I love leeks. They are cousins of the onions, but they are milder and almost sweet when lightly sauteed. I don’t buy them very often, so I was excited when Meinhilde brought them back from the market. This had to be a dish that would feature the leeks as the main star. I whipped up this frittata after work on the first chilly evening of autumn.
The Boathouse Tea Room is – you guessed it – an old boathouse in Guelph, Ontario. Both Tomiko and I completed our undergraduate degrees at the University of Guelph, and we would walk by the Boathouse every Saturday on our way to the Guelph Farmers’ Market.
As students, Tomiko and I only visited The Boathouse twice, since we were poor and didn’t eat out much. We would treat ourselves very rarely, and one of those times was with the delicious teatime at The Boathouse. Now that we have regular incomes and are living in Toronto, tea at The Boathouse is a great deal!
The Boathouse is located on the Speed River of Guelph, Ontario. It is just a short stroll to the covered bridge, one of only a few in Ontario. The boathouse was built in the early 1900s for the opera singer Edward Johnson, and in addition to housing boats at one time, it served as a dance hall, concession stand, and Navy Cadet Headquarters. In the 1997, after years of disuse, the boathouse was restored and became The Boathouse Tea Room.
Tomiko, Donatello, and I drove out to Guelph on a sunny Sunday in September. After visiting the Aberfoyle Antique Market, we lunched at The Boathouse. Donatello had the butter chicken strudel with an onion soup, and Tomiko and I shared tea for two.
Apple pie. Peach pie. Strawberry rhubarb pie. Yes, they’re delicious, but also quite common. I’m not the biggest fan of pie, or of fruity desserts in general, but this grape pie is special and delicious enough to make me a convert! Toronto is close to the Niagara region of Ontario where it’s warm enough to grow fruits that can’t deal with the weather of the rest of Canada. Hence, Niagara grows amazing fruits, including the most luscious peaches, cherries, and yes, grapes. Especially the purple Concord grapes, that taste like purple (you know, like purple lollipops, purple popsicles, and how purple markers smell). Once out of the oven, the originally indigo grapes transform into a plummy purple colour and look frosted with the sugar.
I’ve seen other recipes where you have to slip the grapes out of the skins and then prepare each mixture separately. Too much hassle for me. Not only is the assembly of this pie easy, the crust is really simple too. This pie uses seedless Concord grapes (and they must be seedless), but you leave them whole. People often think it’s a blueberry pie instead of grape!
Like Umbra, Structube is a design store that I’ve seen all over and assumed it was an American company. Sometimes I like to be wrong! Structube was actually founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1974 as a family company, and the name ‘Structube’ is derived from the French term ‘structures tubulaires,’ meaning ‘tubular structures.’ The store carries sleek, modern, but interesting furniture and home accessories that would complement any living space.
I’m happy to see that the pieces are rather affordable too! The items above are some simple yet stunning favourites of mine, and I also love how you can find photos of the items as they can be used in real living situations.
I made these when I was kitchen staff at a summer camp in Algonquin Park. At the end of two months of camp, the kids and most of the staff left for home. I stayed to help the chef prepare food for ‘post-camp,’ where head staff would finish up work, maintenance would be done, and alumni groups would visit. But those were regular, everyday meals. On the night the kids left, we catered a big barbecue where we served (among other dishes), cold beer, fresh lobsters, and these delicious grilled nectarines.