Monday, December 26, 2011

A Montreal Christmas- The Conclusion

Today is December 26th, Boxing Day in Canada but it is also time for me to return home to Rhode Island.

I have enjoyed my short time here in Montreal.  Julie Andrews has her favorite things, and so do I here are a few of  my favorite things of this trip.

  • Spending time with my brother and mother
  • Charcuterie, charcuterie, charcuterie, charcuterie
  • My French Lunch: (23.02$)
    • Notre Vin Maiso, Papille Rossette, Chevre Neig Fromage, Pain Baguett
  • The Montreal Tower
  • A White Montreal Christms
  • Chez Diane & Denis, Couette et Cafe
  • McCord Museum: Edward Burtynsky- oil painting exhibit
  • Cretons
  • Old Montreal
  • The Christmas Village on Christmas Eve with French Christmas Carols (it was very cold that night)
  • The border crossing and driving in Canada
  • The Montreal Farmers Market
I hope you enjoyed the Montreal Christmas adventure.

Until I Blog Again: Eat Well, Life Life and Be Safe

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Montreal Christmas- Christmas Day

After much speculation, it is indeed a White Christmas here in Montreal

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow. 
Gave the lustre of mid-day to Montreal out my window. 
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the innkeeper wishing me a Joyeux Noël !

Wishing all of my wonderful followers and their families
a very Merry Christmas

My Christmas Wish, is that we as Americans & Canadians, do a better job feeding our growing population of adults and children who go hungry each day. 

We are two of the greatest nations on earth and it is a utter shame that we have citizens and families that go hunger or go days without food all together. 

Help make a difference this year, in whatever way you can

Here is the charity of my choice:  THE RHODE ISLAND FOOD BANK

God Bless, Merry Christmas,

Until I blog again, Eat Well, Live Life and Be Safe
White Christmas (mp3)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Montreal Christmas Day 2- Christmas Eve

la veille de Noël

Today is Christmas Eve and in the morning we focus on the Montreal's  Public Markets/Farmer's Markets to find food for our Christmas Eve and Christmas feasts.  We started at Jean-Talon Market where I purchased an array of fresh vegetables to cook and serve with my Locust Leaf Farm leg of lamb that I brought with me from home.  But if I wanted to I could have purchased any meat, produce, dairy, bread and dessert item imaginable while there.

While at the public market I also purchase a the traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner tourtière or meat pie originating from Quebec, they has a few types, Pork, Pork with Beef and Pork with Duck.  The just pork was sold out, so I chose the pork and beef as I knew my mother would not eat the pork and duck.  What would a Christmas Eve feast in Canada – Réveillon – be without tourtière, the classic meat pie beloved of Quebeçois and French-Canadians everywhere?

Here are some photos I took a the market.

Until I Blog Again:  Eat Well, Live Life and Be Safe

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Montreal Christmas, Day 1 December 23rd

After a much needed long nights nap, I arose to a clatter of Chef Diane cooking up our breakfast, (not really a clatter, but a calming hum).  The aroma rose to the second floor to awake me.  After getting ready I went downstairs for breakfast, the first thing I noticed (besides a table full of wonderful food) is that there was a light coating of snow on the ground and it was still lightly snowing.  I feel like I am in the movie It's A Wonderful Life, now all we have to wait for it for Clarence to get his wings.

After breakfast I picked up my brother and mother and we headed to the streets of his Rosemont neighborhood a neighborhood full of cafes, charcuterie markets and restaurants.

We then headed the Olympic Park and the Montreal Tower built for the 1976 Olympics.

Watch the video I took to the top


Then to Old Montreal, note the Quebec, Canada and Montreal flags below blowing in the cold breeze

And finally to the McCord Museum the Canadian history museum where even there I could find things related to food

Until I blog again:  Be Well, Live Life and Be Safe

Jusqu'à ce que je tiens un blog de nouveau: Bien, vivre la vie et être en sécurité

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Montreal Christmas- Leaving Rhode Island

I was scheduled to leave yesterday from Rhode Island around 11 pm to start my journey north to Montreal.  Unfortunately my mothers flight did not arrive until close to 1 am, thus we were a few hours behind schedule.

We got on the road around 1:30 am, we took interstate 95 North from Rhode Island to 93 North to 89 North.  The weather was wet and windy, but it could have easily been worse, it is winter after all so it could have been a snowy and dangerous travels, so all in all I can not complain. 

We made great time getting to the US-Canada border, around 6 hours.

The boarder crossing was simple and painless, when we arrived at the crossing we were the only car there so we did not have to wait in line.  The Canadian customs agent was quick and efficient with his questions, checking our credentials and doing his job. 

Once in Canada, we quickly went from a highway to a two lane road, the terrain was flat and farms populated the country side.  Suddenly I had to reassess my driving as the road signs went from English to French and the speed limit from miles per hour to kilometers per hour and on top of that we started to experience some icy conditions as freezing rain had just finished falling.

After about an hour or so we finally reached a very frosty ice coated Montreal and my brothers flat.  I napped a few hours at his place before heading to the B&B I was staying at to check in.

Once I arrived at the B&B  Chez Diane & Denis Couette et Café, I quickly realized that my brother did a great job finding me a place to stay, upon entering I was quickly hit with wonderful aroma of today's culinary creation and warmly greeted by Denis and Chef Diane, I was given a tour, checked in and made to feel like I was part of their family.  Although their website is in French, here is a rough translation:

Welcome to the comforter and coffee Diane and Denis.  We are very happy to welcome yourself to our warm one and comfortable bed & breakfast in the middle of the heart of the neighborhood Rosemont, to Montreal.  Situated opposite the magnificent park Beaubien, to five minutes of the Subway, our charm comforter and coffee consisting of 3 comfortable and well equipped rooms of the pleasant common areas and a pretty garden with terrace. 
Comforter and coffee Diane and Denis, a refuge and ideal to discover all that the beautiful city of Montreal has to present you, you offer the services of which have you need to return your stay of the most pleasant ones.  You will be able therefore to take advantage of a private parking, Internet cordless telephone, telephone service and of local télécopieur as well as bicycles at your disposal. 

The rooms of the bed & breakfast consisting of all of the cabled television and readers dvd.  Our lunches are delicious and diversified and you will have served to the dining room, to the room or to the garden, according to your preference. 
I am staying in the La rustique room, here is a photo:

Tomorrow should be an agenda packed day, so we decided to keep our evening simply so I attempted to nap (unsuccessfully) a few hours before heading back to my brothers flat for dinner. Fin

Until I blog again.  Live Life, Eat Well, and Be Safe

A Montreal Christmas

Joyeux Noël !

I leave Rhode Island tomorrow driving north along with my mother to spend Christmas in MONTREAL (Paris without the jet lag, especially at Christmastime) visiting my brother Daniel. 

The trip is approximately 390 miles and is expected to take slight over 7 hours to get there.  I will be taking photos, enjoying the food, the people and culture along the way and blogging several times while there.

I was hoping for a white Christmas, after all I am heading North, Right?......

White Christmas? Not likely  click here to see why..

Until I Blog Again:  Live Life, Eat Well and Be Safe

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Culinary Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

The History of the Christmas Tree is very interesting,  especially to me being of German decent and growing up in Pennsylvania/  The German-American sect used apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts.. In this blog I will share my findings on how we came to put a tree in our houses every December, decorate it, and admire it for a month or so, the toss it out.  As well I add my own spin to the tradition by decorating  my tree in culinarian fashion, so enjoy the photos below.

How It All Got Started  via HISTORY.COM

Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.
The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans. To Read The Complete Article, Click Here

Here are Culinary Christmas Tree for your enjoyment: MERRY CHRISTMAS

No matter you religious beliefs, or what holidays you celebrate--Happy Holidays, Enjoy the Winter Solstice.

Eat Well, Live Life, Be Safe, yours truly, THE NOMADIC CHEF, DOUGLAS STUCHEL