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Quest for the Best Fresh Strawberry Pie

Quest for the Best Fresh Strawberry Pie

Summer approaches, and even the spiders are getting excited. (If I had noticed that one before taking the picture, I probably wouldn’t have got up so close.) My son’s backyard strawberries are growing and just hinting at the vibrant and luscious ripeness to come. Despite the unseasonal heat here for the last few weeks (it’s been hotter in southern Ontario than in southern France), summer won’t really begin until the strawberries are ripe and ready for picking. When I was a kid, late June meant a trip to the pick-your-own strawberry farm. The reward, other...
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Easy as Crisp

Easy as Crisp

Whoever said “easy as pie” had it all wrong. Sure the fillings can be the easiest thing going, but the crust? Not so much. Making a good pie crust is an art. A drop too much of water, one pat too many of the hand, one degree too warm for the butter and instead of a tender, flakey crust, you have dried play dough. But a crisp? Now we’re talking easy! No finicky working of the dough–just get your hands in there and get ‘er done. And there’s gotta be some kind of health bonus for the fibre in the oats. A crisp is the perfect place...
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Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla Carbonara

For me, pasta alla carbonara calls to mind a small town, nestled on a hillside surrounded by green farms abundant with laden fruit trees; a town where the bakeries outnumber the banks and the locals gather for long chats over produce stands. It was there that my love affair with this dish began, there in Villers-Bocage, Normandy. What’s that, you say? Are you sure it wasn’t a hillside near Rome, the reputed birthplace of carbonara? I had eaten pasta alla carbonara before in Canada, but had never found it so satisfying as the one at the little pizza and...
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Falling into Chocolate

Falling into Chocolate

I collect bookmarks. I started when I was around 18 and found one that had a picture of chocolate chips. It read, “Forget love. I’d rather fall into chocolate.” Okay, so some of that was about pretending my boyfriendless state was by choice. But most of it really was about the chocolate. I love, love, love chocolate. My husband aside, it’s given me more joy than any man I ever dated. Naturally it’s the feature ingredient for one of my first recipe quests: molten chocolate cakes. I can’t think of many more satisfying eating...
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Cod au Gratin

Cod au Gratin

I’m all about the home cooking, and nothing says home cooking to me like the dishes of my family’s culture. Those tuckamores there? They’ve got their roots in the same place I do, Canada’s newest, oldest, easternmost province–Newfoundland. Although I grew up in Ontario, my Newfoundland heritage is at the base of who I am. Surrounded by the ocean as they are, Newfoundlanders have always relied on the resources of the sea. It’s no surprise that fish is an important part of Newfoundland home cooking. My favourite is cod, fresh from...