Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Cooking with recipes, Autumn and September

Late August means the start of harvest time in Canada. Fruits and vegetables in many varieties appear  at the Farmer's Markets around the Capital. I bought a basket of Ontario Peaches and was looking for a recipe to make a cobbler. Will said he had a recipe in one of the books where we collect our favourites. Could not find it at first and then saw it wedged as a page marker in one old cook book, I also found recipes on little photo like cards for various dishes.

One was Spinach sautéed with Indian spices another was Carrot and Parsnip purée or a winter crudité salad. All pretty simple and things I like to make for dinner.  Canadian Thanksgiving is one month away, will we be at home or will we go to Merrickville on the Rideau Canal like we have done in the last two years for lunch.

So I went through the books we have, most are fairly old cook books bought because we loved the recipes. I also found cards with hand written recipes. One is for Fennel Parmesan bake, another for Egg Potato and Prosciutto Pie, that one is really good on a Fall or Winter morning. Or what about Chicken Curry Tea Sandwiches, I remember this one from my Beijing days where we use to go downstairs to my colleague's place, Caryl A. and she made those sandwiches while we sang Karaoke, Bridge over troubled waters was my hit song, Unforgettable was another. There is also Crunchy Turkey Cranberry Pie and I did find the recipe card for Peach Schnitz Pie, Will was looking for.

I also found in my Mom's handwriting, she had a lovely hand and her handwriting is very easy to read. Her Campbell Tomato Soup Cake with cream cheese icing, I really have to try this one, she wrote it out for me years ago and the paper is all yellow with age now. A sentimental memory, the first anniversary of her death comes on 28 September.

If you want copies of these recipes let me know and I can send them to my readers/friends (only).

Sunday 31 August was also the day of a spectacular storm, high winds, crashing thunder and lightning, heavy rains with sunshine and what I call 18th Century clouds a la Canaletto with the most vibrant double rainbow I have ever seen. Afterwards we had fresh air and a beautiful sunset.
Which got us to talk of the Gustave Doré (d.1882) exhibit at the National Gallery which ends in 2 weeks. I have seen this exhibit 5 times and attended 3 lectures on it.

Doré lived in 19th Century Paris but also travelled to England and Scotland, his art is full of the romantic style of the era and false religiosity which looks so kitsch to us today. White clouds are transformed in swarms of Heavenly Angels descending to do God's work.  From the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco the 3 ton bronze, 156 feet high and 81 feet circumference, Poem of the Vine is on display. It came to Ottawa on a flat bed truck.

Poème de la vigne. A spectacular piece 

So this being the last long weekend of Summer it is still summer until 21 September, despite the fact that kids go back to school tomorrow and Universities have re-opened. I only hope that the old Almanac is correct and that our September-October months will be warmer than usual, this past summer has not been exactly the warmest.

I continue at the War Museum until 18 September and then return to the National Gallery for the Season, now as a Docent and Cultural Conference convener (les mercredis culturels). A Season of training and learning, not to forget the school program Vive les Arts for the 6 to 12 years old, a tough crowd who likes the moderns.


  1. What a sweet memory and keepsake from your mother.

    All great-sounding recipes, but I won't ask for any of them since that would require me to "cook." That sculpture IS spectacular.

  2. I plan to make the tomato soup cake someday.

    1. let me know if you can read the recipe if not I can type it out for you.

  3. Wow, never thought of tomato soup cake. I will have to try that one. I can read it quite well. Thanks for sharing that one.

    1. remember it has to be Campbell's Tomato soup can. Hunt's or any other brand will not do and the taste will be different mostly because of the sugar content. Lower sugar better.