Back in Paris last fall, there were posters all over the city for Mommy, a small Canadian movie that had won the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and was opening in cinemas. It’s a superb and critically acclaimed drama written and directed the brilliant Xavier Nolan who is only 26.
At some bar back in Paris someone asked if I’d seen the movie, I hadn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know the movie existed until I saw the ads in Paris; and I’m somewhat of a Xavier Nolan fan.
‘But you’re from Canada non?” my bar companion asked.
“Yes” I say sheepishly, “but this is a French Canadian film and I’m not up on French Canadian cinema”
The truth was, I wasn’t up on French Canadian anything. I’d lived in Canada for over a decade and didn’t know much about French Canada.
My friend A often sends me recipes she thinks I should try, usually accompanied by annotations and suggestions.
Last week she emailed me this fascinating recipe for strawberry crisp that uses rosewater and dried lemons, she said it’s ‘very Ottolenghi’ (read Middle Eastern inspired) and that I should perhaps add a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses to kick it up a notch.
I tried the crisp on Monday, sans dried lemons because I didn’t have any, the pomegranate molasses gave it just the right punch. I can’t wait to perfect the recipe and share it on here.
A is also a giver of unique food items, last year when her father (he of the Cologne story) returned from a trip back home and handed her several bottles of curry and brutzel ketchup, she turned them over to me, and I must say those crazy German ketchups are now my new favourite thing!
The year I turned eight, we moved into a house on a street that had a mosque on one end.
We were in a new city in a new country starting life anew, and awoke our first night to the strains of melodic music from the mosque at dawn calling people to prayer.
My mom surprisingly said this was good; she shouldn’t have a hard time waking us up for school any more.
The music filtered through the neighbourhood every morning (and several times during the day) for the next several years, we got accustomed to it after the first few months, sort of like living in a house with a grandfather clock that chimes hourly (which we had at home too!). The mosque, like the call to prayer song became a part of our new life.
I came straight home from work yesterday, dreaming of luscious rhubarb crumble with ice cream.
We got strawberries from the farmers’ market this weekend, it’s those small, soft and intensely sweet kind that bruise easily and stain your fingertips; I can only find these at farmers’ markets.
Another thing you can’t miss at the market this time of year are the reddish hues of rhubarb stalks. I actually bought a few from the grocery store the other day, and then found even lovelier deep hued ones at the market over the weekend, so I promptly snatched them up.
So, we’re not just making this rhubarb crumble this week, we’ll be making simple syrup and muffins too.
Ralph’s Coffee is tucked away in a bright corner atop the Polo Ralph Lauren store on Fifth Avenue in midtown New York.
It’s a charming spot… one of those quaint coffee shops that tempts you into staying for a long while.
The space is adorably inspiring, clean and airy with vintage accents; marble-top tables, giant windows overlooking busy Manhattan streets, and white-washed walls and fixtures.