Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Montreal Day and Night (yes, there is more food porn)

I woke up in the morning still full, and sadly had to let Michael know I couldn't eat the omelet he was offering to make (that might be different today, it is rainy and not a jump out of bed sort of morning). Nonetheless, food was one topic in our day planning, as we'd be going to the Atwater Market before going to see Aunt Mimi. Atwater Market isn't the biggest market in the world, though anything it lacks in size it makes up for in variety. Even with it being a Tuesday during what is called the Contruction Holiday, there were plenty of vendors offering their wares.

Please, just coffee. Thank you!

The awaited red day lily opens

This narrow raised bed supports a lot of veggies

The trellis at the back is one aluminum or stainless piece making the frame with netting stretched across it. 
On the netting are peas, tomatoes, Lebonese cucumbers and something else I think. In the raised bed is garlic and a big variety of greens. Herbs are in another garden area. 

A butter keeper. Water in the bottom, butter in the top.
Put the top on and it stays good on the counter. I think it might not work at home though.

Some garlic to hang

Michael has a wire hanger method of hanging them. I
 just used to braid the tops and be done with it but this would probably be a 'dryer' way.
We took a rainy drive into Westmount, an old neighborhood in Montreal where my brother and I lived with our aunts for a year when we were very young.

Climbing up the mountain we could see the dome of St. Joseph's Oratory, the church building at the end of the street we lived on.

Aunt Mimi's house, now with a third story and new wings added after family moved.

Aunt Bev's house across the street. Of course, it is long since not Aunt Bev's house
and has also had additions made. It was still fun to remember when.
 There is a wonderful place to stop that overlooks the city of Montreal, actually an island. Even in the rain it was pretty splendid.

The homes along this winding road are amazing, feeling as if they are rooted into the mountain itself, stone and stone and more stone. The ones below are very small examples. One, it was raining and two, I didn't have a panoramic lens to catch the huge ones. If you want to see some stunning homes in dramatic settings, this is one place in the world to go.

We think this knight was somehow sending a message to the neighbor. 
 It was time for Atwater Market. 

This tank was probably 10 or 12 feet long and 4 or 5 feet wide,
and filled with New England lobsters. One of the men working there told me that particular shop sold over 2000 pounds of salmon a week, well farmed with no colors or antibiotics and that this tank got replenished twice a week, completely turning over the lobsters. It was kind of incredible.

Berries. Berries. Berries. Yes, they really were this bright.

Everything was displayed so beautifully.
Some things just had to be bought because they were gorgeous.

Including these purple kohlrabi. Quite the Monty Python effect here, Michael.

How to make garlic into art.

Cherries and more berries

I've seen a lot of cities with posters posted but never so tidily

The bakery. 

There were a lot of butchers and cheese makers around. Some of the cuts of beef looked like dinosaurs. I was assured they were not dinosaurs. That's a good thing.

Aged organic beef. Very pricey.
A chicken was over 20 bucks (Canadian), so it's all relative.

Dino steaks

I don't know what this was, probably veal, but I'd never seen a meat flower before.

Butchers at work

What I first noticed was the kangaroo meat. Then the other meats.
Then the cuts of the meats. Exotic sandwich slices? What?
What was this? Michael then pointed out the obvious (which I often miss), that this was all prepared meat for fondue. How could I not have caught on to that? Especially with the sign right in my face? Even for me, the thought of that whole idea simply wasn't working. Trying the meats? Absolutely. An exotic meat fondue party? Not so sure.

There were a few shops where it was very hard to leave. Ok, most of them were very hard to leave. We had sooooo much fun!

A special way to start your day

Because nothing says home on the range like quinoa and cinnamon in your chili

Ok, I give up, what is yuzu juice? Um, what is a yuzu?

One out of three walls of tea. I had to just walk away.

Jonny and Carroll not walking away
Carroll checking out some cheeses. And that's when the trouble started...

Carroll checking out one of the many cheese displays
I'd been wanting/looking for a cheese I'd had the last time I was here. Of course I couldn't remember the name of it, I just knew what it was like. Now I could taste my way through the market and just maybe find the cheese (there wasn't really any trouble, except eating my way through every cheese store). 

It went like this - describe, taste, describe taste. No, but that was good, yes, I'll take some of that. Repeat. Until I met this young lady.

She found it!!! I was very, very excited. I think she was pleased (get the crazy
American lady out of here, I'd be so pleased - that sort of pleased)

In case you ever want to try a good cheese.
We were meeting another cousin for lunch at the market. There was a satay place where we thought we'd eat but it was closed. We found another spot with a big choice of dishes, good but how fair to compare to what has been on offer back at the house? Not fair at all. 

I'd made my selection and went to hold the table.
This delivery truck was parked outside but what I noticed the most was this
GREAT sign. You don't have to speak French to get the message.

Our cousin Denise
 And then we were on the road again, on the way to Aunt Mimi's.

Are we in England?
The first thing (and I so wish I'd bet money on this, because I predicted it) Aunt Mimi asked me was, Where did your brown hair go? Because I am a good niece I didn't say a few things. But when your hundred year old aunt gives you a run for your money in the aging department, it can give you pause.

Stealth conversation

I had to let go long enough to steal a photo. She is NOT into photos.  Too bad.

A copy of a painting of my grandfather. The painting was very big and scared
all of us cousins because he was ALWAYS looking at the viewer, no matter
where in the room one stood. He wasn't a guy you wanted staring at you.

Aunt Mimi and Uncle Maury a long time ago
Aunt Mimi's building has a rooftop sitting area with plexiglass windscreens. It overlooks all of Montreal. Spectacular. The rain had stopped and the sun was out. We stayed up there for a good while.

Mont Royal

The city and the river

With lots of promises to see her again soon, Jonny and I found our way to the Metro and the train and back to the house. That sounds easy and actually ended up being pretty easy, with good directions and lots of asking to be sure we were headed in the right direction. But until we were absolutely sure, most of the time we were pretty sure we were screwed and would end up in Vancouver. 

By the time we got back all the goodies from the market were either put away or being prepped for dinner. Pasta and clams and corn on the cob. But first, hors-d'oeuvres. 

Michael scorched the skins of the peppers and then put them in a brown paper bag.
It's a trick that really works!! The skins came off in one piece; it was impressive.

Some of the cheeses and olives...and yes, we still managed most of dinner.
I'd never used soy sauce as a dip for roasted peppers but it was a great combo
With the rain and the sun, the red day lily was beautifully open as far as it could possibly be.

I wandered inside and outside, Jonny did whatever he did and Michael and Carroll chopped lots of things. 

Every time I looked at the counter it was like a still life

Time for the clams!

The fish guy suggested this can of surf clams. We weren't real sure but went for them anyway. Carroll and I took a tentative taste and wow! These are great! In they went as well.

Another lovely dinner. Again.

While the corn was an addition because it was irresistible in the market,
somehow we managed to make a dent in our cobs.
I'm not sure how Carroll came to bring out her very cool JOI light, but it entertained us for quite awhile. I want one. Technically, it is an outdoor thing but I think it could be used inside with plenty of air and caution.

A tea candle lights up LED lights. How awesome is THAT?

Definitely enough light to read by and you can read all about it here.
The coffee has been on and I'm pretty sure I just heard another round of beans being ground...time to start another day. The rain has ended, the sun is out. Life is good. Yes, indeed it is.

Have a wield your wonder well Wednesday. Do something with a whistle.


  1. I could post lots of comments, but 'I'm loving this!' should suffice. Ok, one comment, the church through the rainy window, WOW!

    1. Yes, the more I look at that the more I like it too. Thanks.

  2. Ok, one more comment, Aunt Mimi's hands, Oh my, they are beautiful.

    1. Aren't they? And thanks for that too. Heart.

  3. The weekend I visited Montreal last month was quite rainy as well, but still beautiful! It was the week of the International Jazz Fest… Anyways, I must go to that market. Wow!! :)

    1. Summer is such a good time here with music and so much going on. They know how to make use of their short window of warmth, for sure! Definitely put the market on your list, well worth it.

  4. What is Yuzu?