The eight years that my family ran a small inn and French restaurant in Mont Tremblant, Quebec were instrumental in creating who we all are today. I worked in the restaurant business for many years afterward while travelling around Canada looking for a place to call home and have always loved food and cooking.
My brother took the experience to another level when he left home at 19 to continue working in the restaurant business and start a life elsewhere. Vivid is the memory of the day he pulled away from the hotel in rural Quebec on his motorbike with nothing more than he could fit in a small pack – destination San Francisco, CA.
He spent a few years working under the table cooking in restaurants, until he married an American. Having a green card legitimized him and his job offers became more interesting and diverse. He began to be hired to set up new restaurants for clients, including designing the kitchen and menu, and launching the business. He would stay a few years and then move on to the next project.
Eventually he bought his own place called the Slow Club and a few years later 42 Degrees, in San Francisco. Both restaurants were extremely successful and in 1996 he was voted one of the top ten chefs in the US by Food and Wine Magazine. Today he runs a restaurant in Hanalei Bay, Kauai called Bar Acuda and an upscale market offering (among other things) local Hawaiian produce on the south shore of the island called Living Foods Market.
As far as the rest of us, well none became as famous as my brother but my mother is well known in her circle as entertainer extraordinaire, hosting the best dinner parties for miles around. She has taught cooking classes in her home and is often asked to cater parties for friends and colleagues. My sister loves food and likes to cook, though she pours most of her creative energy into her own successful painting business and the incredible paintings she produces in her studio. She prefers to eat in high end restaurants rather than expend her creative energy in the kitchen!
I have always taken pride in making wholesome, homemade and nutritious food for my family and love to share food with friends cooking and entertaining in my home. Many of my best recipes have come from my mother who shares whatever she finds. One in particular that receives rave reviews whenever my mother or I make it is Sensational Lemon Roll – this recipe came from the Best of Bridge and More, a series of exceptional cookbooks published by a group of women from Calgary, AB. This dessert is also really fun to make!
Sensational Lemon Roll
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
Strawberries to garnish
To Make Jelly Roll: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10”x 15” edged cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, at least 1 minute. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture. Then add orange rind, orange juice and vanilla. Beat on low until combined. Spoon onto pan (be sure to push batter into corners); Bake 15 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch. Do not over bake! Place a clean tea towel on the counter. Dust with icing sugar. When jelly roll is done loosen from edges of pan with a knife and invert over a towel. Remove paper and trim off crusty edges. Start from the short end, roll up cake and towel together. Place on wire rack to cool. (Don’t panic if it cracks or splits.) You can do this the night before but cover the cooled cake (still in towel) with plastic wrap.
To Make Lemon Filling: In a double boiler use a whisk to combine eggs, sugar, lemon rind and juice and cook until thickened about 15 minutes. Cool. Whip cream and fold into lemon mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To Assemble: Carefully unroll jelly roll and remove towel. Reserve 1/2 of lemon mixture for decoration. Spread remaining mixture and gently roll up cake. Place seam side down on serving platter. Decorate with reserved filling and strawberries. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serves 10 grateful guests!
Local Food News ~
The Blue Toque ~ launched a new menu in July featuring five new items; breakfast tostatos, an arugula fritta, a bison burger and two new salads. Their patio is wide open serving up tasty drinks like gin and ginger-mint lemonade and the all new bellini-mimosa - house made peach ice, schnapps, bubbly and creme de cassis (by the glass or jug).
Lizard Creek Lodge ~ is now featuring their new summer menu. Some of the best items are Mussels Marnier, zucchini rolls, flatbread, ahi tuna, blackened chicken and fish & chips. They also offer a three course Friday night special for $27.95. Every Sunday, they offer a breakfast buffet until noon.
Island Lake Lodge ~ is running two weekly features all summer ~ Off the Grill Mondays: Select two of four grilled items accompanied with a salad and sides buffet plus dessert for $29.95. Add a bottle of house red or white wine for $14.95. Local Wednesdays: Enjoy their table d’ hote menu at the local’s price of $39.95. This includes three courses or 10% off the regular menu. Reservations recommended.
Cincott Market ~ is offering weekly specials all summer long. Tuesday’s special is mussels (available after 5pm) and half price bottles of organic wine. Thursday’s special is Dem Bones (available after 5pm) and half price organic beer. Friday’s special is quesadillas and fortified organic fruit slushes. They are also looking for help harvesting at the farm... drop by the market for more information, and are offering a "”pick your own peas” at the farm again this season. Phone 250-423-5564 to book a time.
The Cottonwood Tree ~ on sale this month at the tree - Udo's 369 Oil -250ml for $11.95 & 500ml for $21.95. New products include gluten free/dairy free Coconut Bliss frozen dessert, Soy Delicious coconut almond frozen bars and cookie dough, Dr Praeger's Bombay veggie burgers, Blue Horizon organic garlic shrimp and rotini, and Zico coconut water.
Loaf Bakery Café & Pizzeria ~ is extending their range of gluten free products. From lemon polenta cake to mocha banana brownies, there's now a treat everyone can enjoy. Loaf's all-natural 100% Rye bread and Multigrain Rye are also kind to those with wheat intolerance. All products are made on the premises from scratch and available daily at the bakery, and at the Baynes Lake and Fernie Farmers Markets every weekend through to September.
The Fernie Wine Club ~ this club was formed after a food-wine pairing was offered at the Taste of Fernie in 2005. Since that time membership has increased as has the interest in food –wine pairings. The Club invites various restaurants and food venues to host a Wine Club event with the idea of featuring their menu items and matching them with the wine they have available. The club tries to offer an event five to six times a year. Contact Corinne Thomson (250-423-5023) if you are interested in hosting or joining a Fernie Wine Club event.
The Fernie Hotel ~ is launching a new menu this August with a fresh new team in the kitchen. The dishes include a16oz sirloin steak with mashed potato, vegetable or fries and salad with your choice of sauce, salt and pepper squid with lemon aioli, and a slow smoked pull pork sandwich with coleslaw.