Closer to Om

A recent post by my sister on her “Om Cooking” FB page, sums it up:

“My mom makes the best cheesecake, the baked kind that fills a gigantic spring form pan, the kind that you keep slivering away at until you have eaten the whole thing! This is my raw variation. Cashews and macadamia nuts kissed with lemon and vanilla, cultured with acidophilus on an almond crust with fresh organic strawberry balsamic coulis and fresh berries!”

mystee cc

Mystee’s not so cheesy cheesecake

She’s posted a photo of the cake, so perfect in its presentation it could sit in the window of a Patisserie on Rue de Seine in Paris.

Mystee is the daughter who inherited the cooking gene… and then some. She has taken a course at The Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and studied with Matthew Kenney at his raw cooking school in Santa Monica. She’s taken numerous workshops (that sound, to me, to be straight from the pages of Harry Potter) on elixir craft and fermentation and spent over 25 years healthily honing meals for her own family while gaining a loyal following in the Rocky Mountain community of Banff —the epicentre of all things healthy and wholesome.

Mention “raw” to me and I’m more likely to be thinking about a file on my camera than something I’m about to ingest. Of course, as the mother of two, (who lived as a hausfrau in Switzerland for ten years where kids still leave school for a hot lunch every day) I do, of course, cook but it would be fair to say that it’s not the kitchen that inspires my creativity and I can be rather impatient when it comes to following a recipe. My ideal dinner leans more toward a bubbling pot of Gruyere cheese with a dry Chenin blanc and perhaps a closing grappa to settle the tummy. If this all comes with a table of good friends and family, even better. I’m not prepared to totally give this up, but I admit, I need to up my nutritional game.

raw pizzas

Raw Greek Pizza from Om Cooking.

In six months I turn 50. There’s been talk, (that hasn’t entirely omitted the idea of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro), about what to do for this monumental birthday. But on the phone recently with Mystee, the truth comes out.

“I just want to be on solid ground for my 50th birthday. To reach professional goals that will help to secure the future, for the girls and me, but I also want to make some changes that will keep me feeling half my age, for the next fifty years”.

Our father recently turned 89 and has the vigour of someone in his thirties. He’s frequently spotted, by bemused locals, gliding on his rollerblades or rising a couple of hundred metres in elevation over Banff Town, on his mountain bike, to take in the view. Yes, we’ve been graced with good genes and I figure if I’m going to be living in this body for another half century, I had better be looking after it.

So, instead of bracing myself for my sister’s next culinary Facebook post, I’ve decided to gather my strength and face it head on. Shortly after our conversation, I send her an email:

“Here’s the deal Myst. I want to be inspired to make meals that are healthy, for myself and for the girls. If you could send me some recipes, meals, snacks and drinks, I’m going to make one each week and write about it — even if the result isn’t pretty. Kind of an “If I can do this, anyone can, Julie and Julia, scenario.

So, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to stare down the unrefined, the whole and the raw and turn them into something my teenage daughters will eat. Stay tuned and wish me luck but feel free to mock and/or encourage me as you see fit. I can’t do this on my own!


Fondue. So easy, so simple. so good....

Fondue. So easy, so simple. so good….






It Matters

I’m not going to tell the whole story here — these pages are not meant for this.

From the onset, I didn’t want to make this book about my divorce — no messy details I said. This is going to be about my life as it is becoming; not what it was and certainly not what someone else is trying to make it. I stand by that. Today though, I walk the edge.  I’ve awoken to more s**t — stuff from my ex that I thought was of the past. Legally, I’m trusting things will be OK but it’s been enough for me to question how I will accomplish all that I need to. It’s a stumbling block that’s all.

I’ve been writing today about the amazing photojournalists I interviewed over the last few weeks. Keeping focused on their words helps ground me but I still have more to meet; many more stories to pull together. Continue reading

A Divorce, Two Kids and the World Out There to See

In theory my book project on women and photojournalism started when I began research about ten months ago. In reality, I believe it’s beginning right now 20 minutes to seven on March 13th as I write the first words of my blog. I’m sitting in the performing arts center in Calgary where National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths is about to take the stage. Despite not yet setting eyes on Griffiths, I’ve already opened my laptop eager to put some words down before the lights dim.

Preparation, so far, for my book has been a lot of research and emailing to make the all important contacts with photojournalists working all over the globe. Yesterday had been a routine day scouring sites on the net. After arriving on a site showing the photography of Ami Vitale, I quickly shot her a note explaining the idea for my book, Intimate: Women in the World as Witnessed By Top Female Photojournalists. Continue reading