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A few weeks ago, I made the decision to pretend to be American for a day. After all, who doesn’t like turkey? Plus, 14.29% of the dinner party was American, so it was a justified excuse for roasting a turkey. Not that dinner parties or turkey-consumption need justification.

Juggling busy grad-student lives, we postponed Thanksgiving dinner to Friday. Served, of course, with a traditional side of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Mid-bite with friends, I also realised that this was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a “traditional” thanksgiving, and that the boy and I will likely be hosting other large feasts to come. Although my family does the turkey thing twice a year (for (Canadian) T-giving and Christmas), it’s never with all of the fixings. I was rather pleased with our menu:

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Part of the long weekend was spent in Ottawa, during which, unsurprisingly, there existed a repeated theme of food. Easter dinner with the boy’s family included: a creamy broco-cran salad, a lettuce salad with uber sharp red onions, spiced butternut squash soup, turkey (served with a nutty pecan stuffing), clove-studded ham, vegetarian quiche, sweet potatoes, apple pie, cherry-apple pie, lemon meringue pie. (!!)

Onwards, post dinner adventures: brief catch-ups with friends, meeting of the fiancée, cigars on the rooftop of a 20-something story building. And then? Someone wanted shawarma. Do you know how difficult it is to find a joint that is open on the Sunday night/Monday morning of the Easter long weekend? Scouring downtown Ottawa shortly after 1am, we finally landed on the corner of Elgin & Gladstone. Marroush International is a very moderate joint, with a very nutsy balding and mustache wearing owner. Entertaining. Random. And “full service” entails a dramatic unwrapping of your sandwich, complete with the rip-plus-toss-with-a-flair of the foil covering. All in a farcically sexual (but so very unsexy) manner. I was trying to parse the expression on the face of a North Bay-er: was she creeped/shocked/entertained/laughing/etc? I didn’t order anything myself, but snuck a bite (or two or three) of the boy’s sandwich. Thumbs up from him.

After sleeping off the randomness, we met with an old friend of the boy’s for lunch. It seems that cross-city franchises have different expectations at their various locations. The boy, when in Winnipeg last summer, had positive remarks regarding drinks and cocktails at Moxie’s. I, on the other hand, encountered a version in Toronto (the one at Fairview mall) that left me wanting much, much more. If memory serves me, I had ordered the soup/sandwich combo – my soup was tepid, and my club sandwich was lacking bacon and tomatoes. Due to my preconceived notions of Moxie’s nation-wide, I had to do a slight double take this past Monday: we walked into a modern looking venue that was large and two-storied, with an open kitchen (though the fake wood-fire oven was disappointing), and attractive waitstaff. I soon discovered tjat the washrooms were just as trendy (I’m a fan of the tiled trough sink). Then, the food. For what it was, it certainly surpassed my expectations (the fries did, however, leave me parched for the remainder of the afternoon). I ordered the portobelo baguette-sandwich, and the boy and friend seemed to find their respective steak sandwiches just dandy (open-faced steak sandwich, which was the special of the day, and greek salad steak wrap).Back in Montreal, the snagged turkey leftovers (now sitting prettily in the freezer), hopefully imply that we’ll finally get around to making a savoury, curry pie.

[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

I was commissioned to whip up a dessert for a dinner party of sorts on the 26th – so after much deliberation and clicking through recipes at epicurious.com, I’ve settled on making a double chocolate torte to impress family friends I haven’t seen since last December. It’s supposed to turn out something like this (operative words here = “supposed to”):


Of course, it being Christmas and all, everything’s closed tomorrow (well, today, technically), and of course, me being a talented procrastinator, I make a mad dash for Loblaws earlier this afternoon before their early 6pm close, only to find that they had no bitter- or semi- sweet baker’s chocolate. So off to Price Chopper, where I left in glee – not only did they have the stuff I needed, everything was ridiculously cheap. (250g philly cream cheese = 1.50$!! There’s definitely going to be some sort of cheesecake concoction next week, and I think I’m going to expand beyond the tried and true lime almond cheesecake and look for something more festive…) Anyway, I don’t end up on the kitchen floor until 10:30(ish), and I realised I needed butter. And that everything was closed. (Where’s a dep when you need one?) I finally find a 24hr Rabba that was still open. Which, of course, was fabulous. After all of that effort, this better be the best damn chocolate cake! Tomorrow, it’ll be cheesy Christmas songs (I’m still not feeling festive, and we’re almost 3 hours into xmas day already, so maybe that’ll do the trick?), and me versus the cake, part II: chocolate mouse.