Gratitude going out to writer Elaine Glusac for her recent article – 36 hours in Calgary, Alberta – published by The New York Times on January 25.
It was quite a thrill when I read it and saw my name mentioned. I’ve socked that away under the category, “things you never imagined could happen.” But the main point of me sharing Glusac’s piece is I hope you’ll read it and either get out and explore your own city or if you live elsewhere, you’ll become inspired to travel and spend some time here.
Here’s a few of my favourite photos of this vibrant place to build the intrigue.
Calgary Peace Bridge by Santiago Calatrava – photo courtesy of Tourism Calgary
The Conversation by William McElcheran – photo courtesy of Tourism Calgary
Singer Paul Brandt calls Calgary home – photo by Karen Anderson
One of my favourite hangouts – Rouge Restaurant in Inglewood (where we keep our beehives)
The Windy City – photo credit – Karen Anderson
There are some cities you just don’t want to miss and Chicago is one of them. I’ve had the pleasure of travelling there three times in the last two years and so when my friend Liane Faulder said it was top of her bucket list, I designed a great trip for her to lead with my company Alberta Food Tours, Inc.
Read on for all the details Continue reading
I don’t go to many movies. I find most of them too violent or crass for my well being but, I went to Lion recently and it moved me and motivated me to write this blog.
The main character in Lion, a small boy named Saroo, gets stuck on an empty deadheading train and ends up 1500 kilometres from his home. He survives a few months on the streets of Kolkata before being sheltered and then adopted. The story thus far is a true one but it is not a rare one. I won’t give away the ending.
In India the story of children ending up on the streets happens – for one reason or another – about 80,000 times each year with a cummulative 11 million children currently enduring their existence on the streets instead of having a childhood and chance at thriving not just surviving.
Last year I had the chance to take a City Walk of the Paharganj neighbourhood in Delhi with a guide who was rescued from a life on the streets by a Non-Profit Organization called Salaam Balaak Trust. Perhaps if I tell you what I learned on that walk, you might like to join the #lionheart movement launched by the movie producers to support a few of the organizations in India working to improve the lives of India’s street children. Continue reading
Filed under India, Travel
Talus lodge – photo credit – Karen Anderson
It’s good to have life goals.
One of my favourites is to go to a different back country lodge in the Canadian Rockies every year. This year it was Talus Lodge.
To reach the lodge you take a helicopter from Canmore and fly about 100 kilometres due west. It takes about 15 minutes, goes by in a flash and when you land you find yourself in the high alpine deep in the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading
South Indian toddler – photo credit- Karen Anderson
I feel privileged to travel to India every year. I felt its pull when I began practicing yoga 15 years ago. I wanted to go to the place that taught people to focus on awareness and fully living in this existence. Now that I’ve been a few times, I am increasingly drawn and look forward to each new journey’s discoveries.
So, that’s all the more reason I find it shocking when people say to me, “Why would you ever want to go to India?” Some people have indeed had poor experiences. They tell me INDIA is an acronym that stands for I‘ll Never Do It Again. I’ve learned to recover quickly and to share the reasons why I personally love it. I tell them INDIA stands for I Need to Do It Always.
I love the food, the patterns of daily life, the markets, the natural beauty and diverse landscapes, the arts and crafts, the monuments, the colours, the textiles, the exotic plant life, the cows everywhere, the ancient culture, the fascinating religions and most of all – THE PEOPLE.
I know most of you will never go to India but, if you’re at all curious, this post will give you some books and movies to explore so you can know it a bit better – from your armchair – at least. Continue reading
Thanks to my friend Suzie Szmolyan Morrow for sharing this video with me so I can share it with you.
When I look at what Lentil Hunter chef Michael Smith finds on the table in Gujarat, I see the vivid food of my mentor Noorbanu Nimji and the recipes in our cookbook – A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. When Noorbanu’s family emigrated from Gujurat to East Africa they took all those wonderful recipes with them. Noorbanu, in turn, brought them to Canada and she’s been teaching Canadians how to make them since 1974.
Since becoming her co-cookbook author, I’ve definitely become a serious pulse eater. When I travel in India each year, I eat pulses everyday and come home craving them. They really are easy, delicious and nutritious.
Give them a try and you’ll increase your health, support farming in Canada and increase the sustainability of the planet. This #IYP – International Year of the Pulse and all the recipes and stories that come with it sure are a great way to savour it all.
Great Plains Bison – photo – Karen Anderson
I love to ask the people I meet, What is Alberta’s food? Inevitably the answer is, Beef – of course. I bring this up because I think it illuminates our lack of knowledge of our food heritage.
Beef is not an original Alberta species. It is an exotic import. It was brought to Alberta from Scotland via Montana before there were fences – about 150 plus years ago. The Great Plains Bison, Elk and White Tail deer evolved with this land and are perfectly suited for it. They are Alberta’s indigenous species. They have been here for tens of thousands of years.
Alberta also grows great grains. Red Fife Wheat is one of them. We are one of the world’s largest honey producers. We have really sweet root vegetables and Prairie hardy fruits like Saskatoon berries. Our Canola oil is as luscious gold as its flowers when it is cold-pressed and organic. And, yes, we really do grow the world’s biggest and tastiest beef.
We’ve discussed the WHAT, WHO, WHERE and WHEN of Cook it Raw, this post will explore the WHY> If Cook it Raw were only the chance to have more people at home, and around the globe, realize the bounty of wonderful products in Alberta, that would be enough of a WHY for me. Still, I asked Alessandro Porcelli of Cook it Raw for his answer to WHY and I asked Fraser Abbott of Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance as well. This post gives their answers as well as a few recipes inspired by the world-class produce of Alberta.