Until November 2010, you could learn about the traditional food of Quebec from the first colonists to today in an exhibit that just started at Chateau Ramezay Museum.
Quebec traditional food was influenced by three cultures: the first nations, France and Britain. But what is the heritage of each? Quebec traditional shepherd’s pie main ingredients blended the 3 cultures. Plus, it will be fun to learn how traditions were born. For example, I would have never guess that the famous sugar shack meal comes straight out of British kitchens. Beside recipes, Let’s Eat explores all facets of cooking and eating. You will see how we preserve food over the years, how we prepared food and served the meals, and how dining etiquette and customs changed over time.
The associate researcher for the exhibit is Yvon Deslogues, an historian who juts published a book about food habits in Quebec before restaurants. You can find A table en Nouvelle-France on Amazon.ca ($25.74 CAD) and in most bookstores across Quebec.
+ Let’s Eat exhibit at Chateau Ramezay Museum
+ via Katerine Rollet’s Epicurean Life
Even though I am a modernist, I still fall under the spells of old-world charm. That is why I enjoy browsing the Horchow’s online catalogue. For spring 2008, their inventory is getting better.
I selected some pieces for designing an easy entertaining Spring / Summer tabletop. These are pieces that you will cherish for years to come. You can mix and match them with lots of things.
An inside look at my Spring tabletop
The star of your table will be the hand-painted Scribed Poppy Dinnerware. The pattern looks fresh and fun.
For the traditional look, place a natural tone tablecloth on your dining table. If you want a fresher look, opt for the hip Chilewich Tablemats. To reproduce the look of the wooden table on this picture, use the Woodgrain Tablemats in driftwood or pecan.
The Santa Fe Stoneworks Steak Knives add character to the table. Dad is sure to like those steak knives. So make a note for Father’s Day. The handcrafted stainless steel Recamier flatware by Marisopa set is made of Norwegian birch handles with a dark teak finish. Overall, the table look is gender neutral.
Timeless serving ware
From Gracious Goods, I select pitcher with a beautifully ornate cast aluminum base. A pitcher is a must for serving water and ice tea. For a dessert table, you cannot go wrong with the Domed Pedestal Servers and the matching Round Platter. The dome pedestals are all the rage for a few seasons now. I do not think this trend will go away soon because they add sophistication instantly. Therefore it makes sense to splurge in one or two remarkable pastry dome pedestals.
It seems that several products I selected are quite popular because a bunch is back-ordered right now. Some items will be available in April, others will arrive early May. So you should be able to get everything for the upcoming Mother’s Day brunch if you want to.
Buy online: Recamier Flatware at Horchow – price: $188 5-piece setting, serving spoon and fork are $106 each
Buy online: Scribed Poppy Dinnerware at Horchow – price: $169.90 USD 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, $65 for 4 dinner plates
Buy online: Gracious Goods Pitcher at Horchow – price: $130 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Round Platter – price: $175 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Domed Pedestal Servers – on sale: small $103.90, large $175.90
I learned today that I drink my coffee at home like a true Italian. I even got the Oslo Demi-tasse / espresso and Cappuccino cups by Bormioli Rocco. By the way, these clear glass cups are great for serving desserts. The handle can be removed if you want a different presentation.
I learned all that and more by reading the guide on how to order a coffee in Italy. The guide is made for North American traveling in Italy. I got this story from Ms. Adventures in Italy, an interesting blog published by an American women now living in Italy.
Learning the basics
When we will take a vacation in Italy, I will order a Caffè Macchiato, a Caffè Macchiato Freddo or a Latte Macchiato. The Caffè Macchiato is served in a demitasse cup. This is an espresso stained with a little bit of hot milk, probably frothed. It is not a demi-cappuccino.
The Caffè Macchiato Freddo is an espresso served in a demitasse cup with cold or lukewarm milk on the side. That is how I drink my espresso here, preferably with lukewarm milk.
The Latte Macchiato is hot milk with one shot of coffee, and served hot in a cappuccino clear glass cup or a tall glass, larger than a cappuccino. She does not specify if I can order a bowl of Latte Macchiato.
Italians does not seem to put chocolate on top of cappuccinos. I discovered that I probably served a Marocchino. Once you learned the name(s) of what you like, you will be alright because the recipes are quite standardized. The difference in taste from one shop to the next comes from the barista and the coffee beans.
The list goes on so I invite you to check out Ms. Adventures in Italy to read her complete coffee guide. If you got an espresso machine, you can use this knowledge for entertaining at home.
My espresso machine broke a few years ago. I did not send it to the repair shop and never replaced it because I found it take too much counter space. So I went back to the Moka Express on the stove. But from time to time, I do miss having an espresso machine.
+ How to Order an Italian Coffee in Italy published on Ms. Adventures in Italy