I love this time of year. Not because I love winter – but I love the fact that the days are slowly, steadily getting longer. I like the quiet of winter. The long dark evenings. The clean blanket of snow. The fact that it’s actually easier to sit at my desk now than it will be in six months when the garden will be luring me outdoors. Mostly, I love the fact that spring is coming, and then summer, and then autumn. I spend a good portion of winter looking forward to the other three seasons.
Continue reading “Vietnamese tofu spring rolls”
I’ve been remiss – an erratic blogger. I haven’t managed to spend an entire week at home for months. Between work, a surprisingly extensive book tour, and visiting my elderly mother in hospital six hours drive away across the province – I’ve been on the road constantly. Continue reading “Susan Musgrave’s Welsh Griddle Cakes”
If you’re afraid of sugar – just look away now. These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are sinful. And truly, I don’t normally cook like this. Or eat like this. Honestly. There’s been homemade baked beans, sweet potato lasagna, curried butternut squash soup, and a couple of beautiful frittatas, and all manner of other reasonable, healthy food in my kitchen over the course of the last couple of weeks. But as great as a kale, sausage,and feta frittata is, how could it possibly compare to a cupcake? Especially a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake?
Continue reading “chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes”
Driving home across rural Ontario last week, I drove past a picturesque farm nestled into the rolling hills. As I sailed on by, I noticed a sweet little shed at the side of the driveway with a crooked, hand-painted sign saying, “Apples for Sale.” Inside the shed were a few baskets of apples and a cash box. Continue reading “classic apple crisp”
I have a bit of a habit of getting a new favourite song and listening to it so often that I wear it out. But in this case, this is a favourite song revisited. Since I heard it at dinner at a friend’s house last week, I can’t stop listening to Joan Baez’s song, Diamonds and Rust. It’s such a classic and so powerful and incredibly, hauntingly beautiful. Continue reading “French apple cake”
The love of place is as real, as strong, and as important as any love. I felt it on the wild remote coast of Tasmania. I’ve felt it over and over on visits to Yorkshire – my ancestral home and the place I spent my formative years. I’ve felt in the south of France – the north of France – the middle of France. The sunshine coast of Australia. Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver. I’ve felt it in the rugged, wilderness of Northern Canada. In Killarney Provincial Park as I watched a blue moon rise over the lakes and listened to the loons call to each other. I’ve felt it the Rocky Mountains, in Mexico. And absolutely in Newfoundland. Definitely there. That was love at first sight.
Continue reading “perfect pumpkin scones”
This recipe for Champagne Cup was immensely fashionable in the Victorian era. It was originally published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861. Continue reading “Mrs. Beeton’s champagne cup”
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. Continue reading “Thai green curry”
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 “Lemon gelato with vodka”
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 cell phones, 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 “roasted grape and brie flatbread”