Whylah Falls Clam Chowder

This afternoon, she thawed a pound of cod filets, white flesh raw but succulent on the plate, and diced it into one-inch squares. Then she sautéed a half cup of sliced onions in rich, yellow butter and poured the sizzling aroma into a broth made from celery soup, a cup of water, and a cup of milk. Next, she stirred the mix and added the fish, Jarvis scallops, and Church Point clams, nursing the chowder to a boil. Cora simmered it for seven minutes, then sprinkled the smiling sea with chopped parsley. Voilà! Perfection under gravity …

Whylah Falls, George Elliott Clarke

Recipe Notes (By Alexia Moyer)

This morning, Alexia went to her local fishmonger and paid 15 Euros for scallops. Yikes.

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Cowcumber Boats

Recipes Notes (by Alexia Moyer)

Next week you will read all about Charlottetown’s literary fare on our sister blog. To pique your appetite, behold . . . a recipe featuring a certain slate-breaking, mouse-saucing, kindred spirit-searching redhead.

Cucumber . . . concummer . . . cowcummer . . . cowcumber. All are variants of cucumber. Or so says the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). What the OED does not discuss are cucumbers in relation to boats. Is this vegetable sufficiently seaworthy? I – who have read at least four of Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey/Steven Maturin series and can therefore tell a luff from a lubber’s hole – would not venture to sail in one. The cucumber is, however, an excellent vessel for tuna salad. Or so says The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook from which this recipe is drawn.

Montgomery’s Anne books are chock-full of fare. At least two people have noticed this. The person who borrowed the Anne of Green Gables omnibus before me – from the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec – had discreetly (in pencil) underlined any and all mentions of food. I couldn’t help but feel a certain kinship with this unknown reader, vandal though s/he may be.

The second person is Kate McDonald, granddaughter of Montgomery and author of this literary cookbook. Within, you will find recipes for raspberry cordial (sans alcohol), plum pudding (sans mouse) and the cowcumber boats tested below.

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quaglie all’uva (quail with grapes)

Recipe Notes (Alexia Moyer)

Welcome to Toronto. This week we’re cooking from Italian Canadians at Table: A Narrative Feast in Five Courses.

Editors Lorretta Gatto-White and Delia De Santis have gathered the food-related writings and recollections from Italian Canadians cross country. The result is a literary cookbook. You can cook from it, as it includes recipes and/or detailed descriptions of food preparation.

Pride of place belongs to narrative here. This book isn’t just about cooking, in other words. It’s about writing cooking.

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Many of its contributors live and work and eat in Toronto, including Elizabeth Cinello.

“Food Companion Wanted” is both title and premise of Cinello’s short story. Widower, Alberto Di Rota places an ad in the local Italian Canadian paper. He’s looking for a live-in cook and he wants traditional Italian meals. Widow, Nina Crocetti, weary of her daughter and granddaughter’s no-carbohydrate and vegetarian, gluten-free diets, agrees to meet Alberto at a park on Caledonia road.
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Prairie Chicken in Cream; Carrots in Orange Sauce

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At last, Northern Cookbook has arrived on my doorstep. Written by Eleanor Ellis in 1967, this cookbook – or at least my copy of it – is currently sunning it considerably south of 60 in Marseille, whose inhabitants keep lemon, fig, and palm trees on their balconies. There is something slightly boastful about owning a lemon tree that STAYS OUTSIDE in the “winter” but I will not belabour the subject. It smacks of sour grapes.

Suffice it to say that the many country food recipes in this book – Seal on a Bun, Jellied Moose Nose – cannot easily be made in my current kitchen. I do have ready access to citrus. I therefore chose two recipes more suited to a southern clime: Carrots with Orange Sauce and Prairie Chicken in Cream.

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