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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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