We met super-photographer, mom, and perogi maker Rebecca Sandulak on Instagram. We are fascinated by her amazing uses for OKAZU, and the beautiful photos she shares. We sat down to chat.
Abokichi: Who are you, and what do you do?
Rebecca: My name is Rebecca Sandulak. I have worked as a stills photographer in film and television for the better part of 12 years. Life took a new direction when I became a mother in 2014. I am currently a stay at home mom. I started an Instagram account for food, gardening and casual foraging called @ma_dough in 2015.
A: Please tell us about being a mom? What is the most wonderful part of raising kids?
R: My two boys are 2.5 years and 12 weeks old. They brought with them lessons about what I am able to overcome physically, emotionally and spiritually as a human being. Both of them entered this world with determination. My second arrived recently, fulfilling the plan for a water birth. It was completely empowering. I am breastfeeding again and love to watch my baby grow. My favourite part about raising kids is watching them interact and learn from their community. It makes me feel proud to see these little human beings whom I have created, bonding with various people who provide important influences. I also love to experience new parts of the world with my children. We have been soaking up southern Ontario lately by embarking weekly on "Road Trip Adventures" and I have been falling in love with areas like Prince Edward County, The Kawarthas and the Caledon Hills. I was raised in The Prairies. There are a lot of details about these areas that feel very familiar and comfortable.
A: What do you cook most often?
R: Perogies and pizza! They have easily been my comfort foods and go-to recipes since a very young age, although my cooking style is different from the classic perogi recipe. I defer to my aforementioned Instagram page....
A: What does cooking mean to you? Where does the passion that results in the many yummy looking things you create come from?
R: Cooking is the foundation for the celebration of life. Without food, we have no energy and no growth. A Toronto based actor and Facebook friend of mine updated his status last year with, "Food is tangible love." I absolutely agree with that statement. I love to share food with people. To feast is to bring community together.
I also love to garden. It is easy to be inspired to cook after a few minutes of working with something that has been grown from seed in your own yard. I love knowing that there are absolutely no pesticides in the soil or vehicles used for commuting. It is a great way to help reduce one's carbon footprint. Food simply tastes better when you grow your own and pick it fresh, moments before eating it. I also encourage supporting local farmers and producers such as Reid's Farm in Mono Mills, for products like potatoes and eggs.
Check out our article on "koku" to learn about why food we grow tastes better.
A: Yes! There is absolutely a difference in taste when you or someone you know grows your food. Speaking of local food, what is your favorite Abokichi product? How do you use it?
R: I am currently obsessed with the Abokichi spicy Okazu! I picked up a jar on Sunday, July 24 and it was empty by Sunday, July 31. I put it on everything. Time to pick up a new jar!
A: Thank you! We hope that you shared. Can you tell us about your famous OKAZU+beets PIZZA recipe?
R: Jess and I were chatting about how awesome it is with my roasted beet pizza. Here's the recipe. Please keep in mind that I rarely measure anything so hopefully this serves as a good guideline.
Check out Rebecca's favorite okazu.
Okazu Recipe | Vegan Pizza by Rebecca Sandulak
Related article Okazu Recipe | Vegan Pizza | Rebecca Sandulak