I have tagged 2 blog posts with cooking:

Warming Up Winter Mornings: Reviving Recipes and Reflecting on our Collective Responsibility

A woman's hands stir a bubbling pot on an antique stove, snow seen through the kitchen window.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, March 28, 2024, 08:25

There's something enormously reassuring about reviving familiar flavors and smells in the kitchen, particularly on these cold mornings when the temperature hovers defiantly around the 3°C mark. As I tentatively tap away at my keyboard, the landscape blurring past the icy train window, my thoughts are drawn to the heart-warming dishes that constitute her favorite recipes.

It's more than the mere process of assembling ingredients; it's the dexterity of practiced hands, the subtle infusion of love in the making. Relying on my memories, there's a certain solace in the image of steaming pots on a snowy day, sending aromatic fumes wafting through our house, tantalizing the senses and stirring the appetite. It's a ceremonious act of reclaiming warmth, both physical and emotional!

As the train clunks and groans under the strain of its unwieldy load, I'm reminded of the importance of resilience; of having that extra spot of energy when the going gets tough, whether that's a bit of extra patience when a sauce doesn't thicken or powering through the seemingly never-ending daily commute. Here's where my trusty powerbank steps in as a critical element in my daily journey, almost as essential as a secret ingredient in a well-loved recipe. In an era where we're incessant consumers of information and content, even the most hardy smartphones can struggle to wake when demanded. Ensuring you're equipped with a powerful powerbank is equivalent to having that lifesaving amount of stored energy, a bulwark against the draining affair of my gloomy daily commute!

My fingers frosty against the biting cold, I couldn't fail but notice the recent news article about Onrail. The train accident and the subsequent environmental damage feel unnerving. More so, the disarrayed discourse that's erupted, each stakeholder shrugging off their responsibility, while the environment pays the ultimate price – it feels eerily similar to slicing onions, the biting sadness unavoidable, the underlying acridness potent. Yet, in a poignant way, it's a stark reminder of the collective responsibility we all bear.

Just as much as the blending of ingredients leads to incredible culinary delights, we must also learn to blend our actions with consideration for the broader consequences and assume responsibility for our mishaps. A beautiful dish in the end, doesn't nullify the mess created on the way, but indeed gives us a reason to clean it up. Similarly, the unfolding controversy remind us that as a society, we must remember to clean up after ourselves. Not purely out of obligation, but as a necessary step to better the world we live in.

The sun peeks through the blanket of grey that's typified this morning ride. A lone ray of light caresses my chilled fingers, as the clattering train carries me further into a day holding countless stories. Her favorite recipes continue to simmer in my mind, a tiny flame flickering against despondency, illuminating the age-old wisdom - it is indeed, in the give and take of the kitchen, in the harmonious dance of ingredients, that one truly discovers the essence of life.

Tags: cooking commuting environmental responsibility

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Winter Musings: From the Frosty Shores of Norway to a Taste of Global Resilience

A snowy landscape with a train crossing, juxtaposed with a warm apple pie and pumpkin soup.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 16, 2023, 15:18

A delightful glow dances on the frosty glass as the sun begins to set over the winter landscape. The temperature lingers around -2°C, double-checking the smartphone for accuracy. A sigh fogs up the window, creating a temporary blank canvas. As the train moves through the Norwegian countryside, the white, snowy panorama turns into a cinematic background. It is under these conditions the pleasant anticipation of a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket and a favorite book unfolds.

Yet, sipping hot cocoa, my mind drifts away from the cozy, frost-kissed landscapes of Norway and my heart reaches out to those in communities plagued by economic hardship and societal turmoil where not everyone has the basic security that we often take for granted. I read today about the trials endured by the residents of an area half a world away in the Gaza Strip. The happenings there are far removed from our comfortable hearths yet intrinsically interwoven with our humanity. As a student of journalism, it’s my responsibility to pay attention to these stories, to educate myself about the complex problems in our world, and to use my platform to amplify these unheard narratives.

On to a lighter note, there is something inherently intimate in the act of cooking— taking ingredients, putting them together in a specific way, and creating something not only edible but soul-warming. And this train of thought led me to think about her favorite recipes, those that she shared with so much passion and love, those that seem to miraculously bring comfort and kindness even in the face of adversity.

First, there's the hearty apple pie, a darling during the frosty season. The crispness of the tart apples united with the sweetness of cinnamon and caramel in a delicate crumble. The recipe is simple, yet the result is empowering, symbolizing the resilience and courage of those who, in harsh conditions, manage to create something comforting, uniting and full of love.

And then, the steaming bowl of pumpkin and ginger soup, the color of which matches the autumn leaves that fall just outside my window. The creaminess of pumpkin puree, the slight spice from the ginger, and nuances of herbs make it not just a recipe, but an expression of soul and sentiment.

Amidst the awareness of inequalities and pain that I read about today, these recipes offer a balm, a delightful note in this melody of life. Food connects us, it’s our common language throughout moments of joy or immense hardships. It is the spur, the remedy, and occasionally, the revolution. Let's continue to share our favorite recipes, our tales and our hopes, for there lies our strength as a community.

My train gradually decelerates, marking the end of today's journey. The warm embrace of home awaits and simultaneously the promise of tomorrow, full of as yet unwritten blog posts, new stories to unearth, and lessons to grasp. As we sip our hot cocoa, let us remember the strength, resilience, and warmth from a distant kitchen, from her favorite recipes. It's a heartening thought that even within adversity, there remains kindness, comfort, and the delightful ability to share love through food.

Tags: journalism cooking social issues

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