Sizzle in the Kitchen with Author Jennifer Gibson
From Canada With Love
Jennifer is an award-winning photographer, graphic designer and author. She is well known for her stunning nature photographs as well as her series of teen novels that are based on her life growing up with a severe hearing loss. Her current focus and passion is designing beautiful book covers for authors. She is also a public speaker who has traveled from coast to coast throughout Canada. Jennifer is extremely committed to raising awareness about living with hearing loss and changing the perceptions associated with it through her work as an author and speaker. So let’s get to it. I know you’re going to love her and her yummy treats.
Going from a two-floor house to a small apartment turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It taught me how to let go of things that I didn’t need anymore and decide what to keep. In other words, I had to make difficult decisions about what was important to me. It was more about the memories that I cherished such as a particular photo of my mother, who died last year. I spent the past few months going through everything in the house that my mother and I owned, which meant going back decades worth of items.
I knew that I couldn’t bring very much with me and had to downsize my life, literally, to fit into a small moving van. It wasn’t easy and at times, heartbreaking, but necessary. But it gave me a chance to start over in order to begin a new chapter in my life.
Speaking of memories, I decided to bake some homemade granola today, my mother used to make that all the time when I was a kid. We would eat it as a snack as well as for breakfast. It was fast and easy to make using simple ingredients that we had on hand. We made it more Canadian by adding maple syrup to it since we made our own. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by maple trees, and as a kid, we used to boil the sap into maple syrup.
Mom used to find creative ways of making food, sewing our clothes, chair covers, and crafty projects to keep us entertained on top of being a psychologist. I don’t know how she did it. She created virtually everything from scratch and took great pride in it.
Ironically, the city that I’m living in now, is the same place where I grew up, only it’s downtown this time. It’s a very different place, so much has changed since the last time I was here. But the memories remain, every time I pass a baseball field or hockey arena, I can recall the many times I played there.
Adapting to a city life and a small apartment is a very new experience for me. It taught me to be uber organized, especially when it comes to storage. I made sure to incorporate photos of mom throughout my home. I like to think that she would’ve loved it here. My favorite place is to sit in front of the majestic windows that the reach from the floor right to the top of the tall ceiling. First thing every morning, I love to sit in that chair along with my cats and sip my coffee. The view is simply spectacular, especially late afternoon as the sun begins to set. A warm glow lights up the wall and casts a shadow of dancing leaves that shake and shimmer in the breeze.
Some of the treasured items that I brought with me, was my mother’s recipes books. There is one in particular that she used a great deal, since the 1970’s, which is evident by the grease stains, worn out the edges and missing pages. Many of my favorite recipes are in it, familiar food I grew up eating. She often modified the recipes and many of her handwritten notes still remain beside them. This makes it even more special because it’s full of memories of Mom.
It didn’t matter where we went, that book came with us everywhere. Over the years, we collected more recipes, especially during the holidays where we often exchanged recipes with friends and family. One in particular is “Winnie’s Rhubarb Muffins”. For us, it was easy to obtain rhubarb since it grew wherever we lived. My favorite aspect of this treat is the almond flavoring, it blends in surprisingly well with the tangy rhubarb.
Despite living in the city, I’m going to try to find some fresh rhubarb, most likely from the farmer’s market on the weekends. Another thing that makes being in this city so special is that my grandparents and parents lived here too, it’s a place full of memories for me. It’s nice to be back home.
Jennifer’s Bookstore: http://www.jennifergibson.ca/jennifers-bookstore.php
Her latest book in the series is: Hope, Book 4
Jessie managed to defy the odds, overcoming a severe hearing loss and achieving a Black Belt. She seemed to have it all, a handsome and devoted boyfriend, success as a karate instructor… until now.
On the cusp of graduating from high school, a shocking injury changes her life. With her heart shattered and her faith destroyed, she finds herself headed in a new direction all alone. As she leaves for college, she needs to find the courage to conquer her self-doubt and rediscover hope before it’s too late.
Now available at numerous bookstores including Amazon, KOBO, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.