My last weekend here in Canada couldn’t have been any better. They were two days filled with fun, joy, and laughter, spent with some of the best people in my life.
Here’s a look at what happened over the weekend…
Attention! Foodie talk ahead (including some pictures), so please make sure that you’re not famished before you continue reading!
On Saturday afternoon, my dad’s partner prepared some salad and rice for lunch, and I also got to try out a north Indian dish called dal. It is a healthy, high-protein, slightly spicy soup consisting mainly of various different lentils, ginger, garlic, and a mix of ground spices. Coriander leaves, which can be used as garnish, also give it that extra flavour.
Foodie fun fact: The word dal derives from the Sanskrit verbal root dal- “to split”.
Whilst relaxing and waiting for the meal to digest, we sat on the couch and watched Mamma Mia together, sipping on some chai green tea. I also had the opportunity to sample a traditional Indian dessert called barfi (pronounced as bar-fee). Although the name doesn’t sound appetising, believe me they taste great. These are a dense milk-based sweet, mainly made from condensed milk and sugar. The flavour of barfi is often enhanced with fruits (such as mango or coconut) or nuts (such as cashew, peanut, or pistachio).
Foodie fun fact: Originally from India, the name is a derivative of the word barf, which means snow. The sweets were probably given this name due to their crumbly texture, which is similar to that of snow.
In the evening we took to an authentic Italian cuisine restaurant named Grano Ristorante, in downtown Mississauga, to celebrate my dad’s cousin’s birthday. Albeit a rather small place, the slightly dimmed lighting and classic ambience certainly gives it that cosy and intimate feel. For starters we ordered bruschetta to share, and some also had a bowl of minestrone. Then, I had spaghettini alle vongole for my main course, and other members of the family had lasagne, spaghettini carbonara, pasta al forno, penne alla vodka, and cozze alle marinara. For dessert we ordered slices of Kahlua cheesecake and tiramisu.
It was a snowy Sunday morning. An endless shower of white fluff, blanketing the surroundings, as if some divine pillow fight was underway in the skies above.
After a simple yet healthy breakfast, my dad, his partner, and myself helped out with preparing for lunch as we had some guests coming over later on. We made a whole variety of stuff; from your standard appetisers like a cheese platter with crackers and stuffed olives, to horse radish-sour cream dip and guacamole dips.
We also made “Mexican pies”, and a hearty Indian chili as the two main courses.
I may not be a big eater, but I love food, and I’ve always found cooking with other people to be very interesting. You get to learn how others cook, what their recipes are, and the types of ingredients they use (maybe they’ll even let you in on a few secrets, too!). Preparing meals together is a very special bonding exercise. It is a great conversation prompter, and it gives each person their time to shine – whether it’s chopping the ingredients, stirring the pot, or preparing the table.
For dessert, we all had a slice of scrumptious apple pie à la mode, made by Ryan, one of the family members who was with us that afternoon.
All this in the company of a bunch of wonderful people!
Thank you for making this such a memorable end to the week!
– Preston Carbonaro