Thinking back to my childhood, one of my mother's favorite snacks during the Winter was pear or apple with balsamic vinegar. Forget peanut butter or caramel - nothing made her happier than a bowl of fresh sliced fruit generously doused with the beautifully rich sweet tartness of balsamic vinegar. And while I did not have the palate for it when I was younger [cue image of portly youngster with a bowl cut holding his nose], I have most definitely developed it now.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
When I was a child, Winter was associated with a number of things. Living in Michigan, snow and ice for sure, but also hot chocolate with marshmallows from packets, puffy snowsuits that made us look like Michelin men as we made snow angels and constructed ice palaces (long before Elsa), swans and geese drifting in the little spots of water amidst the lake of ice by our house, and boxes of citrus fruits that lived in our chilly downstairs pantry.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Why? Well, for starters, because it's not made with corn.
[cue cricket chirps for awkwardly long pause]
Aside from gluten and dairy, I also have a sensitivity to corn. I discovered it in the year or so after removing gluten from my diet, when my diet took a marked turns towards increased indulgence in corn tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, popcorn, and delicious breakfast tacos, enchiladas, and tamales. I am in Texas, after all. However, after eating these items, more and more I was being seized by seemingly inexplicable abdominal cramps along with hives all over my body. One would think that after discovering a major food allergy that I would be better able to put two and two together. But I honestly think that at the time, after suffering from food for so long and finding actual relief that didn't come in the form of a pill, I wanted gluten-free to be "the answer."
Friday, December 26, 2014
Hot, hearty soup on a cold Winter day.
There's something magical about that combination, right? I remember my grandmother always making soups and stews throughout the colder months, helping to bring heat within and keep the whole family resilient and strong against sickness. The frigid wind, the biting frost, the ice underfoot, and the cold that made it hard to breathe - all of that was made much more bearable knowing there was hot soup waiting for us at home to enjoy together as a family.
And while the Winters of central Texas are a far, far, far cry from the Winters of Michigan I experienced growing up [cue dramatic echo], there still remains an undeniable urge within me to follow the lead of my grandmother's spirit and make soups that will satisfy, ground, and heal during these months.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This morning at 5:30am, I walked under moonlight through a grove of cedar and cypress trees on my way to the studio. A chill hung suspended in the quiet darkness, the sparse commotion of cars on the highway sharing a quiet echo as I studied the stars. And though I was embarking upon the day with barely 4 hours of sleep, it made me smile - both from happiness and recognition that sometimes we get exactly what we want in life.
Though the "way" we get it can often seem perplexing at first.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Change is in the air.
Leaves revealing fiery color and trees and shrubs molting to carpet the ground below. A chill suspended in the breeze as the days grow shorter and shorter and we set the clock back. Sweaters, scarves, and animal themed knit caps coming out of storage. A yearning for hot soup, steamed drinks, and pumpkiny desserts.
And even for us in Austin, Texas, where the weather has just finally decided to downgrade from Summer-like temperatures, the change of season is still apparent in what's now plentiful at the farmers' market and in the aisles of the local grocer. From the melons, stone fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and berries of the Summer months, we now make way for apples, pears, persimmons, citrus, gourds, cruciferous greens, and root vegetables of Autumn and Winter.
So what better time than for a juice cleanse?
Monday, October 27, 2014
"To this day, it still astonishes me that with just a little knowledge,
we can make dishes that have the power to help the body heal itself."
These words wonderfully capture the ethos of Silvana Nardone's advocacy and leadership within the gluten-free community. When her son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with gluten and dairy sensitivity, she, too, had to undergo a transformation of perspective that many of us know all too well. What to buy? What not to buy? What is okay and what is not…. How to make this, that, or those…..
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I have been away for a while.
79 days to be exact since I last published anything on The Canary Files. And while I have missed writing and sharing here, what I learned (and am continuing to learn) in the time since was a lesson long overdue. A lesson that I could no longer conveniently keep on the back burner, pretend was not there, or place into a box wrapped with a perfectly tied bow.
A lesson that I knew would be difficult to write about and that I would procrastinate long and hard about formulating into words.