Monday, 2 March 2015

Home is where the food is (a 107 Ave serenade)

Source: Faces of 107 Avenue
Adobo creative suites
Masala motion pictures
Mad about saffron
And high on wild rosewater nocturnes and the sweet Rumi-nations of old Tehran
Footsteps springy like fresh injera
With a fire-roasted coffee and frankincence chasers at my heels
Striding sing-song down the Avenue of Nations
Calibrating my olfactory GPS; new-world coordinates in old-country code
The dhows of Gwadar, Suquṭra, Muqdisho
Safely moored on a verdant bend in the North Saskatchewan
Bringing sustenance and satiety to shivering winter citizenry
Cracked cardamom pods, frim-fram shawarma sauce
Weaponized wild rice and a backup bottle of chili sauce for that extra zing
Here on the Ave this is kind of our thing

Some say home is where the heart is
But the heart falters when the stomach lies empty
Others say home is where the money is
But money for nothing? Have these chickpeas for free!
Home is where the food is
Where continents and condiments collide in cast-iron kitchen pots
With fierce chillies, midnight meat sweats, and moose nose stew with bannock sliders
Treaty 6 treats with Tagalog tagalongs
And palak paneer amid the backdrop of a bigos and kubasonic boomtown
It’s everything that’s good to eat
Right out there on the street
Yeggs benedict for breakfast
E-town empanadas for lunch
Prairie chicken Kiev with a side of doro. Wot?
It’s all here. It’s all us.

Give me a home where the free-range buffalo roam (out at Elk Island)
Where the kheer and the cantaloupe come out to play for dessert
Where seldom is heard a discouraging Urban Spoon word
And the skies are as wide open as our doors, as big as our portion sizes
And as vivid and alive as our spicecraft and foodscape
Welcome home


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