A while back I did a post about one of my favourite vegetables, artichokes, and speculated that when Raymond and I enjoyed some, freshly steamed, here at the Manse, it was very probably the first time such a thing had ever been consumed in this 126-year-old rural minister’s house. Well, there have been a few more probable firsts on the food front since then. And I have the photographic evidence!
Had someone told me when I was a kid growing up here that one day I would be eating fresh raw oysters in this very same place, I suspect I would have been hornswoggled. But here they are (and they were delicious):
And then there was the cheese fondue, a 1970s fad in North America that never caught on (back then) here at the Manse. And if you still think of cheese fondue as merely a 1970s fad, well, I just don’t care, because it’s the best way I can think of to eat a lot of bread and melted cheese all at once. (Well, and broccoli. For Raymond.) I’m afraid I have to tell you that the bread, a proper baguette from Première Moisson, and the cheese (raw-milk Gruyère and Emmenthal) all came from Montreal, and another time I’ll rant about the impossibility of getting a good baguette and good cheese (other than cheddar) in central Hastings County – and, for that matter, in much of Ontario.
And then there was the pizza. But not just any pizza: it was Raymond’s (Newly) Famous Pizza, on awesome homemade crust that came from a recipe in from the New York Times‘s Sam Sifton (it’s here, and here is the accompanying article; try it, and you’ll thank me!) and was made with 00 flour – very fine Italian flour that neither of us had ever heard of before and that, you guessed it, was obtained in Montreal. (You can use regular flour instead.) With the bacon, onions and mushrooms (and of course cheese) on top (not to mention a glass of chunky Italian wine), it was absolutely delicious:
And finally – the lobsters. Perhaps you’ll recall that in my post this week about East Coast mystery writer (and our friend) Hilary MacLeod speaking at the Tweed Public Library Thursday evening (May 1, 7 p.m., and you’re invited!), appropriately themed refreshments would be served. Well, among those refreshments will be lobster salad on crackers, yum! Which Raymond has made thanks to these three sea creatures giving up their lives for a good cause:
Live lobsters and raw oysters and cheese fondue and 00-flour pizza at the Manse, wow. Culinary craziness!