There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to tell you about, and I finally accept that it’s quite unlikely I’ll have the time to put each of them into their own post. As a result, you’re getting a collection of random (but, hopefully interesting) thoughts I’ve been meaning to share.
- As I mentioned, the Taste Canada Awards were held at the end of September in downtown Toronto. Julie flew in from Calgary for the event, I swapped my spit-up covered hair and yoga pants for a blow out and pretty dress, and we headed to the Royal York Hotel for drinks, a little gossip, and a night on the town. Sadly, we didn’t win gold, but the way I see it, writing an awarded-nominated book with a good friend made me a winner anyway. The night was hosted by Vikram Vij and Ricardo, attended by a few of my favourite local food bloggers, and I walked in the door just after 2 a.m., giving me enough time to catch a couple of hours sleep before the youngest of our boys was up for the day.
- Speaking of books, it’s hard to believe ours has been out for almost a year. This fall has seen the release of some pretty exciting additions to my cookbook collection (like this, this, this, and this), and it’s nice to feel inspired by the words and recipes of others these days. I’ve also been reading a lot of fiction (the more I write, the more I read) and quite enjoyed A Window Opens and After You.
- On Thanksgiving weekend, the weather was warm enough to have our annual holiday dinner in the backyard. I rented tables and dishes (I’m absolutely not washing dinner plates and cutlery for 25 people) and we dined al fresco on a traditional dinner of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a variety of sides. There were 12 kids here, and the cousins did their yearly doughnut-eating-on-a-string game and drew names for Secret Santa. Also, my first holiday party invite arrived via email this week. #Christmasiscoming
- Last night, I met up with a few friends at George Brown College for an evening with Ruth Reichl. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that she’s one of my favourite food writers (my ultimate favourite being Laurie Colwin), and fortunately for me it’s the second time I’ve seen her talk in the past 18 months. Her words are wise, and always leave me wanting more. One of her more entertaining books is Garlic & Sapphires, and while I have read the hard copy, I’ve heard from many that it’s the most entertaining audiobook imaginable. I think I’m going to download it for my walks. You should do the same and then we can talk about it!
- High chairs have come a long way since we last used one twelve years ago, and this hook on seat is amazing. It clamps on to any tabletop (so you can travel with it) and works amazing with our harvest dining table. Matthew sits with us every night and absolutely loves dinnertime with the family. He watches our every move, which means I get to remind the boys that they are modeling behaviours and manners and as such it’s their big brother duty to do it well. Ha! Dinner has always been my favourite time of day, but it’s even more so now.
- The idea of making my own chicken and beef stock is a lovely one, and while I do it as often as possible, there is no denying that I turn to store bought ones just as frequently. My current favourite brand is Better Than Bouillon. The flavour of the instant broth is great, not salty, and the packaging doesn’t take up too much space. Unlike other manufactured bouillons, this is a paste that you whisk into water.
- Next weekend is Halloween. Ben is making plans to hang out with his friends now that he’s too old and too tall to trick or treat. Jackson is working on his costume this weekend, as he fully intends on going out to collect candy with his friends. Rob and I will walk the neighbourhood with Matthew and my three nieces, who come to see us in their costumes every year. I’m a little sad that this is the first year I’m not planning costumes with the older boys (remember when Ben was Tween Wolf and Jackson was the Lego Man, or when we made them into The Mad Hatter and The Robot?), but am hopeful that we’ll continue the tradition with Matthew in a few years.
- I’m loving Instagram these days! It’s absolutely my favourite place to be online and I try to pop in a few times a day. I find it totally relaxing, especially when things here are so chaotic. If you happen to be over there as well, you can follow me @jannisescott1.
Phew. Like I said, lots of random things. Feel free to comment on any of the above. Or better yet, tell me something random you’ve been thinking about. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind these days!