© OLD SAGE HANDS

Welcome to 2020!

In Food For Thought on January 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm

furoshikiWhere did the last decade go? As we usher in this new era, there’s a certain comfort in maintaining family traditions year after year.

Yet there’s something to said about breaking free of limited thinking. Who says we can’t do things differently? Life is change.

This will be the first Oshogatsu where we celebrate the day at my aunt’s condo, instead of at my grandmother’s in the same building. About a month ago, there was a reluctance to even consider such an idea – how far we’ve come with this dramatic turnaround.

Before I posted this, I had a look back over previous years and I noticed while there are a few mainstay dishes, I’ve mixed things up. No surprise here as in my family, I’m not known for being conventional. Rigid attitudes have always struck me as going against the whole idea of enjoying time with family and friends.

Interestingly this new decade coincides with the Year of Rat, which is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac and marks the beginning of a new 12-year cycle. The featured element for 2020 is metal, so it’s a metal Rat to be specific. Rats and metal represent money, wealth and surplus.

Our annual feast always includes symbolic dishes. I’ve prepared my celebratory azuki gohan (red rice) but with an eye on attracting more abundance, I’ve included two versions of money bags – boiled vegetable dumplings and fried vegetable gyoza. Asians can be a superstitious bunch so anything that brings luck and fortune is welcomed.

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Have an amazing new year. Wishing you all good things for 2020 – health, wealth and happiness.

A New Journey Begins…

In Food For Thought on August 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm

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Who would have thought I’d spend the Civic Holiday, or Natal Day here in Halifax, sitting in a classroom? I keep having to remind myself that it’s really happening – that I’ve started my MFA in Creative Nonfiction at King’s College University.

It’s incredibly beautiful in Halifax and while I’d love to be out sightseeing, instead I’m hitting the books with nose to the grindstone.

IMG_1906 Ok, there have been a few diversions – in my search for coffee yesterday, I discovered this quaint coffee shop called Lucky Penny – they even had some vegan desserts! A must visit if you’re in the area.

While I’m sure there will be loads of work ahead and long hours reading and writing – no doubt, there will be stories to tell along the way.

And hopefully for those readers sharing my journey, the writing will improve, too!

 

Every Day is Earth Day

In Food For Thought, Uncategorized on April 22, 2019 at 11:20 am

Blue sketch of city skyline by water at night

Do you remember the Toronto blackout back in August 2003? I’ll never forget the peace and quiet that evening.

The subway wasn’t working and my aunt walked all the way from downtown to our house. Fortunately, we have a gas stove so we were able to cook a light dinner and then gave her a lift to the TTC lot, north of us, where her car was parked.

While it’s rare these days to lose power for any length of time, not everyone is so lucky. Is there one thing you could do today to honour the earth and save a bit of energy, food or water? We forget sometimes that these things are crucial to our survival – so it’s a great day to remind ourselves that there is no endless supply of clean air or water.