Here are the things that make me feel old:
- Outdoor concerts – standing for that length of time make my lower back scream, it’s too loud and I really feel that there should be more seating.
- Sexy selfies – this is not my strong suit. Yes, you’ll often find me hovering over my dish at a fine dining establishment trying to get the light jusssssst right, but taking a sexy selfie at the golden hour in the middle of a busy tourist area, not my style. Whenever I see people taking selfies in broad daylight, I feel like I’m a peeping Tom spying on something private. It just feels wrong.
- Moving – see the first item on this list re: lower back pain.
To recap, I took possession of my first home last Thursday. I immediately recruited my most selfless friends into a long evening of painting the common areas in my new condo. I did manage to ease their pain with a bottle of Veuve.
Is applying painter’s tape not the most tedious task known to man? As you might imagine, my condo isn’t exactly gargantuan, but even still, my friend was applying painter’s tape to the baseboards and ceiling for over two hours. TWO HOURS! Yes, if we were more skilled and less inebriated painters, we would be able to cut in with a steady hand and a fresh paintbrush, but, I choose alcohol.
On Friday, I worked and then had an event to attend in the evening. I woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to set about applying the second coat. I had the elevator booked from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday to move ALL my stuff (furniture and mountains of clothing) into the condo. I was a bit concerned about the tight timeframe, but it was all that was available.
So, nose to the grindstone and a little elbow grease and some help from my friends, the second coat went on Saturday morning by 11:30. From there, I drove to the west-end, without encountering a single functioning traffic light en route, to load up all my earthly possessions into a truck and trailer.
It’s hard to comprehend the sheer scope of devastation caused by Friday’s tornado. My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected and forced to rebuild or repair. In my case, my parents’ place was without power so some of the last-minute packing was powered by flashlight, but my condo never lost power which allowed for a surprisingly seamless move on Saturday.
Once back at the condo at 2:20 p.m., the prospect of a firm 4 p.m. deadline loomed large. Four of us worked like a well-oiled machine to get everything out of the truck/trailer, into the elevator and up 19 floors, door the hall and into my unit by 3:45 p.m.
We were sweaty and breathless by the time we got everything in, but we beat the clock. It took another day and a half to get everything unpacked and organized. Well, aside from my clothes that is. The rod in the closet doesn’t have the structural integrity to support the weight of my Cher from Clueless style wardrobe. Some reinforcements will be required.
But, I’m sorted enough to have been able to cook in my own kitchen, in my own home, for the first time on Sunday night. It felt SO. DAMN. GOOD.
I made these herbed mushroom parmesan crostini last week, knowing I wouldn’t have much time to cook or shoot for the blog over the weekend. These little mushroom morsels are the perfect start to any evening. Best enjoyed with a chilled glass of Chardonnay or vintage Champagne (bring back the Veuve)!
These come together effortlessly and are the perfect balance of umami, richness and crunch. Thanks to my colleague Patricia for sharing some of her thyme harvest from her herb garden – which I’ve put to good use herein.
- 1 classic French baguette
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups thinly sliced mixed mushrooms oyster, shiitake caps and portobello, about 1-1/2 lb (750 g)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp walnut oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan shaved
Cut baguette into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices; arrange on rimmed baking sheet. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; brush 2 tbsp (25 mL) over slices. Broil, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, add shallots and garlic to skillet; sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté until golden and liquid is evaporated, 10 minutes. Stir in parsley.
Top each crostini with 1 tbsp (15 mL) mushroom mixture; drizzle with walnut oil. Top with shaved parmesan. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen. "Wild Mushroom Crostini." Canadian Living. January 2006.