Wednesday, June 5, 2019

What We Should Know About The Ontario Food Terminal (OFT)...


Massive. Passion. Impressive. A well oiled machine. The lasting impressions from my first ever visit to the Ontario Food Terminal (OFT), and I've been a food professional for close to 20 years! Closed to the public, this important heart of Etobicoke's much loved wholesale and produce distribution centre since 1954, is THE largest in Canada and scaling third in North America after New York and Los Angeles. There are 83,500 growers in Ontario and OFT supports 45%. OFT is THE stock exchange of fruits and vegetables, priced accordingly to demand and supply daily, where farmers and buyers come from all over Canada and US to do business. We're talking ~2 billion pounds of produce annually!!! ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŽ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ“๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿ…

OFT is a self-funding classified agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, requiring no government funds or tax payers dollars. They are in fact, an economic generator; for every dollar of sales, approx. three dollars are returned to the Ontario economy ๐Ÿคฉ. This invaluable world-class food centre is something to be extremely proud of! We heard countries like Spain, Beijing and Korea have sent their people all the way to take in learnings to model off back home. Impressed yet? Wait until you meet the farmers and the people that run the place.


In an OFT warehouse, with skids and skids piled high with produce.

This incredible insiders tour was organized through my partner Produce Made Simple, an educational campaign owned by The Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA). They are a not-for-profit, member-funded (comprised of produce companies that are growers, wholesalers, shippers, and retailers), whose main objective is to facilitate trade and enhance the marketing and promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in Ontario.

The goal of Produce Made Simple is to inform and inspire Ontario residents to enjoy more local fresh produce daily such as tender fruit, greenhouse grown produce, mushrooms and asparagus. Daily tips and food preparation ideas are shared on (ProduceMadeSimple.ca), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and a bi-weekly e-newsletter. The OPMA is based at the Ontario Food Terminal. For more info: theopma.ca | Twitter: ONTProduce.


My partnership with Produce Made Simple, along with an awesome team of food professionals and bloggers, is as an ambassador who promotes and educate on local in-season produce to my audience (social media, my culinary programs) and develop recipes to highlight those for their web-site. We all came together for a first-hand learning at OFT and to meet each other ๐Ÿ˜„.


A gorgeous table spread and catered breakfast awaits us after our two hour tour.


Did You Know... OFT is not only the largest wholesale and fresh produce distribution centre in Canada, but a huge purveyor of floral and plants too.




We've been seriously talking about buying local in recent years, however, OFT has essentially anchored the BUY LOCAL movement since it’s establishment in 1954. The Terminal supports local farmers, local fruit and vegetables stores, independent and chain supermarkets, retailers, restaurateurs, food service, caterers, farmer’s markets, farm gate markets, florists, garden centres, landscapers, convenience stores and institutions.


Wow, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Grower (OGVG) tomatoes on the vine. Did You Know... for optimal freshness, never store tomatoes in the fridge? I had the opportunity to develop a recipe for OGVG using their vine-ripened tomatoes in a Chinese classic--Tomatoes and Eggs. Check out my food post to learn more about my simple weeknight family-honoured recipe and for tomato buying and storing tips.


Farmers and their bountiful of fruits and vegetable everywhere...


Our first presentation stop was with Welsh Bros. Farms from Norfolk Country's Scotland, in Southwestern Ontario since 1855. The ultra cool story about this generational family of farmers is that they made their intentional way here from their actual native home Scotland 164 years ago. As they say, the Welsh family has never really left Scotland! They are recognized as agricultural grower leaders on both the provincial and national stage, and produce the finest vegetables such as non- and organic asparagus, sweet corn, garden sweet peas and Jamaican pumpkins. 

Cool blue top Nicole leads us from Produce Made Simple.

Did You Know... An Ontario asparagus plant has to grow for five years before it can be harvested. Then in season, when it's hot, it spurts up to six inches in under 12 hours! Magical right? ๐Ÿคฉ

They hand-harvest daily and grade their asparagus to seven different thicknesses. So size does matter in every bite. They recommend steaming, sautรฉeing and stir-frying extra fine to small spears, and roasting, broiling and grilling standard to jumbo sized ones. Makes so much sense!

We got a bunch to take home- thank you, along with some delicious recipes from their kitchen such as Pickled Asparagus Salad; Maple, Garlic, Lemon Roasted Asparagus and the one I'm eyeing to do with mine, Beer Battered Asparagus (with Chipotle Mayo). ๐Ÿ˜‹


It's a hustling and bustling terminal. Many farmers and growers come in before 3 am with activity slowing down around 7 am (the time we arrive). It can be a dangerous place if one is not careful with the fast moving traffic on foot, on forklift with heavy cargo in tow. A big reason why it's not open to the general public.


Our next stop is at Koornneef Produce indoors. On the inside are warehouse store fronts, the middle, traffic way and on the outer sides, sliding doors to loading docks.


Koornneef produces cucumbers, coloured bell peppers, tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, strawberries, apricots and cherries. Their roots as a supplier reach back more than five decades, when their father Arie Koornneef began selling choice tender fruit to customers out of a pick-up truck. From those humble beginnings, Koornneef Produce Ltd. has grown to become one of southern Ontario's premier suppliers of superior vegetables and tender fruit. And to this day, all are grown with one objective in mind: to ensure customer experiences only the very best in taste, appearance and consistency.


So much passion and pride illuminates in every farmer and grower who spoke to us. The unwavering sense of tradition and commitment to producing the finest and keeping customers happy with superior service was well felt over at Koornneef.   

Did You Know... all bell peppers start out green and if left to ripen they turn yellow or orange, and then eventually red? AND a green pepper has twice as much vitamin C as an orange.


This complimentary produce has been cooked and enjoyed over dinners with my family.


Swinging by J.E. Russell Produce to look and hear about their beautiful fresh wares.


At J.E. Russell Produce, they’ve built their reputation on good old-fashioned values and a commitment to doing things right. They are dedicated to providing the very best in quality and service, specializing in berries, salads, organics and local produce.

Three kiwifruit fun facts: Did You Know...  

Kiwi grows as vine. It can reach the size of 10 meters (33 feet) in length.
Kiwi can produce fruits up to 30 years and survive more than 50 years.
The kiwifruit was first found growing in China, where it was known by the name “Yang Tao”.


Mmmm, nice!

With 40 years of operational experience, all their produce is stored in temperature controlled environments to retain their freshness and nutritional value. They transport and receive fresh product on a daily basis from around the province and the world. Thank you for talking to us and I made guacamole with your jumbo creamy fleshed avo- so yum!

Spring Trick or Treating! It's Avocados!

Each loading area/dock has a number for shipping and receiving to a specific region. Farmers come in from as far north as Cold Water, from Leamington to the west, from Kingston to the east and Fort Erie to the south.

Buyers come from all over Ontario, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba as well as the north-eastern USA.




With an average of 5.5 million pounds of produce being exchanged daily, OFT does their best to minimize waste, something I'm big on! Less than 1% is waste (~12000 tons of a million tons), with recycling a regular practice and a separate garbage system in place. Furthermore, they work closely with food rescue and food access organizations such as Second Harvest, Food Share, Daily Bread Food Bank and Gleaners Food Bank ๐Ÿ˜„ 

Improvements are always undergoing. Currently, they are working on adding loading dock extensions and farmer's market waste compaction stations. The guys who run this place are so passionate about what they do to make it thrive and would love to provide more educational tours to spread the great importance OFT has in our great city.

Speaking with OFT General Manager Bruce Nicholas

Touring through the massive cold storage areas.


The pretty back drop with lights, elegant dishware and gorgeous floral arrangements made for a fun and chic party setting! And we are just having breakfast here, imagine the creativity of the Produce Made Simple team if they hosted a real party ๐Ÿ˜„?


The lovely catered-in breakfast consisted of asparagus, mushroom, potato and red peppers frittata, a caramelized apple French Toast and maple syrup casserole (so neat to see the bread slices baked up standing, pressed side-by-side like that), and fruit kebabs with a vanilla yogurt dip. Deelish! And Nicole, I too love the pretty gold and pink floral themed plates and flatware ๐Ÿ˜Š.


This awesome impromptu ensemble was the creative artistic genius of Betty @stemsandforks with food and flora her palettes of flair ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒผ Shot alongside @abhishekdekate @jesusmazaphoto @thevietvegan @justcrumbs @emilia_ds @theyummyfarm @rhubandcod (we missed you @foodislife.ca)... see y'all again, you rock guys๐Ÿ’ฅ!

Photo Credit: Betty Bihon of @stemsandforks

Thank you Ontario Food Terminal for the guided tour with your amazing staff and for this generous spread of fresh local farmer's produce! #eatmoreproduce #producemadesimple


Amazing! All of this happening right in our great city! The Ontario Food Terminal is without a doubt a world-class food hub and thriving economical heritage to our region where fresh, local and healthy food access is provided for businesses and food security organizations.  ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค— ๐Ÿค— To learn more, see OFT FAQS.



Monday, May 20, 2019

PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps- Hacked...


If you've ever had the famous appetizer chicken lettuce wraps from American-based restaurant chain PF Chang's China Bistro, you'll understand why there are so many copycat recipes out there. And a lot of it has to do with the ultra-tasty sauce you spoon over!

May is Asian Heritage Month and it's being recognized at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) with many opportunities and events to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian Canadians and to convey the narratives and wisdom of various Asian cultures. The theme this year is, “Our stories. Our voices. Our journey.” In this spirit and to share an especially fond and approachable dish that everyone will love from my Chinese culture- this delicious chicken-shiitake mushroom-water chestnut mixture in crispy lettuce cups! Yes, my copycat recipe which I've toyed over hours to get the sauce just right has made its rounds in each of my cooking programs. Frying up thin rice noodles make for a wow wow scene in the skillet, creating curling white popped strands, that gets crunched up for a crispy topping. And last but not least.. da beast of a sauce that ties it all together with each bite-- savoury, sweet, piquant and tangy- the dressing for success. Don't be deterred by all the sauce ingredients-- trust me each one lends its special characteristic to the ultra-tastiness and will make the finale spectacular- just ask all my wide-eyed, swooning students who've tried it. Some have recreated it already in their kitchens to raving reviews ๐Ÿ˜Š.


PF Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Hacked) 
Makes 6 servings

2 Tbsp. oil 
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, if dried, hydrate in water to cover for four hours, drain and chop 
1 cup water chestnuts, diced 
1 green onion, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, peeled into cups, and torn into hand-size pieces 
A handful of dried vermicelli thin rice noodles

Special Sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup water 
2 Tbsp. soy sauce 
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar 
2 Tbsp. ketchup 
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1/8 tsp. sesame oil 
1 Tbsp. hot Chinese mustard or Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. water 
sambal oelek chili sauce to taste

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 Tbsp. soy sauce 
2 Tbsp. brown sugar 
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar 

Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Add all the ingredients except the mustard and chili sauce. Mix well and refrigerate. Add mustard and chili sauce when ready to use as a dipping sauce. 

Freezing the chicken for one hour makes it easier to slice and dice.

Enjoying the lettuce cups with my family for dinner.

Cooking with the seniors in my Chinatown Chinese Cooking Program as part of Learn4Life.


Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl for the stir-fry sauce. Heat oil in wok/skillet over high heat. Sautรฉ chicken for one minute, then add the garlic and mushrooms; cook for one minute more before adding the water chestnuts. Pour the stir fry sauce and sautรฉ the mixture until cooked. Toss with green onions. 


Heat ½ cup of oil until hot and fry the vermicelli in strands or a bunch. Crumble on top of chicken in a serving bowl along with lettuce "cups" and serve with special sauce.


Notes about making beautiful lettuce cups. You can do it two ways. Core the stem of the iceberg lettuce head. Remove the outer flimsy leaves. One way is to cut the lettuce head in half, remove the inner smaller cups onto a platter and then cut the remaining head in half or in thirds depending the size so you end with a palm size wrap, OR/ submerge the entire head with core removed-facing up in a basin of cold water to cover. The water flowing inward will create pressure that separates the leaves, making them easy to unravel, and then cut to size. The thing with this method is the leaves get super wet, and you need to either drain the leaves over a big colander for several hours or use a salad spinner to spin dry.


Nice lettuce wraps ladies!

Over at Beverley Heights Middle School, I cut pieces of peppers, red and green onions, carrots and offered cilantro so students in the lunch cooking club can choose what they like to customize their wraps with additional veggies, and to practice their knife skills. We cook out of a staff room with no appliances except a microwave, so I skillet-cooked the chicken mixture at home, separating the chopped shiitake mushrooms for those who prefer no mushrooms. I fried the vermicelli and made the finishing sauce beforehand too. We heated up the chicken-water chestnut mixture in the microwave and the kids loved them too much that they devoured them before I was ready to take photos lol.


This was the final plating scene at Marc Garneau cooking with grade 9s early Monday morning period.

Shredded carrots add vitamins and colour to the gorgeous wraps.

Chicken lettuce cups for breakfast-- why not? No one was complaining ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


And over here with my lovely parents at Fraser Mustard, just before they headed off for a month of Ramadan (fasting), cooking with halal chicken thighs and preparing everything with care. They absolutely loved this healthy appetizer as a family idea that could certainly serve as a supplement to a dinner meal. Imagine entertaining with a platter of this, add on a pretty spread of thinly sliced or shredded colourful veggies such as peppers, carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts so guests can DIY? Summer is around the corner- it'll be so fabulous-cool! 


Mmm... mouthwatering! They love it spicy, so we have some Thai chilis, sliced as a table condiment.


Dressed for success!


Awww... sharing is caring! How much do I love this shot ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


Full Recipe:

PF Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Hacked)
Makes 6 servings

2 Tbsp. oil
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, if dried, hydrate in water to cover for four hours, drain and chop
1 cup water chestnuts, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, peeled into cups, and torn into hand-size pieces
A handful of dried vermicelli thin rice noodles

Special Sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. hot Chinese mustard or Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. water
sambal oelek chili sauce to taste

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar

Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Add all the ingredients except the mustard and chili sauce. Mix well and refrigerate. Add mustard and chili sauce when ready to use as a dipping sauce.

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl for the stir-fry sauce. Heat oil in wok/skillet over high heat. Sautรฉ chicken for one minute, then add the garlic and mushrooms; cook for one minute more before adding the water chestnuts. Pour the stir fry sauce and sautรฉ the mixture until cooked. Toss with green onions.

Heat ½ cup of oil until hot and fry the vermicelli in strands or a bunch. Crumble on top of chicken in a serving bowl along with lettuce "cups" and serve with special sauce.



Monday, May 6, 2019

Ramadan and Healthy Eating...


Ramadan Mubarak ๐Ÿ™ to all my Muslim friends celebrating Ramadan, starting Sunday, May 5th for one month!

I was honoured to get a day of learning last week at my Parents Engagement Cooking Class over at Fraser Mustard's community kitchen with moms mainly from Sri Lanka and Pakistan, sharing Ramadan traditions, stories and foods they serve with their families to break their since-sunrise ๐ŸŒ… fast at sunset ๐ŸŒ‡.

I learned about the five pillars of Islam (and within this Ramadan, a spiritual and sacred month). 


First and foremost, you must first recognize you are Muslim. 

Five brief prayers are conducted each day starting from sunrise to sunset to midnight. It is done with intention and silent meditation, kneeling and bowing with the forehead touching the ground. This grounding is significant in which you acknowledge one God, and one only. The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, with the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful (this description I give credit to my friend Asma living in Pakistan).

Muslims also engage in increased charity during Ramadan. A general 2.5% of their yearly income is donated for charitable causes if families are able. This creates a cycle of help to the community for those in need- the poor, the widowed.

The practice during Ramadan is fasting from dawn to sunset- no sipping water or eating. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar. Pregnant women and children are exempt. It is a month to practice increased self-discipline. Where physical energy are low, good will and spirits are high. To break the fast, one or three dates are eaten with three sips of water, and then the evening meal begins.

The Kaaba, which Muslims believe was built by Abraham and his son Ismail as a monotheistic house of worship, is considered Islam's most sacred site located in Saudi Arabia. Believers around the world face the Kaaba during their five daily prayers. The holy Zamzam water (historical significance), literally meaning "stop flowing" started as a small spring in the bare dry dessert in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when it miraculously appeared while Ismail's mother was frantically searching for food to ease her crying son's hunger. It kept flowing since... I had the incredible opportunity to sip some holy water from that well- imported in bottles. Thank you mom Athira for sharing ๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ฆ.

At the end of Ramadan, the next day is celebrated, called Eid, where Muslims wear new clothes and go for meal outings with family and friends. Then you would wish Eid Mubarak! I Learned So Much- Thank you lovely ladies, especially Shazna for articulating with such passion and love on this important holy month of fasting!


If you know your collegue, friend or neighbour is celebrating Ramadan, say to them "mashallah" which means "that good things has happened under God's will." It is the ultimate heart-felt wish and blessing! ๐Ÿ’• May we all give and receive kindness, compassion and understanding here and around the world! ๐Ÿ™


Parents brought in homemade foods that were healthy, flavourful and delicious! We had a morning feast of spicy green chili chicken soup with oats, tuna and sweet corn sammies, bhajia- a potato and onion fritter with a spicy cilantro dip, flaked mackeral buns, spicy chicken kothu roti, chicken kebab (sauteed in tomatoes and onions) and loaded mini chicken buns. To finish off, countering the spiciness, a refreshingly cool mango lassi yogurt drink. 


What a wonderful way to exchange cultural identity and traditions through a heart-felt meal together! 



I want to use this post to also share the incredible efforts of my joint partners TDSB Newcomer Services and Michael Garron Hospital in bringing the Healthy Together initiative to the Thorncliffe Community. Our aim is to empower these parents to share our learnings forward by leading similar group sessions with other members, families and friends in their communities. To bring on real positive change and influence, it takes a village...

With community builder Ashima and TDSB facilitator Sofie.

Healthy Snacks and Dips Session courtesy of me...

Roasted Chickpeas, Tuna Avocado Salad, White Bean Dip with Oven-Toasted Pitas and Edamole.


Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Makes 2 cups

1 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight covered in water 2-inches over (will double)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. seasonings of choice (chili powder, dried thyme leaves, paprika, curry)

Preheat oven to 350 F and set out a bare baking sheet.

Drain chickpeas well. Spread the chickpeas out on a clean, absorbent towel and use your hands to gently roll and dry the chickpeas. Transfer the chickpeas to a mixing bowl and top with oil and salt. Mix well to combine. DO NOT add the other seasoning at this point - it can interrupt the crisping process, so wait to add until after baking.

Bake for a total of 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and dry/crispy to the touch. Turn the pan around and shake the chickpeas around at the halfway point for even cooking.

Remove from oven and toss with seasonings (if desired) while still warm. Then let cool 5-10 minutes - they will continue crisping as they cool.



White Bean Garlic Dip with Pita

1 (425 g) can cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus ¼ cup
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pitas
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in colour. Serve the pita toasts warm alongside the bean puree.



Simple Avocado Tuna Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 cans flaked or chunk tuna, well drained
3 to 4 medium-sized ripe avocados, cut into chunks
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/4 medium red onion, sliced and diced
lemon wedge
EVOO
sea/kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toss tuna, avocado, cucumber and onions together in a large bowl. Splash with lemon juice, drizzle well with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Toss again and serve.

To Jazz it Up: top with cilantro, hot sauce or pickled jalapeno peppers.

If your family likes guacamole, try this twist with edamame beans chocked full of nutrients and punctuated with Asian flavours like fish sauce, soy sauce and sambal oelek.


Asian Edamole served with sesame rice crackers.

Mom Athira explaining that tuna avocado can be served in mini sweet pepper boats.

How fun and yum for the kids!

Healthy Snacks and Food Session courtesy of parents...


Parents brought in foods that represents what they prepare for their families at various meals of the day. They each presented their dish describing the flavours and the components making it a healthy choice. From top left clockwise: Herbs and Cheese Egg Frittatas with an insert of ketchup, Black Beans and Corn Quinoa Salad, Mixed Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits with chia seeds and crunchy corn flakes, and Egg Salad Sandwiches (crustless) to show the pretty mashed carrot or beets infused for extra nutrients! Well Done everyone- the food spread was colourful and delicious!


Mom presenting idli, a popular South Asian breakfast savoury rice cake with shredded veggies served with a complimenting spicy shredded coconut chutney. The light spongy texture of idlis were elevated with the zing of the piquant sauce. 


A beautiful satisfying South Asian spread of healthy deliciousness (and a chewy raisin oatmeal cookie for good measure).


Sharing and caring is what our community kitchen is all about!


Excerpt: Did you know you can experience Ramadan hosted iftars in nine cities across Canada? Prospective guests and hosts sign up through Mariam Shirazi's website- ramadan.fyi and Shirazi connects them. (Arabic: ุฅูุทุงุฑ‎‎ สพifแนญฤr 'breaking of the fast') is an evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Started three years ago, Shirazi says, "People come in not knowing about what Ramadan is or not knowing what Muslims are like because they've never had a chance to ask questions. It's a really cool way for people to come in and understand a little bit of our culture, and have a good time and enjoy a celebration with us."

It's a two way learning, and you really get to know someone over conversations about not only cultural and faith values but core family values breaking bread in a stranger's house. I am so lucky I get to cook with the Thorncliffe parents in our community kitchen and share talks, modern and traditional food together on a regular basis. You build relationships and connect on a much deeper human level. Mashallah! ๐Ÿ’•