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Pumpkin Salted Maple Pie Life Curator

The tales we tell turn my heart inside out

Home Without You, Amy Seeley

Everyone has a memorable pie story –  the flawless salted maple pie at Sister Pie in Detroit comes to mind when I think about my own When Harry Met Sally ‘yes! yes! yes!’ food orgasm moments in life.

Who else likes to bake in a heatwave? No? Just me then. For Labour Day during my first weekend in Toronto I wanted to celebrate Canada by using my two favourite autumn ingredients: pumpkin and maple syrup.

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So lean in close or lend an ear, there's something brilliant bound to happen here

Binary Sea, Death Cab For Cutie

San Francisco was my port of entry into my great American adventure. I imagined it to be like a West Coast New York – but to be clear, it has little comparison to The Big Apple. Firstly San Francisco is smaller – about 850,000 people call the Bay Area home. The city buzzes with an energy of opportunity, however, due to the rapid progress of tech startups, ridiculous real estate rises and gentrification (the buzz word of America) – newcomers are not well received. There is a feeling that the new wave of inhabitants are driving out ‘real San Franciscans’.

Who is a native San Franciscan? My impression is that ‘locals’ come from all over America to the Bay Area, but because the city is smaller than New York City you feel it more. It is harder to meet a true San Francisco native these days as in the past people used to work to live, not live to work. Nowadays people are not moving to San Francisco as much for the Northern Californian lifestyle and weather, but rather for money and the tech boom.

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And I can feel the difference when the day begins, like all I know is "This year will be the year we win"

Parade, The Antlers

A next-level salad experience using summers’ abundant green vegetables including a curious farmers market find – squash vine, I have seen the light!

There is so much to love about this meal – crispy string beans, lightly sautéed squash vine (what zucchini grows on), zesty lemon, punchy ginger and garlic that dances well with subtly sweet honey. And sautéing fresh coriander – an exciting kitchen revelation. It releases a heavenly aroma when heated and gives me another way to eat my favourite herb.

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You've got heart and you're going your own way

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N, Noah And The Whale

A playlist for anyone with an aching void. A deep sadness. The feeling that something is missing. A hunger in your bones. An urge to cry for no reason (like breaking down in the middle Berkley’s busiest street) – we all feel loneliness from time to time.

You are everything you want. You are trying your hardest. Stop having and getting, and start being and becoming. You’re going to have to save yourself.

If we are lucky, loneliness will break our heart open. It hurts because it matters. You are changing, and being honest with yourself is too beautiful for words.

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feels like home ayurvedic kitchari recipe life curator

It's been a while since your heart had a home

Belong, Joshua Radin

I am seven weeks into my adventure from Australia to Bali to North America – I’m currently traveling along the West Coast (San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Portland, Seattle, Eugene and the Oregon woods) before heading to the Mid West. For all my constant movement, I have been eating remarkably well on the road, but find that I am craving Ayurvedic Indian food the most. Enter stage left: Kitchari – a simple, grounding and satisfying bowl of mung daal, brown rice, seasonal greens, coriander and a medley of fragrant spices that makes me feel like I am home (not that I am at home, more on that later).

When I arrive to a new place and my body is aching for a massage, I make kitchari. When I am tired and want a hot bath with candles, I make kitchari. When my heart is bursting with the love for the people I have met, I make kitchari. When my spirit is sad from another goodbye, I make kitchari. When my soul craves delicious comfort food, I make kitchari. When I remember that home is not a place but a state of being, I make kitchari.

I cook this recipe the most – for my family in Perth, a large sharehouse in San Francisco, a small cabin in Oregon – it’s a one pot wonder to feed a group of merry friends or as an easy meal for one lasting several days. I also make Kitchari when I need a gentle digestive cleanse, like after going a little too crazy at Pacific Northwest farmers markets (Peaches! Huckleberries! Purple potatoes! Blackberries!) or when I notice I have slipped backed into a niggling sugar pattern.

Kitchari is to India, what Grandma’s chicken soup is to the West. It is a food-as-medicine remedy for an upset stomach, the first signs of a cold or flu, and a rundown body. Traditionally in Ayurveda, this dish is prepared mindfully and not in a hurry (I like to listen to Iron & Wine). It is deceivingly simple to make and wholesome for the soul. In India, Kitchari is typically prepared fresh and not reheated. On the contrary, I always make a big nourishing pot and leave leftovers for lunch the next day. The flavours really develop overnight and it is the perfect meal to keep me feeling light and bright. My colleagues would often swarm around my lunch, and it’s a nice idea to bring an extra serving for someone in the office who is feeling a little down or for the person who has perfected the coffee-and-cookie lunch.

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Be it no concern, point of no return, go forward in reverse

Setting Forth, Eddie Vedder

It’s hard to ignore a burning in your heart so strong it wakes you up in the middle of the night. Five weeks ago I left the place I am from to find a new home. I had every reason to stay (two jobs, amazing friends, close family, year-long sunshine, the best cat in the world) but a faint whisper turned into a murmur and grew into an internal scream that would catch me off guard at the most random times. Waiting for the kettle to boil, sitting at traffic lights, the moments just before falling asleep at night – a conversation would begin with my current and future self: Holy shit, If I was every going to ever do this is had to be now or never.

I could not ignore the call anymore – the call that says “Go – go while you are young.” It was an invitation to live.

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Sometimes you gotta start clean, you gotta begin not begin again

Happiness, The Weepies

A playlist for anyone in a constant state of craving – for liberation, for solitude, for fun, for adventure, for nature, for exhilaration, and for wonder.

I have made many attempts to resist, fight and shoosh these cravings. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and the feelings of an unfulfilled life can take over leaving you with the only option you knew you had  – to liberate yourself from the suffocating atmosphere of hesitation and indecision, drop everything and throw yourself into what you were always meant to do.

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I rest inside the hope of odds to come

In Harmony, Ásgeir

Lately my quarter life stirrings have reached an all time high. Maybe my Saturn return has arrived (two years early!) or maybe the Universe is running me through a series of tests. Whatever it is, I’ve been yearning for a change – and all at once excited and terrified by what the great unknown can bring. So I decided to stop playing small and I applied for a U.S B-2 Travel Visa (three months of flirting with the idea, a $220 fee and a 112-question application form later). In the nerve-wrecking lead up to my U.S Consulate visa interview of late nights and obsessive Googling I was hardly able to enjoy any food.

When my visa was approved – I simultaneously rejoiced and made Sarah Britton’s ‘life-changing’ recipe to celebrate my life-changing news! The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread sounds like a bold name for a baked medley of nuts and seeds but it really does deliver on the promise. This gluten free, vegan, paleo, high fibre and yeast free wonder bread is easy to make, highly nutritious and outrageously delicious.

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But for every heartbreak I take I try to keep a little faith

Along The Way, Alex Dezen

Holy guacamole! Avocados are my truly my spirit vegetable. They “get” me – versatile, vibrant, and so easy to tote all around the world. I sing sonnets when I cut open a perfectly ripe avocado. In this recipe avocado meets an unlikely alley. Leeks are the under appreciated cousin of onion – delicate, fresh and oh so comforting. If you want to know what summer in Australia tastes like – it’s pretty much this.

I make this guacamole for picnics, outdoor movies and cheese boards. It is decivenly simple but totally impressive – caramelised burnt leek, hearty mustard seeds, and fresh cooling coriander. The ‘curve ball’ ingredient is the addition of curry powder, making this humble avocado mash a ‘impress people without doing much’ star dish to add to your repertoire.

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I took the wheel with one hand and drove through the Rockies without a plan

Feast of Hearts, The Damnwells

Whenever I hear the alt-country twang of Ryan Adams, the folksy crooning of Iron & Wine, the introspective lyricism of Sun Kil Moon, the staggering melodies of Sufjan Stevens and the atmospheric symphonies of Bon Iver – I want to quit my job, sell everything I own and go on a road trip across America.

Traveling the US by car feels like the ultimate freedom. I’ve tried to pinpoint my obsession for all things ‘Americana’ but I really can’t say why. I think about the wide open roads, rolling hills, national parks, rugged coastlines, iconic landmarks, familiar neighbourhoods and I feel invigorated. I think about taking a chance on a feeling, following the urge to wander, and finding comfort in uncertainty and I feel alive. I’d wear yoga clothes everyday, visit markets in each state, stay in cabins, eat fries at diners, sleep next to lakes, explore quirky towns, make new friends, marvel at nature, and learn to love the great unknown.

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