riding in taxis III

With merely a week left in Mumbai I am already making a toll of the things that I will miss. Taxi textiles are obviously high up on that list.

Luckily I have two more months in India and thus plenty of time for new cities and more taxi rides.


fruit that likes bread and cheese

Remember when I admitted that I find a lot of sandwiches boring and sad and so I made a roasted zucchini and sun-dried tomato sandwich to prove that sandwiches can also be inspiring and lively? Well I wasn't telling the whole truth. I find a lot of vegetable sandwiches boring and sad, but not fruit sandwiches.

(Sorry tomatoes. I know that you are a fruit, but you just don't count. I like you in salads and with pasta, but in a sandwich you should only be fresher than fresh and, let's be honest, you don't taste as good when you are being imported. That said, I look forward to next tomato/BLT season.)

Now back to the real fruit. I have never gotten over the brilliance of cheddar cheese and apples. I continue to frequently eat it as a snack even though I am 25 and not 5 and it really inspired me to start respecting sandwiches. After all, it is much more acceptable to bring an apple and cheddar sandwich to work than it is to bring slices of apple and pieces of cheese cut into bite-size squares. Trust me, I have tried both and the former often comes with stares that accuse you of being a 5 year old.

When I moved to France and learned that Paul sells a sandwich that is composed of only two pieces of perfect, French bread, brie and green apple, I knew that I was doing something right. These are some of my favourite fruit and cheese pairings for sandwich. Ideally use good bread. A little green does not interrupt the love affair between the fruit, cheese and bread so add some as you like. Same goes with spices, herbs and condiments.

Good Cheese and Fruit Pairings for Sandwiches

goat cheese, fresh figs and balsamic reduction

blue cheese, green apple and black pepper

cheddar cheese, apple and caramelized onions (this will forever change what you think and expect of a grilled cheese sandwich)

pecorino romano, pear and slivered almonds

Malin's apricot and beer bread with roquefort (yes this is is just bread with cheese; however, the apricots and the roquefort are made for each other. Also, living in Copenhagen taught me that bread with something on it counts as a sandwich.)

Also, my friend Sarah taught me that grapes are surprisingly nice on pizza. She inspired me to discover that they are nice in sandwiches too. I guess that this is not too surprising considering that grapes often play a supporting role on cheese plates. If they are good with cheese then it makes sense that they are the type of fruit that likes cheese and bread all in one bite. I recommend making a grape sandwich with a soft cheese, like brie, and eating it on dark bread.

Luckily Mumbai knows how to make a sandwich. Chutney, beets, sauces, three layers of bread and potato? Oh yes, Mumbai knows how to make a sandwich that is not boring. More on that soon.



postcards from bombay

From Bombay? Or Mumbai?

Sometimes it is hard to know which one to use when a city not only has two names but embraces both of them. This is further complicated by that fact that it feels like each name refers to a different history, a different character and a different city. I have generally found that one says Bombay and writes Mumbai. However, no matter what a city calls itself as long as it has handmade postcards I am easily charmed.


i've met a warm november

Even though my evenings are hot and my days are even hotter, I have autumn on my mind. I cannot help but think of my favourite season even when living in a tropical city. I have always been hopelessly romantic about scarves, freshly picked apples, autumn bike rides and sharpened pencils for back to school. I guess you can take a Canadian to a warm climate, but you can't take away her sense of the seasons. It is incredible to be somewhere where the November heat is what I am used to in only the month of August.

I am taking full advantage of being somewhere hot for a change (read: drinking lots and lots of sweet lime juice and coconut water). That said, I do look forward to my next chilly morning where I will wake up with a craving for pancakes. Growing up my mom often made sauteed apples to go along with our weekend pancake feasts. This is less of a recipe and more of a formula. I like it with both apples or pears or apples and pears. The dried cranberries add more depth to the texture and the little drizzle of whiskey or rum gives it a more luxurious taste.

A Friend to Pancakes - Sauteed Apples or Pears

Serves 1-2 people


a generous knob of butter
1 apple or pear, cut into matchsticks
a small handful of dried cranberries
a pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp whiskey or rum, optional

Melt the butter over medium heat in a small pan. Once melted added the apple or pear and the cinnamon. Cook until the fruit is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the dried cranberries, the maple syrup and the whiskey or rum and cook for another 2 minutes until the cranberries plump up. Serve with pancakes.



four cups of chai

New cities breed new habits.

I am usually a serious coffee drinker and only a casual consumer of tea. In colder months I often brew a small pot of green tea with lemon and ginger to curl up with while studying; however, a package of tea will often last months in my kitchen cupboard during the warmer parts of the year. I also admit that I am extremely influenced by packaging. It is obvious that I don't take tea as serious as I take coffee if I am easily swayed by the font or design of a box. Coffee should come in a brown paper bag and clever design is not going to influence which beans I like best, but with tea I am satisfied enough if the package looks nice. India is changing all of that. Here tea is a serious matter and I am happy to do as the locals do. For the past month I have become a serious tea drinker and only a casual consumer of coffee.

I drink a cup four times a day. The cups are small and the tea is sweet. There is something magical about a culture that takes tea so seriously. It means that my colleagues and I are served tea twice a day like clock work and that no matter the time of day or night one can always find another cup or two when needed. Chai wallahs make this possible. Often on bicycles and sometimes on foot, chai wallahs make and serve fresh tea on the streets of the city.

Since I have been here I have drank my chai out of a small cup; however, I just discovered the traditional vessel for chai: the Indian clay cup. Plastic cups have largely replaced the clay version on the streets of the city, but the clay cup has far more class. After use the clay cups are typically discarded or smashed only to then dissolve back into the earth. I decided to keep mine instead.

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