One of the ornamental trees in the garden at my new house turned out to be a Japanese quince bush, which led to my first adventures in jam-making. Continue reading
Some horrible dark December evening after having spent the day fighting crowds of Christmas shoppers, I sacked out on the couch in front of the TV. The gods must have been smiling, because channel surfing landed me with two hours … Continue reading
I have bought – and I’m not even kidding – at least seven copies of Clueless in the Kitchen, by Evelyn Raab. I keep handing it out to friends and family because I love it so much. So now I’m going to take a minute to rave about it here.
This is the cookbook that taught me to cook. It’s aimed at teenagers heading out to live on Continue reading
Today was an object lesson in why Canadians don’t plant anything in the ground before Victoria Day (May 24th) weekend. It’s May 15th and actual flakes of snow fell out of the sky. Not enough to accumulate, but still. Being … Continue reading
Today is another day spent in the kitchen. Not mine, this time, though. My mother’s. And there’s something about helping my mother cook a huge holiday dinner, peeling potatoes with a dish cloth stuck into my waistband for an apron, that sets me daydreaming.
I read a lot of historical fiction as a child. All the Laura Ingalls books, all eight Anne of Green Gables books and just about all the rest of L. M. Montgomery’s young adult fiction, Janet Lunn’s The Root Cellar, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and its various sequels, several books by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The list goes on and on. And girls helping out in the kitchen came up at one point or another in all of them. It’s part of a cultural tradition that stretches back centuries, and for all that my feminism has been on the rise this year, I feel very connected to my roots at times like these.
And very privileged that helping out in the kitchen is a choice, not a requirement of my gender. It’s what keeps the whole notion so romantic.
I spent about four hours cooking various treats this afternoon. I make a mean loaf of challah (that braided Jewish egg bread), and I promised I’d bring some with me to one of the two Thanksgiving dinners I’m going to this weekend. I cheated Continue reading
I was in the UK for four months earlier this year for work. There’s an ad on television there for Just Eat, which is a website that centralises take out food – you visit the one site and you can order food there from any of the restaurants that are a part of the scheme. Their slogan is “Don’t cook, just eat. Leave cooking to the professionals,” and in their ads, stereotypical ‘chefs’ from an assortment of restaurants (Italian, Japanese, Burger Joint, etc.) come to the houses of people who are cooking to stop them, usually with threat of physical violence. Continue reading
Now, I’m all about supporting independent stores. And I love that I live in a neighbourhood that still has a couple of small grocers and a butcher/delicatessen. I believe that Walmart is the devil, and a symptom of a lot of what is wrong with society.
But then there’s paying five bucks for a punnet of cherry tomatoes. Not a large punnet of cherry tomatoes. Not an organic punnet of cherry tomatoes. Just a punnet of cherry tomatoes. Five bucks. And it’s not even like it’s February. This is the middle of harvest time for crying out loud.
Next week I’ll go and investigate the local farmer’s market. I’m not really convinced that’s going to be a lot cheaper, though.