I have just returned from a remarkable 4-day trip to Havana.
This was another trip that almost didn’t happen. I got tickets in a bout of spontaneity and then promptly cancelled them because I felt unprepared – I hadn’t researched the intricacies of travel to Cuba. Needless to say, the second set of tickets I got stuck, and ended up having wonderful time in Havana; I hope to share my adventures with you soon.
One of my favourite images from Havana was this giant cart of bananas being pulled down a street. I couldn’t help but picture all the loaves of banana bread I could make with that much banana! It’s funny because a few weeks ago, I purposefully set aside three bananas to brown just so I could make this spiced dark chocolate banana bread. I buy bananas every week when I go grocery shopping but we gobble them up so fast, they’re never around long enough to go past their prime.
I’m pretty sure I could write an intriguing memoir woven around my encounters with hummus. Like the time we ordered coffee and hummus at a Berlin café because it was the only thing we recognized on the menu, and thought it would come with a mezze platter. Instead we got a giant plate of hummus and falafel each, and nothing else!
Then there was the woman I met on Lummi Island a few years ago, she told me about her beloved hot buttered pasta tossed with a couple of tablespoons of hummus; this dish has become one of my favourite lazy weeknight meals – I keep a jar of this harissa and smoked paprika hummus specifically to make this. For such a simple hummus, it’s packed with so much flavourful goodness, it’s rich, bold and zippy, and enlivens everything it touches.
One sunny weekend in midwinter, we took a short ferry ride to Victoria, BC because it had been almost a decade since my last visit!
Off the BC coast on Vancouver Island, Victoria is also the capital city of BC (my home province).
I’d almost forgotten how perfect this gem of a city is for slow weekend getaways. It has an ideal mix of beautiful city sights, natural beauty and charming small town vibes. From coastal vistas, museums and colonial architecture to lush gardens and a flourishing food scene, it’s not hard to have a perfect weekend in Victoria.
I wanted to experience Victoria differently from my last visit when I tried to rush through all the tourist attractions; we went to the Royal BC Museum, toured the British Columbia Parliament and went on a failed whale watching tour that yielded no whales.
The idea to make this turmeric granola with goldenberry bloomed from the cereal aisle of my local Costco where I found myself intrigued by these giant boxes of golden turmeric cereal on display.
Turmeric is having a moment in the spotlight; hailed as a healing wonder spice with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is not just for curry and mustard anymore, it’s everywhere from lattes and golden milk to teeth whitening.
Now, this may very well be just another health fad, but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I find turmeric fascinating and we do use it quite a bit at home, so I welcome the chance to try it in new recipes.
Just when we thought winter was loosening its grip on us here in the Pacific Northwest, Mother Nature pulled us back in. Temperatures have dropped; we had a dusting of snow over the weekend, and again on Wednesday, and they’re calling for more snow! It’s like a reminder to hang on to our sweaters and mittens since winter’s here for another month.
The thing is, I don’t really mind the cold when it’s this crisp and sunny, plus I relish hearty wintertime meals, from roasted vegetables to steaming bowls of stews and soups. The later reminds me of the type of food I ate as a kid – thick cozy stews and soups ladled over fragrant rice, banku or starchy root vegetables.
We made roasted cauliflower, potato and peas with tahini dressing last weekend as the cold wind blew and the snow came down in flurries outside – there’s just something comforting about roasting vegetables in winter – and this article made me grateful for fresh produce in winter.