Author Archives: theartsyfartsychick

About theartsyfartsychick

little... bio... hmmm... well, i'm an artsy fartsy chick with an office day job (for now, anyway) sharing with anyone who wants to know my creative process and the fruits of my labours...

It always comes back to food

It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I will chalk it up to being inordinately busy, and shifting through some major changes (like moving unexpectedly and starting a new job with a schedule that requires getting used to) and generally feeling blah all winter.

This book arrived in yesterday’s mail (with several others that I’ll speak to in a moment) and though it isn’t one that the doctor recommended I own (she did tell me, after encouraging me to follow a more plant-based diet, to get Plenty and Plenty More, both by Yotam Ottolenghi), I couldn’t resist My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz after reading through the sample pages online.

While the recipes cover a full spectrum of foods that would delight any omnivore such as myself, it is the rambling dialog that endeared me to it, and the tacitly apparent sheer love of food that the author has, which borders on reverence. I understand this, even if I am not a trained cook. It’s the fascination with the ingredients, and an appreciation for their unique and special qualities that draw me to cooking. When it is not a mere utilitarian act (to feed and nourish the body) it becomes a sort of dance with the ingredients, leaves us open for new discoveries of flavours and textures, and how they meld together when consumed. Food nourishes us in many ways, not just through their ingestion and digestion but by our interaction with it, in a dance of sorts.

Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe you don’t have this symbiotic relationship with food, or perhaps you have it with something else.

For me, it always comes back to food. I’d like to think I came upon it honestly. My mother was a fabulous cook, though she never strayed from the Hungarian cuisine she grew up on and mastered. Delicious as it was, I became culinarily curious the older I got. I grew up in Montreal, and anyone who has been to that city can attest to the fact that food, good, great food, is plentifully available throughout the city.

My challenge is that I am mostly cooking for one, these days.

With the movement towards local fresh food, and almost forgotten varieties of fruits and vegetables slowly making a reappearance on the (mostly farmer’s) market shelves, it is an exciting time to be cooking. This summer I’ll be looking for those white-tipped radishes, fresh mixed greens and locally made cheeses.

I can’t wait.


A daily morning practice.

For years I used to write in a journal, somewhat daily. While many of the pages were rife with the kinds of things young women write about, mostly my woes with the opposite gender, the process itself was immeasurably helpful. It was a place to purge, to sort out, to make cohesive, the thoughts and especially the emotions that whorled around inside of me at cyclonic speeds. It was a safe space to air the things which should never be shared, to say the things that should not be spoken, to find a way to make amends with all of the disparities in life, whether with others or myself, or with the circumstances that I found myself in, good, bad or indifferent.

I would read other people’s published diaries and journals, too. I found them fascinating, compelling, like a window into someone else’s soul, though I think some, like Anaïs Nin for example, she was writing hers for publication, or heavily edited them prior to publication ending up with cleaned up derivatives of the rawness that is their normal state. Mine are, anyway.

I’ve read, too, about people taking their old diaries and therapeutically “releasing” the pages to bonfires and shredders, symbolically shedding parts of themselves that no longer serve them. I know I’ve thrown a few of them away myself, my very early ones, which I regret doing now.

I was ashamed of the person scattered amongst those old pages, but today, almost to my 54th birth date, I think each phase of my incarnations as a rite of passage, that each had an important part to play in who I am now and continue to become, and while I cringe at so much of the angst I experienced, mostly in sympathy, I am no longer ashamed of who I was.

It’s a small and tiny shift, but it’s the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in a long time, and I’m not sure what to attribute it to, other than restarting this journaling practice somewhat recently. Perhaps it’s just due to the aging process, of realizing that fighting parts of myself are exhausting and self-defeating, and that there is already so much discord outside of myself and beyond my control, that I need not add to it of my own accord and turn it inward.

I haven’t blogged in a while. Life has been busy, in good, bad and indifferent ways, but they all meld into each other, and the essence of each of those things gets stirred in, like ingredients into batter, and here I am sharing a slice. It tastes pretty good from where I’m sitting. I hope yours does too.

small art 2.13.2017

After watching a Skillshare class by Yuko Shimizu, I pulled out my Asian brushes and a bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin India ink and experimented with line, texture, and positive and negative space. This reminds me once again how much I love to engage with art mediums, and how the spirit of play infuses all other parts of my life with joy when I stop long enough to do it.