The Avial Master”

This blog post comes from Radha Rayasam whose blog Radha Rayasam’s Home Made Sumptuous Meals reflects Rhada’s skill in the kitchen: “I’m a self taught cook, and I’ve always received flat­ter­ing com­ple­ments from every­body.” Thanks for the great post Rhada!  Be sure to check out the rest of the Apron Strings con­test sub­mis­sions and rate them. The lucky win­ners will receive gift cer­tifi­cates to shop at Fiesta Farms.


My dad gave me the recipe for this dish. I still remem­ber the whole event.

I was get­ting ready to leave to school. I was six­teen years old. I had sev­eral strict rules in the house, like I could not go any­where after 6:00 PM, no make up what­so­ever, and I had to be accom­pa­nied by a fam­ily mem­ber to all of my freinds’ houses. I real­ized at that point of time that the world was very cruel out­side the home, and my par­ents were try­ing to pro­tect their pre­cious princess, their only daughter!

I was in 12th grade, dressed in my all white churid­har, white can­vas shoes, white rib­bons braided in my long, oiled hair, tied next to my ears and look­ing like egg­plants! The other girls in my class refused to tie those rib­bons and let their hair loose. Letting my hair down was a big no-no in my home. So I had to wear those hor­ren­dous rib­bons. The boys in my class called me saami­yar (the holy one who had renounced all worldly plea­sures) and the girls in my class laughed at my title. I never cared, I just was busy in my own world. I had a best friend, and we both would gig­gle and talk about the lat­est movie songs fea­tured on TV. You guessed it, we were not allowed to go to the the­ater to watch movies! We went as a fam­ily to watch old ‘golden’ movies that were sup­posed to instill good char­ac­ter in us!
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Making maple syrup with dad — Quebec Maple Syrup Pie

This Apron Strings con­test sub­mis­sion comes from Aube Giroux, a doc­u­men­tary film­maker and food blog­ger, won Saveur magazine’s Best Single Video about prepar­ing rum babas for her late mother’s knit­ting club friends back in the Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia. (congrats Aube!)  This story has been con­densed from an arti­cle she wrote for this year’s spring issue of Edible Toronto mag­a­zine — you can see accom­pa­ny­ing pho­tos and a video of my dad mak­ing maple syrup & me mak­ing maple syrup pie on my video cook­ing blog on the kitchen­vi­gnettes blog

Photo Credit: Aube Giroux

Last year I received a bot­tle of home­made maple syrup from my dad. For sev­eral years now, he has been tap­ping five large maple trees on his prop­erty just east of Montreal. He loves to brag about how energy effi­cient his process is since he evap­o­rates the sap in big pots right on his wood­stove, which is chug­ging away all win­ter regard­less, heat­ing up his whole house. He jokes that it’s the lazy way to do it, since the maple syrup basi­cally makes itself. To get a litre of maple syrup, you need forty litres of sap, so it takes some time for that much water to evap­o­rate, espe­cially when you’re doing it the slow way, like my dad. Continue »