I can almost taste it

Being a gourmand, I always have food on my mind. 

At home I often think of comfort foods, but having just been through a month of indulgences and traditional hearty Christmas fare, a change of pace is needed. 

The New Year warrants new flavours.

In winters past, we have looked forward to a trip that broke up the series of grey days and our desire for stews and bread.

Many vacations were spent with mornings in the Caribbean ocean, diving with the fish and coral; afternoons were for the beach and rum punch. Evenings we feasted on lobster, grouper, and even jerk chicken.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to take the trip of a lifetime, to western Africa, where the flavours and aromas were as intoxicating as the landscape.

I am ever so thankful now that we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary early, for that trip would have been cancelled had it been any later. 

This year, there will be no diving and no beach and no grouper. There will be no exotic landscapes. We will not be travelling anywhere except in our memories. 

I would much rather be safe at home and keep others safe. But that does not mean we can’t have any fun. In fact, I have decided it’s the reason we have to come up with a new kind of fun. 

We are going to have a virtual vacation this year. Not just a staycation, being at home enjoying the usual space. I am going to create a holiday space.

I haven’t decided if I will spread sand on the living room floor, but I shall be cooking jerk chicken and making coconut drops

There will be freshly squeezed orange juice with Moroccan flatbread for breakfast, and tajine with preserved lemons for dinner. 

Since work has been scarce and I have a new project on the go, we won’t be turning off the computers or the phones. But I plan to watch a few tropical movies to keep me in the mood, and if we can’t go scuba diving, then we can at least listen to Sir David Attenborough talk us through some ocean adventures.

I even looked online for a bit of inspiration. There are plenty of ideas out there, in case you want to get on our train. I rather liked a blog from a Canadian couple who have travelled extensively. They have a post that offers a wealth of armchair travel ideas.

I am getting excited now, looking forward to our armchair vacation just as I would the ones when we boarded a plane. I will set out some appropriate outfits and choose a proper book for lounging in the living room sand. 

I can even rejoice at not having to worry about how heavy my suitcase is or remembering the sunscreen. It has taken my focus away from the grey skies and the lack of company.

Ever since I caught the travel bug as a young adult, my soul has been fuelled by new adventures.

Henry Theroux said:

"The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.”

I suppose I want to feel more human again, and planning my virtual vacation is helping me do that. 

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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