It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and this year I’m playing it low low key. However, I know I’m very much the oddity. Most of you (well, the Canadian yous) are probably defrosting a turkey in your sink, stocking up on pumpkin puree, and clinging to your sanity amidst the holiday preparations. You probably don’t need me being all smug about my plans to drink cocktails in my pajamas. So, instead, let me move onto to something more useful to you, like this Mushroom Wild Rice Chowder with Crispy Fried Leeks.
My interest in Italian plums is entirely shallow. It’s not that they’re not delicious, Italian plums are, but they’re just so beautiful that I tend to forget about their other attributes. I think it’s their silvery bloom or maybe their shocking yellow interior or perhaps it’s because they’re purple and we all know how I feel about purple. Whatever the reason, they certainly have a hold on me. So, when I saw them at my local farmer’s market, I knew they had to be mine. Is it strange to have such strong feelings for a stone fruit? You don’t have to answer that – I know it is.
If I have one addiction, it’s my pho dependency. When it’s freezing out and my boyfriend and I are suffering from a case of the Canadian winter blues, I prescribe pho. When the thought of making a meal is just too much for either of us, I suggest pho. When our fridge is inhabited by nothing but questionable apples, I think pho. I swear it’s a sickness. I can’t go seven days without it! I even sought out pho when we were in Barcelona and Paris. But as addictions go, a pho addiction is fairly nondestructive, but it is a bit monotonous for the poor man who has to have dinner with me night after night. As a result, I’m always looking for ways to get my pho fix without putting my dude to sleep. Today’s Pho Soup Dumplings are one such mutation.
When the weather turns ugly, I retreat to the kitchen with a recipe and a bottle of white wine. This is the time of year when I like to take my time in the kitchen and make an event of it. It’s true the winter can be isolating but it can also bring people together. Everyone moves inside. It’s too cold to shuffle from point A to point B, so everyone gets good and comfortable where ever they wind up. As a result of this limited mobility, you have the time to prepare a lengthy meal for all the people willing to brave a blizzard for you, i.e. your real friends. And since they’re your real friends, they deserve Cornish Hen Fricassee & Buttercup Gnocchi.