Back in the kitchen

After 2 weeks of living out of a suitcase and grabbing a bite to eat in between meetings (often – gasp – from the hotel restaurant), it was time to come home. Back sleeping in my own bed and, more importantly, back in the kitchen. In fact, as my last flight touched down in Ottawa, I was already creating a mental To Bake/Make List.

All of the travel time allowed me to sit down with a recently borrowed book that I had been intending to read for quite awhile now: Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.

Julie & Julia recounts the adventures of Julie Powell, a self-proclaimed government drone in NYC who set out to produce all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking within a year, an undertaking she dubbed the Julie/Julia Project and chronicled on her blog. One part food writing and one part personal anecdote (all served with a healthy helping of humour), Julie & Julia is both well-written and entertaining; chick lit for foodies, if you will. And for those left speculating what happened to Julie post-book, check out her new blog, What Could Happen?

It all makes me wonder sometimes: Why didn't I think of that?

As an aside, I was in NYC briefly last week for work and had a most pleasing dinner that warrants a mention. Braving the heavy rain with a hotel-issue umbrella, my colleague and I ventured out from our hotel rooms and around the corner to a relatively small but lively Italian resto called Serafina. Among other items, Serafina specializes in pizzas, which it bakes in its custom-built cherrywood burning oven using lava and sea salt from Italy. I chose a pie with the most unusual toppings: mozzarella, zucchini flower pesto, zucchini flowers and toasted pine nuts. Nutty, a bit sweet, and altogether too rich for words.

Now if I could just get my hands on some Italian lava.