finding myself going all fangirl over the Canadian food blog She Eats. A blend of sassy language, serious food knowledge, food photography that makes me weep with envy, and did I mention the recipes? Kristy likes her bevies, and she recently posted about something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time: shrubs, which are vinegar-based. I am so going to make this one!
The Meal, 2015
I volunteer for and write about The Meal, one of London’s — Canada’s London, that is — longest-running fundraisers, which raises money in support of diabetes research. This year’s event on April 26 was highly successful. Here I am, ready to live-tweet the occasion on their Twitter account (@TheMealLondon), and feeling like a celebrity on the red carpet.
And here’s a small selection of the photos I took that evening. There’s nothing like good food for a good cause!
Okay, so this is more of a two-month recap, but nonetheless if you missed any of these posts the first time around why not check them out now? And don’t forget to keep those cards and letters (well, really blog comments) coming! Here are the links to keep things easy: lemon honey salmon on celeriac puree; oven-roasted bacon; peanut butter cookies; Food Revolution Day; salmon baking tray dinner; and rhubarb orange butter.