The week before my planned surgery, I strived to keep myself busy to keep my mind off things. Aside from going to physical therapy, completing insurance paperwork, and finalizing my work for my online writing course, I kept my “schedule” relatively packed with activities with my friends.

At the same time, though I wasn’t not a total noob, I engaged myself in learning more about food and cooking because:

  1. I loved to eat;
  2. It kept my left arm active;
  3. It eased my stress;
  4. It kept me fulfilled;
  5. It was a wonderful creative outlet;
  6. I watched what I ate more closely; and
  7. I had nothing better to do!

I wouldn’t be the first one to “transform personal adversity into a culinary adventure”!

Cookbooks I bought from Amazon before leaving California. I couldn't resist the $0.99 to $5 used (but good as new) cookbooks!
Cookbooks I bought from Amazon before leaving California. I couldn’t resist the $0.99 to $5 used (but good as new) cookbooks!
One Saturday morning at the Erin Mills Farmers Market with my friend Rohit
Fresh, local, organic produce! I learned about planting and harvesting various fruit and vegetables, cheese making, and even bee-keeping!
What I made with my haul immediately after going to the market. LOL. My own pizza using pita bread, red pepper antipasto, swiss chard, yellow peppers, caramelized onions, and nettle Gouda cheese 😀
When you crave banana muffins… but don’t want any fat or sugar in them…
You go ahead and make them!
Made a reinvented tabbouleh salad with my friend Suchana one afternoon
Classic lemon bars!
Mushroom barley bowl with my friend Ivee
Roast summer vegetables with chickpeas – click the photo for the recipe!
Finally, my crowning achievement with Ivee – VEGAN PISTACHIO FRENCH MACARONS!!!! Click for our step-by-step instructions!

These French macarons were the last thing I made prior to going to the hospital for my surgery.

In closing, I would like share this article from Time Magazine. Even though it’s been a year since I read it from a magazine stand at an airport, it’s still golden to me.

Still, I find it strange that only a third of young people report preparing meals at home regularly. Isn’t this the same crowd that rails against processed junk and champions artisanal and craft cooking? Aren’t they the ones clogging the web with food porn? And isn’t this generation the most likely to say they’re concerned about their health and the well-being of the planet? If these are truly the values of many millennials, then their behavior doesn’t match their beliefs.

To get comfortable in the kitchen, pare down your ambitions, ease up on your expectations and start with something manageable that you will actually enjoy eating. Like any skill, cooking gets easier as you do it more; every time you cook, you advance your level of expertise. Someday you won’t even need recipes.

Even a cumbersome neck brace didn’t stop me from cooking up a storm!