One of the perks of having parents who immigrated to Canada (separately) was getting to travel a lot as a kid.
My mom and I have watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and eaten fried bananas at a cocoa plantation in Borneo.
My dad and I have gained ten pounds (each) in a week eating porkolt in Budapest, watched tango in Buenos Aires, and slurped noodles in Tokyo. We have eaten macarons at Ladurée in Paris, sailed around Croatia, and watched hockey in student bars in Bratislava.
A lot of my favourite travel memories revolve around food.
These days, I’m still lucky enough to get to travel to a ton of great places with the manfriend and for work, and my favourite travel experiences usually still revolve around food. The biggest difference between then and now is often the plane ride.
When I was younger, I didn’t have to work on the plane and I could never (or never wanted to) sleep during a flight. I’d prepare for each trip with a large bag full of things to entertain me: jellybeans, Toblerone, logic puzzles (which turned out to have been incredibly helpful when I took the LSAT years later), magazines (Vogue and trashy gossip magazines to be read whilst hidden inside Vogue), and long handwritten letters from friends.
I’m off to Toronto in a few days for work, and – since I can no longer coerce my friends to do it for me – I plan to put together a nostalgic care package for myself. I’m thinking jellybeans, Purdy’s Himalayan pink salt caramels, my iPad pre-loaded with season 3 of Suits and a new puzzle pack in the New York Times crossword app, magazines (Psychology Today, Bon Appétit, Vogue), and homemade gingersnap cookies.
I will, of course, accept any letters (handwritten or other otherwise) from friends that are offered… hint hint, ladies.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
two cups flour
one teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon baking powder
half teaspoon salt
two teaspoons cinnamon
two teaspoons ginger
half teaspoon nutmeg
quarter teaspoon cloves
150 grams butter
two thirds cup sugar
one teaspoon vanilla
quarter cup molasses (I used fancy molasses)
extra sugar for topping
Cream butter and sugar using a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, molasses and egg.
Sift in the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
Divide dough in two and make a log from each half rolled in Saran wrap. Freeze the cookies until firm (at least an hour, up to a few days).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice the dough logs into quarter-inch cookies, dip one side into a bowl of sugar, and place a few inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes (shorter for chewier cookies, longer for crispier cookies). Cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.