Monday, November 5, 2012

Not Far From the Tree's End of Season Party

Mini Cherry Galettes at the Fifth Birthday Party at Not Far From the Tree

For the last six months, I've been involved with an organization called Not Far From the Tree. I've mostly been focused on blogging, communications, and web analytics, and have learned much from a great group of engaged and charming people. Not Far From the Tree is a food security organization intent on making sure that Toronto's hidden fruit bounty doesn't go to waste. In a nutshell (no pun intended), you register your fruit tree with us, and we organize volunteers to pick it, sharing the fruit with the tree owner, the tree pickers, and a food bank or other non-profit.
In our fifth season, the non-profit is having our fifth End of Season party on November 9th. Who doesn't like a party to celebrate local Toronto fruit that is shared with the community?
I've really learned so much about local food, have honed my skills as a pastry cook, and really just had fun! 'Cause what's more fun than seeing the lovely city for all of its invisible fruit potential? It's really incredible how much fruit there is in this city, and sadly, how little of it gets picked.
Click here to read all about it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities: A Culinary Bucket List For Montreal

I'm back home with the folks this weekend, while has included much talk, a little shopping, and many, many carbs. I really don't think my parents eat anything else! I've introduced them to Greek Yoghurt, a meeting that was met with trepidation and finally begrudging acceptance. Ah, parents!
Being here on what is mostly a family visit has gotten me thinking of my culinary bucket list for a future visit to   Montreal. There is so much in the city that I haven't seen and experienced, despite having lived here for 25 years. So, here we go:

  1. Cabane a Sucre (Au Pied du Cochon). I've been to the original restaurant, but who wouldn't want to go sugaring off, fine dining style? Located 45 minutes outside on Montreal and with a prix fixe menu, I'd love to try out Martin Picard's take on a Quebecois classic excursion.
  2. Oreilles de Crisse. Quebecois pork rinds translate to Christ's Ears in English, and yes, they are heavenly. A lot of Quebec's culinary traditions are rooted in simpler, rustic foods, and pork and pork products are essential to any omnivore's visit to the province.
  3. A Bagel Tour of the Island. With St Viateur being my fave bagel bakery in Montreal, I'm wondering, am I missing out on other, equally exciting bakeries? Doing a tour of the island to taste-test all the different varieties of Montreal bagels would be such a great way to send an afternoon.
  4. La Banquise: What would a trip to Montreal be without a taste of the province's unofficial regional dish? La Banquise is located in the Plateau, and open 24 hours! I definitely need to make a pit stop there to try one of their 20 poutine varieties. Nom nom. 

Hmmm, I'm wondering if I should plan another trip for March, when the maple sap is running? What a great way to end the winter!