I was born a food lover, I am 100% sure of that. My mom loves to tell everyone that my first word was not “maman” or “papa”, and it was not even “non”… My first word was “encore”! “Encore” (more!!!) is what I would say as my mother feverishly tried to load the spoon again for my next mouthful.
My name is Nathalie. I was born in Montreal, a first daughter to my French Canadian parents, the eldest of three and the cousin of many… My parents were very young when they had me yet, they were considered being very adventurous for the 1960’s: by the time I was 5 years old, my parents left Canada for Germany for 3 years. My mother’s journey in the kitchen got off to a very rocky start as a young bride but as it was expected from women of that era, she had to learn and grow as the sole family feeder. She blossomed as a cook during those few years in Europe and came back home as a self-taught chef. The discovery of awesome culinary delights in Germany, France and Italy were a huge revelation for my mother. Compared the quasi non-existent gastronomy in the late sixties in North America, the foods of Europe conquered both my parents and transformed our family’s view of food. I was lucky to be old enough to remember our life in Germany, the impact of which still resonates in my everyday life (I did end up marrying a German dude lol). If my mother refined her cooking skills while abroad, my father became the chief menu decipherer and explorer. And I soon became his ally trying the odd and unusual. As for cooking skills, well my father had none to speak of… Mind you, I think he played that card simply because he absolutely despised having to anything at all with food except eat it!
I remember vividly my first cooking experience: it happened one night when my mom was out and had left my father in charge of feeding me. I must have been about 3 and a half years old at the time. My mother had left instructions for my father to prepare dinner for the 2 of us. I do not remember if potatoes or vegetables were on the menu; what I do remember is the steak. My father sat me on the kitchen counter very close to the stove. He handed me a cast iron pan and showed me how to turn the burner on. He let me dump a huge dollop of butter in the pan, urging me to wait until the butter was slightly brown on the edges. He then let me drop the steak in the pan, with all that moisture meeting hot fat sizzling everywhere including my bare thighs! I didn’t dare move as I was experiencing such an amazing moment… The steak was quickly seared on each side (my father helped me flip it over) and cooked just enough to keep it rare in the centre. We both sat together and chomped on that feast, like two accomplices in a crime. I recall only the steak and the HP sauce we dipped each mouthful in, and the moment of sheer joy for having cooked my very own meal… My father got a huge earful from my mother when she came home but it was too late, the damage had been done and my addiction to everything related to food in any way shape or form had been born!
I started this blog hoping to find an outlet to the many one way conversations I have with myself about food! I am passionate about everything related to cooking. My kitchen is my hobby room but I also love to explore the many merchants of edible goodness out in the world: from my home town to my travels, food is at the centre of everything! Meals are planned for sustenance but also for the simple pleasure of breaking bread… If nourishment was limited to taking in a specific amount of nutrient as fuel everyday, we would not have these intricate and amazingly powerful taste buds. I hope to entertain you with tales of a gustatory nature. Welcome to my blog 🙂