Monthly Archives: February 2020
Okay, here I am, with February in full swing. As I look out the window today I see blue sky and forsythia buds. The tulips sprouting have pushed over a few of my garden sculptures overwintering outside. It doesn’t seem like stew is what I should be thinking of for dinner, but that’s where my head is at. Am I giving in, or is it right to be wary of winter’s deceptive nature?
Most of the year I am an optimist, but in February I need a boost. The chocolate of Valentine’s Day helps, and donuts or pancakes at Mardi Gras generally carry me through till the Girl Guide cookies arrive in March. As these bones get older however, they feel the cold more often and don’t warm up as fast.
Maybe I’m moping because I’m missing the wonderful Wine Festival this weekend. Vancouver hosts the International Playhouse Wine Festival at the end of February, and it used to be one of my yearly calendar appointments. I had hoped to get back this year, but it wasn’t meant to be. I shall be drinking my French wine at home this weekend.
So, that’s settled then. I’ll dig up a few old favourite recipes in my French folder and open something suitably decadent and heartwarming to pour in a glass. If all goes well, my pairing will not only warm the cockles of my heart but also the tips of my toes.
Got any French recipes that you want to share? I’m always looking for a new classic to add to my list… Have a favourite wine? I’d love to try something new.
Ideas so far:
- Soupe à l’oignon (Decadent French Onion Soup) with a bit of Champagne
- Pot au Feu (Beef Stew) with an aged Bordeaux
- Poulet Chasseur (Hunter Chicken) with an elegant red Burgundy
Or maybe you’ll try one of these recipes, and if it’s your thing, a glass of wine to accompany it. In which case, Cheers! Thanks for virtually joining my table.
(I’m feeling a bit like the Galloping Gourmet on television, looking for some unsuspecting audience member to join him for the meal. Ah well, virtual company is better then no kindred souls at all.)
Today is Family Day where I live. A long weekend, a chance for families to spend some time together. Not the Spring Break-kind of vacation time, but perhaps a chance to see a movie, or make a trip to the ski hill (there is still snow up there although not much left in town). If people can manage to arrange their busy schedules to make quality time happen, I’m all for that.
In our house, the easiest way to make quality time is to set the table. Does that sound old-fashioned and corny?
We are passionate about food in all its forms – growing it, cooking it and eating it. That too is weird for lots of people, I realize. What can I say? I was brought up in a house where meal time was important and where a nice meal was a big deal. Everyday meals were not to be taken lightly either.
Growing up I didn’t think of us as not having much, but according to my parents there were times when things were tight. I loved Tuna Casserole and shepherd’s pie for dinner, so what did I know?
I don’t think I realized tuna could be eaten another way than from a can until I was much older, and I thought everyone made shepherd’s pie in their electric frying pan just like my mom. Seasoning was what counted, and she knew how to make flavourful meals.
Many of our meals today are simple – we eat salad for dinner at least a couple times every week. When we invite people for dinner we apply ourselves, offering something fun and colourful. It might be simple if it’s dinner before a movie, or it might be Sunday roast with all the trimmings; it’s always an occasion worth celebrating, just like at the family table when I was a kid.
Anyone around my table are like family – I want them to feel comfortable, taken care of and happy.
They shouldn’t feel guilty having seconds, and they needn’t worry about offending if they push the mushrooms or onions to one side. I am happy they could be there and enjoy the time – that’s what counts.
So how’s about we make every Monday a Family Day? You get the cutlery and place mats, I’ll grab the tuna casserole. I’ll meet you at the table.