Monday, 28 September 2009

Jennifer 16 - Squirrel still only 3

I am feeling quite smug. The remaining figs are very green and I doubt they will ripen by Thursday.
I've taken off the plastic so far the squirrel hasn't tried to steal another fig. Perhaps it was all the talk of sautéed squirrel brains?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Jennifer 9 Squirrel - still only 3

It seems to be working. I've harvested 4 more figs, so I am way ahead of the squirrel. I've even left my tree outside overnight as the weather has warmed back up to 19 C in the evening. September is always a wacky month for weather.
Now I am just covering one or two figs at a time with the plastic bag. While this leaves the rest of the figs exposed, they are so small, green and hard, that I doubt they will ripen and I am pretty sure they won't before the end of next week when we leave for Paris. I am hoping that if the rodent with a tail does manage to harvest a green one, it will give him such a belly ache that he'll never try again.

And for those of you thinking of eating or shooting squirrels you may want to read this or this.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

This little piggy left the market

Almost every time we pass Wayne in the St Lawrence market and spy his suckling pigs hanging, my husband says, "We should buy one and cook it ".  I nod and keep walking,  so up until last weekend, despite having cooked almost every cut of pork I've never roasted a whole pig. My oven is big enough, a wonderful beast, a commercial Garland range. There is nothing high-tech about it, just knobs to turn the gas on or off. What had stopped me was a pan.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Jennifer v's Squirrel

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have a fig tree. It doesn't grow much but it repays all the care we give it with a bounty of figs. This year there are another two dozen and with the cold, rainy summer we've had, they are big but are ripening slowly. The tree sits against the concrete wall of our building facing west to get the maximum dose of sunshine and heat. And while September has been beautiful, with warm sunny days, it is cool at night, down to 10C already.
I watch the figs turn deep purple and soften, then I pluck them. Our first harvest was two figs and there was another ripening.

Monday, 14 September 2009


Here is a close up shot elderberries. This is the first year I've seen them in the farmer's market so I snatched them up. In the spring I am forever searching for elderberry blossoms to cook with my gooseberries so I asked the grower selling them if he sold the blossoms in the spring.
"No", he said.
"I just need a few to go with my gooseberries, " I replied.
"No", was the answer again.
Perhaps he thinks if he sells me a few blossoms he won't have any fruit?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Dinner in Detroit

I first met Brian Polcyn at the Epicurean Classic in 2006. I was getting a glass of ice water when he walked into the room. I recognized him from his photo on the dust jacket of Charcuteriethe book that he wrote with Michael Ruhlman. Our exchange was "Charcuterie man?" "Bones woman?" and so our friendship began. He invited me to Detroit, to his restaurant and to sit in on his classes, he teaches butchery and charcuterie, the two of the great arts. However Detroit was never a place I visited. I kept in contact by email and saw him in 2008 and again this year at the Classic.

Monday, 7 September 2009

St Joseph Mexican Style

As well as meeting other cookbook authors in St Joseph I also met many dedicated food lovers. One of them, Dave, is a man passionate about good food and full of local knowledge. As my demos were right at lunchtime I was starving by 3pm so Dave suggested a Mexican place, open all hours. He sketched a very detailed map for our journey across town.

Friday, 4 September 2009

More Good News

I returned from my trip to Huron County and Michigan exhausted. I’ve been napping during the day, unheard of for me, instead of blogging.
Back in Toronto there was a royalty cheque from the UK edition of Bones waiting for me and some the wonderful news. Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes is nominated in Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph’s Canadian Culinary Book Awards.
The Epicurean Classic is great event, not only do you get to meet people genuinely interested in food but best of all, other cookbook authors. I caught up with old friends and made new ones, more Facebook friends. Kitchen Aid was the main sponsor and I discovered their 90th anniversary edition stand mixer. I love Kitchen Aid mixers, I have one in Toronto and Paris. What is so special about this anniversary model? It has a glass mixing bowl – perfect for demonstrating how to make butter.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Still Alive

Yes I'm still here. I've been in southwestern Ontario and southern Michigan promoting FAT at two food events. It's been fun but very tiring so I haven't posted. I will catch you up on all my experiences very soon.