A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress

July 22, 2019
A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com


It has only been two short years since I have been to Greece, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Now, more than ever, as I write this to the sound of the rain pattering against the window, do I wish that I could hop on a plane and head right back. Why has it taken me so long to write this post and share these photos you ask? Well, because a) I needed to savour the moment a bit more, and b) I wanted to get the words juuuust right.

Throughout our visit, most of the time was spent riding with our lovely friends from their favourite tourist (and not-so-touristy) spot to the next. We spent so much time in fact that my sister dubbed us, "The Backseat Buds". The name encompasses the frequent napping, question asking, and photo snapping that characterizes the backseat driver experience. And I learned that as much as I would like to drive, I prefer the liberty that comes with being a passenger (preferably not in the backseat) as you roll through your given landscape and watch as it swirls into one big blur as you cruise on by. And that's how from a distance we saw our next destination perched up the mountain, and a single thought passed through my mind. Just three words: Castles are cool. When we eventually got the top, I was able to add two more: Fallen castles are even cooler. This was quickly followed by: Man, are we high up!

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com




My first recommendation about checking out the Palamidi Fortress is to make sure to go around sunset. This is more out of necessity, in order to get a friendlier South-of-France-vineyard-in-a-movie brand of sunshine and less of the ant-caught-underneath-magnifying-glass or the dreaded frying-egg-on-the-sidewalk variety.

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com


If you don't mind being the (albeit tasty) egg or the ant in either of these scenarios, or you're Superman and need extremely concentrated levels of sunshine to survive, here's another good reason to go later in the day. The sunset sets the whole place aglow and suddenly the abandoned fortress comes back to life. With the light heat from above and below, it feels like you're walking on sunlight. In the sunlight, you forget that the Palimidi Fortress is, in fact, an abandoned prison, as it becomes a sort of time-travelling prism that absorbs sunlight and reflects the history, wonder and awe of the ancient world all around you.

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

Wild fruit, fresh breezes, and forgotten homes are what we saw and felt. But as we walked through the not-so-forgotten-fortress it seemed to cast a small spell on us we wound up the fortress, where we entered homes, climb stairs, stepped over cannon balls and saw forgotten weapons (and the damage that the enemies' left behind). Finally, we arrived and quickly entered the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny cavern-like of a prison cell that Kolokotronis (more on him here) was forced to call home. My last words were "Remember me!" as I turned on my phone's flashlight and crawled into his old abode.

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

We left the fortress eyes twinkling, feet a little sore, tummies rumbling (we had had a long day at the beach) and with our hearts and minds full and ready for the next adventure.

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.comA Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read on www.itsalamb.com

A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

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A Sunset at the Palamidi Fortress | Read it on www.itsalamb.com

05-06/19: Beats and Bites

July 14, 2019
For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.

With school finally out, I have finally been able to get back to baking. And one of the first things I wanted to tackle was a dessert that's been on my mind throughout my much-longer-than-anticipated hiatus...Black Forest Cake. I hadn't had it since I was little, but I remembered it being the only cake with fruit in it that my (approximately) 5-year-old self would eat without grimacing. Chocolate and cherries! Who knew? Certainly not my childhood self. 

For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.

I also remember being pleasantly surprised by the (at the time) foreign, but (now) totally logical and tasty combination. And in that first mouthful, I learned an important lesson: Sometimes even the most unappealing of things can pack a flavourful punch. That fateful slice of cake nurtured a lifelong desire to try new things, even if they did look a little strange. But I digress.

For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.

Black Forest cake happens to be my mother's favourite cake. Coincidentally, the beginning of my freedom also marked the countdown to Mother's Day. So, with my surprisingly vivid childhood memory in mind, a sense of purpose, and my tummy rumbling at all the images of chocolate, cake, and chocolate cake I could find online, I put my hard-earned research skills to use to figure out how to test and combine all of these delicious elements together in a harmonious way.

For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.

The final result was incredibly...messy. And in the building of this cake, I learned another critical life lesson: Just because it looks easy on TV doesn't mean that it actually is. This was my first layer cake...ever. And I'm afraid that the aesthetics of the final product were less than stellar. I levelled up too much, too soon, and let's just say that my ganache was a bit too thick and may or may not have left the final outer coating of the cake looking like a tragic (but tasty) landslide rather than a reflective pool of chocolate delight. The bottom line is that those photos will never see the light of day. They will remain in my personal archive, and the mere memory of will be the source of laughter between myself and my family for years to come. However, while the final product may have been visually atrocious, the cake was extremely, extremely delicious. No lie. It was gone in two days (my personal best). This was surprisingly unsurprising not just considering my past experience with Black Forest Cake (see childhood lesson #1 above), but also because most importantly of all, it was made with a lot of love.

Here are the links to the recipes I used to make the cake:


As for the cherry filling, my mother did it (thanks mom!), using her special brand of intuition, logic, and cooking savvy (so I'm writing this based off of my memory of what I saw while I was running around the kitchen). Essentially, we used canned Bing cherries and put them and the juice they're preserved in, inside a saucepan. Then over medium-ish heat, we added a bit of brown sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of vodka (the store was all out of kirsch). This was in no particular order or set of measurements, just a bit of trial-and-error and common sense. Don't worry you'll get it!

P.S. The following month, I attempted to recreate the magic. And thankfully, this cake looked way better.

For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.

Bon Appetit!

For the sweet tooth, Black Forest Cake. Read on www.itsalamb.com.
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A Jaunt Through the Rockwood Conservation Area

February 10, 2019
A Jaunt Through the Rockwood Conservation Area

Every once in a while I feel a great calling to nature. The call sweeps in on a northerly wind, which feels like excitement and smells (or sounds) a lot like sunshine. It awakens the buds on the trees in my neighbourhood and begins that tell-tale tingle that radiates from throughout my body like a heartbeat. When the urge gets too strong I convince my family to come along. After some Googling, I settled on our destination and armed with the promise of ruins, caves, and croissant sandwiches, one drowsy afternoon in May we ended up in the Rockwood Conservation Area (about two hours outside of Toronto).

For the Faith Leapers and Ambitious Wanderers: The Alchemist

January 28, 2019


Every once in a while there is a book that takes you by surprise and absolutely captivates your imagination. It's the first sign of falling in love...with a book. You become totally engrossed in the novel's world. You cringe with the hero, you cry with the hero, you fall with the hero. The Alchemist allows you to do all of this and more and takes you on a journey of faith, perseverance, and most importantly of self-discovery.

Road Trippin': Winter Edition

January 14, 2019

Winter is about to hit us with all its got once again. And amidst the semi-consistent sniffling, occasionally having to do that erratic dance as you struggle not to fall over after slipping on some ice, and oh, of course, the cold, the fun of winter can lose its shine really quickly. But when the going gets tough, there's nothing like a road trip to liven the spirits. Because as I have (and most certainly will continue to) mentioned before, I love road trips. As much as I love leg room, I like pit stops for roadside burgers or coffee, and seeing the countryside a lot more. As a kid I coveted the rare times when I could eat whatever junk food I wanted and was privy to a smorgasbord of fast food delicatessen and Shaggy's "Hotshot" CD or James Brown's Greatest Hits on repeat. As I grew older and the backseat was now occupied by a second passenger, my backseat fortress's size (not to mention the amount of leg room) decreased, but the love for it never faltered. As a result, my dream car is a VW Comby, preferably equipped with a very long and embarrassing horn and lots of space for friends and leg room galore.






However, I am not fond of winter. Last, last winter was like an itch you couldn't scratch. No, it was more like a leak in a boat. Just when you think it is clogged it spreads, spills, and swallows you whole. But not without leaving behind a runny nose, red fingertips, and frozen lips and ears and nose and toes. However, there is something about whizzing through a curtain of falling snow that is simultaneously frightening and exhilarating at the same time. Suddenly, a curtain of semi-opaque white particles appears and as you pass through it, it feels like you are the miniature figures in a giant snowglobe. Except that the snowglobe has fallen off the shelf and the snow is coming from all angles before it settles after being caught by a pair of experienced hands (with excellent reflexes).




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