This time last year, Montreal was in the deep-freeze, festooned with flurries, its streets and sidewalks treacherous with ice and snow.
This year, it’s more like this –
Blues skies, green lawns, and oh so warm.
I’ll never complain about global warming again.
Well, last year mom declared it would be the last time she prepped and cooked a big feast for over a dozen people. I was, of course, dubious because she’d made the same declaration the previous year. This year, as she preps and cooks a big feast for fourteen, she has declared it the very last year she does this.
While mom was prepping for tonight’s dinner, Akemi, sis, and I were out running errands. One of our stops was Costco which, it turns out, is like visiting Disneyland for Akemi. She could barely contain her excitement as we drove into the lot, then was positively bursting with joy as she scurried from the economy-size bun display to the artichoke hearts tasting booth.
My sister offered to buy her a membership, but Akemi refused reasoning that, if she had easy access to Costco, then her visits would be less special.
“So sad it’s over,”she lamented as we pushed our cart back to the car. Well, there’s always next year.
Before returning home with all our purchases (including about a thousand olives), we stopped by St. Viateur bagels because I’m partial to eating them with mom’s spicy peppers. These are, of course, Montreal-style bagels as opposed to their Toronto counterparts. What’s the difference?
Montreal-style: “A distinctive variety of handmade and wood-fired baked bagel. In contrast to the New York-style bagel, the Montreal bagel is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole, and is always baked in a wood-fired oven. It contains malt, egg, and no salt and is boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked.” (source: Wikipedia).
Toronto-style: Basically bread baked in the shape of a bagel.
TASTE AND TEXTURE
Montreal-style: Slightly sweet, slightly nutty, soft interior with a delightful chewy exterior.
Toronto-style: Bread, slightly stale.
EATING AND STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS
Montreal-style: Fresh and warm out of the oven, they should be eaten immediately or that same day. They can be popped in the oven or the microwave for a nice next-day snack.
Toronto-style: Eaten fresh or three weeks old, they taste the same – like stale bread. Make sure to have some water handy because they’re a choking hazard.
Montreal-style: Available at many great bagel institutions throughout the city. Places like St. Viateur, Fairmount, R.E.A.L. Bagels come readily to mind.
Toronto-style: Whether you pick them up at a specialty shop or the remainder bin of your local convenience store, they all taste the same – like stale bread. Seriously. Just go out and buy yourself a loaf of plastic-sealed three-day-old bread. It’s basically the same thing.
Off to help mom prepare her last-ever-Christmas-feast-for-more-than-a-dozen-people. And then work on my tan.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!