Sunday, October 31, 2010
Decide that you want to experiment with a few mods, as follows. Substitute maple sugar for a bit of the white sugar (about 1/4-1/3 of the total amount.) Toast some walnut pieces and let cool. When spreading the usual filling on the rolled out dough, add the walnuts, and sprinkle a bit more maple sugar on, for good measure. Bake, let cool slightly, drizzle with maple cream. (I got a jar at Rhinebeck, just for this purpose!) Enjoy, again and again!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The last couple days have been busy. Wednesday...did not start out as the best day ever. (Not the worst, either, mind you! But not the best.) The weather was crappy and wet. I had my Gore-tex packed, and I am from the Wet Coast, so a little rain wasn't going to deter me! It seemed like the right weather to visit the cemetery at the top of Mont Royal, and then go over to the look-out at the Chateau.
Well, I got as far as the cemetery:
And then I kind of got turned around, and thought I was somewhere I wasn't, and I sort of walked around - not lost, exactly, but kind of misplaced - for a couple of hours. In the rain. In a cemetery with very windy, convoluted paths - so I couldn't just walk straight back to the bus stop. And then I had to pee, but I couldn't find the office - I briefly considered dropping trou behind a gravestone by a shrub, but even though I'm not religious, I'm pretty sure you go straight to hell if you pee on a gravestone. So I kept walking till I found the office (and a bathroom! Thank Bob!). A very nice (Anglophone) lady pointed me down the hill....in the opposite direction from where I knew the bus to be. So I called my sister, who was conveniently both at home and near a computer, and being a dutiful younger sibling, she found me the number for Montreal transit. Then, probably to make up for that time she punched me when we were kids, she used the power of her mind to send a taxi my way.
By now, my feet were frozen and very tired, and I was not a happy camper. Then I went for lunch, which either really didn't agree with me, or actually gave me mild food poisoning. And the rain really started pouring, and the bus stop near the metro was closed so I had to walk even further...Needless to say, by the time I got back to the hotel, I was pretty cranky, and ready for a nap!
At that point, I was thinking that just staying in my room till my flight left on Saturday wouldn't be a bad idea. Happily, it was a good nap! I woke up just in time to fly out the door for a show at the Basilica of Notre Dame. It was a light/sound/film kind of thing, on the history of both the church and the city...cheesy, but fun, and we had a few minutes afterward to look around the Basilica. It's a most impressive building!
Walking back to the metro, I saw this, which amused me:
Friday, I woke up to clear skies, wishing I could have a do-over of the day before. So I went right back up Mont Royal, followed a couple tourists with guidebooks, and found the Chalet & look-out with no problems.
Inside - a Lego replica of the mountain & the Chalet:
On the way back down to the bus, some very cheeky squirrels:
Friday, October 22, 2010
"Le (jus de) pamplempousse est sur la table."
"Le pamplemousse est sur la montagne."
Thursday, October 21, 2010
From outside the market - Oh my gourds!
After a great visit - much talk about music, I'd forgotten that we shared that love! - she went off into her day, and I went to Ariadne Knits. Where I stupidly forgot to take any pictures...but the proprietress was most friendly, and I may have bought myself a few skeins of "souvenir" yarn. Ahem. I didn't stay and chat as long as I would have liked, as I was so hungry for lunch at that point that I was about to start eating the yarn, or the small children in the store. Neither of which would have been very palatable, I'm sure: the former due to the eventual furballs, and the latter due to the absence of ketchup.
So I went back to the market, on a whim, and got myself some kind of Mediterranean bread with lots of olive oil; a round of soft cheese; and a fresh, ginormous honey crisp apple. (And a tarte au sucre for later!) Then I took my treats down to the canal, and ate lunch on a bench overlooking the water, here:
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
So while I was planning this trip, and on the train up - even when I got to the hotel, then went out for dinner on Monday, I had this idea that "How very charmant! Everything is in French!"
Then I got up Tuesday morning, left my comfy hotel room, and realized: "Holy shit! Everything's in French!" So I called Mr.Q with a minor melt-down, certain that I wasn't going to get any breakfast...He steadied my nerves, and sent me out into the city to have an adventure. (And I did get breakfast: some lovely crepes, with mixed berries.)
And the French thing hasn't been a problem, because every time I try, whomever I'm talking to kind of gives me this little smile, shakes their head, and switches to English. The first person I tried to talk to in French was a very nice homeless guy, who barely spoke any English, but between us we managed, and it was quite a confidence boost. Until I ordered a coffee from a Chinese woman at a cafe, and she switched to English...oy!
I started out with a quick walk around Vieux Montreal - I'm going to have to go back, because it was all so overwhelming that I barely managed to take in a fraction of it. I went to the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum of Archaeology and saw some really old stuff.
(I also realized I'm not so good with museums, as I don't have a lot of patience to look at all the details and displays - I just like to look at the cool stuff.) It was cool - and old! Maybe not for someone in Italy, but being from Vancouver, it was practically ancient! The foundations (literally!) of the country and all that. As I said, cool!
A little more wandering, and I headed back to the hotel for a rest. Then off to the Botanical Gardens, where there was a lantern exhibit in the Chinese garden. (Also, an Insectarium with lots of cool (dead) beatles and butterflies...though disturbingly, some very large spiders as well! I'd been hoping, not being insects, they'd be excluded. Apparently French Canadians have different ideas of whath constitutes an insect!)
Below: some pics of places aroung Vieux Montreal (I have no idea of what - I just liked them!) The ones from a higher perspective were taken from the look-out at the top of the museum. The lanterns, obviously, were from the gardens - the exhibit was called "The Magic of Lanterns" and it really was magical!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
From the station in Poughkeepsie:
Somewhere with pretty leaves:
Waiting at the border...
On the home stretch, back in the land of maple syrup and mooses:
And finally, Montreal! My hotel is nice - old, but clean, and very conveniently located. I went out in search of dinner, found this (for Mr.Q - there was a huge display for Godin guitars in the window!)