30 September 2013

What is that?

Recently, my husband (whoa!! still not used to writing/saying that!) and I started a Bible reading plan together. To be honest, I was less than excited about reading through some of the old Testament books. Some of them are sooo long and sooo dry, I thought to myself before we began. Yet, every morning as I settle in and read about the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their often CRAY lives, I find myself utterly intrigued. And heartbroken. And laughing. And on the verge of tears.

Today, for instance, I read about the reuniting of Jacob and his estranged (and quite hairy) twin Esau. After some extremely sneaky and tense family affairs (which resulted in Esau wanting to kill Jacob, by the way) the brothers are reunited. One would think, and indeed one of them did, that there was going to be some blood at this bizarre reunion. And yet, after 20 years of hostile separation, what happens when Esau sees his rascal of a little brother walking before him? He runs to Jacob, and hugs him.


Can you imagine the emotions of those two twins? Driven from eachother because of deceit and violent anger in their younger years, now seeing each other again as grown men with wives and children and households of their own? I found myself desperately wanting to join in on this emotionally charged hug that that went on in the ancient dusty desert. Though the tears of those brothers fell thousands of years ago, I was reliving their bittersweet weeping as if it were happening right before me.

And so I sat there dazed on my couch. And I thought about the love and graciousness of God. How unfathomable God is. How much He loves us and desires that we know Him. How much He wants that we be blessed by His guidance and reassured by His presence and even His correction. How He substituted His only Son for us. How, because of Jesus, we can know the Father. I'm not even sure how to describe God, but I can tell you; it is the best thing in the universe to be loved by Him.

I can see myself in Jacob. Fearful after my mistakes. Pride, arrogance. And yet, what does God do when He sees my face? He begins to run.


What kind of grace is that? What, I ask you, is that?

24 September 2013

Breadcrumb Hand Syndrome (B.H.S.)

             Sometimes all you need is a simple little meal. In our apartment, that usually means something is getting pan-fried. And, quite frankly, I do not mind me a little pan-fry. Recently, however, our dining routine took an unexpected turn. No pan frying occurred and, moreover, there was none a female chef to be found. Rather, another pair of hands was dredging and breading and baking. The peculiar talents of a lesser-known chef. Believe me you, I was quite intrigued to see what would come of this venture. But as this tall figure took to his trout, I slowly watched a meal emerge.

It was fascinating, and a tiny bit humorous, to see how this fine fellow dealt with Breadcrumb Hand Syndrome (B.H.S.). His technique was simply to cease all usage of the compromised hand. 

Additionally, another unforeseen shift took place. It turns out that this chef is very energy conscious. Instead of using the entire oven to cook four filets of trout, he opted for the...TOASTER OVEN. I know, I was also flabbergasted. Would it all fit? Would it cook our precious fish properly? Would my toast be trout-y in the morning? 

I decided to lay aside my anxieties and observe. 

It helped that he wore a shirt that I approved of. It says, I love my wife. Indeed, chef, indeed.

This rogue chef's techniques paid off. Within the hour, I was sitting and enjoying a deliciously tender trout with a deliciously cute chef.  Ça plane pour moi, mes amis, that works for me.

Bonne semaine! xox

13 September 2013

An exploration and it's acquisitions

A few days ago, I had a girlie lunch: a bright and beautiful salad. You see, as a woman of five feet and one biddie inch, I do not have much surface volume to space out my lady curves. For fear of turning into a little snowball, I sometimes make my self a teeeensy bit of a lighter meal. My husband, who is exactly one foot taller than me and has the metabolism of Michael Phelps during his Olympic training regime, can afford to eat basically anything. Not I, dear reader, not I.

What exactly did I put in this deliciously healthy little salad? I started with a little bit of leftover whole wheat pasta, added some crunchiness with raw almonds (next time I will toast them!), mixed this with a bunch of baby spinach, and nestled a wee hard-boiled egg in the corner. I salted and pepper-ed it, dressed it with a little bit of honey-dijon, and voilà!

After savoring this lean little lunch, I decided to venture out into my new city. I soon came to the conclusion that Windsor is unique to me because of its blending of the urban and suburban. At times, I felt as if I was walking along the tree-lined streets of central New Jersey (and, yes, green does exist in New Jersey) and then suddenly, upon reaching the end of the street, I would realize that I was in the downtown core of an actual city! I am beginning to greatly appreciate this aspect of Windsor. 

Of, course, whilst on my little jaunt, I began craving something sweet. As I marched along, I wandered east-ward and found myself in the primarily Middle Eastern neighborhood of the city. I was properly slack-jawed over the sheer number of Middle Eastern bakeries surrounding me. I popped into the nearest bakery and bought six cookies for only three dollars. A definite win, I should say. 

I then made my way towards Blak's Bakery, on Langlois Avenue. As their website states, the bakery has been owned and operated by the Blak family since 1918. I do love me an establishment with some history. 

Unfortunately, my arrival at Langlois Avenue was a bit later in the afternoon and many of their items were already sold-out. I did manage to procure myself a little square of cherry tart, though. And, after I had scampered home and enjoyed dinner with my husband and sister-in-law, I revealed my tiny treasures. My husband made some High Mountain Taiwanese green tea and we sat down to taste the little gems. 

I was a tad caught of guard by the tang of the cherry tart, but I enjoyed how it melted into the buttery crust upon first bite. The cookies, likewise, surprised me. I am normally a crunchy cookie lass, but I also revel in a soft, chewy number. These were neither! I quickly found a common feature in all six cookies: crumbly and studded with nut flavor. I am thinking that the dough was mixed with almonds or walnuts, creating a cookie that was much less moist than I am accustomed to. Yet I found that with a sip of my tea, these cookies were a lovely match! As I savored the last bite of my cookie, a toasted almond/walnut flavor lingered on my tongue and I believe that is where the biggest flavor burst of these cookies lay. After our munching, I decided that I will be returning to both establishments. I also decided upon another verdict, dear reader. An afternoon started with a salad, should always conclude with a cookie.

12 September 2013

DT Windsor Farmer's Market!

            It's been incredibly hot here in Windsor lately, which is frustrating for me mostly because I am fixing to burn my "Pumpkin Spice" candle. One does not burn a Pumpkin Spice candle in 91 degrees.

           Anyways, I recently became involved in the Down Town Windsor Farmer's Market. I keep having these moments where I say to myself, I have found my people, I have found my people! Who else would talk with me about micro-greens, pea shoots, and native apple varieties! Oh, the joy.

              Alas, the morning of market day, I woke up around 6 a.m. and made my way over to Charles Clark Square. As I walked along the river, I had one of those random moments of appreciation. The city was peaceful, quiet and cool. The water rippled gently along the shoreline, and Detroit sat motionless across from me. I walked up to the square around 7a.m., to find a short line of vans and trucks pulling up to the curb. Vendors were carting baskets of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens of incredible color across the market. I soon met the general manager, Steve Green (aptly named, I believe), and was immediately put to work. As I greeted the vendors, I asked about their goods and their farms and their interests. Talking to the baker, the ladies selling about 7 varieties of lettuce, the fishmonger (from whom I bought the freshest and tastiest trout!) among others, was simply fantastic.


Seriously, the Down Town Windsor Farmer's Market is truly a wonderful little place. Besides providing residents with organic fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, baked goods, and even coffee (!) at extremely affordable prices, the market is becoming one of Windsor's gathering places. It is lovely to see all types of Windsorites from the city's diverse neighborhoods, coming to enjoy a morning together...whilst munching on some delectable item, of course. My advice: Put the pumpkin candles down, people, and come visit the market this Saturday :)

11 September 2013

A Fresh September

I absolutely love the start of a new season. More particularly, the start of a new school year. In my family, Back- to-School-Shopping was a bonafide family outing. We'd pile each of our excited selves into the van and head to the outlets. For whatever reason, I had an odd affection for Timberland-style boots as a child, and the trip culminated for me in the procuration of new pair. I was quite "grunge" in pre-school, it seems. Moreover, the sheer delight we received from buying new pencils (the wooden Ticonderogas with LEGITIMATE erasers) was frankly hilarious. Wielding those things in the depths of the pencil sharpener was utter satisfaction. It's the simple things, people, the simple things.

Right now, I happen to be writing from a little cafe in Windsor, Ontario. I can hardly believe it! No longer in my beloved Montreal. Quite a difficult adieu. Seeing as I had the nerve to graduate from McGill University, get myself married, and move to Southern Ontario in one fell swoop, I am rather to blame, I guess. It is still crazy to consider though, that only 5 months ago, I was most likely sitting at my little desk in Montreal, writing some confounded essay about the history of human existence upon the earth (only a slight exaggeration). For for which I probably obtained a mediocre grade (only a slight exaggeration).

Yet, as I sit here now, a little anxious, a little (LOT) uncertain, a little giddy, a little (LOT) excited, I can't help but smile. It seems to me that this thing called living is filled with a bunch of fresh changes and new changes. It so happens I've experienced several monumental ones in rapid succession, but I do believe I will make it. I am out of familiar territory, but I have a God who leads me and guides me, who works all things together for my good. Praise God, that I even have the chance to live and breath and laugh. I dare say, dessert munching and wine sipping are included in His blessings!

                               " If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
                                 If I settle on the far side of the sea,
                                 Even there your hand will guide me,
                                 Your right hand will hold me fast. "

                                                                       Psalm 139:9-10

                                 Here's to a new season and a new city, my friends. Let's explore together!