I grew up eating verenikas, a crescent moon shaped pocket of boiled dough, stuffed with creamy potatoes, and topped with sweet caramelized onions and sour cream. Since I left Montreal, I don’t really see them around anywhere. You don’t realize what is special to the place that you live until you leave, and verenikas is definitely one of those things. Also, once I left I became a lot more nostalgic about the food. I don’t imagine regularly buying verenikas if I lived in Montreal, but it’s something I think about now that I don’t. Anyway, now when I come back to Calgary, my suitcase is filled with bagels, cheese bagels (these are next on my list to tackle!) and verenikas. It is not a sustainable model for addressing my food cravings.
I recently had to empty the majority of my freezer. I sold my bagels at a farmer’s market here in Calgary. This meant freezing a lot of dough. Fifteen dozen bagels to be exact. While I was extremely thankful that I was able to freeze the raw dough without compromising on quality (I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make 18 dozen bagels completely by hand, on my own, in my teeny tiny kitchen the morning of the market), it also meant that I had to give up my freezer for about a week. Now that it is empty again, and I have a window before the next market (January 21, 2015!), I have already started to fill it up.
I grew up watching my dad eat handfuls of pistachios at a time, but I never associated them with cooking. I think the first time I actually made something with the beautiful green nuts was this granola. But since then, I never thought of actually cooking with them until we went to Italy this past July. In Sicily, pistachios are in everything: savoury pasta dishes, sweet cookies, and best of all, gelato. I have no shame in saying that it was a requirement to get gelato every night after dinner. There were so many flavours to try and there is really nothing that compares to eating good quality gelato, in a handmade cone, walking the streets of Europe.
Popsicle experiment number 2: success. When I was in Montreal about a month ago, I went to a delicious food truck with one of my friends at Atwater Market called “Satay Brothers”. I enjoyed a tofu sandwich but I also noticed that they had some pretty interesting ‘paletas’ for sale as well. Paleta (from what I understand) is basically what they call popsicles in Latin America. They can be cream or water based and are usually made with fresh ingredients like fruit or nuts. After I came home, I decided to google the most popular paleta flavours and this was one of them.