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.
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.
Before my food blogging days when having people over for dinner required tried and true recipes rather than an excuse to test new recipes on other people, this apple cake was my go-to desert. Unsurprisingly, it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe. Surprisingly, the first time I made it, I was convinced that I had done something horribly wrong. The original recipe instructs you to pour the batter into the tin, and there is no way (in the half a dozen times I have made this) to pour this batter. It is thick. Most of the time, I spread the batter with a wooden spoon, sometimes even using my fingers to distribute it evenly. Anyway, I should have trusted the Smitten because despite my initial doubts, this cake is absolutely delicious time and time again. It’s a total crowd pleaser.
So, I don’t know if you have heard but it’s Thanksgivingukkah this year! I didn’t think that the spelling around Hannukah could be even more complicated, but Thanksgivingukkah has really outdone itself. Basically, it is the very rare occasion that the Jewish holiday of Hannukah is on the same day as American Thanksgiving. From what I have read (and I have not double checked these calculations myself, so don’t hold me to this!), the last time this happened was in 1888 and it won’t happen again for 78,000 more years. So basically, it’s time to celebrate (and eat lots of food)!