Night Market

As you line up with hundreds, no thousands, of other hungry visitors, loud speakers announce that you will have a choice of 500 unique food items.

Barbecued squid.

Deep-fried whole squid.

Fish on a stick.

Rotato.

Dragon’s beard candy.

Deep-fried Mars bars.

The list is endless.

Evelyn Lau’s poem “The Night Market” from A Grain of Rice (2012) captures the essence of being awash in this spicy, sweet assembly. It’s the Richmond Night Market, which runs every weekend from May until October near the Bridgeport Skytrain station. Richmond is famous for its night markets, including the original International Summer Night Market.
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Seaside Meal: Mussels

Recipe Notes (by Alexia Moyer)

Audrey Thomas’s Intertidal Life is not a recipe novel, literary cookbook or foodoir. It does not contain elaborate, adjectival descriptions of food preparation and consumption.

Thomas feeds her characters at regular intervals though and these meals speak very much to the time and place in which her characters live: an island off the coast of British Columbia, 1970s.

This is counterculture food: homemade brown bread, yerba mate.

Virtuous, nutritious . . . natural.

Apart from a weekly trip to the grocery store in Vancouver, Alice Hoyle, her children and friends fish and forage for foods. They also have a sizeable vegetable garden.

Today’s post speaks to the bounty of shellfish they regularly acquire.

Mussels
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Picnic: Ham Sandwiches and Lemon Tarts and Osler Bluff

Alice Munro’s “Deep-Holes,” opens with a picnic. Sally, Alex and the children are celebrating Alex’s first solo journal publication at a site central to the geologist’s research: Osler Bluff.

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The menu: devilled eggs, ham sandwiches, crab salad, lemon tarts, Kool-Aid for the children, and a half bottle of Mumm’s.
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Served with Geraniums

A few years ago, I developed a small (literary) obsession with geraniums. These flowers, which are actually pelargoniums, are everywhere in Canadian literature. From the nineteenth century to the present, this domesticated exotic has proven itself extremely versatile in the imaginations of our writers.

During my initial research, I located a number of references to the geranium’s culinary uses, but at the time, I had to set these aside. Now, in the spirit of summertime fare, I can’t resist exploring my geranium inventory a little further.

Enthusiasts of author L.M. Montgomery will recall that Marilla Cuthbert has an apple-scented geranium growing in her kitchen window. During her first morning at Green Gables, Anne names this plant “Bonny.” It’s a sentimental gesture, a sign of this orphan’s desire for a loving home (Boyd 83-84). In their documentation of this scene, the editors of The Annotated Anne of Green Gables state that as a kitchen herb, the geranium’s leaves “were used sometimes in flavourings” (81). Although we never see Marilla cooking with geraniums, a quick internet search produces numerous recipes: geranium flavoured cakes, sauces, and teas.
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