Cooking is one of those art forms that look very simple from the outside but that can quickly turn complex. Being an essential and inescapable part of life, food populates our world and fuels our dreams. From commercials on TV to the abundance of restaurants, from the opulence of grocery stores and the never-ending stream of cooking books, food is everywhere.

When I was a child, I used to bake bite-sized pizzas with my dad. When we had people over and they had beer, I saved the caps specifically for this purpose. In my mind, they made the ultimate pizza…

Resilience is an unexpected joy that can be savoured after having conquered hardship. It’s that proud little voice in your head reminding you that you not only survived, but you also came back stronger. Resilience drives us forward, allowing us to bounce back from anything and rising from our own ashes.

There are many examples of resilience throughout world history. Think about slavery, wars and famines, pandemics and genocides. While all of this was happening, it looked like humanity was coming to its end. Yet humankind lived through all these atrocities and went on growing stronger.

Then there are examples…

Chocolate. That gooey, yummy goodness. That melt-in-your-mouth treat that you craved as a child and that you probably still crave as an adult. Be it bitter or sweet, nutty or plain, chocolate is indeed a true little big joy.

Chocolate was once revered by the Mayans and the Aztecs as being a gift from the gods. They drank the bitter liquid in religious rituals. After battles, their victorious warriors gorged on it and the cacao beans were traded against other goods. Through the conquistadores, it made its way to Europe where it endured many transformations before becoming how we know…

Snow — that white, cold powder that sprinkles from the clouds on winter days. For those who have never seen it, snow comes straight out of a fairy tale. But for those of us who deal with it six months a year and who have had to shovel it out of a parking spot, it’s sometimes less than a blessing.

Every year we watch with delight as the first snow falls on the ground. The winter holidays would most certainly not be the same without their white coat. Then, after that initial surreal moment passed, we remember that we live…

The reasons why it tastes so sweet

Some eat it with butter and others with salt. My sweet hamster liked it plain and she stuffed her cheeks with it joyfully. It’s corn on the cob season and another one of summer’s little joys is knocking at our door.

On my daily trip to work, I pass by cornfields. They reveal their glory in the morning sun as I drive by with my windows down. It’s so wonderful to see their progress, from sprouting to growing, to giving fruit. At their peak, they’re so dense that you could get lost in there. They hide numerous birds that build…

About what (and who) the currents are

A girl is paddling in a kayak
A girl is paddling in a kayak

Anyone who’s ever done any paddling knows that currents are tricky. That’s the very least that can be said about them. They’re invisible but immensely powerful. They can be our friends but they can also turn on a whim into being our foes.

Currents have always accompanied us in many aspects of our lives. Some we follow closely; some we unwillingly yield to and others we fight incessantly. Currents can be anything. The latest clothing fashion is only one example. Any review you’ve ever read that changed your mind about something is another one. Think about things you’ve done or…

I never thought I would one day feel inspired enough to even think about this topic, let alone write about it! Running had been my nemesis since high-school. At that time, all school years began with the gym teacher making us run the track, somehow thinking it was a good idea to grade us on it. Until recently, had anyone asked me what I thought of running, my answer would have been short and clear: I loathed it.

It didn’t get better for a long time. Running became that thing you do on the treadmill at the gym because you…

Yesterday I spent twelve hours boiling pork bones, cooking homemade Japanese ramen noodles. Do you wonder why I would choose to do such a crazy thing?

When you live in Montreal, there are restaurants on every street corner. Dozens of ramen places spring at you if only you know where to look for them. The waiter puts in front of you perfectly cooked ramen in a deliciously rich broth quicker than you can say ‘’noodle’’. Then they whisk the empty bowls away and when you leave the restaurant with your belly nice and full, you don’t even have to worry…

Three feet, wearing the same shoes with a Disney Princesses pattern
Three feet, wearing the same shoes with a Disney Princesses pattern

Who was your best friend when you were in kindergarten? Did you manage to keep in touch with them over the years? Friendship is a living, breathing, beautiful thing. It’s an important part of what gives sense to our existence as we navigate down our life-river. It’s a two-way street on which emotions flow freely; it nurtures us but also requires nurturing in return.

When we are young, friendship is mandatorily based on age. We are taught to be social by joining educational activities attended by children of the same age — an establishment also known as school. All our…

Someone sitting on a rock, dipping their feet in the river below
Someone sitting on a rock, dipping their feet in the river below

As I sit here and write, dipping my feet in the water is literally what I’m doing! Today is a gorgeous summer day and here we are, taking a break of the busy city life, spending the day on the river. W is fishing but he hasn’t caught anything yet. As for me, not being quite the aspiring fisherwoman he wishes I were, I gladly took the opportunity to take my shoes off and soak my tired feet in the refreshing cold water.

This is yet another little big joy life has set on my path but there is so…

Ralu T

Romanian-born Canadian, Ralu is a twenty-something food and animal lover. She lives in Montreal with her husband W and their hamster Ray.

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