When my parents immigrated to Canada over 40 years ago, they came with the clothes on their backs, a little pocket money, and plenty of hopes and dreams. They worked hard, and raised and educated three kids all the while discovering and creating a unique cultural identity- a Canadian Pakistani Muslim identity. They meshed together bits and pieces from Canadian and Pakistani societies that would enable them to create this identity, this culture without compromising on their religious values. Essentially they took parts of Canadian and Pakistani cultures that would compliment Islamic culture and belief and created a wonderful cohesive mix.
Now in terms of food, Pakistani cuisine won hands down. It took my mom several years before she started experimenting with ingredients and recipes that didn’t stem from the sub-continent. She’s an awesome cook and I think I get my “let’s try something new, or let’s combine these different flavours together and see what happens..” thought process from her. Still, there are some “exotic” fruits and veggies that haven’t made their way into her tummy or kitchen, but they have in mine. Spaghetti squash, rhubarb muffins (thanks Linds!), kale, star fruit, baby buk choy, anchovies, pumpkin, calamari, lobster, chives..really the list is endless. Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking…Hinna, these ain’t exotic. Trust me…in a home of Pakistani heritage..these ARE exotic! lol
This blended culture that we grew up with also shaped the types of familial activities that we would enjoy. We swam, skated, played soccer and street hockey, rode our bikes, roller bladed, skied and skipped. But, we never went camping, or had a clue about what a cottage was until later on in life. I am proud to say that we have been to a cottage and do know what it’s used for! :p I’m not sure if I’m up for camping, but I am excited to say that I finally tasted the quintessential camping treat…..the S’MORE! Taking inspiration from Ina Garten’s adult s’more, I was able to recreate this treat in my kitchen with my gas stove!
1 package of cookies that have one side coated with plain chocolate
1 small package of halal marshmallows
long wooden skewers
Turn on your gas stove burner onto low. Lower a skewered marshmallow close to the flame until the marshmallow begins to melt and turn brown. Try to keep the marshmallow from burning or carrying a flame. Place the melted marshmallow onto the chocolate side of one cookie. Create a sandwich by squishing down another cookie, chocolate side down. Follow the same process and make as many s’mores as your heart desires!