The best thing about Sarah is her sense of humor! Even during our short time on the phone, she had me in splits! Her carefree laidback attitude comes through over the phone as she tells me how she is a “baker by birth and a cook by circumstance.”
She’s got a deep love for food and wanted to find a way to celebrate Pakistani cuisine and otherworldly goodies as she launched her blog Flour and Spice
. Prior to motherhood, Sarah worked as an economic analyst and financial advisor. After having her babies she was immersed into motherhood and decided she wanted to raise her babies on good ol’ “ghar ka khana.”
Perusing her site I am salivating over the countless recipes. Sarah has created a treasure trove for home cooks who need a little inspiration or just want desi khana that reminds them of home.
1. What has surprised you the most about motherhood?
That I like it. It sounds terrible, but it is true!!! I wasn’t a “coo-ing at strangers’ babies” kind of person and actually never thought that if I had kids I would stay home with them. That first year of maternity leave felt like a duty. Now after six years my girls are everything to me and although I will be honest and say that sometimes they drive me batty, they are also pure love and give back to me in ways I could not have imagined. That for me has been another wonderful surprise.
2. You live in Toronto- What are some of your favorite things to do in the city?
There is so much to do in Toronto that it can be a little hard to choose, but if I look back at the last year my absolute favorite things to do have been The Christmas Market at the Distillery District which is an almost magical Christmas time event modeled after European Christmas Markets. I also really love the AGO (the Art Gallery of Ontario) not just for its breathtaking architecture and its awe-inspiring art collection, but for all the great events they put on like the adults only First Thursdays where art meets music meets deliciousness and their excellent March Break programming for little ones. I actually live in a suburb called Oakville and its charming downtown is home to one of our favorite parks. My girls love Lakeside Park not just for the fun play structures but also for its waterfront location where their dad teaches them to skip stones on the water and about the different boats that are sailing by. We love it so much that the family pictures featured here were actually taken at Lakeside Park!
3. You were raised in Karachi and your children are being raised in Toronto. Are there things about growing up in Karachi you wish they had?
Man, this is such a hard question!!! The reality is that I truly believe that my kids are blessed to be Canadian and except for when wanderlust strikes – ie when I am binge watching House Hunters International! I am so very happy that they have the lives they do.
4. You claim you are a Baker by birth and a cook by circumstance! What are some of your personal favorite recipes?
It’s totally true! Baking seems to be part of my DNA, for me to go a week without baking seems unthinkable. It does not always have to be a treat, a breakfast of baked oatmeal
or some delicious muffins
hit the spot. I am pretty sure that even now I could happily go a week without cooking which is why I always try to make cooking – especially Pakistani cooking – as easy and accessible as possible. Some of my personal favorites are the Chicken Pilaf
which my kids love, this Timatar Gosht/Beef & Tomato Stew,
Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
& this easy perfect for entertaining Chocolate Mousse Tart.
5. Are you kids your sous- chefs? What do they love to cook with you?
Both my girls are enthusiastic about helping in the kitchen. With my six-year-old, I often feel that she is the chef and that I am the sous-chef! Her favorite thing to cook is this Garlicky Mushroom Pasta
. She is also an accomplished little baker who used the strawberries she picked last year to make her teachers individual strawberry tarts
using this recipe. Mama was proud.
My 3-year-old is equally enthusiastic if less skilled and if you ask her what she likes to make she will tell you that she “only know(s) how to make brownies”
6. What made you laugh today?
I sat through what seemed to me to be a particularly teary swimming class for my 3-year-old. I went through all the usual motherly emotions – concern, empathy, frustration, “dear God when will this be over” as she would burst into protesting cries with alarming frequency. At some point I decided that this is it, I am not going to make her do this anymore. Then right at the end, the swim coaches asked her to jump into the pool (holding their hands) and she did. When I came to get her after class steeling myself for a tearful reunion she ran up to me beaming and said “Mama did you see that!?!? I was SO awesome!”
7. What do you hope your children learn from you?
Just in case my husband has made it this far, I hope they learn the value of hard work so that they can become Doctors. Lol.
Long before I had kids I saw this Ted Talk by Sarah Kay “If I should have a daughter” and then I saw it again and again as years passed. What she says so well in the first part, what I could never put in words is the sheer depth of our yearning for our kids.
One of my favorite lines? “You will put the star in starting over, and over.” If there would be just one thing I could teach my girls it would be that sunny resilience.
And to be Doctors.
To learn more about Sarah visit her site http://www.flourandspiceblog.com
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
This post is part of a series I’m doing over the next few weeks, highlighting some of the amazing bloggers who are part of the South Asian Bloggers Network.