I resurface briefly from the school thing to shamelessly promote my neighbourhood again. (Yes, there remain back-burner posts that I have neglected, including our November 2013 turducken adventure I promised on my Northern bread baking post; I have not forgotten!). There may or may not also be a boastful gleeful lookee!-my-lunch-was-really-the-bestest sentiment that motivated today’s post.

Bread By UsShortly after Hintonburg Market opened, Wellington Street West welcomed a new bakery: Bread By Us. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying a rather dark and dense sourdough, a walnut-apricot loaf, baguettes, and both sweet and savoury croissants. I feel neutral about sourdoughs most of the time (but when I’m in the mood I’m sure I’ll go back to pick something up–likely a lighter rendition). Furthermore, the boy is an avid baker, so I wasn’t blown away by the (objectively delicious) walnut-apricot loaf. It’s really the baguettes and croissants (and the very lovely folks behind the counter) that keep me coming back.
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I’m in Iqaluit for a January internship! Somehow, this has translated into cooking up a storm (though I can’t be held responsible for the blizzard that blew through on my 5th day here / 2nd day at work). Between aimless internet rabbit holes and late night classes (and much to the boy’s chagrin), my fall semester was very much not full of kitchen adventures (though: turducken. Which is a back-burner blog post to come).

I decided to make bread, a two fold challenge: 1) I can count on one hand the number of loaves I’ve ever made (the boy is the baker) and 2) I would have to mix the dough by hand (our Kitchen Aid is one of my favourite kitchen acquisitions). Mixing dough by hand gives me pause in appreciating generations past – grandmothers and wives who made bread for years without gadgets.

Below chronicles my very exciting Friday night / Saturday morning. Following that is the recipe the boy’s instructions – let me know if you decide to give it a go!

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Dear future me:

Do not attempt to mash under cooked potatoes. Counter to your time saving intuition, this will actually increase your cooking time (and frustration) 4 fold. You will be cursing at yourself for your foolishness, and then you will be making a mess in trying to fix your lumpy mass of a mess.

Also: find your ricer. I doubt the kitchen gremlins have actually stolen it. And/or buy a potato masher. Pastry cutters are are subpar for the task at hand.

Damn rice eating ancestors for not teaching me how to mash potatoes!


I suspect normal folks with evening munchies quench their craving by going to the nearest convenience store. In our house, munchies often lead to full fledged kitchen adventures.

This evening’s snack is brought to you (me?) by Anthony Bordain’s No Reservations: the boy, watching S02E04’s feature on Quebec, became nostalgic for our days in Montreal.  Nostalgic specifically for La Banquise. I should add that we’ve never actually been there (and that yes, I admit this with much sorrow and sheepishness), but we’d often walk past this little joint that was constantly packed with people and presumably delicious poutine.

Potatoes were washed and sliced. Generous amounts of oil went into a cast iron pot.

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I was never a fan of creamy Caesar salads, and I suspect my disdain was grounded in encounters with mediocre-at-best bottled versions. For longer than I can remember, the boy and I have been quite happy making our own vinaigrettey rendition and I think we would’ve happily continued to do so had it not been for Sunday. Which was the boy’s first day off since starting  his month long stint in Halifax (at the HSOW) as Hoffmann in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (an opera featuring drunkenness, death, evil geniuses and love. Shameless plug Sidenote: his performance dates are August 6 (7:30PM) and August 13 (2PM). Concept: Victorian steampunk. The show’s going to be awesome.)
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