Crumbs

Piatto

Three of my favourite folks from my day job took me out for lunch on Friday to celebrate my last day. We headed over to Piatto, and it was fantastic–as usual; they worked very hard to get their VPN certification for authentic Neapolitan pizza and the quality shows.

Also on Friday, I was surprised and delighted to be featured in the Daily Plug section of Tim Bousquet’s The Halifax Examiner (which is my go-to Halifax news source, and will be my link to Halifax when I’m away).
Tim was one of a string of editors I wrote under while at the Coast, and I disagree with his self assessment that he was the “worst food editor in the world”, heartily. Always a little in awe of Tim and his investigative journalist skills, his praise was humbling indeed, and made me bawl just a bit–it was a lovely going-away gift. It’s become a bit buried after all weekend, so I’ve cut and pasted it below.

Here it is: “I met Liz Feltham when I was charged with editing her restaurant review column in The Coast. Of course, I don’t know especially much about food and find most food writing incredibly, well, vapid. In other words, I’m the worst food column editor in the world. But thankfully, Liz always sent in perfect copy that was actually interesting; all I had to do was slap a headline on that puppy and I was done with it. I’ve followed her blog, Food4Thought, but she seemed to have slipped off the radar screen lately, with long waits between new posts. Well, now it becomes clear why: she’s been going through all the preparations of packing her life together and moving to Victoria. That’s a big loss for Halifax, but she’ll no doubt settle in and start posting again on a regular basis. I wish her well.”  Sniffle, sniffle

Friday night (it was a big day), I headed home to Newfoundland to visit family before hitting that other island on that other coast, and of course indulged in chips, dressing and gravy. IMG_5324

So while I haven’t been posting regularly in the run-up to our departure date for Victoria, I hope to rectify that by writing about our road trip as we head out next Sunday. Stay tuned!

Victoria, Briefly

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Holy Cow where does the time go? We’ve sold our house and are wrapping up the final arrangements for our move west, but before the wagon train pulls out permanently, we headed out for a brief visit to check out the new digs.
I’d never been to Victoria, and the first thing that struck me was the size of the harbour. Halifax has one of the world’s largest natural harbours (anywhere from #3-#10 depending on the source), and this is something that’s easy to forget when you’ve lived near it for so long.
Next time your traveling over one of the bridges, take a good look down to the mouth, then back to the basin. Huge.
So I get to Victoria, and it’s the size of I don’t know, a bathtub maybe? But it is very pretty, and the city seems manageable, a nice size for a newcomer.
I’ve heard the food scene is pretty good, but with only 4 days we barely had time to scratch the surface. Being coastal, many of the menus are similar to Halifax in their seafood focus. Swap out lobster for crab, and you could be on either coast.
First up, we check into our hotel, the spotlessly clean and friendly-staffed Best Western Inner Harbour. This one has the cutest little kitchens in a hotel kitchen ever. But what’s this? A cooking policy?
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So here we are in a coast city with access to amazing seafood and a fully equipped kitchen but alas, we wouldn’t be preparing any (On the other hand, no cabbage didn’t seem like that much of a hardship). Okay I hadn’t planned on cooking anyway, it just seems like a strange blanket restriction given the circumstances.
Other than this little oddity, this hotel was perfect as a home base for our brief visit, and I would recommend it highly. Each room has it’s own balcony, and ask for a room on the garden side.

Around The Table

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So I’ve been away from blogging longer than I planned. First, my NaPoWriMo run came to an abrupt end one day short of month end when the flu I thought I had turned out to be pneumonia, confirmed by a late night trip to the ER and a chest X-ray.
I have to give a shout out to the crackerjack ER team at the Cobequid Center, a crew of caring professionals who made me feel better just by being empathetic. With one glaring exception–the registration clerk, whose milk of human kindness had long since curdled and who should not ever be allowed to deal with the public, much less a sick public. “Bitch” is a word I dislike, and don’t trot out often, but this was a capital B.
With antibiotics in hand and system, my lungs cleared up, the coughing burning hacking phlegminess gone, and the weakness beaten into submission, I was almost good as new in time to help my long suffering better half get our house ready for market.
Although we are both excited about the move west, it’s hard to leave behind our first house. Asked by a friend what I’d miss the most, I answered without hesitation.
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This dining room. So many meals with family and friends, so many memories. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating–we don’t spend enough time around a table, sharing food.
This table has seen everything from neighbourhood brunches to family birthdays, fancy grown-up dinner parties to casual Sunday suppers. The walls, to me, are filled with the laughter, the conversation, the camaraderie of untold meals.
For the next few weeks, we’ll be busy getting ready for our midsummer move. You can bet the first thing we’ll do upon getting settled in Victoria is to gather people round this table again, making new memories.

Ode to Jaegermeister

liz feltham:

Chugging some cough syrup and was duly reminded of a drink I hold dear to my heart: Jagermeister. The taste of which is oft compared to cough syrup so it was an easy leap. And because this flu is clouding my head and hanging on, I give you a repeat featuring what else?

Originally posted on Food 4Thought:

The bottle in our freezer, waiting patiently to be called into service

The bottle in our freezer, waiting patiently to be called into service

Jaegy, Jaegy, chilling cold
In the freezer, liquid gold
Shot back, old school, mix eschewed
Dilution is both rude and crude

Herbal panacea flowing
Coats the throat, begins the glowing
Pungent smell clears out the nose
Tingle reaches head to toes

This liqueur is not for bingeing
Enjoyment on restraint is hinging
Soon returned to frozen den
Til it’s called to task again

View original

Sick Selfie

Photo on 2014-04-28 at 9.54 PM

As so often happens this time of year, especially with family visits, the flu has set in. Now, in Newfoundland, a declaration of having a cold is immediately queried with “Where’d you get that?” I’m not sure why that’s important, I mean, clearly, you got it from someone else, but that’s not quite enough. A lengthy conversation will ensue, listing who you’ve been in touch with and which of them are the potential carrier. (Not to be confused with the cold one gets from sitting on a cold surface like a sidewalk or bench, that’s the dreaded “cold up through ya”).

Here is my poem of the day, rhyming couplets with pair increasing by a syllable. Perhaps there’s a name on it, but I’m not feeling up to looking it up.

Flu.
Boo.

Recoup?
Some soup!

Toast in bed.
(Legs like lead)

Hot tea to kill
Tremors and chill

Water to hydrate
Depths of my substrate

At least it’s not man-cold
That’s misery, untold

Nothing to Escoffier At

425px-Auguste_Escoffier_01Yesterday’s NaPoWriMo entry was admittedly weak, a quickfire bit that I slammed out on my phone while sitting in the living room late last night, trying to squeak in a post before the date clicked over and I missed a day.
But I had a lovely reason for doing so: we had family visiting, and were finishing up a wonderful night filled, as always, with love and laughter. Along with the five folks pictured in Hunting The Wild Bologna, we had my six more, including our adorable great-nephew Jack. Jack happens to share a name with one of our Newfs so the phrase “We’re taking Jack to the park” caused great excitement all around, (as did nephew Jack’s penchant for leaving a trail of Cheerios).
Jack’s grandparents came in to visit briefly, and before they knew it they had been strong-armed into joining us for supper–there is always plenty of food, the only thing we were short on was chairs. Perched in the living room, the dining room, the kitchen–didn’t matter. What mattered is the company, the sharing of a meal with family. On this night it was hamburgers, the aforementioned bologna, supermarket salads, canned beans and paper plates. But what is served is not nearly as important as who is served. And for a few hours, the most important connection wasn’t wireless, but human.

For tonight’s poem, I go back to my Who’s Coming to Dinner theme. Joining Catherine de Medici at my table is Georges Auguste Escoffier (28 October 1846 – 12 February 1935). Like the legendary Marie-Antoine Carême, Escoffier was a kitchen revolutionary, and while his technique was based on Carême’s haute cuisine, he refined and modified his predecessor’s over-the-top style.

“the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings”
Brought to the table many things
Leading Modern French Cuisine
And changes to the cooking scene

Of the Mother Sauces, five
He refined and then he codified
Bechamel, Tomate, and Velouté
Espagnol, and Hollandaise

Organization-wise he also made
Disciplined kitchens, with a brigade
Each cook assigned to special station
Resulting in chaotic cessation

Escoffier wrote, didn’t only cook
One of his works, still a classic book
Le Guide Culinaire, both text and reference
And treated today with respect and deference

At system and structure Escoffier excelled
And left a kitchen legacy unparalleled.