Just when it looked like spring had sprung on the west coast, we got hit with another blast of winter. It’s a bit of a novelty to see snow here, so when it happens, the world turns upside-down. The busses and train stop running, the grocery stores shelves grow bare, and that inner child can’t help but come out. With school cancelled and both of us home, the week has been full with late-night snowy strolls, cups of cocoa, and the inevitable snowball fight….
This weekend I left the city and headed home for some much needed R+R. Getting those last few summer activities in before the rainy season comes to the coast is an essential. We spent yesterday picking the last of the season’s blackberries and munching on homegrown radishes, kale, and spinach straight out of my mum’s garden. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in just in time to prevent us from watching the Harvest Moon rise and the Lunar eclipse last night, but country joys like roasting s’mores over the bonfire and playing with downey soft Guinea keets, made up for it.
Its always a challenge to guess what recipes will and won’t take off. More often than not, the ones which I find most appealing, or have the images which I am most proud of, are only ever viewed by my mum and boyfriend (and my sisters who point out the spelling mistakes\_(ツ)_/¯ ) . I’m okay with this. At times it’s challenging, yes, but that’s the nature of the game. Then there are the recipes that take off, which can be challenging in their own right. One of my most popular posts to date was for the Unbelievable Bread, which as the name suggests, is pretty damn amazing. This recipe was posted long before I fully got the hang of blogging.I was using a Canon Rebel with the kit lens, shooting in direct sunlight, and editing my photos with pic monkey (not ideal). I was also at stage where if the recipe worked for me, I’d assume it’d work for everyone (makes sense, right?).
While most people who made the Unbelievable bread sent the most amazing feedback, I always felt knots in my stomach every time someone was left disappointed by the recipe (I still recall the person who compared it to Deflategate). So many times I have gone out of my way to buy special ingredients for something praised on the internet as Life Altering, only to be composting it an hour after making it – so the less that happens the better. With a few tweaks of the original recipe, I think I’ve come up with a more fail proof version of the Unbelievable Bread, introducing the Unbelievable Buckwheat Bread.
The farther away I’ve travel from the west coast, the worse and worse the muffins begin to taste. And this has consistently really bummed me out. There, I said it. Phewf, that was oddly releasing. I always think optimistically about new cities and coffee shops, I’ve even been known to google search ‘best muffins in so and so town’, but these tactics are never to any avail. I’ll walk in, press my little face to the glass, taking one look in the case of fluffy white cakes, and shutter away in disappointment. I clearly remember the one time this summer in New York, when I was unorganized and therefore found myself out of the house and famished. I headed into a coffee shop before work and saw a blueberry muffin which appeared really promising. I took it to go and headed to my internship where I eagerly dug into the top (like the true Elaine I am), only to discover the weird taste of artificial cake, and the icky feeling of pasty white flour and sensation of greasy fingertips. A sudden wave of disappointment hit me, and I’m pretty sure the rest of it laid untouched all day.
Winter’s lull has come and all I can think about is the smell of my parents rose garden, the feeling of salt water drying on my sun kissed skin, and those long evening car rides where I close my eyes and reach my arm out the open window scoping and caressing the summer air through my fingertips. These days I find myself lingering over the overpriced /imported berries at the grocery store, humming and hawing over the ridiculousness of purchasing them. I’ll even make a point of crossing the street, going out of my way, to read the window display deals at the local flight centre (I know, I know, it’s painfully old fashioned). But since we can’t run away this year, I’m doing the next best thing and making a point of bringing sunshine and vigour to our everyday meals. These colder months have us craving plenty of spicy curries, warming Mexican inspired dishes, ginger, turmeric, and of course lots of sunny golden citrus.