Laughing Out Loud
If you’re tired of cliché greeting cards and quaint notebooks, take a look at I’ll Know It When I See It, an online store selling Asian-theme paper goods with modern illustrations and humour.
The designs are influenced by its founders’ Chinese-Canadian experience. All products are made in Vancouver or with manufacturers in Ontario.
Sticker pack of three at $10, greeting cards at $4 ea.
Available at illknowitwheniseeit.com.
These traditional Japanese candles, also known as “wa-rousoku,” are handmade by a family-run business in Ishikawa, Japan, that has been crafting them since 1892. Made with Sumac wax, harvested from the fruit of the Japanese Haze tree, their hollow wicks produce a bright, tall flame.
The set comes in a reusable wooden box, which contains a cast iron candle stand and one candle with a burn time of four hours. After each use, remember to trim the black burned wick for a clean flame next time.
Sumac Candle Gift Set, $118.
Available at obakki.com.
Pretty Little Things
Korean-style macarons at The Social Blend are edible works of art, with thick, luscious buttercream sandwiched between two crisp shells. Available from January 29 to February 6, the café’s Lunar New Year box is a delightful gift.
It contains macarons in nine flavors and designs inspired by festive icons, such as tigers, red packets and mandarin oranges, all of which are almost too cute to be consumed.
Assorted macaron box of 9, $40.
Available at thesocialblend.ca.
Daifuku mochi is a Japanese sweet consisting of sweet fillings in a glutinous rice wrapper. Often served with green tea, these dainty treats make lovely afternoon snacks. The mochi at Sasaki Fine Pastry is well-known among dessert lovers.
For February, the café in Jtown, Markham, offers raspberry and chocolate flavors. The former consists of a whole raspberry with white bean paste and adorned with a gold leaf, while the latter is made with cocoa powder, a generous amount of white bean paste and topped with cream.
Assorted mochi box, $11-$42.
Available in store and online at sasakifinepastry.square.site.
The Joy of Cooking
Fish sauce is indispensable in Vietnamese cuisine. Its pungency and umami notes add a flair to all it touches. In this collection of 100 recipes developed by Cuong Pham, the founder of the beloved Red Boat Fish Sauce, and co-authors Tien Nguyen and Chef Diep Tran, you’ll learn how to take your Vietnamese cooking up a notch, from breakfast and dinner to desserts.
The book is also an homage to Pham’s mother, describes his journey to build a cult favorite, and examines the beauty of Phú Quốc’s fish sauce.
Achieving Inner Peace
Thích Nhất Hạnh (Thầy) is a beloved Zen master worldwide who encourages people to practice mindfulness. Our perception of the current situation determines the choices we make and actions we take in a crisis.
In this book, you’ll find strength and courage from Thầy’s inspiring teachings, stories and experiences from his activism. There is also commentary from Sister True Dedication (a Zen Buddhist nun he ordained). Adapting a new clarity, we can face the challenges of climate change, rising inequality and racial injustice.
Zen And The Art of Saving The Planet. $35.
Available at indigo.ca.
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