Your Passion Lies Within

My first guest blogger, my friend, Ana le Roux invites you to peel away the layers and discover you passion! Ana is a  wife, mother, teacher,  graphic artist, illustrator, blogger, sa music groupie, freelance photographer and food enthusiast (our area of bonding), who loves sailing. She has found her passion and lives it.

Thanks so much Sharon, for this opportunity to share a little about my passion with you and your readers.
I am above all else a mother of three and wife of one. Aside from that privilege, I am a creative who dabbles in anything from cooking to illustrating. I am the author of the food blog The Purple Calabash, where I share some of my creative outlet in the form of recipes, photographs and sometimes life philosophies. I am currently working on a couple of my recipe books and illustrations which I hope to publish by the end of this year. If you grew up in the seventies/eighties you will know this song. “You will always find me in the kitchen at parties…” That’s me.
Discovering your passion is a personal journey. Think of yourself as an onion.
In my case a purple onion ( I love the colour purple).
It takes some deep digging into your inner self and peeling away layer after layer to get to the inner core. Slicing and dicing that onion reveals even more.
Put that into a dish with other ingredients and you have discovered the magic of the onion. The same raw bulb that makes you cry, creates a stunning aromatic dish that you can share with family and friends.

I have to admit, my pet hate in the kitchen is peeling, slicing and dicing an onion – I dislike it with a passion. (Thank goodness for food processors).
Having to analyse and talk about myself is something I don’t like either.

But most often, peeling away those layers is the only way to get to the flavour – or passion if you like.

Peel it and you will find it


All that just to find that ONE word, ONE PASSION…or if you are lucky two or three.


It might be something that you’re completely aware of already and is just lying dormant waiting to be dished up.
If you peel enough layers you will find that ONE thing that you will always make time for, that you never tire of…that ONE thing that makes you feel yourself and at ease and brings you utter joy.

I am passionate about my husband and children. They are my life and will never compete for my attention. They will always come first.
But I am talking about a passion for something (not someone) that you feel you can call “work” for the rest of your life.

For me, the search for my passion began about four years ago. I was stuck in a very unhappy situation at work and decided to explore other options. I found it therapeutic to ‘throw myself’ into cooking and blogging about it. That passion and knowing that there was something else out there for me is what made the work environment bearable. So I worked at it in my spare time until I was able to change my circumstances.
Quite by chance, I grabbed a camera one day and took my first food photo. That was that…I was hooked. I knew then that merging my passion for FOOD and using my CREATIVE talent is what I wanted to do.

I can sit for hours creating, designing, illustrating and photographing. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time for the cooking bit, but I still manage to do a creative shoot at least fortnightly.
I have been blogging (maybe not as actively as I would like to) for two years now and I am currently designing my own recipe books which takes up a big chunk of my time.
The passion that started it all was FOOD.
My grandmother is a big part of my childhood food memories. My grandfather owned a little medical clinic in Mozambique when I was growing up, and my grandmother made sure all the patients were well looked after. I remember doing the rounds with her, chatting to all the patients and ultimately always landing up in the kitchen. Just for a little inspection…or maybe she knew that would always make my day.
ThereI learnt to make my first Marie biscuit cake and jelly. I also learnt how to make the most delicious mashed potatoes and “carne assada”. My grandmother was not afraid to get her hands dirty – she was involved in every aspect of the clinic, including the kitchen. Those little moments I treasure the most. Things that only she and I shared…

I love cooking and creating dishes with new flavours. I am after all Portuguese…you know…those guys who travelled for miles in search of great flavours and spices. Some of it is in my blood I guess.
What’s my favourite food? (Don’t even need to scratch my head here)
I am a sucker for pastries. I have to exercise extreme self control when it comes to sweet things. One of my favourite Portuguese delicacies is “Pasteis de Nata”, which incidentally is one of my most popular posts on the blog –, so I am not alone here.

Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis de Nata – a much loved Portuguese delicacy.

My all time favourite comfort food… There is nothing better than a freshly made warm Rice Pudding.

Traditional Rice Pudding

Nothing better than a warm bowl of Traditional Rice Pudding

What is my most used ingredient? It’s got to be garlic of course. Making large amounts of marinade and storing it in the fridge saves a lot of time. I use this Basic Portuguese marinade often on fish, red meat and poultry.


People inspire in many ways. Some use words, others use images, and a few are an inspiration in the way they live their lives.

As I am not usually a woman of many words, I like to portray what’s in my heart, through my images.

I would like to think that I can inspire people with my photographs. Inspire them to get in the kitchen and bring back those family traditions …those traditions that kept families together since the beginning of time.
Dig deep, go back in time, and you will find it!
You will know when you have found your passion – you will want to share it with the world.


There are many things that we might mistake as passion. They might be hobbies or just likes – they are all worth exploring.


 “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart… those are the things you should pursue.” unknown
Those could be your passions.


2 comments on “Your Passion Lies Within

  1. Pingback: The Key To Happiness and Success

  2. Sharon Stobbia

    Thank you for writing from the heart, making yourself vulnerable and sharing your wonderful photos, recipes and ideas with the world. Love you.