Through the Kitchen Window

A new year . . . A clean slate for some . . . A new column for yours truly.

Well, maybe not so new, but slightly different anyway.

Over the last three years, I've taken up this space in Seasoned Cooking and regaled you with herbal information. Lately, however, there's been a different slant on the column, and so it followed that maybe a new focus was in order.

So there'll be anecdotes, reminiscences, stories and, of course, nothing I write would be complete without a recipe. Feel free to email me your cooking questions and I'll try to answer them as well.

Also, I've been toying with the idea of a recipe exchange feature. You probably know the sort of thing I mean. Readers send in their requests for a recipe that they used to have that had this or that in it and wonder if any of our readers have it somewhere in their files. So, whether it's Great Aunt Bertha's pecan pie recipe that's lost, or a sumptuous appetizer you had in that quaint little inn on Nantucket that you simply must reproduce, let us know and maybe one of our other readers has it tucked away and would be willing to share.

When you read this column, it will be January. But, as I write it, it's December 7th, an auspicious day for many reasons. For me, however, it marks the birth of my first child and only daughter, Marina. December 7th, 1980 and the occasion of a terrible snowstorm in Toronto. Twenty-one years later, it's a gorgeous, almost spring day and my daughter is 600 kilometres away, living in Montreal, and making her way in the world.

It's funny, when we first face the thought of being responsible for another life, some of us are daunted by the enormity. Not me!! Maybe I was too foolish to be, but somehow, I always just knew that she would help me grow, that she would be exactly the person she was meant to be. Twenty-one years later, she has turned into a young lady I would be proud to know even if she weren't my daughter! She's honest, upfront, caring, sensitive, sensible and comfortable in herself. She has some amazing friends, and I am lucky in that I can count myself as one of them. We've had our rocky times and she'd be the first to tell you that. But we're past them now. We are that wonderful thing that most mothers and daughters strive for -- friends first, relatives second. And so, I hope, my loyal readers, that you will indulge this "doting momma" as I note this day here in this spot that is one of my favourite places. It's only right, I think, that the place where I do some of my best writing is where I acknowledge what I think is my finest accomplishment . . . my daughter Marina. Happy Birthday, babe . . . may it bring you everything you wish for.

Getting back to the subject at hand, I'm kind of excited about this new focus for "Meet Herb". When our editor in chief suggested that I call it "Through the Kitchen Window", I just knew that it was the right thing to do. I hope you agree.

I wish you all peace and prosperity but, most of all, happiness in this coming New Year. I look forward to hearing from you as this new endeavor develops. We'll watch it grow together.


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