For me, the essence of life is taking a breath and knowing in that instant, the world is part of me and that I am part of it. It is about partaking in all aspects of life that give me existence — it is about being fully present in a moment and knowing in that moment that I am alive and part of something greater.
My blog is a bit of a journal, I suppose, of my journey as I live and taste life's passions predominantly captured or experienced through cooking and 'food' writ large, writing, and photography. Often, these three forms of experience and expression come together as I create new recipes, photograph them, and write about the inspiration and the steps, but this is much more than a recipe blog, much more than a food blog, it is a blog about me and my journey through life.
... and not all of the points along the way in this journey are filled with pleasure. There is sadness in these pages as well. There is love aplenty too. When I started this blog, Benjamin or "Ben," as he was to the world, was still with me. As you'll read in these pages, Ben was much more than a "dog" and he stayed with me for 18+plus years before he passed away on October 15, 2014. Ben was my muse for a very long time and while this no more a dog-blog than it is a food-blog, Ben is and will remain a part of it. He was my miracle dog and I am the miracle of his life.
"Where are you from, Dale?"
I am often asked. It's an important question to me and in the pages of this blog. I have been so much defined by "place," in large part because I've been and lived many places. The question of "origin" is not the same as "belonging" and the question of "identity" is somewhere in between.
I was born and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia (BC), which is in Western Canada and about 4000km from Ottawa (where I now live). Many of us are defined by the places we've lived and visited, and BC will forever be a part of who I am. Until the age of 18, I had lived almost my whole life in one place and house. I had always been filled with the same wanderlust that consumed George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, but when I left home that year, change entered my life and I would thereafter never be afraid of change again. Travel and moving became a part of adult life and how I've engaged the world ... and it enters into every part of my life and all that I share. Over the years, I'd live by oceans (twice) and at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and in Canada's North (as in the Arctic). I'd live in five different timezones and on three different continents, including Asia and Europe. I'd learn what it is like to be different ... and what it is to be Canadian and, more than that, what it is to be human and part of something bigger than a nation.
What are my influences?
My travels have given me a life that I have lived and it gave me, Ben, who taught me more than most people along the way. Travel and place and the natural world inform my cooking, my writing, and all of my photography. I was certainly very well-read before I went abroad, but it was my travels that matured me. It filled me with empathy and I would even offer "humanity." It taught me humility and it gave me lessons in gratitude. And it has given me a richness of perspective and experience that often finds its way into my work.
Now, and since 2003, I live in Ottawa which is where I have put down roots, made home, and continue to grow, learn ... experience and discover the passions of life.
I welcome you to my blog, a glimpse of life through my eyes and a glimpse into me as I taste and live life's passions.