St. Jacob’s Market, Waterloo

So on with my journey in the East of Canada. Waterloo is a small town possibly most famous for the makers of Blackberry, RIM. There is a farmer’s market every Thursday nearby, and so Sugamama brought me and the parents to have a look at the produce mainly from this group of people called the Mennonites.

The entrance of the market was aptly decorated with corn stalks since it was autumn. Signs were proudly shown to have several countries I think to signify the influence of culture in this market.

More autumn themed decorations around the market.

To be honest, I did not know Mennonites exist until I came here. I only thought there were Quaker and Amish colonies. Look at the fresh sweet corn. Going for real cheap too. There were so much to see here. Lots of fresh produce from the Mennonites, including honey and maple. There was also cooked food and other non-grocery items like flowers, pots and clothes being sold.

For lunch, we had pork and chips (uh, fries) from this shop. I saw the sign for pigtails and I wanted to try it since I haven’t had anything like that before.

Here’s our lunch. Sugamama tried the ribs (picture above), while I had that pigtail (below). It was good! Two old men sat opposite us on the bench enjoying their pigtails (away from their wives they said, as they were not allowed to eat pigtails) and were like “I’ve never seen anyone eat a pigtail with such manners before. You gotta get in there!” Yeah yeah, I just feel self-conscious about using my hands in public.

And for dessert: Apple Fritters! The shop is in the covered part of the market.

The sourness of the apples were balanced out by some simple vanilla ice cream. Sugamama just loved this combo.

We went back happy with a large bag of corn and some fruits from the market.

-M. (and Sugamama)

Matcha and lemon curd shortbread spirals

Before I continue with more of my Canadian experience, let me just slide in a cookie recipe since it has been a while a recipe has been posted here. 😛

Based on a matcha sablé recipe by Keiko Ishida, I’ve decided to incorporate a lemony flavour to it as well. What luck that I had that leftover lemon curd that needs to be used up. This calls for an interesting experiment. I was happy that it worked, but still am not used to making buttery cookies in this tropical heat. My dough tends to go soft too fast and hence my spirals were not as pretty as they could be. 😦

Anyway, taste-wise… I love it. The crumbly texture of the cookies were lovely. Matcha goes so quite well with the tangy yet sweet lemon curd part of the cookie.

For the matcha shortbread:

  • 120g flour
  • 8g matcha (depending on your green tea powder, adjust more or less if need be).
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 45g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the lemon curd shortbread:

  • 120g flour
  • 100g lemon curd (for how to make a standard thin curd, you and refer to this post).
  • 20g unsalted butter

 

Method:

  • For the matcha part of the cookie dough: Mix the flour, sugar, matcha, salt and butter together until incorporated by either squishing the butter with the flour with your fingers or using a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs. (Yes, you may want to cube your butter for easy handling.)
  • Add in the egg yolk and let it incorporate evenly.
  • Form the dough into a ball. Flatten it and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • For the lemon curd dough: Incorporate all the ingredients together in a food processor or by hand same as the matcha dough. Again for dough into a flatten ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Turn out matcha dough on a large parchment paper (this will be your work surface). Put another large parchment paper on top of the dough and roll the dough out using a rolling pin. So your dough will be sanwiched between two parchment paper. This saves you from flouring your work table and rolling pin.
  • Once you have the desired thickness of the dough (about 1/2 cm), put the dough (yes, with the parchment paper) back into the fridge to firm up. Repeat this step with the lemon curd dough. Be sure to make two dough roughly the same size.
  • Brush some cold water onto the surface of one of the dough. Place the other dough on top. The water should act like an adhesive to bind your two coloured doughs together.
  • Roll the dough tightly together to create the spiral. You will then end up with a round log of dough. Cut the log into 3-5 cm slices (or whatever thickness you like really).  You may need to chill your dough again if it becomes too soft to handle.
  • Place the slices onto baking trays lined with parchment paper. I re-used the parchment paper from the dough rolling. Why waste, right?
  • Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 150 celsius for 20-40 minutes. Bake time depends on the thickness of your cookies.
  • Place baked cookies on wire rack to cool.

Cookies can be kept for about a week. More if they are kept in the fridge.

-M.

Soupalicious fare in Toronto

OK, so I’m like a month behind in posting this. Sorry, but perhaps this may help you decide to come next year’s event…

So after arriving in Toronto from the UK, one friend’s mum had planned for us to go to this soup fare called Soupalicious.

“You will get to try 10 different types of soups from this ticket. So, hope you like soup.” She said (well, something like that). So off we went to this soupy place (Sugamama obviously came too).

From an Oxfordshire village, we came to…

… a view such as this, everything suddenly seemed so large, spacious, and modern.

Ontario Lake front, near where the Soupalicious fare was taking place.

The event was at this convention hall. Inside, there were little stalls set up by various restaurants around Toronto to showcase their soups. There was also soup cooking class/demonstration going on.

Some of the soups we tried…  Also, since it’s an autumn harvest thing, most of the soups were pumpkin/squash based. If you really have an affinity of soup and pumpkin, this fare is really made for you! The noodle soup at the top right is supposed to be something else apparently by some TV personality on this program called Manhunter (I’m told it’s some tracking people in the wild kind of thing). Of all things, that particular stall FORGOT to bring their soup… so they made do with this noodles thingy, which was bland.

Eh, I don’t know why they were making soups. What’s that gotta do with man-hunting?

Anyway, the winner of soups that day was the beetroot (a.k.a. beet) soup, known as the Red Velvet soup (bottom left of the picture).

By the end of the seventh soup I was ready to call it a day. There is only so much soup I can take. Sugamama came across some ladies who also couldn’t finish all ten sampling tickets for soup and gave her theirs. Whoopie.

All in all, it was a good fare of soup slurping and perhaps ideas for making our next batch of (pumpkin/squash) soup… but I’m all souped out. >_<.

-M.

Backtrack: back to Oxford for the last time (?).

So I’ve just ended my travels around the world. It’s good to be back in Kuala Lumpur for who knows how long.

The first stop in my journey was actually the UK in late September. I was back in Oxford once again and possibly the last time for non other than my graduation.

My, do I look spiffing in my clown suit?

To graduate in this sort of place was sure grand. Glamourous even, but I was ready to leave this academic town to be honest. I’ll miss some of the eats, of course.

Anyway, to celebrate: we went to nearby Woodstock for high tea.

Tea time at the Bear Inn in Woodstock was very good, much better than any I’ve had in Oxford itself. British scones are the best! Don’t mind the Panadol pack in the picture, this was the beginning of my Mother of All Flus as I mentioned in one of my earlier post.

For Dinner celebrations: we went to Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie. At first, I wasn’t too sure of the choice as I had dinner here before and wasn’t too impressed. But wow, it’s much better now.

Some of the food we had:

Escargot. De-shelled and packed with herbs. The snails were so tender… delish!

 Mumakil’s fish main. She said it was superbly cook and the fish was fresh. We all know Mumakil knows her fish, don’t we? 😉

Papa Salvatore’s Chicken. He said it was good.

And this is my duck looking all bloody in plum sauce. Was it Halloween already? No, but it was so good. My brother was there too and had something but I forgot what it was :(. I think it was chicken just like Papa’s. The service of Blanc’s was also very attentive and friendly. Our first bottle of wine was a bit off (as detected by Papa Salvatore, of course) and was changed immediately to another wine of our choice without question nor charge. I would have enjoyed my time here greatly if I wasn’t coming down with a fever thanks to MOAF.

Oh if you ever visit Oxfordshire and want a place to stay, I recommend this hotel. That was where we stayed. The room was beautiful and the English breakfast was super.

-M.