September 12th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

Since meeting the sporty FC, I’m now totally hooked on camping. I mean real camping. A tent. A canoe. A remote lake in the woods. Steep portages. The possibilty of running into a bear. (Okay, not the bear part. Hate that part.)

Though in my last post on the matter, I focused on camping food (and there’s so much more to say on that topic) I don’t think we can forget about fashion. Roughing it doesn’t mean you can’t look cute at the same time. Knee socks, plaid shorts, a fishing hat, a 70s plaid flannel shirt with a fat collar, a woolly sweater for chilly nights by the fire. Don’t let geeky gortex take over!. Please? Nature is beautiful. We should be too.

My friend Marc nailed his camping look last weekend in Parc Papineau Labelle, resurrecting his old scout cap and even donning a tie before our mushroom hunting excursion. Adorable! Also notice his water flask. Useful and stylish.

Dried mushrooms and portabellos made a tasty fireside pasta dish.

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August 30th, 2010 Uncategorized | 4 Comments

 

Four weeks ago, my friend Eilidh came home from work to find her boyfriend of three years sitting on the front porch smoking a cigarrette, suitcase on the ground beside him. “I can’t do this anymore.” That’s all he said. She tried to ask questions (why? when? how?) but he wouldn’t talk. He was cold as stone. Then he was gone.

 

To lift my friend’s mood, we decided to take a holiday together. One overpriced flight later, I arrived in BC ready to embark on an upbeat all-girl road trip. Our first stop was a family wedding on Vancouver Island, an event bound to arouse mixed feelings; joy, loss, rage, regret. I was going to be my friend’s “girl-date.” Her buffer. Her drinking buddy. With enough booze, music and prospective cute single boys, this weddding would be a breeze. Much to our horror, the wedding was a dry event with, gulp, no dancing, and lots of married young fellows holding newborn babies in their arms. Damn those sober, fast-breeding Christian types!

 

Fortunately, Mother Nature stepped in to save us. Mountains, giant trees, sprawling ocean views, wild deers prancing along the roads…the scenery was our entertainment. One afternoon, Eilidh and I took a hike in the woods and were instantly drawn to the lush blackberries growing wild along the path. When picked at their late summer prime, blackberries have a sweetness so distracting all your heartache goes away. Eilidh was particuraly adept at spotting just the right ones and it quickly became a passion. The second you taste a good blackberry, it’s like an addiction. Frantically, hungrily, you pick your way through a few sour berries in search of another mouthwatering hit. It’s a treacherous activity too, since the bushes have thorns and more then once I had to disentangle my sweater from a cluster of mauling branches.

 

Love’s the same. Finding the right person is no easy task. After endless discussions, we decided Eilidh’s man was sour from the start. She would have to choose better next time. And she was hungry for it. I could tell. While we walked along the beach, she texted an old flame, hoping to start a spark, then bought a new flirty skirt on the high street in Victoria that she said would be “perfect datewear.” She was discarding her rotten blackberry on the compost heap and getting back out into the woods. She was my blackberry-picking superhero/goddess! Resilliant, beautiful, brave, funny, with the sharp eye of an expert huntress, I knew she would succeed.

 

Meawhile, with all this relationship talk, I couldn’t help but wonder– how long was my love story going to last? Would the sweetness ever go sour?

 

When I returned home to Montreal a week later, the FC was waiting for me at the front gate as my taxi pulled up. It was early morning and he was just heading to work, wearing his usual rumpled shirt and fresh-from-the-shower slicked down side part. The timing was perfect. We embraced, shyly at first. The electricity, the magic, the reverence for what we had infused every moment. Unable to say goodbye so soon, the FC dropped my bags in front of the house and we walked to the metro together hand in hand, stopping every few steps to embrace. In the station, the FC kept looking back as he stepped onto the escalator down to his train. I waved back from the turnstyles, silly, grinning, already missing him…

 

It was so very sweet. Like the perfect late summer blackberry.

 

4 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Love: Blackberry season in BC”

  1. Peter Sloan Says:

    Finding the perfect berry after sampling all those sour ones. Having it then ripen into a beautiful fruity wine rather than turn into sour vinegar. Yikes! Perhaps Eilidh should take a bit of time to clear her palette before jumping back into the berry patch! That’s what I am doing for now. For now…..
    Nice post Laura.

  2. laura Says:

    Thanks Peter. Well, E’s not exactly jumping.. just dreaming about jumping, getting psyched up for it. Lots of mourning to do too. But hopefully not too much. Summer doesn’t last forever.

  3. Peter Sloan Says:

    And, love, for some of us ,doesn’t last forever. A timeless and universal story.
    I empathize with her.

  4. laura Says:

    Agreed Peter. That’s my fascination these days, and I guess the whole idea of the blog too. Is part of the “recipe for love” that it last indefinitely? Even a favourite dish can tire after a while. Or is there a way to renew it with fresh ingredients? I don’t know. I’m taking my romance one day at a time, trying (and failing) not to think too much about the long term.

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August 18th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

When I asked my sister,  “Do you love your husband?” she paused, then replied, “Only in the right lighting.” The marriage didn’t last – his doing — but she had a point about the lighting. Good light and love go hand in hand. Nobody can fall in love while scrutinizing a prospective lover’s pores.  Even Blanche Dubois had the good sense to throw a Chinese paper lantern over a cruel naked bulb. Shadows let dreams live. This is important. Because falling in love isn’t about seeing all the facts,  it’s about seeing possibility.  Of course staying in love is more tricky. Staying in love means seeing a person at their most beautiful all the time, in all kinds of light. This is how the French CutiePie sees me. No matter where I am, under the midday sun or bathing in the harsh flurorescent light of a waiting room, to him I’m always “zee most beautiful girl in zee wold.”  It’s like the FC’s eyeballs have a built-in dimmer switch. He never notices my flaws.  And the more beautiful he sees me, the more confident and beautiful I become. That’s why love feeds love. In all light.

Though the FC thinks I

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August 12th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !
Took this picture from a Manhattan shop window (Rugby?). Aren't T-straps and argyle socks dazzling? So cute and preppy it makes me want to go back to school and get a PhD... in love.

Took this picture from a Manhattan shop window (Rugby?). Aren't T-straps and argyle socks dazzling? So cute and preppy it makes me want to go back to school and get a PhD... in love.

Worked the same look earlier this summer with argyle ankle socks and couldn't stop looking at my feet.

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August 11th, 2010 Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Maybe we need to call a psychic or just flip a coin, but the FC and I are stumped about what material to use for our kitchen counter. (Yes, after living here a full month, we still don’t have one.) Having ruled out granite, concrete and tile, we’re finally down to white quartz or wood. Everyone has a different opinion. Both cost the same. The wood counter will be custom made by a carpenter that my friend knows, so it won’t look Ikea-ish, it’ll be wide-planked and (we think) dark stained. Romantic, cottage-y. But the white quartz will be light and airy and go with my mid-century modern teak dining room table. Which is the best choice? We keep vacilliating. All the while, I have a sorry looking piece of MDF getting more stained with every hour.

It’s time for action, choices, momentum. Or maybe just another cup of tea…

Wood will work with our sink and tap, which are similar to the above.

This kitchen uses the backsplash to break up the all white, something we could try with our white tile (already purchased.) Also like rustic stools in front. White goes with everything!

One Response to “Topless in the kitchen”

  1. alex Says:

    WOOD !!!!!!!

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August 10th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

My friend Catherine stumbled upon this quote in a friend’s blog and, thinking I might appreciate it, sent it along. The quote is from “The World According to Garp” by John Irving, which I haven’t read but maybe should.

 

“If you are careful,’ Garp wrote, ‘if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.”

 

I have often thought that my cooking was a kind of therapeutic release from the strains of being a sceenwriter, because when I cook I feel more in control and can see results quickly (unlike TV work, which is a long, drawn-out process, with many different cooks, and one is never sure who, in the end, is getting the final kick out of it, if anyone.)  

 

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July 21st, 2010 Uncategorized | 3 Comments

With our new back yard, the FC and I have been doing a lot of outdoor dining. For patio lanterns, here’s what I’m loving; reusing old jam, pickle and mustard jars as candle holders. They’re large enough to block the wind, look pretty, and you can feel all e-virtuous reusing jars a few more times before sending them into the green box. I’ve also been using jars as wine glasses for picnics. It looks cool, makes your cup easily identifiable (“Oh, I’m the Bonne Mamman cherry jam!”) and you can screw the lid back on when you’re ready to pack up, preventing any last drops from staining your picnic basket. The lid also makes your wine glass portable, so no more spillage as you tipsily wander around the park, looking for friends.

First photo from Apartment Therapy's related article on Best Outdoor Lanterns.

First photo from Apartment Therapy's related article on Best Outdoor Lanterns.

3 Responses to “Two Ways to Reuse Old Jars!”

  1. Julia Says:

    I love both of these ideas. Can’t wait to try them out as wine glasses for my next picnic. 🙂

  2. laura Says:

    Saw your blog Julia and am keen to try that simple strawberry pie. It sounds like a Baking For Boys keeper.

  3. Julia Says:

    Thanks, I tried it last weekend and was a definite success. 🙂

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July 19th, 2010 Uncategorized | 3 Comments

It’s hard to come back to a blog after a long break. So much to say, where do you start? Or restart?

 

Firstly, you should know that the FC and I finally moved into our new home. Though we’ve had our share of stress (pidgeon poo in the ceiling, crooked floors, shady contractors) we also feel crazily blessed. The cool touch of new slate under our feet (like being at the beach) the gleaming white kitchen cupboards, the magical garden that just feels so huge compared to the small terrace of my former apartment– How lucky are we?

 

And with this change of address I feel the blog should change too. Not sure how yet… Perhaps I’ll start with the name. Goodbye Cooking For Cock, hello Eat My Heart? Because that’s what I want to record; all the delectable morcels of goodness (culinary and otherwise) I encounter in this new chapter in my life.

 

3 Responses to “Eat My Heart (Out)”

  1. Peter Says:

    Dig the pigeon poop into the garden and plant some purslane. I’ve just discovered this wonderful “weed” which grows everywhere and in the past was pulled out of the garden with a vengeance. It’s a tasty ancient crop, a peppery succulent, which has a much higher nutritional value than lettuce or spinach. Pull them out and eat your weedies instead! Next,Lambs Quarters!

  2. Dominic Says:

    I think this is a very nice idea to make a new start! Isn’t life all about that?

    Love the potential new name too.

    I am super glad you like your new love nest!! Enjoy! Can’t wait to see it sometime.

  3. laura Says:

    Would that I had enough full sun for a vegetable garden. Shade lovers like mint will thrive. Is purslane shade-friendly?

    But I do have a small patch of sun that could host a few things, it’s limited real estate– until the FC and I build a roof deck! (But for now, we’re done with construction. It’s hell on love.)

    L

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June 10th, 2010 Uncategorized | Leave a comment !

 

Coucou!

 

With the cottage renovation nearing completion (so much to say on that topic) and two screenwriting projects on the go, I’ve just been too swamped to blog or cook. Frozen peas, instant mashed potatoes (they’re good) simple mixed green salads, couscous, frozen perogis and Knorr Carrot and Coriander soup boxes have saved my ass.

 

Not having special dining time with the FC is definitely a challenge. I miss gazing into his big blue eyes over the candlelit dinner table. Instead, we snarf down a hasty supper and quibble about shady contractors, renovation delays and all round stress. It’s conclusive. Renovations are NOT part of the recipe for love. But they are a test, that’s for sure, though the FC is constantly reminding me not to take the temperature of the relationship now, while under duress. (He’s so wise.)

 

The good news is that I love what I’m writing, especially a new ghost series pilot for CBC (more details to come.) I think that’s definitely part of the recipe for love. Loving what you do. It makes you happy even when everything else feels out of whack. Though under a tight deadline, the writing has been a sanctuary from other pressures.

 

And on that note, back to work. Will blog again soon. Promise.

 

Illustration by Ola Kononova.

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