Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

La Pizzeria Fresca Ristorante-Part 1

August10

On this my third visit to New York City I was so pleased to once again find affordable accommodation in the Flatiron/Union Square area.

A beautiful stroll down E 20th took us to Park Ave. and the famed locked Gramercy Park.  In this case the journey was as pleasant as the destination as the elegant brownstones and town homes in the area are a indication that the gentry of New York is alive and apparently still thriving.

La Pizzeria Fresca Ristorante boasts the certification of “Verace Pizza Napoletana” (Original Artisan Neapolitan Pizza) which is a Italian organization headquartered in Naples which upholds the ancient traditions of pizza making in a response to the frozen and fast food industry making false claims to the consumer.  The chair states: “The pizza secret lies all in the dough rising.  The recipe?  It doesn’t exist and I can tell you that because I’ve learned since I was a child that dough rising changes according to the weather…it is the experience that refines the art.”

The little shop in Naples where pizza was invented is still serving them up today.  My husband and son are of the few that can boast of visiting its doors and tasting its wares, having backpacked Europe together in 2006.  D can still vivdly remember the taste of the Margherita pizza they sampled that day.  Named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, the ingredients display the colours of Italian flag and was invented to honour her visit.

Kath’s quote:

“We live in age when pizza gets to your door faster than the police.”- Jeff Marder

Celebrating Life with Food

August6

Tonight we are hosting dear friends who have been in our lives for over 35 years.  One couple (L&D) live just across the river from us and the other(M&R) are flying in this morning from The Beaches in Toronto.  We have been together through much-our marriage celebrations, pregnancy and the birth of our children (two of our boys are 3 months apart), catastrophic illness and the death of parents.  We lived “30 Something” (which was our favourite TV show) in the late eighties.  Somehow,  in those days dinner landed on the table and kids got fed.  It is a blur now as to how we accomplished this.

Now life although still too hectic,  is more leisurely around the preparation of dinner.  Perhaps our expectations are different too.  It is still about the care and taste of the dishes but mostly about the time to languish in each others’ company.

Last year’s get together had a Parisiene theme and we met at M&R’s cottage in NW Ontario.  Now that I am a blogger, I regret my wine consumption as I have no food photos. 

I only partly recall the menu-pate and cheeses, escargot in Cafe de Paris butter, grilled halibut, salad and a creme fresh with fruit.  I’ll ask for a memory refreshment tonight.

Kath’s quote: “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.”-Albert Camus

My heart fascination is because of this precious friendship.  How can I find the perfect heart to share here.  I cannot….

Guest Blogger: Sister #3-Yenat

August5

The other day I got a call from my friend Osani asking if I would like to go out for Ethiopian food. Loving both Osani and adventurous eating, I said yes. We, along with his Mom-my friend Moneca, and my Quebec summer student, made our way to Yenat located at 330 Ellice. Osani insisted we order the Kokeb Bayeynetu which is a huge crepe covered with sampling of various meats, beans, relishes, chick peas, potatoes, cabbage, salads and even hard boiled eggs.  It comes with a big plate of extra crepes. You just tear off a piece of crepe and use it to gather up a tasty sample.

In African dinning it is very important to ONLY use your your right hand, which my dinner host Osani was sure to inform me.  It was a fun way to have dinner, but I must say not the tidiest thing to eat with a very hungry 11 year old.

It is great to see a kid who is so open to trying new food and enjoys sharing what he finds with his friends.

Kath’s quote: “They say fingers were made before forks, and hands before knives.”-Jonathan Swift

Guest Blogger: Sister #3-Rembrant’s

August4

This summer I have been host mother to Emilie, a lovely student from Quebec who is here perfecting her already very good English.  It has given me a chance to show her around and be a bit of a hometown tourist myself.  This weekend we had what I would consider the perfect Manitoba day. 

We started with brunch at Rembrandt’s Bistro just outside of Lockport.  Only 20 minutes outside of Winnipeg, this lovely sunny restaurant provides a great Sunday Brunch at only $15.95 a person. Your brunch starts with a creme brulee that features Red River cereal and dried blueberries, how very Manitoban!  Emilie and I each had the Eggs Benedict, which you can have with smoked Arctic char if you so desire.  Another friend enjoyed the Salmon Wellington with sweet potato fries.  The coffee was hot, the juice was cold and both kept coming as the service was great!  http://www.wellink.ca

Next we were off to Lower Fort Garry.  www.pc.gc.ca/garry We had lots of fun wandering through the fort and chatting with the people playing the characters of the time.  After a lovely stroll and lots of learning we took a leisurely drive down River Road to Captain Kennedy’s House to walk through the gardens along the river bank.

A perfect Manitoba Sunday!

Kath’s quote:  “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” ~Luciano Pavarotti

Guest Blogger : Sister #3-Turkish Delight

August3

One of the most amazing trips I ever took was to Turkey. We started our tour in Istanbul-a busy city that sits half in Europe and half in Asia. I had no idea what to expect and everything there was like nothing I had ever seen before: the smells from the spice bazaar, the five-time-daily call to prayer, the veiled women and dark handsome men.  The food too was very different from what I had tried before.  I have to admit that I struggled with warm milk in my breakfast cereal and eating fish that was staring back at me. We did have a couple of meals that I loved, including this one just outside of Ephesus.

Over the years I have acquired more of a taste for Middle Eastern cuisine.  While we have some Israeli and Lebanese restaurants in Winnipeg, we don’t have any Turkish ones that I’m aware of. But, recently while visiting friends in Toronto I got a chance to once again feast on authentic Turkish food.  Let me tell you it was better than I ever remember it being.  The friends that I was visiting in Toronto happen to be the couple who lead our Turkish tour. They introduced me to a place called Konak Turkish Grill. It is a tiny little take-out, with only three tables to dine in, located in a strip mall in Etobicoke.  The food is delicious and ridiculously inexpensive. The couple who own the shop were so lovely that when I tipped the gentleman he insisted that we take a box of Turkish delight to add to our already over abundant dinner.  So, if you are ever wandering along the lake shore in Toronto, be sure to stop by 2491 Lake Shore Blvd. W.416-251-3700.

Kath’s quote:  “The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn’t have eyeballs or fins.”-Dave Barry

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