Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now You're Cooking

I love cooking shows. A fact that was brought home even harder recently when I was watching JULIE & JULIA. A great movie about a woman who blogs about her experience working her way through Julia Child's cookbook.

I enjoyed the movie because it's got that whole
"if you work hard enough and follow your bliss/passion you will achieve your dreams" thing. One of my favourite personal belief systems. I have a few, one of which is don't Google about a blog that was made into a movie because you will love the other writer's writing and decide yours sucks. So don't do that. Another reason I liked the movie was the popcorn.

A movie has to really SUCK for me not to be able to comfort myself for the loss of the ticket money ( I dissect most movies I see, the negative side of being a writer with a short attention span) with a big bag of buttery popcorn. But you MUST eat peanut M&M's at the same time, only then can you achieve sweet- buttery-chocolate-popcorn Nirvana.

But the third reason, and the reason I'm writing this post while my dog is hurling her leash and collar at the back of my head, is about my passion for cooking. Sorry, I mean cooking shows. I freaking LOVE them. I discovered the Food Network, and then Food Network Challenges, ( sometimes they have to make cakes with themes and it's the most stressful, wonderful thing you can imagine.) and Top Chef, and of course Hell's Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares. The latter ones being all twisted in my head with my fear/love of Gordon Ramsay and my desire to see things that are going for shit suddenly rise from the ashes.

I know lots of people like cooking shows. Big deal, right? But here's the thing. I don't like cooking. I can do it, sure, and sometimes I find pleasure in it. But it's more of a oh-yup-just-wanted-to-confirm-I-could-do-still-d0-it-kind-of-pleasure. Left to my own devices, soup with cheese and crackers does the job just fine.

Then I met the ONE--my husband. He likes experimenting with new dishes. I find making a salad annoying. He likes to use herbs from our garden. If I can buy something pre-chopped or pre-rinsed I will. He loves all the kitchen things we got for our wedding. I love all the things he makes in them. So we both accepted cooking is just not my deal. But the great thing about marriage is that you pick up the slack where the other lacks. I have my departments, but they don't require me to rinse or chop anything. Thank God.

But back to the cooking show thing. Not sure what it is, but I love watching food being prepared. I also love the kitchen departments of fancy gift stores. Husband loves the gadgets and anything that has a motor, while I tend to gravitate to all the crazy expensive dishes. I will browse for hours exclaiming, " We have to get this!" Over a cheese tray, or hard selling husband on the complete necessity of a fondue set. Without really wanting to actually be responsible for preparing anything that's going to land on those dishes.

This all works for us, though. I daydream grandiose fantasies of dinner parties and laughter with friends, then organize the event and husband does the cooking. I'm the architect and he's the structure. He's the bread, I'm the cheese. Okay, okay, I'll stop! Time to go anyway--dog's giving me some seriously dirty looks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay, just ignore the weird fonts in the below post about Montreal. Don't know what the heck happened there. I was trying to fix something and created a whole new problem! But after a half an hour of messing around with it I remembered I'm supposed to be writing my next book! So I'll leave you with a, what's up with Kanye? That guy has a serious case of entitlement. So not cool.

And SO sad about Patrick Swayze. God, did I ever have a crush on him in Dirty Dancing. The misunderstood boy from the wrong side of the tracks, who everyone thinks is trouble, but is really nobel and sensitive! Wow. Talk about heroes. Mostly I'm very sad for his wife. Because she loved the real man. And he was probably her hero every day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C' est La Vie

Sorry for the bad blogging folks. I've been a tad busy since I last posted. You see, I got MARRIED! Then we went to Montreal for our honeymoon.

I planned on coming home and blogging about the old buildings, churches, cobbled streets, open markets where you can buy roasted sausage on a STICK! But today I want to talk about cheese. Not just any cheese, but the wide array of cheese our charming hotel
Le Place D'Armes put out every night at cocktail hour.

So the first night we're toasting ourselves, drinking our wine, eating our cheese, and feeling very grown up, when we see this family standing at the counter in front of the tray of cheese and its accompanying bowl of freshly sliced baguettes. ( Don't even get me started on the bread in Montreal. I still can't get the memory of focaccia bread with cheddar cheese baked into it and caramelized onions slathered on top out of my mind.) Then the young boy picks up an entire BLOCK of cheese and sets it on his plate. Husband and I fully expect the parents to give a firm correction. But the mother reaches over and starts piling slices of baguettes on top of the block of cheese. Now we're staring transfixed. Then the family actually takes the plate and LEAVES and go up to their room!

We were still talking about it when a few minutes later they come back and take more, this time sitting down to eat it. For the rest of the night we speculated. Did they eat all the cheese? Take it to another family hiding up in the hotel room? Save it for later?

The next night we perched at our table and engaged in our new favourite form of entertainment--watching the cheese tray. We elbowed each other over people who gripped the cheese with their fingers, the ones who mulled over their choices while people lined up behind them, the ones who piled their plates up then ate two bites, but our favourite was the cocktail-hour-crasher.

One side of the lounge was blocked off for a wedding and plates of yummy looking appetizers were being carried by. I drooled as they went past, but comforted myself with my brie ( so creamy, God was it good) and my red wine. Then this woman and her two friends enter the lounge and head towards the party at the back of the room, clearly guests of the wedding. One of the women pauses in front of the cheese tray and grabs a GIANT wedge, in her bare hands, and carries it over to the wedding group while she and her friends giggle.Then she sat there and proceeded to break it off into chunks and eat it. The thing that shocked us the most was that this was an older woman who looked like a university professor or something. And there she was giggling because she pilfered a free chunk of cheese on her way to a wedding reception.

We noticed this phenomena again when we we visited a bakery at the market. There were little samples of some yummy desert on the counter. We each took one, enjoyed it, but that was that. Then this woman goes up and gets one and hands each of her young daughters one, which they finish in record time. So she gives them each another one, then ANOTHER ONE!

The cheese and desert samples were there for the taking. Sure. But where do you draw the line? What do you think? Does " free" mean help yourself to as much as you want?