Sunday, September 14, 2008

food glorious food, and other things!

On Thursday I fasted and then went to my friend Asma's house to break my fast and learn about Ramadan and the Muslim faith. I met Asma at Sick Kids, her darling son Adam died just before Mary and I arrived. We are part of a group of Mom's who have connected and get together for dinner and evenings for healing. Anyway.... I had an amazing time... Aisha, her beautiful daughter, spent lots of time answering my questions and explaining things to me... who better to do it then someone learning... darling girl. And is she so gorgeous, dark skin and hair and the sweetest open face. Oh I love them both! Asma gifted me this beautiful embroidered deep burnt orange Salwar kameez a traditional dress. (Salvars or shalvars are loose pajama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The kameez is a long shirt or tunic. The side seams (known as the chaak) are left open below the waist-line, which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement.) It was amazingly comfortable, however, there was one minor issue, it was quite form fitting, which made me a little uncomfortable.. hehe So the next day Asma let out the seams on the side so I do not look all boobs in it. :-)

The food Asma cooked was absolutely divine; Pakora, fried potatoes battered in chick pea flour and dipped in a yogurt, coriander and mint chutney; Dahi Barry, fried sweet lentil patties in yogurt and chick peas; Chicken Curry; and Chicken Paalak, chicken cooked with spicy sweet spinach. I do believe an angel sat on my tongue that night, absolutely amazing. And the hospitality. Asma's sister Nadia and her 2 children joined us and we had a great evening. I can not wait to go again. I love learning about new culture's and faiths and I have had so many questions about the Muslim faith, and I am very excitedly learning!

And no it did not escape me that Thursday was September 11. I have had so much loss in my life these past few years that I knew that on this day of mourning I wanted to do something special, something spiritual and who better than with those that I do not understand and Asma is an Ahamdi Muslim and they practice non-violence. She is a kind and beautiful woman and so is her family. I felt like an honored guest in her home, and it was wonderful. I am going again during Ramadan for a Bazzar in her building... hummm do I see some lovely bangles in my future!

This week end Julie and I are harvesting the back yard. Beets and carrots are ready as well as 100's of pears. Yesterday we canned 3 types of pears, gingered, spicy chutney with cranberries and currents, and pears in extra light sauce... yum! I also made New Brunswick oatmeal molasses brown bread in a bread machine and Oh was it good... we had it like I used to as kids with Molasses beans and fried new potatoes... it was heaven. Today more of the same, and adding Zinfandel pears and pickled beets. I love fall!

As I said in my last post my dear friend Gianni died on Wednesday, his funeral will be in Saint John on Monday. I will miss his laughter, and his positive sense of humor. I will miss his friendship. I think what makes it hard to loose someone close is partially the loss of their love. For over 35 years, Gianni loved me, and as we grew older that love became deeper, of that I am sure, and I will miss having that love confirmed in this earthly realm. I know that he has gone home. I know that he has his legs back. I know that he is pain free and for that I am grateful. But, I also know that I will miss him until I am with him again. But with each loss, I think about other losses and as I cooked and canned I imagined my Mom kneading brown bread in our kitchen and the smell of newly risen loaves. And I imagine my Dad peeling the hot skins off boiled potatoes for us kids and the eager faces awaiting the hot steamy goodness with a dollop of butter dangling from our forks. And my darling Mary, who is in my thoughts constantly, her crookedy smile awaiting whatever I was dishing up. They live in my heart and my mind, and are as close as my thoughts. So there I will store Gianni and my memories of our childhood and the stories of growing together.

School starts on Monday and I am really excited. I have everything ready and, of course, organized and labeled. I will post again to let you know how my first day was. And Oh yeah, yesterday I drove around Toronto for the first time and I did alright!

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