I’m sitting in the pre-dawn inky-ness, and in the next 20 minutes or so I will be typing away to the soundtrack of birdsong. I heard them a few mornings ago for the first time this year – another reminder that time is moving along, waiting for nobody. Not even for me to be at the ‘perfect’ place to launch my ideas. So, in those sweet notes of Spring’s babies I made a promise to move forward with 3 things I have been sitting on, waiting for the right time. Which apparently, is now.

I’m linking up with Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch for #3ThingsThursday. If you’re a blogger and want to share 3 things from your world this week, visit their blogs to add your post! I love reading all the unique takes on this theme!

1. #LMOKindness

This is an idea that came to me last summer, in a hotel room in Revelstoke, B.C. (A super cute town with an incredible restaurant called The Nomad.) We were on a family vacation, driving back from a wedding in Calgary to a lakeside cottage in the Shuswap when BAM! A few things I am passionate about decided to smack into each other and have a little party in my head! The end result: a cause marketing opportunity for socially-conscious, straight-up awesome businesses AND a unique way to surprise a deserving member of the community (your friend, colleague, family member, neighbour…YOU!) with a random act of kindness. I have all the balls rolling on this one and I’m going to have a bit more of a splashy intro than this when it is fully launched.

In the meantime…YOUR HOMEWORK is to make a list of people you think deserve a random act of kindness! No deed is too big or too small – if you think they are bringing some awesome to the world just by being who they are, they are in the running! Hang on to that list until I ask you to do something with it. Ok? Thanks!

AND, if you are a business and are excited about an opportunity to make someone’s day fabulous (and will allow me to tell the world about it and then some, when it all goes down…) please contact me for more information with #LMOKindness in the subject line.

Ahhhhh…how exciting to get this out there!

2. #FamiliesGiveBack

This is a series I have developed for ChatterBlock, a parent resource website to which I contribute a couple times a month. #FamiliesGiveBack features all the amazing families around the Lower Mainland who are fundraising, volunteering and otherwise supporting causes they believe in. I’m interviewing them to find out what cause they support and why. But I also want to know how they are doing this as a family, why they are getting their kids involved…and I’m getting the kids to chime in too with their thoughts on the whole thing.

The first article in this series should be published at month’s end, and I’m looking for suggestions for more families to interview. This is really just a matter of me emailing questions and having responses sent back by email. If this is something you would be interested in participating in, I’d love it if you would help me inspire others with your vision! Please contact me and use subject line #FamiliesGiveBack. Follow the conversation on Twitter, too! We can all share our thoughts and ideas there.

Buying food for Surrey Food Bank with my son's birthday money last year.

Buying food for Surrey Food Bank with my son’s birthday money last year. He would not stay still for this pic!

3. #CookLikeNasim

So, Nasim is my mom, in case you were like, cook like who?Β There have been many things, countless things, I have missed about her since she passed away nearly 6 years ago: cuddling up to her in bed on Sunday mornings (and yes, I was in my 20’s when I did that), slapping her butt then running away as she pretended to chase me, her hugs, watching her get ready for an evening out, listening to her stories of Mombasa, Kenya – her homesickness for the town she grew up in never quite left her. There is so much I miss that I could get lost in it all if I sit here for too long. (I don’t know where the birds are this morning, but the cars are already driving by with people going to work which marks the time for me to start the morning routine around here!)

When my mom left Mombasa to start a new life in Canada with my dad and yours truly, she put together a recipe book. She wrote out a glossary for the Indian terms, numbered the pages and the recipes, and then finished off the elaborate piece of work with an index in the back. She showed me this book at some point, and then after she passed away I hoped it would turn up in all of her things. It didn’t. I tried to get it out of my head, but I just couldn’t, so every so often I’d ask my Dad, “Are you sure you don’t have it with your things?” Finally, last month it struck him to ask me about the boxes he had dropped off to my house last year – perhaps it was in one of those? But I thought I had rummaged through those and found mostly photographs and albums. On a shred of hope, I went down to my basement and pulled out those boxes from the spare closet. Albums. Photographs. More albums. More photographs. And then one box that didn’t look like it had been opened yet!! BOOKS! Novels, biographies…cookbooks…AND HER RECIPE BOOK! I was so blown away, all I could do was shout, “Thank you!” repeatedly for like a good two minutes while the baby looked on, wide-eyed. I was bubbling over with gratitude and this was how it was going to come out, me clutching the treasure to my body, claiming it and promising to never let it out of my sight.

I’ve tried a few of the recipes and have had a lot of fun doing it. I love this book; when I hold it, I can feel my mom’s young self, about to embark on an enormous adventure and trying to hold on to her home in the ways she knew how. Through the taste of homecooking. I totally understand that. It’s why finding this book and recreating her recipes is important to me. It’s a part of my sense of home, and my kids are definitely enjoying their taste of it. One day, I hope, it will be part of their home too.

Chicken bhiryani – one of my favourite dishes of all time!


BUT, I haven’t been posting these recipes here because I get held back by one aspect of food blogging that I feel very inadequate in: photography. I want to do these recipes justice by making you want to lick your screens! I do have some photos up on Instagram (follow me @taslimjaffer) and have started using #CookLikeNasim to give her the fame she deserved for being a pretty awesome mom. I do want to share these recipes, because my mom loved to cook for people and did it often. So, maybe I shouldn’t wait till I become a professional photographer just to do what I really want to do: serve you up some delicious Indian homecooking, the way my mom did.

Well, my birdie friends are having a grand sleep-in this morning but I must sign off and get my own little chickadees out of bed soon! Thanks for reading and I hope you will join me in all 3 adventures!