Monthly Archives: April 2012


With thoughts of summer forefront in my mind, I put together a few programs over at Le Pick Up for the month of May that I’m super excited about. All of them have something in common: pork!

There’s a ‘basics of butchery’ class on May 12, led by Brooklyn’s The Ethical Butcher (we’ll break down an entire pig!), followed by a BBQ the following day; a ‘build your own smoker’ class on May 19, led by the duo behind Pork Futures; and a reprise of our highly successful sausage-making workshop, led by Le Pick Up favorite Bartek Komorowski.

For more information, hit up the Dep’s website! If you came to all three classes, could you imagine how well prepared you would be for the summer BBQ season?!


When I visited my parents in Hong Kong over the holidays, I was blown away by the delicate and very beautiful dim sum. They were honestly works of art.

Here in Montreal, dim sum is not as impressive, but it’s still an important part of weekend rituals for a lot of Chinese families. Though I love going out for dim sum too, I wanted to see if I could replicate the event at home instead. (I prefer a good dinner party over going to a fancy restaurant any day!)

I wrote about making dim sum at home for the Montreal Gazette this week. It includes (my own!) recipes for har gow, shumai, and gai lan. It was so much fun to do the research for this story, and I’ve been encouraging absolutely everyone I know to give this a whirl the next time they get a craving for dim sum. It’s easier than it looks, and so fun!

Read the story here.

(Thank you Marie-France Coallier for your stunning photos!)


It was just me behind the VENUS boards today, so I was able to dedicate big fat chunks of this set to Sasha, who has been exploring new age lately. Lots of long, thoughtful, slow pieces. Great for falling asleep gradually, or waking up gently.

Download from the archives here.

Suzanne Ciani – Paris (1971)
Constance Demby – El Mie (1978)
Mirroring – Fell Sound (2012)
Emerald Web- The Dragon’s Gate (1981)
Kay Gardner – Touching Souls (1975)
Noveller – Tooth Rest (2010)
Leslie Keffer – No Fun Fest excerpt (2006)
Marcia Bassett and Helena Espvall – Lapidary (2008)
Susan Alcorn – O Sacrum Convivium (2011)
Julia Holter- Boy in the Moon (2012)
Laura Allan – Waterfall (1980)
Kate Bush – Breathing (1980)
Clara Rockmore – Vocalise (1976)
Lau Nau- Painovoimaa, Valoa (2008)
Stellar OM Source – Ocean Chain Letters (2009)
Pauline Anna Strom – Energies (1982)
Fleetwood Mac – Over and Over (1979)


A quick pizza-related announcement: I have two new posts over at Serious Eats Slice, on Magpie Pizzeria and Le Gros Jambon. Check them out here and here! Smoked meat, mustard, and pickles may sound like disgusting additions to a pizza, but I promise you, it works — it’s kind of my favorite pie in the city right now! Also, I didn’t get a chance to mention the exquisite baked goods selection; the stuff they make there (like sticky buns and cake doughnuts!) is totally what I wish I could make at Le Pick Up, if only I had the time and means.


Sweet mail from Sasha — the highlight of my week! I love that girl so much (can you tell?!), it’s hard for me to be away from her for so long. I unpacked two jars of her epic preserves (strawberry + chamomile, plum + cardamom!), and one of her hand-sewn eyes, stuffed with hops, lavender and chamomile. Such a beautiful object, I know I’ll keep it forever. The jam however, forget it. I cracked open the strawberry jam the next morning with Adam, and we downed a third of the jar. We ate huge spoonfuls of its delicious nectar, spread on toasted kamut bread with hazelnut butter. So it’s like, she’s not here, true, but parts of her are here, also, somehow. That’s enough. For now!

Thank you thank you thank you Sasha, for your sweet generosity and thoughtfulness!


I blame slow Canadian postal service, but I finally got my copy of Kinfolk Magazine the other week, and I’m so proud to be a part of such a beautiful publication! (And in such good company, too, like Ashley!)

My story, which details the difficult personal journey I took when I first moved to Montreal, was not an easy one to write. The article also represents a new shift in writing for me, one that is much more intimate and autobiographical. I’ve always been more comfortable focusing on other people — artists, musicians, chefs — so it was very hard to turn the writerly eye on myself, to somehow still produce something honest and sincere. I hope it reads alright. The photos, in any case, by our good friend John Cullen, are stunning. He captured the day so well. (And disguised, expertly, the reality that we were all pretty hungover!) I’ll post some outtakes soon…


Nora Gray is quickly becoming one of my favorite Montreal restaurants. I hadn’t been back since our seriously epic feast when it first opened, so on Friday, despite heading over there with the best intentions — just a glass of wine and a pasta, please — we somehow ended up ordering half of the menu. From the crispy calves’ brains with capers and deep-fried parsley to the sea urchin risotto, everything was beautifully prepared, creative and super comforting, but the dish I loved most was also the simplest: a bowl of Paul Legault strawberries, halved and served with rich vanilla ice cream. The perfect close to a totally cozy meal.


Internet dating is nothing strange, but how many people make friends over the internet? Getting to know rad people through this blog has to be the best reason ever for blogging. In this instance, it was finally meeting one of my favorite bloggers, Joyce, and her awesome husband Ben, in a kind of blind-double-date.

When I found out they were making an impromptu visit to Montreal, a dinner party meet-up was clearly in order. And what a pleasure to discover the overwhelming semiotic overlap, from musical tastes to California childhood to academic lifestyle (Joyce is a historian — just like my dad!) to love of cats (Wallace, duh!).

We chatted over tarragon roast chicken, oceanic goodies from Kamouraska, Paul Legault’s famous strawberries, and a slightly fizzy biodynamic gamay from Morgon (one of my favorite grapes!). “Grape juice!” Joyce exclaimed. “Dangerous,” she added. Dangerous, indeed — we polished off that bottle in record time. The internet is an awesome place, but nothing beats sharing a bottle of wine with friends in real life.


I think I finally figured out my dream breakfast formula: Two eggs (here, fried), dark greens (here, lightly wilted spinach), fat sprinkle of herbs (here, dill and scallions), smoked fish (here, Kamouraska trout), a little toast (I tried giving it up, but I just can’t do it!), freshly squeezed juice (here, super-sweet tangerines), hot tea (I usually reach for Darjeeling), followed by two espressos, short and strong, and with a little maple syrup. Maybe this seems a little elaborate, but between the two us, we can whip it all up in about 15 minutes, and it makes me feel really healthy, satisfied, and strong.

What’s your dream breakfast?


I posted a few photos of last month’s fermentation workshop with Haley Butcher over at the Dep blog, if you’d like to see. Nothing like a room full of people squeezing and massaging cabbage!