Monday, December 28, 2009

top ten food moments of 2009

In no particular order:
Canada Day barbecue potluck at Sam and Lindsey's house

* We trekked to the other side of Ottawa with a dripping cooler full of beer and Canadian-Caprese salads (grape tomatoes, torn pieces of buffalo milk boccocini and little bits of fresh basil hidden in between held together with Canadian flag toothpicks) and spent the afternoon basking in the sunshine. There was a trampoline, burgers, and a brief rainstorm. Glorious day...

Breakfast at Ada's Diner on Bank Street the morning of my convocation

* My parents and a couple of my sisters made the trip to Ottawa for my graduation. Ada was like the granny I didn't have while I was going to school. I saw her almost every week. And she didn't bust me for eating bacon when I kept it out of my order that day. Bless her heart. And her delicious bacon.

The Italian Throwdown Showdown

* Even though we didn't eat until close to 9 (very European, come to think of it) it was one of the most fun nights I've ever spent cooking. My dad and I learned a lot from each other and it was great fun to share our learning with everyone at the table. The two or three bottles of wine we enjoyed over the experience certainly didn't hurt either. This is how one ought to cook all the time!

Pancakes at Albert's with my Baba and Zaida

* As you know, my grandparents are getting rather old and frail. To see them rally for breakfast at their favourite old neighbourhood pancake house and spend the morning laughing and joking, whilst wolfing down whipped cream and strawberries, was truly heart-warming. I just wish all my sisters had been there to share the moment, and the food.

My last dinner party at my old apartment

* Kate, Ben, and Gaby, three of my sweetest and dearest friends from university, helped me cook a bunch of random things from cookbooks I had never really been properly acquainted with. Though I don't really miss that cramped, rag tag little kitchen, I do certainly miss them, and the smoky, wine-soaked nights we spent together in that apartment.

My first dinner of the summer out at the cottage

* I had just returned from university. I had just ended a very long and serious relationship. I had no plans or energy found anywhere in my mind or body. My family had just enjoyed a delicious, cooperatively prepared meal and over the final dregs of wine and the cacophony of laughter, my dad chimes up "Yeah, Danielle, so why can't you just hurry up and get happy?"... Way to go dad.

Making dinner for my cousins in Vancouver

* While staying with my cousin and his family, I promised I'd cook them a meal. It was a pastiche of some of my favourite things - three cheese salad with arugula and hot oil dressing, spicy tomato and eggplant rotini, and sticky toffee pudding. They offered to fly be back on points to cook a dinner party for them in the spring!

The night Christina and I drank our dinner

* This moment is rather fuzzy, as far as my memory of the actual event goes. All I remember is Chris saying she had landed on a windfall of cash and wanted to take me out to a neighbourhood wine bar to help her spend it. As we were taking a wine appreciation course at the time, we told ourselves it was research. I think we might have eaten sweetbreads that night... but I do recall some dazzling Sauvignon Blanc...

Baking Challah for the first time... and having it come out right!

* I felt as though I had unlocked the secret to my faith. Or something. My hands had been given a new sense of purpose. The flour covering my face, clothes, and kitchen floor was evidence of my breakthrough, and some kind of badge of honour. My grandmother beamed when I brought her the second loaf. She reminds me often of how good it was, not to make me feel good about the accomplishment of baking my own bread, but to guilt me into baker her some more.

Starting this blog

* I know, it's cheesy and sentimental to say so, but this is honestly one of the best things I've ever done. I've promised myself so many times that when I had more time I would be more dedicated to writing. With the end of my degree came a big gaping hole, one that I gladly filled with this blog and other gastronomical endeavours. Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to read my thoughts on food, life, and the people that share those things with me. Heck, many of you are those people anyway. If you like what you read here, please do share it with others. The more hits I get, the more I will post. I hope your year has been blessed with flavour and full tables. May the New Year bring you adventurous appetites and eager eaters.

Much love,

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to include certain honourable mentions:

    * Growing my food in somebody else's backyard
    Though this would have been exponentially enhanced had it been my own back yard, in many ways it was so much better to have learned to grow things from someone else in the someone else's backyard. It certainly could not have happened on the balcony of my downtown attic apartment. The pigeons would have made things difficult. Though the rabbits and squirrels certainly presented challenges, the peas, lettuces, onions, and flowers grew up healthy and strong and delicious.