Archive for December 31st, 2009

Digesting 2009



Can it really have been TWO years already? Two years since I started writing this blog, on a New Years’ Day when W was two and sat on the countertop peeling garlic cloves for my soup, and Lou didn’t even exist. Looking back over the past twelve months I can’t compose any sort of impressive retrospective – I didn’t make any people, run any marathons, make the New York Times best-seller list or appear on Oprah, but my dad survived a heart attack, my sister and her kids moved in across the street, I visited Vancouver, the Okanagan, Tofino, Vegas and Toronto (where I shoved a ham up a turkey on national TV) and on the career front I was asked to join the team of bloggers on Good Bite, and I landed a position as the new food editor of Parents Canada magazine. The book thing is hovering in purgatory, so I can’t say I’ve pulled that off. Other than that we mostly ate a lot, and I got to hang out here. It was a good year.

Yesterday I saw 2009 out the door in the best way possible – as a guest on Breakfast TV for Dave Kelly’s very last show. I can’t think of a happier place to be than puttering in the BT kitchen, feeding guests as they came to share with the audience things that they know or have learned – a great gathering of people and their thoughts on life, and a suitable goodbye (from the morning show, anyway – he has started a production company with his brother, so we’ll be seeing more of him I’m sure) for one of the very best people I know.

I made scones using the last of the eggnog (just swap eggnog for the milk or cream in your favourite recipe), and served them with mandarin jam. I made espresso brownies (to justify eating them before 9am) and bread pudding from extra loaves of crusty French bread and stollen. But the very best part was the poutine bar – wedge fries roasted until golden and crisp in the oven, a pitcher of gravy, white cheese curds (from Springbank Cheese – you can also buy them at Say Cheese in the Crossroads Market) and a slow cooker full of pulled pork to load on top-yes, pulled pork poutine. Come to mama.

My only mistake was deciding to bring homemade butterscotch sauce (did you know? Butterscotch is the new chocolate) to serve warm as fondue with sliced apples and bananas and those little one-bite cream puffs, which are the very best addition to a fondue party I know of, and which I ate approximately a dozen of, dipped in butterscotch, before 9am. I have my New Years’ resolutions cut out for me. #1: wean self off cream puffs and caramel. Also whipped cream, bread, butter and Toblerones. (The mistake part of it was that there was little distinction between the jug of gravy and bubbling butterscotch, so when Dave broke his 10 year French fry dry streak -the outcome of a successful decade-old resolution- he had his dipped in butterscotch.)

Everyone in the blogosphere seems to be summing up 2009 with their best recipes, and who am I to stay off that wagon? Flipping through food memories is as good a way as any to reminisce about a year gone by. Eat up, and thank you for being here. I wish everyone the very best for the coming year.

EATING 2009! A few of our favourites (in alphabetical order):

Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches

Bacon Pecan Brittle

Blueberry Galette

Boeuf Bourguignon

Browned Butter & Rosemary Shortbread

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette & Maple Pecans

Butter Turkey (or Chicken) with Spinach

Cheryl’s Baba’s Peroghy Dough

Creamy Coconut Cake

Digestive Cookie Oven S’Mores

Forage Buttermilk Biscuits

Goat Cheese Truffles (on a Big Salad or not)

Homemade Churros

Jam Without a Recipe

Lemony Parsley Hummus

Mac & Cheese with Bacon & Chard

Maple-Rosemary Ribs

Nanking Cherry Jelly

Pretzel Rolls & Soft Pretzel Buns

Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Roasted Tomato Tarte Tatin with Goat Cheese

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps

Sunken Chocolate Cake with Berry Fool

Sweet Potato Aloo Gobi

Two Bite Brownies (with less fat!)

Vietnamese Chicken Satay & Fried Rice

Yogurt (homemade!)

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December 31 2009 | leftovers | 37 Comments »