Stories about winter

Amidst the cold, chilly world, their hearts were warm

The sweet smell of gingerbread cookies filled the chilly air in the crowded market on Christmas Eve. A choir of young men and women stood in lines, singing cheery Christmas carols in their melodious voices. They wore black robes over their dresses and held gold candles in the palm of their hands. Amidst the crowd, a lush evergreen conifer tree sat in the middle of the marketplace. Beautiful ornaments of all colours covered the tree and glittered under the dim light of the tiny fairy lights which twinkled in warm shades of yellow, red and green. To complete the look, a large ...

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The only reality in a world of make-believe

They say if you look at a person long enough, they will look back. It was a cold winter night. The kind where frosted beams of moonlight ascend as an enchantress and cast a spell with a mystical silver wand. Cool air driving away heat faster than bodies could replace it. The whole world slowed down under flossy, dove grey skies and people wrapped their arms tighter, pulling shawls, coats and themselves a little closer. Breaths became visible, almost tangible, under sporadic streetlights, as late autumn leaves crunched like sugar under hurried steps. The carnival crowd kept flowing in waves closer ...

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With its lingering scent of cinnamon and fresh sweet apples, this easy apple crumble is the perfect winter fix!

Winter is finally here! This weather provides the perfect setting for the perfect dessert: apple crumble. A few weeks ago, life landed me in the picturesque town of Salisbury, home to the Salisbury Cathedral. At 404 feet (since 1549), the cathedral has had the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom – I can attest to that having climbed all 330 steps to the top! It is here where my friend Alice grew up and where her family still lives. After the descent from the spire, her mother Lucy was kind enough to host us for a classic English tea, which ...

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This winter, cuddle under the blanket with a warm slice of this carrot cake

The temperatures are falling. It is getting colder by the day – the perfect weather to enjoy several mugs of coffee, cuddled under a cosy throw blanket by the window while enjoying a good book. For me winters would be incomplete without carrot cake. I am all for cooking healthy food, but some of the best desserts combine a bit from both worlds. Now, I’m not claiming that carrot cake is healthy. But it can’t be bad with all those good ingredients in it, right? The great thing about this cake (apart from it being extremely delicious) is how easy it ...

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Their maddening, disappointed passion and the silent love

“It is neither a story of hatred, nor of love; it is not even a fatalistic story. It is a story of sheer indifference towards oneself and those loved, one that eats away a human soul slowly, bit by bit but persistently. It is a story of spiritual paralysis caused by maddening disappointed passion.” Nadia was standing by the window of her office, which offered a spectacular view of the main boulevard, with an air of untroubled poise which was reflected in her quiet dark brown eyes outlined with a dash of kohl. Her frozen, soft face complimented the stillness of her ...

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I am jealous of the US, and have every right to be

It was freezing outside. I did not have a ride and had to walk all the way home on a chilly winter evening. However, at that moment, the cold did not matter. Nothing did. My mind was troubled, and my conscience was not at peace. And that is all that mattered. Earlier that day, I had given a presentation about Pakistan in my high school. As a youth ambassador to the US, my presentation was supposed to be about ‘what’ Pakistan was. In an effort to portray the positive side of my country to a people who are all too often ...

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Daal Maash today, paratha tomorrow!

Daal Maash was abbu’s favorite. Ammi used to cook it frequently during winter days. Fast forward many years, my husband cannot get enough of daal maash. I love all Lentils but somehow I never quite liked daal maash. Daal Maash has a very distinct nutty flavour which my taste buds could not appreciate as a kid. There were many foods many of us did not appreciate as kids, growing up changed that for most of us. Daal Maash, French beans and spinach were the less favoured foods for me back then.  This particular daal maash recipe belongs to my mother-in-law. Her simple technique brings out the best of maash ...

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Battling winter in Canada: How I miss Karachi’s winter season!

As soon as winter begins to peek in from the corner, daily talks also change from summer and spring to winter and snow. Discussions start revolving around jackets, scarves, cardigans, and sometimes, even hats. This is Canada. With each year being a new challenge, every winter day tells a different story. The early signs of winter here typically are chilled, rapid windy days and cold nights. Normally, people detest this, but some romantics look forward to this weather, after all its the best time to cuddle up and keep warm. The sound of the fallen rust and yellow maple leaves and the changing colours of ...

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My winter pet peeves

In Karachi, we await the arrival of the winter time with immense anticipation. It frees us from the scorching heat of the bright sun and provides us with a welcoming cool breeze. However, amidst the delightful weather and delicious Kashmir chai, there are some winter moments which make one rethink the joys of winter. Here is my list: The screaming neighbour: Since it gets exceptionally quiet during this lovely season, we get to know our neighbour better than we have ever wanted to. This winter, apart from knowing the basic likes and dislikes of my neighbour, I now know the seemingly soft spoken next door aunty is quite ...

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10 tips to enjoy the winter in Lahore

If you look for stories about Lahore on The Express Tribune Blogs, you’ll find several blogs, most of which would indicate liveliness of ‘zinda dilaan-e-Lahore’ (zealous people of Lahore). Through this piece, I intend to share with the reader my experience of winters in Lahore. The following are a few of the many things (in no particular order) you can do to maximise the pleasure of winter in Lahore: 1. Kashmiri chai: Have Kashmiri tea; have lots of it. If you can’t make it at home, there are many places in Lahore where it’s available, especially in the winter time. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Homemade ...

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