Champagne Cup

August 28, 2015
Sir John’s Table goes on a blog tour!

Oh the perils of food blogging. I was making these Victorian champagne cocktails at 10 o’clock this morning while the light was still soft. Perfect for taking photographs. I only drank one. I swear. And that was simply because I never post anything that haven’t taste-tested (and usually several times over). I poured the rest into a jug and stored it in my fridge. The things we do when we have a food blog…. Continue Reading…

Thai green curry

August 22, 2015
Thai green curry

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the beauty of imperfection. I’ve written about this before – specifically about the Japanese practice of wabi-sabi – that is, of finding and embracing beauty in flaws and imperfection. And then recently, a friend told me that Mennonite women deliberately stitch errors into their quilting because they say, only God is perfect.

That perfection is neither possible nor even desirable, is such a beautiful and consoling concept. It’s worth repeating and embracing. I have a note on my bulletin board that reminds me to be grateful, to think about deliberate happiness, to consider the concept of consistent, principled altruism, to remember that EVERYONE needs love, and now, there’s a new note….”embrace imperfection.” And I don’t mean just embrace imperfection in things – but in people – in nature – in art – and in myself. Continue Reading…

Lemon gelato with vodka

August 3, 2015
lemon gelato with vodka 1

To compensate for last week’s excessively long post – I’m doing an excessively short one here. With an equally short recipe. Hardly a recipe at all. Just two ingredients. And I didn’t even think of them myself. The ‘recipe’ for lemon gelato with vodka comes from Elizabeth Bard’s charming book, Lunch in Paris. It’s probably the best dessert I’ve had all summer. So good I’m having it again tonight. Continue Reading…

roasted grape and brie flatbread

July 24, 2015
Roasted Grape and Brie Flatbread

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time in the attic room over the garage at my best friend’s house. Her parents both worked so we went to her place where we were free to do whatever we wanted without any actual parental intervention. The attic was set up with an old TV and a couple of couches. And a record player. We didn’t have cellphones, Netflix, or computers. We didn’t even think about drugs or alcohol. There was no social media as a constant distraction. Time stretched out in front of us in the most luxurious way – a way that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Continue Reading…

a book giveaway!

July 20, 2015
Sir John's Table

If you’re interested in a free copy of my new book, Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister – please follow the link here for a Goodreads book giveaway.

Continue Reading…

rhubarb curd

July 11, 2015
rhubarb curd

This is my lovely new site – no thanks to me, but instead – huge gratitude to the fantastic crew at the Mortimer Marketing Group in Ottawa. I’m so excited to have this brighter, cleaner, more legible, mobile-friendly/responsive space to work in.  Continue Reading…

two ingredient magic chocolate shell

June 28, 2015
two ingredient chocolate crackle topping

First up – some blog news – I’m migrating my site from to with a whole new cleaner, brighter, whiter, and more readable format. There may be a few hiccups over the next week or two as we make the changes, so I apologize in advance and beg you to please, please bear with me! I promise to do my best to make it worth your while… Continue Reading…

my father and an old Yorkshire recipe for mint and currant pasties

June 21, 2015

On this day – officially known as Father’s Day (the apostrophe is actually in the wrong place since this day belongs to all fathers) – I’m honouring my father. He was a tall, strapping Yorkshire man, with a thick Yorkshire accent. He grew up in the tiny village of Mytholmroyd and went to school with the young Ted Hughes (later to become the Poet Laureate of Britain) before he, my father, was sent off to Rishworth, a boarding school in West Yorkshire.  Continue Reading…

rhubarb sorbet

June 6, 2015


The other evening when I was out with my dog just after sunset, in the gloaming – that time  after dusk but before the full, velveteen darkness of night has descended – I watched a field of fireflies lighting up like fairy lights twinkling across the land.  Continue Reading…

rhubarb and strawberry jam

May 24, 2015
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam


Do you remember the white rabbit from Alice In Wonderland?  The very late white rabbit who Alice follows down the rabbit hole as he sings, “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”  Continue Reading…

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