Tuesday, September 19, 2017

eating and books in Stratford / Appetite for Words festival

It looks as if, since I had the exciting news that a chef in Stratford, Ontario has designed a menu "inspired" by my novel, Five Roses, all I can write about is food.

What can I say? They asked.

Here's the example I sent. Their photographer--and clearly amazing kitchen store--did a better job.

It's also harvest season.Time to hope the beets and carrots will grow just a little bit more before winter. Wishing the tomatoes on the vines will still ripen. Will there be green beans for another meal? Will I still get rhubarb?

Thursday, September 7, 2017


This made 5 large freezer bags of sauce.

I've got another batch cooking and I still have more than half the box to go.

Tomatoes bought in the wintertime--in Canada--are so hard and dry and juiceless. I told R a few days ago that if I had Italian plum tomatoes from the market, I'd make sauce. He told his good friend who works near the Jean-Talon Market. His good friend is known for kindness and generosity. As he said when he came, What's the point in buying a basket of tomatoes when you can buy a crate?

The tomatoes smell so fresh and... fruity! The knife slides like into peaches. I chop until I almost nick myself and I stop because I don't want to mix blood with tomato juice. (I'm on a blood thinner. Believe me, I bleed.)

Tomato sauce bubbles. I work near the kitchen so I remember to stir it now and again. I have deadlines. Work I need to finish. Work I need to start. But: it's tomato season and I am grateful for fresh, locally-grown produce and good friends.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Five Roses the novel

There's no telling when you write a book what might happen. I thought I wrote a novel about surviving insurmountable loss. I thought I was exploring the historic Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe St. Charles where I've been living since 2001.

In the book I wanted to include cycling by the St. Lawrence River, writing about pastries and pastry-making, living in a cabin without running water or electricity, weaving on a loom, Trini cooking, abandoned factories along the Lachine Canal...

I didn't think a chef would concoct a meal after reading my book!


Pointe paintings by R. I use words not a paint brush.