CELEBRATING EVERY MOMENT…
What does food mean to us? How often do we reflect upon this matter? I believe that the modern world and trends ruling in social media don’t allow us to ignore that issue.
Surely, what we eat determines how we feel. Therefore, our meals should not only be delicious, but also full of nutrients. Moreover, if they are nicely served, they please not only people who prepared them, but also the ones who have a chance to try such sophisticated dishes.
And how about going a bit further and treating our food as a means of connecting chosen individuals? Something that can strengthen ties among people instead of dividing them? Sharing meals and sitting together at one table should be an important part of our daily lives, since it helps us to keep the connection alive in those crazy filled with work times, like the ones we are supposed to live in. So, if it’s a good idea to pay some attention to our family while celebrating not only the meals, but also the moments of lively conversations and uncontrolled bursts of laughter over our aunt’s roast or our grandma’s apple pie, maybe it would be good to do it regularly and not just for special occasions? The same rule applies to our friends and our closest community. Good food, humor together with a nice company should be the thing that we look for in our everyday lives, of course just next to other pressing issues.
If you’re not sure how to host your close ones. If preparing the simplest meal gives you sleepless nights, my today’s interviewee will come to your rescue. Christy Faber – a happy mom, wife, blogger and healthy eating enthusiast will not only provide you with a great number of unique recipes, but will also give you some tips and hints on organizing a meal at one table in your own home the way you dream of.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Christy: Hi! I’m Christy, a happy wife and mother to three energetic boys, a nutritionist, a food lover and a Canadian. I run the food blog called Life Around the Table where I share healthy and delicious recipes. I also share tidbits about motherhood and I share stories and tips on the art of hospitality. Welcoming others around my kitchen table and into my home is really important to me. On my blog, I love to encourage others to feel confident in the art of gathering people and creating a warm and welcoming space to share with their community.
Passion Piece: You’re a keen cook. How did you start your adventure with cooking?
Christy: I’ve always been especially drawn to food. My mom is an excellent cook. As a young child I have vivid memories of standing at the stove as she poured white wine into a sizzling pan to deglaze it. She would then slowly pour cream in widening circles to create the most delicious sauces for spooning over chicken and pasta. With a wooden spoon in hand I would carefully and slowly stir the bubbling sauce as it thickened and simmered away. I loved watching a rich sauce come together and witness the process of building flavor. I was fortunate to have been homeschooled and I got to pursue my food passions as part of my education. Cooking my way through a heavy Martha Stewart Cooking School recipe book as part of my school week was an invaluable experience. From that book, I learned how to make French onion soup (chopping a million onions), 24 hr braised short ribs (the ultimate practice in patience), my first lasagna, (such a labor of love) and an Indian curry (toasting and grinding the spices myself). It gave me so much confidence and I’m thankful my education had the flexibility to allow me to follow and expand my interest in food.
Passion Piece: You perceive your kitchen space as an empty canvas of possibilities… What possibilities do you offer to your readers?
Christy: I encourage my readers to become “gatherers of people”. To open their homes and prepare a table for people to gather around and enjoy pleasant company and delicious food. I encourage my readers to see food as an avenue for showing people you love and care for them. After all, we all have to eat 3 meals a day and I think they might as well be delicious and they should be enjoyed in the presence of good company! I invite you to make a short list of friends, family, neighbors or strangers that you would like to invite over to your home in the next 3-6 months. Choose someone to invite and make it a goal to set a date as soon as possible. Prioritizing hospitality in your home does take some planning and forethought especially for those people that you haven’t seen in a while or those you’ve never had to your home before. I encourage you to invite someone today!
Passion Piece: You’re not only a blogger who decided to share her recipes with a wider audience, but also a nutritionist. What do you pay your attention to while preparing recipes for your website?
Christy: My aim is to provide my readers with a variety of recipes that are as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste. I bake with healthier flour options like buckwheat flour, spelt flour, einkorn flour, oat flour, kamut flour etc. I sweeten baked goods with natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. I delight in creating recipes that are delicious but also full of nutrients and goodness. I am also mindful of providing recipes that are appropriate for various dietary restrictions like gluten free diets, dairy free diets, refined sugar free diets. I believe that feeding people is a way of loving people. Having a dietary restriction can make it so hard to enjoy food at other people’s homes and for a host to spend the time to bake something that the guest can enjoy shows such thoughtfulness and kindness. I strive to solve the problem for the host who feels overwhelmed by what to serve for their friend who can’t have any gluten for example. I have several gluten free recipes on the blog like buckwheat crepes, gluten free brownies, gluten free chocolate haystack cookies etc.
Passion Piece: What’s your favorite recipe? Which one gives you sleepless nights?
Christy: My favourite recipe currently on the blog right now is a toss up between my Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies and my Double Chocolate Banana Bread. I often wish I had a never ending supply of those treats in my kitchen!
There are so many recipes I have never attempted in my life and I often feel intimidated by recipes I have no experience in. A few things on my culinary bucket list: homemade pasta, french macarons, creme brulee, challah bread and babka bread. I also dream about finding the perfect lasagna and chicken pot pie recipes. Maybe one day I will even dare to attempt making homemade croissants!
Passion Piece: I’m a terrible cook myself. What three key tips would you give me to survive my struggles with pots and pans?
- It is my firm belief that adding lemon zest will improve practically any meal! Or baked goods for that matter! I add lemon zest to pancakes, crepes, various soups, pasta dishes, scones, chocolate muffins etc.
- Slow down while you’re cooking and take the time to taste every element of your meal before serving to adjust for seasoning. I really take my time at this step and it makes a big difference in the final outcome!
- Choose 2-3 meals you want to master and keep practicing making them until you could make it without looking at any recipe. It helps to build your confidence! I recently did this with cinnamon, I made cinnamon buns about a dozen times and now I feel like I could make them in my sleep.
Passion Piece: Where do you look for your inspirations? What else besides cooking does your blog offer to your readers?
Christy: For inspiration I watch a lot of cooking videos on youtube. I love the old videos from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa show on the food network. They are so cheerful. I love reading food memoirs. I recently read Julia Child’s memoir “My Life in France” and it was full of inspiration for me. One thing is for sure: Julia Child was a hard working woman! Oh My!
My blog offers hospitality tips and some motherhood wisdom and inspiration. I have posts like “The Best Children’s Picture Books”, or “Best Poems to Share with Young Children” or “8 Tips for Intentional Hospitality”.
Passion Piece: What’s your dream place you’d like to visit to try an unusual dish? Is there a particular person you’d like to cook with?
Christy: I would love to visit Italy and have the opportunity to taste a pasta dish made with love by an old Italian granny. That would be the ultimate authentic Italian experience! I have greatly enjoyed the Youtube channel “Pasta Grannies”. A woman from the UK travels through Italy and films real Italian grannies making their precious and secret family recipes for pasta and their sauces. My dream would be to experience one of these Pasta Grannies’ dishes.
If I could cook with anyone I would like to put on a dinner party with Ina Garten and soak up all the tips along the way and learn her ways. She seems like an incredible hostess!
Passion Piece: What do you love doing in your free time?
Christy: I am a busy mom of 3 boys so free time is a bit rare! At this busy stage of my life, I long to go to a simple cafe all by myself. I would order a latte and a specialty donut and waste a morning flipping through a magazine or a cookbook and reading a chapter or two of a good book.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Christy: In 10 years time I will have a 14 year old, a 12 year old and 10 year old. All boys! So I anticipate cooking more than ever. I hope to be still experimenting in my kitchen and trying recipes to share with my hungry and growing boys. A slow dinner time around the table together as a family will be a big priority.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Christy: I have a quote on my blog by Madeleine L’Engle that goes like this:
“There is nothing that makes me happier than sitting around the dinner table and talking until the candles are burned down.”
Madeleine’s words sum up my philosophy better than I ever could. Nothing makes me happier.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly inspiring conversation and I can’t wait for the new recipes for your fabulous muffins!
See you around!