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Is it too much of a cliche to jump from bread pudding and cinnamon knots to a veggie-heavy curry in the early days of January? I crave stewy, spicy things after so many weeks (OK, months) of butter cookies and Toblerone. And I inevitably get all excited about the piles of gnarly squash over the winter and buy more than I get around to actually using. Sometimes it’s because I go for the bumpiest beasts, the ones you have to tackle with a cleaver to access the insides of. Sure, you can go for smooth-skinned butternut with thick necks, or even buy a bag of squash cubes – in fact, they work extra well here, cooking down quickly into a curry. But if you have a bit of a monster on your hands, one that refuses to be peeled, simply hack it into pieces and roast them in the oven until the flesh is tender enough to scoop or peel away from the skin andContinue reading

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I’ve never been to India, but I consider myself a curry enthusiast. And I’m fascinated by Indian cuisine. A month or so I spent some time in the kitchen with Mrs. Nimji, an eightysomething neighbour (of sorts) who just happens to have self-published what is now considered the bible of Ismaili cooking, having sold somewhere in the neighbourhood of a quarter million copies. I loved just being in the kitchen with her, watching how she toasted her spices and snipped her almonds in the button-up housedress she used as a full body apron, keeping her outfit immaculate underneath. She gifted me a jar of her own garam masala and my own masala dabba, a round tin filled with smaller round tins filled with spices, which is like the Indian version of an artists’ palatte. I’ve had it on my countertop, admiring it but not quite ready to delve into it until this weekend, when I got to hang with one Vikram Vij, who y’all mayContinue reading

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It turns out I am a grown-up, after all. I spent last weekend choosing a new washer and dryer. When it arrived yesterday, Mike and I were so excited that we sat in front of it and watched the water level rise through the window, as if it was a TV. Today I took the dog to the vet and drove home in the rain and rush hour, listening to the CBC news. Then I made a practical dinner; something I actually planned ahead this time. By the time I got home One day not so long ago while I was attempting to do inventory in my freezer, I pulled out a small chunk of lamb, thinking I’d do something with it. I didn’t, so cubed it, tossed it with some spices in a plastic bag, sealed the bag and tossed it back in the freezer with ROGAN JOSH written on the outside. (I think I am finally beginning to learn that what goes inContinue reading

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