Tag Archives: france

It always comes back to food

It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I will chalk it up to being inordinately busy, and shifting through some major changes (like moving unexpectedly and starting a new job with a schedule that requires getting used to) and generally feeling blah all winter.

This book arrived in yesterday’s mail (with several others that I’ll speak to in a moment) and though it isn’t one that the doctor recommended I own (she did tell me, after encouraging me to follow a more plant-based diet, to get Plenty and Plenty More, both by Yotam Ottolenghi), I couldn’t resist My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz after reading through the sample pages online.

While the recipes cover a full spectrum of foods that would delight any omnivore such as myself, it is the rambling dialog that endeared me to it, and the tacitly apparent sheer love of food that the author has, which borders on reverence. I understand this, even if I am not a trained cook. It’s the fascination with the ingredients, and an appreciation for their unique and special qualities that draw me to cooking. When it is not a mere utilitarian act (to feed and nourish the body) it becomes a sort of dance with the ingredients, leaves us open for new discoveries of flavours and textures, and how they meld together when consumed. Food nourishes us in many ways, not just through their ingestion and digestion but by our interaction with it, in a dance of sorts.

Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe you don’t have this symbiotic relationship with food, or perhaps you have it with something else.

For me, it always comes back to food. I’d like to think I came upon it honestly. My mother was a fabulous cook, though she never strayed from the Hungarian cuisine she grew up on and mastered. Delicious as it was, I became culinarily curious the older I got. I grew up in Montreal, and anyone who has been to that city can attest to the fact that food, good, great food, is plentifully available throughout the city.

My challenge is that I am mostly cooking for one, these days.

With the movement towards local fresh food, and almost forgotten varieties of fruits and vegetables slowly making a reappearance on the (mostly farmer’s) market shelves, it is an exciting time to be cooking. This summer I’ll be looking for those white-tipped radishes, fresh mixed greens and locally made cheeses.

I can’t wait.

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molten brain puddles

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My Christmas tree is still up.
I kid you not.

I’ve been working a job and a half, thereby eliminating any sort of “day off”, and when I have a free night, or part of a day, I can’t help myself – I chill.

Tonight the thing that sounded best, after reheating pasta from last week for dinner, was a spot of reading and a nice little split of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The book is pretty light reading and not anywhere as engaging as Eat Pray Love (as one of the many review snippets at the front of it alluded to), but it’s still fodder for my imagination that feeds my own aspirations of a visit to the grande dame of cities, and eventually perhaps the rest of the country.

The weather has been behaving these last few days. Sundown was spectacular this evening, and we’ve been graced with light since Saturday. It certainly makes the length of my work days more bearable when I at least get to see some sunlight (even if it’s interrupted by a bus ride nap).

The winter has felt long. We’ve had lots of rain even though the rainfall has (supposedly) been below “normal”. I think that sounds funny, especially when rivers of rain flow down the street more briskly than the Santa Ana flows most of the time.

Those are the days that I wish I was back in Orange County.

The air is always fresh here, though, and the layer of moss on everything that remains in place for any length of time is even (mostly) charming.

It’s a matter of negotiating the less appealing aspects with some finely tuned biochemical assistance. Like sublingual vitamin d drops, for instance.

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Last week I viewed from the top of our tower some local film crews setting and shooting scenes. My guess is it’s Once Upon A Time, still shooting their NYC scenes.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more filming since I’ve been in Vancouver than I ever did while I was in California.

Well… that’s all she wrote (at least for tonight).

Bonne nuit, mes chouettes.