Weddings:Part I

Congratulations Eric and Caroline!
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Danny and I having a tender moment during the wedding reception.=)


The Bourque immediate family. L toR: Richard, Danny and I, Chris, Michael, Eric and Caroline, Brian and Dorothy, Kevin and Melanie, Michel, and last but not least, Robert.

We welcomed a new member into the Bourque family on Saturday. Danny’s older brother Eric, married the beautiful Caroline and I now have another girl in the family to help balance out all the guys! I was having such a good time at the reception, I forgot to photograph the food, but it was delicious and nicely presented.

A brief summary:

Best moment:

The bridal party and guests spilling out into the steps of the church on Sherbrook Street and hearing the bells pealing and seeing all the smiles and stares from people passing by.

Worst moment:

Noah twice grabbing a fistful of my carefully coiffed hairdo in the church!

Most touching moment:

Eric choking back sobs as Caro comes down the aisle.

Sketchiest moment:

Eric’s 9-year-old cousin catching the garter and wearing it to the brunch the next morning. Aye!=) Too cute!!

Two more weddings to go.

Sassy Chef-ette

I think someday I’ll frame this one for my kitchen as a reminder of how cool and fun cooking is. Just look at her seasoning that fish. Tres chaud! I’ve misplaced my pants like hers, though. Bummer.

Mushroom mafia or ’37’


Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.”
Thomas Carlyle My parents just returned from the Haida Guaii, otherwise known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, where they were picking wild mushrooms for mad cash. The Charlottes are located 300 km of the northwest coast of British Columbia and are a day’s trip from my parents place in New Hazelton. Sometimes called the Galapagos of the North, I have fond memories of that wild, lush place: BC’s own little tropics, it seemed to me.My parent’s had originally planned a four-day bike trip around the islands to relax and see the sights, but ended up hooking up with some mushroom-picking cronies, signing their souls over to the mushroom mafia, and staying three weeks for the remainder the chanterelle season. (more on the mafia later, it’s not a joke. I have to get the full story from my dad). They loved their time roaming the deep rainforest and picking chanterelles. My mum’s only complaint was:
“Some guys from Quebec pitched their tent right in front of the outhouse that doesn’t have a door!”I know these little chanterelle beauties (called giroles in French) from my three years at Toque! where I probably cooked enough of them to crust the entire Island of Montreal in a nice duxelles. We received more than just the one mushroom variety from the QC’s, there were morels, black trumpets and the infamous pine, too. The Montreal mushroom scene is pretty weird. It is mostly controlled by one family of Eastern European decent (don’t know where for sure) who are all in competition with each other.The guy I dealt with at Toque was called Serge, an elderly, short, stocky fellow who shuffled in with a basket over his arm, usually while we were in the middle of service. He would lean on the counter and wait for a lull, meanwhile checking out the girls with a gleam in his eyes. He was self-reputed to have, ahem, ‘done it’ with his wife 37 times in one night, and this seemed to be an undisputable fact that simply everyone knew about on the cooking scene. While he waited, usually one of the guys on the line would holler out,“Trente-sept, eh Serge?”to which he would straighten up, shake a finger at the cook and say,“OUI, trente-sept”.With my parents having picked them, and I having served them, it seems like we have had a mushroom ‘full circle’ moment, as Oprah would say. Ok, maybe we should reserve that term for something a little more monumental, but I though it was pretty cool.

When life hands you lemons…

….make lemon curd. Lemons are 5 for $.99 at my local fruiterie and I’ve been using them to test some curd for Noah’s birthday gateau. This recipe is so fast to make and can keep for a few days. I played around and made the tartlet’s you see here, but you can use the curd between layers of cake, for a pie filling, or just eaten straight from the fridge with a spoon at 3am. Not that I know anything about that!! I have to credit the marvelous Martha for this recipe.

Lemon Curd
Makes 1 1/2 cups
6 large egg yolks
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
12 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1. Prepare an ice bath fitted with a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into prepared medium bowl. Stirring frequently, let stand until cool.
3. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to prevent skin from forming; wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
PS. My apologies for the photo. They will improve with time!