in and out of bloom

I’ve been tracking the summer’s passing in the coming and going of some of my favourite blooms (or the ones I recognize, which, to be fair, are not very many). The lilacs in my parents backyard were some of the first to show off before I noticed their perfume all over town. Next there were the tulips, the peonies, the apple blossoms…all of them seeming to peak and fade before I stopped to smell them.

Then, I was lucky enough to take two classes at Blumenstudio (my dad and I had the same idea when it came to birthday gifts for my mum, apparently). We made dreamy little succulent terrariums and learned about throwing together garden bouquets. When Kat opened her second Blumenstudio in the west end of town, I wrote about it for Ottawa Magazine – and so I happily spent a lot of time around her pretty plants and Klaus the dog.

Then, there were lush little gardens lining streets in Montreal, beautiful blooms on the farm, and tiny doggy flower crowns.


Then, one of my best friends got married. One of the bridesmaids, Michelle, happened to have worked as a florist for many years (she’s also a brilliant scientist and communicator, there is nothing this girl can’t do) and so she took on doing all of the floral arrangements for the wedding. This also left her responsible for leading the rest of us bridesmaids through making our own flower crowns, something we were super excited about.  Once we actually started, though, I was struck with analysis paralysis (was I making it too heavy on one side? Did the colours clash? Was I crushing delicate blooms?). Over mimosas and Top 40 tracks we crafted our crowns, left them to stay fresh in the beer fridge during last minute prep, and then our friends got married! The wedding was absolutely beautiful and our flower crowns lasted a whole night of dancing – I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many happy tears, or taken so many selfies.

THEN, as I went for a run along the canal yesterday evening, brown leaves fluttered on to the path in front of me and suddenly summer seemed like a blur. There are still another 20 days of summer left on the calendar, so there’s still time to squeeze out every last humid, sweaty drop (and Continue reading

on the berry bandwagon

Well, I still have rhubarb recipes gathering dust in my drafts file and I had hoped to post those before popping back here to simply announce that the next instalment of Kate’s Plate is live over at Ottawa Magazine (online and in print!), and yet here I am. Something about the best laid plans going awry…berry prep Continue reading

rhubarb revelations

SONY DSCWell, this is kind of exciting– “Kate’s Plate” has gone beyond this little blog! After my first article in print came out in January, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working on a regular food column for Ottawa Magazine…called Kate’s Plate. Who would have thought.

The column focuses on one local seasonal ingredient; I get to play with it and chat with great people in the city. For the spring issue of the magazine the editors had picked rhubarb as the star ingredient. So, in January I embarked on a rhubarb adventure completely out of rhubarb season. I had rhubarb on the brain a lot. Probably too much; I started referring to my very lovely editor at the time, Ruth, as Ruthbarb. (Sorry, Ruth!)

Sounds fun, right? Totally! But also a little intimidating, having mostly just written, taken photos, and cooked for myself without any pressure.  So, to anyone who heard me talk about the “edgy veggie”, or who taste tested, or helped in any way — thank you for supporting Kate’s Plate’s first off-blog venture!

The spring magazine should be on newsstands tomorrow, but you can go check out my little column on Ottawa Magazine’s website. One of the recipes is just in time for Purim, too!

Hope you guys like it and, as always, thanks so much for reading.

leaping along

Even with that extra leap day in February the month flew by.ottawa february snow 2016IMG_7011

The month started off with dinner in a high school. Not really a place that makes one think of exciting culinary events, but Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School has something special going on.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the sixth annual Food for Thought where students in LDHSS’ culinary program are teamed up with professional chefs to cook and serve a six course meal to over 100 guests. The whole thing was for a good cause and was a great success.

Leading up to the big dinner I spent a day Continue reading

Coming Up: A Taste of the Arctic

My lunch break yesterday was a departure from my regular sandwich or salad. Instead, I sampled pitsi and maktaaq and tuttuminiq quaq.

…Intrigued? Then you might want to check out A Taste of the Arctic! (That’s dried Arctic char, beluga skin, and raw caribou, if you were wondering.)

taste of the arctic previewAs I munched on (more than a few) pieces of candied Arctic char, I watched as meat was expertly  sliced with sharp ulus, traditional Inuit made blades, and learned more about Inuit culinary customs (apparently the eye of the fish is a treat that people fight over!).

Bannock, the quintessential bread, was the only food on offer that was familiar to me, but I was pleasantly surprised by all the new things I tried. One of the ulu-yielding women drew similarities between the raw fish and meat we were eating and Asian sushi, something that doesn’t seem so unfamiliar. Raw, smoked, dried, candied, or frozen, it was neat to see fish and meat prepared in so many ways on one table. (The most traditional way being “pulled straight out of the water and served” I was told — talk about catch of the day.)james bay (3 of 3)

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