Our terrace has a slightly awkward shape — it’s long and spacious, but a little skinny, like an outdoor hallway — so it’s been hard to find a table where we can sit comfortably. But I’d love to find a way to eat meals outside other than placing the bowl gingerly on my lap! In any case, it’s been so nice to admire all of our plants, our little potted garden. We have a small fig tree, strawberries, so many herbs, a few succulents, hanging flowers, all framed by the beautiful grape vines that grow on the terrace right beneath us and snake all the way up to our balcony. The heat wave last week was so intense that I was watering our plants two, three times a day. I’d come back after a few hours and the soil would be cracked and dry. It was incredible. But the plants have really been loving the full sunshine and generous waterings — they’re looking lush and soft, and I ate my first strawberry this morning!
The market is looking better and better everyday, too. I had lots of leftover vegetables from Sasha’s visit, so half of them went in this lemony, garlicky pasta, and the other half I had for breakfast in an omelette.
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.
[via Simple Things]
PS. Sasha, this is for you. It’s not the same as owning the actual record, but at least it’s something.
Back from Jamaica! On our final day there, I was so bummed about leaving. Now I totally get why people honeymoon there (including Adam’s parents!) — it rules. So many sweet things to share about my new favorite zones, but first, a quick link to an article I worked on for the Montreal Gazette about a dedicated Sherrington, Quebec-based strawberry producer named Paul Legault. We had the best time hanging out with him and his adorable wife, and eating their rad strawberries (and being sent home with a few clamshells of their pricey berries, and some of Elaine’s famous black raspberry preserves!). From my story:
Denise Legault is scurrying up and down rows of bushy plants in a greenhouse, plucking tiny strawberries from their stems and placing them in a glass bowl lined with lace. She hands me a delicate, rosy fruit, and wipes a trace of dirt away with the pad of her thumb.
“Tell me exactly what you think this tastes like,” Legault commands me, like an imperious fairy.
I bite through the tender flesh. The fragile fruit explodes in my mouth, and juice squirts down my arm, freckling my blouse with pale pink spots. It couldn’t be farther from the bland, oversized Dole specimens to which I am accustomed.
As the fruit collapses on my tongue like jam, I detect traces of burnt caramel, orange blossom water and jasmine.
“It’s like a bouquet of flowers melting in your mouth,” Legault says.
Read the full story here. More of my photos below!
Working on another story right now, and it’s so awesome. Can you guess what it’s about?
The fever continues…
So I read this incredible post on Luxirare and knew immediately that I had to have it, or, at least, something pretty close. So we picked up a baguette, slathered on some salted Vermont Amish butter, and briefly cooked down some incandescent baby strawberries in a bit of orange zest and white granulated sugar. We debated even cooking the strawberries at all, because in their raw, fully-formed state, they already taste like little bombs of syrupy jam. They’re expensive, but so worth it — and nothing like their distant Dole cousins, which are outlandishly big, have the texture of sawdust, and taste like air.
One of the best bits about living alone is that you only have yourself to answer for when thinking about cooking your next meal. I often make a gigantic pot of dried beans and eat them throughout the week, and I never have to worry about fatiguing someone else’s palette. Very rarely do I get tired of a pot of black beans – this batch was simmered with lemon thyme, chicken broth, 1/2 red onion, garlic and a few limes for about 45 minutes so the beans stayed super firm. I’ve been eating them for lunch for the past few days and the flavor has only intensified. I’m so simple, I like to eat these on their own with a little avocado in a bowl or next to a salad on a plate, but these would be perfect mixed into rice, folded into a burrito, pureed for a soup, mashed into a dip, or baked into empanadas.
PS. People in California have it so good. Strawberries in February? Truly bizarre.
ah, breakfast. keeping it simple yet decadent for a saturday midmorning brunch. piping hot coffee, strong. the rest of the pot was later converted into iced coffee that i brought with me to the pond for a post-brunch nap & spliff. sliced strawberries on buttered whole wheat toast with bonne maman preserves. home fries with black beans, cheddar, red bell peppers, red onion, and lots of parsley & cayenne pepper. the trick is to parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes before dicing and throwing in a very hot cast iron skillet. total heaven – and don’t forget the sriracha.
note: there were scrambled eggs with pesto & parmesan, too. i don’t eat eggs, hence absence of them on my plate. they looked delicious, though.
nom nom nom. nom. cooking is one of my passions – slow braises, high heat stir fries, complicated savory roasts, rich soups from scratch, uneccessarily complicated salads … you name it. baking, however, has never really appealed to me. all the precise measuring, weighing, following directions (who DOES that?), seems more like math. i love cooking for its spontaneity, flexibility, its ability to bend obligingly to my whims and random digressions. i never was good at following at a regimen. i rarely follow recipes verbatim but prefer to use them as a starting point for something that feels more like ‘mine.’ [translation = whatever happens to already be in my fridge or looks good in the market.] this cake, however, may have changed my culinary destiny. pillowy, lighter than air buttermilk cake is topped with farmers market strawberries and store-bought blueberries, creating a sugar-spun confection that is just as good for breakfast with strong coffee as it is after a night summer supper. decadent and supple and one of the best starts to summer that i can think of. [recipe from gourmet mag via within the corner]
p.s. you may notice a large, spherical object in the larger cake. what is that you say? a grape tomato. that’s right. a tomato. it snuck into the batter, i think when i was doing a quick herb de provence vegetable roast on the rack above. i guess i still have more bakery learning to do. :sighs:
in a floaty mood this morning — feeling quite inspired by all things blush, light and sweet… in particular this stunning woman in baby soft pink.
also weirdly inspired by the effortless and melancholy binding of this video to this song. stunning.
Posted in color, polaroid
Tagged blush, dinner, jeans, light, love, peace, pink, self portrait, spring, strawberries, tomatoes, tulips, watermelon, wine