Monday, 5 May 2014

Spring in Paris

I love the spring in Paris. It arrives much earlier than in Toronto so by mid-April I'm enjoying favas, peas, baby onions and new potatoes. I tell everyone that I come to Paris in the spring just so I can eat white asparagus. Well, I've just discovered that I may have to change my travel plans. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Signs of Spring

Since I've been complaining about winter, I want to tell you that spring is coming, well at least in my hallway. You can see my fig tree has leaves and several figs, it is responding to the longer days.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Book number 4 - Bitter

I made a promise to blog every week and of course I've already broken it. But, I do have a good excuse -  my book Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes. I am in the last stage of the book's production, which means a lot of careful reading, looking for typos, missing words and mistakes of any kind.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Friends in the Bayou

While the weather was warmer in Louisiana it was the warmth of the people that impressed me most - friendly and unfailingly polite. The importance of good manners is often overlooked today. From the culinary students to people in the street, there was an acknowledgment that you existed - a smile, and greeting often followed by a conversation. That's something I miss in Toronto. In Paris I will get a bonjour from strangers in the street and often find myself at the bus stop talking to someone I've just met. When I return to the Toronto, I have to adjust, my hellos to strangers in the street as they are usually met with a start and then discomfort.

Monday, 10 March 2014

More from the Bayou

The word boudin for me conjures up images of the French sausages - boudin noir and boudin blanc. The first, is a blood sausage, and the second a more delicate, finely textured sausage made from pork and chicken, often embellished with black truffles. A boudin in Louisiana is different, it is still a sausage, but.....

Monday, 3 March 2014

Warmth in the Bayou

Thanks to this man, chef John Folse, I escaped Toronto's relentless winter for a few days. I met John on his radio show - we talked about fat, then he invited me back and we talked odd bits. We hit it off and he asked me to come to Louisiana to teach a class and lecture about odd bits at his culinary college at Nicholls State University. I said yes without a moment's hesitation.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Winter Cooking

Provence is a mere memory and winter is biting hard this year in Toronto. In France it is the warmest winter in a century, I was just in Paris and it was warm enough to have a drink on the cafe terraces (with the heaters). Here it is the coldest winter in some time. It feels like the coldest since I first arrived, but my memory for cold is very selective. One big plus is that this bone chilling and pipe freezing -18C weather, yes we still have a heater warming our bathroom pipes, usually means bright sunny days. The photo was taken during a snow storm, but most of time I can sit in my living room bathed in brilliant although not warm sunshine.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Provence Dreams

I spent a wonderful week in Provence in October. Friends from Canada and Australia joined me as we all celebrated birthdays, and friendship. It was a perfect week - sightseeing, swimming and eating alfresco. Why am I thinking about it now? I'm desperately trying to channel some of those memories to thaw myself out. Yes, Canada can be cold in the winter, but this one has begun brutally even by Canadian standards.