A couple of weeks ago I went back to Montreal to attend a conference. Of course, on top of all of the work, I was busy seeing my friends and family. It’s always a whirlwind when I go back. Part of me feels like Montreal is still home but at the same time, I don’t feel connected to the city. I don’t have places that I always go visit or restaurants that I love. I never really feel like I know what’s going on, the landscape of the city changes so much, so quickly. So, when I go out with my friends, I rely on them to choose where we will eat, drink and relax. One night, my friend pulled together some suggestions for dinner, I chose one that sounded good, and we headed off to have a nice meal. We had both never been to this particular restaurant before. The food looked great but when we sat down and saw the prices we walked straight out. After a couple more interesting choices, which involved hastily drinking a margherita and walking out of a second restaurant, we finally landed on a winner.
There are a bunch of foods that are perfect blank canvases, that you can make over and over again using the same base recipe and technique and it never gets old. I am sure that applies to a lot of dishes, but when I think of that blank canvas, I think of ice cream and bread. It’s not like I have an endless supply of homemade ice cream and bread on hand, but when I am in a creative rut and I think of random flavor combinations (particularly ones that lend themselves to sweet dishes), I can usually turn them into an ice cream or bread creation. So, when I couldn’t get apricots and almonds out of my head for the past couple of weeks, I decided it was time to take the plunge and make something already. Here it is: Apricot Almond Bread.
It’s been far too long since we have had french toast. There have been a number of occasions when we wanted to make it so badly that we’ve gone to the local pharmacy (the closest store to us that sells any sort of food) to find bread. Alas, we could not bring ourselves to buy the wonderbread-esque stuff that they sell, so it’s been a while. Yesterday, though, was our ten year anniversary so on top of feeling hungry, I was feeling nostalgic. French toast is our special breakfast food. Before I learned how to make scones, pancakes or crepes, french toast was our thing. So, I knew that I had to make some challah in preparation for a very special Sunday morning french toast meal.
I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I get major food envy. This is especially a problem when we are out to eat and I can’t decide what to order. Most of the time, I am pretty sure that both options would be just fine but I am worried that I will see the choice I did not choose and be filled with unrelenting regret and longing for the rest of the meal. I realize I am being slightly over-dramatic but sometimes I get a little crazy, and it’s ok. A couple of weeks ago when we were out for brunch with some friends, I was agonizing over whether to get eggs and toast or peach waffles. The choice was fairly obvious, peaches are my favourite fruit, they are quickly going out of season and I have no means of making waffles at home but I went for the eggs and toast. Why would I do that, you ask. I did it for the bread.