I started this blog 6 months ago, but looking through any of my photo albums will reveal I have been harbouring a habit of photographing my meals for some time now. I'm not sure when it started, or why. I mean, really, it's kind of weird isn't it?
Weird or not, I've been meaning to get around to putting up some of my old pre-blog food shots up here for a while. Well, Mardi at Eat, live, travel, write has done just that with her latest post, and it has spurred me on to go trawling through all my old albums and start reminiscing. Join me, dear readers, as we go on a tasty tour of my belly's history....
First stop is Vienna, which I was lucky enough to visit in 2007 for a conference. It's actually quite fitting to start here, as I went to Vienna with a friend with whom who shares my love for food and whose hands feature quite a lot in previous photos on this blog, as we tend to eat out together quite frequently. First up, Siebenstern Bräu for some sort of gratiny fatty awesomeness. We had such a great time at Siebenstern that we decided to return a few nights later. I can't remember what I had for dinner, but my friend went the whole hog (thank you I'm here all week) and got a full serve of ribs. Luckily he shared some with me, and my god they were good.
Next stop, Canada! I was there for around 6 months last year and a lot of eating was done. Luckily I stayed through most of winter so I was able to shiver away most of the calories.
And on that note, we're off to Montreal where I spent the next few months...
Bagel lunches at St-Viateur Bagel & Café Mont-Royal, Montreal (2008)
The best bagels in town, in my opinion, where to be found at one of the St-Viateur Bagel bakeries or cafes. The Mont-Royal cafe in the Plateau was not too far from my apartment, and a must stop to take visitors for a delicious bagel for breakfast or lunch. I haven't eaten a single bagel since leaving Montreal as I am well aware I will be disappointed. Perhaps I should try my hand at making my own.
Next up is another must-do for any visit to Montreal - poutine. This is to Montreal cuisine what a doner kebab is to English or Aussie... a reward for your stomach for putting up with vast amounts of alcohol, prior to finding your bed and passing out. I believe these particular dishes were eaten some time post midnight, after a night out drinking with a visiting mate at an Aussie expat meetup downtown. Despite the late hour, or probably because of it, La Banquise was packed and it was hard to find a table. It's actually open 24 hours a day so you can clog your arteries with delicious skin-on fries, gravy and squeaky cheese curd goodness at any time of day.
A fabulous Montreal restaurant, for those who do not have any cardiovascular issues, is Au Pied de Cochon. My friend had the Duck in a Can, which is an amazing duck confit dish that they make in the kitchen, put into a can, and the waiter actually comes and opens the can at the table, plopping the contents onto the rest of the dish (it does plop). I had the Pied de Cochon which was the most succulent, fatty, delicious pig trotter and some other accompaniments that I can't quite recall except that it was really very enjoyable to eat.
I also managed a wee trip to Quebec City with the same friend that I shared the drunken poutine experience with, and it is fair to say we ate our way through the city. Pretty much every meal was at least three courses, as it always seemed like a good deal to get the table d'hote (plus it was kinda cold and rainy while we were there, and we spent our non-eating times walking so we were able to justify the overindulgance of every meal quite easily).
My Christmas spent in Montreal was quite literally a day of eating. I can't remember how many courses my friend prepared for us all, but it was more than 6. Incredibly impressive food, I am kicking myself for not documenting them all. I do however have some photos of the dessert, as I was in charge of making it and also, by doing so, educating my friend's Quebecois family about Australian and British traditions for Christmas dessert.
I actually took a photo of all the ingredients that I used to make the Christmas pudding, and I didn't have a food blog.
I also did some Christmas baking to give out as gifts to those at the Christmas dinner, and also to my friends and colleagues at L'Universite de Montreal. I made mini fruit mince pies (which don't photograph terribly well), macadamia ANZAC biscuits, and gingerbread cookies. Oh and another batch of mini plum puddings too.
And now here I am back in Perth, and although this reminiscing has left me missing all my friends (and favourite restaurants and foods) overseas, with the temperature predicted to hit 34 degrees C today it is hard to see why I'd want to be anywhere else. I think perhaps I will continue my reminiscing with a tall glass of La Fin du Monde that I've had chilling in the fridge for such an occasion.