When we were kids, my friend W’s dad used to say “easy falafel!” all the time, the way one would say easy peasy or as easy as pie. I didn’t know what a falafel was at the time but I liked the way it sounded so I went about saying “easy falafel” too.
When I had falafel for the first time years later, it was in a sandwich with lettuce, pickled onions and peppers and a tangy tahini dressing – there was nothing easy about it, in fact, it seemed complex and flavourful, and I loved it!
I finally gave up and gave my Costco-sized stash of coconut flour away. In the many months that I had it, I made some breakfast porridge and added a few spoonfuls into toppings for fruit crisp.
Since I hadn’t made a dent in it and wasn’t sure about its self-life, I gave it to my next-door neighbour, who loves it and puts it in his shakes and smoothies regularly for its high fibre content.
I offered the coconut flour to my neighbour in gratitude of sorts; he moved into my building last year from France and has had to deal with a barrage of questions from me about his home country – Having lived in Paris for years, he’s not as enamoured with it as I am, but he indulges me.
I like to forget that I lived in London once; that a long time ago, my respite from the drudgery of my life was a tiny flat in Clerkenwell. Over the last few years, I rediscovered London as a visitor and created happier memories.
The thing with reconnecting with your past is that you find yourself in places that feel strangely familiar yet different.
I heard Clerkenwell had changed, but so had I, I liked coffee and photography now, so I went back for those two things and to make old friends new.
Workshop Coffee in Clerkenwell was the first stop on our annual day trip to London last fall.
It was the ideal spot for light breakfasting, catching up and relaxing after a long cross-country train ride.
I got the recipe for this peach crisp at the farmers’ market last year, although it didn’t start out as a recipe, it began with a suggestion.
Our local farmers’ market is a cute one, spanning the length of a short block adjacent to lovely heritage homes and a small park; it runs during the summer months only, on Saturdays.
I go for the fresh local organic fruits and vegetables for cooking and snacking on throughout the week, and sometimes flowers to brighten the week.
Peaches start appearing at the market mid-July and are aplenty around this time – you can’t miss them. Last year we found a vendor selling sweet and luscious organic peaches grown on his small family farm in the Okanagan.
August has always felt like the beginning of the end of summer to me, a reminder of the scant few weeks left in the season.
Unlike last year, this summer has felt different and unmemorable. Last summer, we managed to fill our free time with delightful pursuits; we had leisurely suppers on the beach and drank rosé on the balcony while watching the sun go down. We’d set off to someplace refreshing and inspiring on the weekends to escape the drudgery of the week.
Lately I’ve been pretty much holed up inside, hunched over a tiny screen; this isn’t how I want to remember this summer; because when the cold and dreariness return, I’ll beat myself up over all the things I didn’t get to do, and that is the worst.
I did make plans for this summer, so perhaps August is a gentle reminder to get to it, there’s still time to do that road trip to Portland, that train ride to Seattle and that spa day on the Sunshine Coast.
‘More salads’ was another one of my summer plans and thankfully I’ve managed to make ‘salad for dinner’ a regular thing at home. Summer salads are an exciting way to enjoy the colourful bounty of produce that is in season now.