Music and food

by Madeleine Brown

I force a soundtrack on my life. When I’m home, my iTunes, YouTube or Spotify is rarely off. Part of the joy of the restaurant where I serve is its Sonos system and our manager’s insistence we play music—loud music—throughout service. Then between my home, the restaurant or wherever I find myself headed I’ve likely got the radio playing on my cellphone. (I realize how disgraceful and uncool this may be, but I don’t have data and have yet to figure out how to transfer music to my phone. So, please, no judging.) It’s not surprising then that every time upon entering the kitchen to cook I, of course, choose an album or playlist to underscore me. And this music often continues to play while I eat whatever I’ve prepared.

In search of chakula tamu and a mini history lesson on Indian influences on Kenyan food (Part II)

by Danielle Del Vicario

After a month of life in Nairobi, eating out continues to by a process of trial, error and mild embarrassment. Testing out the Somali restaurant a block from the archives, my co-worker and I discovered that goat really isn’t our thing. Neither is smoky, camel milk tea (but we drank it anyway because we were too embarrassed about not finishing the goat).

In search of chakula tamu and a mini history lesson on Indian influences on Kenyan food (Part I)

by Danielle Del Vicario

A month ago, I graduated from university in England, packed my bag and got on a plane to Nairobi, Kenya to start an internship with the British Institute in Eastern Africa. For an African history student about to start her masters’s degree, there couldn’t be a better summer job; for a British Columbia blogger who usually spends her summers picking berries, chasing farmers’ markets and baking pies, there couldn’t be a worse one.

Brunch much

by Hannah Lank

Dear brunch,

What you should know, above all else, is how much I love you.  You are by far the best meal of any time of day, any day of the week—but you are also so misunderstood.  Traditionalists fear you, even scorn you. But I think you’re genius.

The meal that changed my life

by Danielle Del Vicario

As someone who is equally apprehensive about meaningless small talk and awkward silences, dinner dates have always held a certain fear for me. Just two strangers, sitting there watching each other eat—what could be more artificial? Add chopsticks and you have a recipe (no pun intended) for ungraceful disaster. And unlike a coffee date, you can’t escape early by announcing, “Whoops, I have to run to lecture.”

Last month, I went for dinner with a guy I’d met volunteering. Aware of my love of cooking, as conversation about approaching exams ran dry, he asked that most dreaded of questions: “What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?”

Some for you, some for me: cooking with wine

by David Kitai

The life of a student is awash in cheap wine. About two weeks into first year, we realise that a 1.5 litre bottle of Chilean plonk is far and away the cheapest way to maintain a thrice-weekly party schedule. The idea of cooking with wine, or any booze for that matter, seems anathema to any thirsty, cost-conscious student. But, really, this is wrong. The wine drinking habits of a student are the perfect compliment to the wine-cooking experiments of a budding student chef.

Allergy alert

by Hannah Lank

There is perhaps no allergy more ‘classic’ than that of peanuts (and tree nuts).  Reminiscing on this allergy may in fact bring back memories of your elementary school education—perhaps you had an “allergy table,” or were prohibited from bringing your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school.

The thing is, if you don’t have a nut allergy (or an allergy at all), you probably think of food allergies as little more than a blip in your childhood—if even that.  If you don’t have food allergies, you’ve never had to pass on cake at a birthday party, tell your waiter that you’re allergic to blank and hope they let the kitchen know, and always, always have an epinephrine auto-injectors on you.  But for me, these are just daily tasks.

To all you cooking virgins

by Caitlin Hart

Is that a spoon or a spatula? How much garlic is too much? Why do things keep burning? These might be the questions you frequently ask yourself if you’re cooking challenged or worse…a cooking virgin. We all had a first time! (And it took a few more go’s at it before we really got into the groove of things, if you know what I mean.) Cooking virgins are those sad souls who burn everything they put in a frying pan and can’t tell the difference between a saucepan and a skillet. For me it was a shocking discovery upon entering university that the cooking challenged were plentiful. It’s really a wonder how some people manage to stay alive. I had the good fortune of being taught how to cook by my skilled mother once I could stir cookie dough. But others are not so lucky.

To the core

by Madeleine Brown

My sister and I had numerous—quite memorable—fights throughout our childhood and into adolescence. They’ve formed the basis of our complicated my relationship. (And my recounting of them to friends certainly didn’t and continues not to help the situation.) As I shared in “My foodie journey” if it wasn’t for my sister’s blasé attitude towards food, I would never had developed my own interest in it. And if it wasn’t for the apple core debacle of 2011—I think it was that year—I would never have developed my insistence on eating the whole apple.

Let me explain.