“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 »