Montrealers! My brilliant, amazing friend Yung Chang has been working on a documentary loosely based on the book ‘The Fruit Hunters’ that Adam wrote a few years ago. The film premiered on Saturday as part of RIDM, and screens again on Tuesday. (American buddies: it hits your movie theaters next year!) They held a fruit tasting party at the end, and Adam got to eat the obscure and impossible-to-find Barbados cherry – which tastes exactly like cotton candy – brought by a young fruit grower named Julian. Sounds like the best film screening ever, no? Sadly, I had to miss the opening night because of work, but I saw an earlier draft of the film (and had awesome behind-the-scenes adventures) and thought it was funny, sweet, smart, and weird. Run, run, run to see it if you can!
Bonus: Bill Pullman is in the film, too. Double bonus: Watch Adam with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, below. Hilarious and a little awkward.
Picking (and eating) organic peaches in Georgia with my two favoritedudes. Can summer really get any better than this?
(Oh and Sasha totally has the right idea when she says the ugliest peaches are the best. I hunted for the most gnarly-looking peaches — they were the most intense and sweet, like little water balloons of sugar, flowers, and syrup.)
Is it redundant to post about a meal that’s already been so lovingly written up? In the case, not if your blog includes one photo of the beautiful chef, a rare photo of the cook in motion. We did a super-quick fuel-up just hours before the Kinfolk Dinner — including a car run to the bakery, where I bought every single baguette they had, among a few other delicious things — and Sasha said, ‘It’s amazing how fast a meal can get made when two people in the kitchen both know what they’re doing.’ So true. Between the two of us, scrambled eggs, poached carrots, roasted asparagus, trimmed radishes, and a big salad with strawberries (totally a trademark Sasha dish) came together it about 15 minutes. Teamwork!
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.
Wow! I’m so blown away by the lively, colorful textiles by California artist Kindah Khalidy, especially her cheerful strawberry print. Totally love the crop top but think the striped scarf might make more sense — it’s still freezing here in Montreal, so at this point wearing anything without sleeves seems like a distant, lost memory.
Our good friend Yung Chang is in the midst of making a documentary film adaptation of Adam’s first book, and he’s been incredibly busy traveling around the world and eating delicious exotic fruits. (Tough job, but someone has to do it!) Yung also shot in Montreal for one short week, so we made a visit to the set and checked everything out. It was so exciting! Yung’s crew had converted a gigantic warehouse in Lasalle into a lush, tropical rainforest. (There was even a mist machine to create humidity and fog!) It was so incredible to watch Yung hard at work, and also to see Adam’s book transformed into vivid, dynamic images. The afternoon we were there, Yung was shooting a scene of a proto-human encountering fruit for the first time. It was out of control. If the rest of Yung’s film is nearly as insane, it’s going to be the best documentary of all time.
I wrote about my talented friend and pastry chef Camilla Wynne, who is the mastermind behind Preservation Society, for the Montreal Mirror’s annual Noisemakers issue. If you haven’t had her preserves yet, now is the time to stock up. Adam scored a big jar of her pina colada jam, and it is outrageously good on a piece of stollen. It’s like the two were meant to be together.
A friend of ours gave us a Christmas present last night, a single pomegranate from Taiwan, where she told us she’s been eating them every day. They’re not like the pomegranates we see in North America, with its pale, dusty skin, smaller shape and, dry egg yolk-colored insides. The seeds are different too, a lovely, delicate shade of blush, a dusty rose really. And the taste is equally ethereal, less sugary and watery and more earthy, almost like dried tea leaves and chestnuts. Such a wonderful gift.
[Every morning started with this plate of fruit. A ritual I can get behind.]
[Jamaican brown stew chicken.]
[My dream kitchen.]
[Roadside vegan food from a shack called Vital Ital. There were lots of roadside vegan shacks run by rastafarians, and the style of food was amazingly similar to the kind of stuff me and my friends like to make at home — black beans simmered in coconut milk, nutty brown rice, chopped and stewed dark greens, boiled sweet potatoes. It was outstanding, really healthy and vibrant and simple.]
[A classic roadside steel drum jerk pan.]
[An ackee tree, heavy with fruit. A stiff breeze can knock a ripe ackee from its branch. These fruits were falling onto the ground constantly, I always had to keep an eye to the sky to make sure I wouldn't get beaned by a plummeting ackee.]
[The chef and his pickled (!) scotch bonnet peppers.]
[Tiny peppers picked from a bush. Do not eat!]
[Another delicious roadside jerk stop. Here, we had jerk pork (on the right), which was actually a little hard to come by in Jamaica. It was — dare I say it — a refreshing change of pace from all the jerk chicken. Also, I grew addicted to those oblong-shaped donuts at the top of the image. They're called 'festival,' and they were everywhere. I had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They're a slightly sweet, deep-fried dumpling similar to a hush puppy. They're on my list of Jamaican dishes I need to replicate in my kitchen immediately.]
Some photos from an apple picking excursion last week are here to make me smile, from a beautiful organic pear and apple orchard that I discovered through my friend Cheryl. It was a tremendous day, one of the best I’d had all year. The kind of day that seems unblemished and infinite. (The apples, also, we’re the finest Quebec apples I’ve ever eaten). Sabrina kept exclaiming, ‘It’s so good to be alive, life is such magic!’ We laughed but she was right. Good to think about nice memories like this, days that ended with onion rings and laughter.