It’s been an day loaded with emotions, exactly like the rest of the week…I’m missing my father big time. Everything reminds me of him. I usually call him and tell him about the things I liked.. the food I loved, and occasionally if I need some hints.
Recently, I’ve bought many books, all about kitchen “literature”. I went through some of them to keep myself busy during this long vacation…There are many tips from renown chefs that I happen to have had from my father…at the time he was doing the cooking and taking over the kitchen…In term of magazines with recipes inside, there were only “Femme Actuelle” and “Maxi” coming all the way from France, on a weekly basis. I guess the family had a preference for “Femme Actuelle”.. My father used to cut these “recipe cards” and file them….did I mention that we are actually 3 sisters and 1 brother? Well I shared those files with Majda my elder sister…I learned how to make crepes at the age of 12…among other things..
I would say I learnt the French recipes with the hints and tricks through my father.. he also was an ace in turning leftovers into something very tasty…so most of the time he would actually cook without a recipe. Which has its charm, and which is what I’m usually doing! We go by what is in the kitchen…so we just need to go for smart shopping during the weekend to ensure we enjoy what we eat during the busy weekdays.
We were a family of 7.. the parents, the grandma and the 4 of us…so “improvising” to make everyone happy was a great thing my father used to be good at.. My mother used to stick to the very basic Moroccan recipes. When I was a kid and later teenager…I wasn’t found of stews, I hated fish and most of the veggies.. as a result there were many downs than ups in my health records. something that I couldn’t really reverse later at the age of 28 when I started enjoying most of the veggies and got back to fish but then removed meat from the list. I still hate pumpkin/ squash, some types of okra, beetroot. Unfortunately I love broccoli and used to eat coleslaw but due to my intestinal misconduct I can’t afford eating them.
Along the years, the palates becomes mature! We learn new things, we accept concessions and we are open to more delicate flavors….I always hated reading Indian recipes until I tried some of them! An advice out of this point: try first, judge later! You will be surprised!
At 14 years Old, I remember, I’ve learnt the FOAM cake which would be the translation of french “GENOISE” the very old style… I used to follow the basic ratio 1-1-1-1 but I recall using bain-marie in the montage process.. I don’t see people doing it anymore…my genoise used to be very soft…
So, back to Toronto, I just got back from Nathan’s square, I enjoyed reading the “the man who ate everything” and from time to time checking out the kids and couples around…there was this homeless guy who came to sing “love me tender” of elvis.. we exchanged few words. He seemed happy although he has miserable life…But then what is happiness?
Anyway… this is my last night in Toronto..aug 12th, 2009…I wonder if this is the right city for me once I move to Canada enshallah…we’ll see!
Off now to watch “Iron Chef of America”.. Cat Cora is IN! her cooking is a blissful fusion!