We’re in the midst of a cold snap. It snowed yesterday, our first in over two years! I watched big fat snowflakes fall from the sky like confetti; I’d forgotten how exciting that felt.
Even my mom was impressed (and nothing impresses that woman!), she looked on pleasingly, training her phone at the mountains, she said, “Mmmmm hmmm, the mountains are properly capped, now this is Canada!”
For someone accustomed to the sweltering cloudless African sky, I’ve also always loved bitter cold weather (feel free to make Frozen jokes!), I’ll take the cold over mild pissing-rainy conditions any day. And for freezing wintry nights, nothing beats a steaming comforting bowl of soup to warm you up. We’ve been wishing for an ideal moment like this to make this hearty chickpea and pasta soup.
Have you heard this joke yet? “I recently took up meditation. It beats sitting around doing nothing!”
So yes, I’ve taken up meditation, and although I suspect I might be doing it wrong, I love its calming clarity.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s that time of the year or current affairs; but more and more, I long for solitude and sanctuary. I yearn for that simple and magical tranquility of sitting on an old porch overlooking the sea on a secluded rural island, with a steaming cup of tea and a slice of dark chocolate banana bread; it centers the mind and body.
I have a fantastic meditation app that helps me tune out the noise, and prompts throughout the day to take tiny moments to really breathe.
Back in the summer when basil was aplenty, I thought about making huge jars of pesto to store for use in the coming months. I only managed to make a lone medium-sized jar before the season ended, but I knew I’d want to make this pesto swirl loaf when temperatures cooled. My thing for bread and pesto goes a long way…
Years ago, I was friends with a girl called Nkechi. We were part of this truly dedicated book club where half of the group wrote fan fiction in their spare time. While reading Under the Tuscan Sky, one woman wrote Under the Tucson Sky, and everyone except N and I thought it was so clever; we sort of bonded over that.
I should probably tell you now that I didn’t go to Broken Biscuits for the coffee; I went specifically for their baked goods. At Honor Café, where they serve the most exquisite pastries with their coffee, I may have mentioned how perfectly delicious my muffin was, and it lead to this discovery; an adorable little bakeshop in the 11th arrondissement. A few of the other “third-wave coffee” shops around Paris serve pastries from Broken Biscuits too.
So one late morning, before a planned picnic at Buttes-Chaumont, we made a long walk of it and stopped for breakfast at Broken Biscuits.
We’re now in the deep depths of fall and I’ve felt incredibly unprepared for this shift in season. What with the wet, windy and dark grey overcast days; it feels like it has rained every day for the past month. It’s been a tad difficult adjusting to this dreary weather.
I haven’t cooked much lately because I lack motivation, which is weird, because you’d think dark rainy days would inspire comforting soups, rich bubbly stews and fragrant pastries to fill the house with warmth. Nope, we’ve been subsisting on meals we put together hastily and take-out. Take last weekend for example, under the dark wet afternoon sky, we gave up and ordered from a (vegan) pizza joint for our little book club gathering. When I make it to the market, I look for nourishing veggies that come together in a flash like this roasted cauliflower, chickpea and kale with harissa.