March is one of those change of season months, here in the Southern Hemisphere we reluctantly start bidding summer farewell and start prepping for the colder months.. Earlier this month it was the anniversary of my first blog. It has been an interesting journey, so far for me, and has gone a different route from what I expected… But isn’t that what life is? “The thing that happens when you’re making other plans?”
My best tracking blogs were not recipes… But stories from my history and my heart. So, I will continue to write as the muse strikes, throwing in recipes as they appear in my life..
At the beginning of the month I was writing a trilogy of blogs to post, and then tragedy struck my beloved country. The March 15 Mosque shooting in Christchurch stopped us all in our tracks, and 2 weeks down the track, our community is slowly coming to terms with what happened, and where to from here.. The grief has been palpable, and for me, I momentarily lost my words,,,
Part of our recovery has been coming together to grieve and acknowledging the diversity in cultures in NZ. And for me personally, going to the Annual “Race Unity Day”, in my home town, of Nelson, seemed a fitting way to support the different cultures in my town, and celebrate the things that make us different, but more importantly the things that make us all the same… It was a stunning Sunny Nelson day, crowds of families, buggies with babies; dogs straining on leashes.. Music and song; laughter and plenty of people hugging… I tried to ignore the armed police – in my neck of the woods, it is very unusual to see them armed; but they were chatting and mingling – maybe they’re as uncomfortable with the new “normal” as I am…
Of course, for me, the highlight was the food…. Filipino, Korean, Burmese, Mexican, Chinese, Waffles, Noodles, German, Roasts, Maori, Vegetarian, Dumplings, Fries, Salads, Ice cream…. The list, the smells, the tastes were seemingly endless… It proved the very thing for this chick, who believes that sometimes food nourishes more than just the body, but heals the soul… It’s definitely been added to our annual Calendar now..
And of course, the other thing I needed to do, to set myself right, was to gather those I love for a meal. This weekend our house had a birthday, and a bon Voyage for another family member. All the excuse I needed to get back into the kitchen and spend 2 days cooking up a feast. It wasn’t necessarily a “Cohesive menu”, more a selection of comfort foods, warming, aromatic. Served in large bowls, we ate, we laughed, we toasted… The very meal that is my favourite to cook…. (there was a chance I MAY have over catered, but it meant that there was left overs tonight, and a couple of boxes frozen away for nights when we need a meal in a hurry)…
So, the end of the month has found me more reflective than the start. Slightly older, and slightly less naïve. But I have taken comfort from those around me, both whanau and friends and the strangers whose outpouring of compassion has marked my community’s response… A common theme I heard was how people were welcomed and comforted with food, sometimes that is our basic response in a crisis… so, a few extra walks on the beach at sunset, and a few more hours feeding people, and I will refind my voice and will finish that trilogy and share it with you all..
Thanks for your support over the year, it has been amazing and somewhat humbling to be read by so many…
Whakawhetai ki a koe me te haumaru.. haere haumaru
Good bye and thank you, travel safe….