Cape Breton trip Pt 3: magic is crowning a shortcake with entirely foraged berries.

I went berry picking today, and if that’s putting it mildly, you haven’t been berry picking before.  At least, when you’re off the grid in the Judique woods and fending off errant wasps and trap-door spiders to get at the luscious midnight-black globules of forest candy you’re after… well, it feels like a bit of a triumph.  And moreso when you can use those berries in a hairspin turn just half a day later for a birthday girl who’s letting you stay on her lovely forest property.  We found them all, man… midst the birch trees and dayglo mosses and thorn bushes.

Blackberries, blueberries, rose-raspberries, juniper berries (not featured in the cake, mind you), and I even found a use for these teeny eeny red dots with pasty insides called teaberries.  Those got turned into a syrup that justified my forager’s belief in their not immediately apparent deliciousness.  A bit of honey and lemon and straining and boiling – and I do mean a bit – turned them into the nicest cake drizzle for a cream cake.  So natural and, well, tea-like.

I just gotta mention here – this is like, a normal backyard in Judique.

Cake itself?  A MIX from a BOX.  Ah-ha, yes, it was.  (Betty Crocker AGAIN, oh my lard). Gluten free constraints and a limited kitchen, plus being a guest, means deferring where it’s appropriate and taking the simple path more often than not.  The mix was mostly rice flour, sugar, and xanthan gum as far as I could tell, but if pressed in the future, and with my own pantry at my disposal, I would probably go for an egg white raised hazelnut sponge or something like that.  Which isn’t to say that it didn’t play the part of a biscuit rather well.  It did.  And I trusted that mix to carry the floofy clouds of whipped Breton cream and homemade golden meringue crumbs that I wrapped all around it, .. and the macerated Quebec strawberries, and the forest berries, and the syrup.  No probs.

It was rather a triumph of theme, and I think it’s becoming apparent that my favourite cake to give to people is a whipped cream and fruit thing.  Decadence has it’s place, but if anything’s become my calling card over the years, this is it.  Well, that and jammy jars, but that’s another story and another style of fruit obsession…..

Oh yeah.  And we found a Millenium Falcon.

For more photos, check out the Flickr set.

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Raw Rosewater Cheesecake and a Vegan Zine Giveaway!

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A long time ago, I used to be the kind of person that would make zines on a Thursday night (instead of drink Negronis and watch Adventure Time and look for ways to make cheap cuts of meat resplendent, herbal, and delectable… ah aging).  I made zines about myself, mostly, with all the semi-decent poetry, navel gazing and room-wide collage operations THAT involved, and I would direct you to the place to buy them but I cancelled my Etsy account.  C’est la vie, n’est pas? Continue reading

Tachido, home of the gorilla and the glutenless sandwich

tchotchke – (Yiddish) an inexpensive showy trinket

 Origin: 

1965–70, Americanism ;  < Yiddish tshatshke  < Polish czaczko bibelot, knickknack

(now obsolete; compare modern cacko  withsame sense, orig. dial.); of expressive orig.

chachkatsatsketshatshke

collectablecollectible – things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)
Going for a sandwich on a rather flingy whim didn’t necessarily prepare me for the requisite mile end arty-collage space that I should have seen coming.  I’ve only lived here in this neighbourhood for how long?  (Galleries are actually a place to get pizza, I’m pretty sure).  True to form, Tachido is home to a mass mural from the same people who decorated l’Espace Go, to our latent osmotically gained hipster-vibe delight, and even more knick-knacked curios lit up with fairy lights all over the tiny sandwich shop – the new resto on Parc street, but already proving to be a laid back hangout for randoms of all types.  Laid back randoms, anyway.
But dear, sweetie, how was the food?  Tachido serves food, right?  Mexican kinda sandwiches, involving the usual suspects of black beans, pork, chicken, cheeses, guac and hot sauces, AND gluten free options, if that’s something you care about.  They have fresh juices (agua fresca), of which a melon kind we partook.  I liked it, but I’m a sucker for melon anything, and it kinda pink-efied the meal a bit and I don’t care if it’s winter, I’ll refreshen up anytime!
We got some cheap sandwiches, a pulled pork torta sandwich on fresh housemade bread, and a huitlacoche (mushroom, corn and cheese) quesadilla, also housemade.  A little deal for the side is a hot pot of spicy black bean sauce/soup and a couple of hot sauces in red and green for about 3$, and I pretty much insist that you add this onto the order.  Reasoning for this is that while the food is fresh, hot, healthy and inexpensive, it isn’t outlandishly… shall we say, flavourful.  A shot of the saucy sides fixes that up okay.
They serve beer and cocktails (margaritas!), and get coffee from Toi, Moi & Cafe up the street, which probably means that there is at least a decent selection of brew (I haven’t been there in years but I remember a dizzying array).  They also have homemade pastries, and if I’d known that at the time I’d be just that much closer to being entirely made of sugar than I am now.  They’re probably good, judging by the bread (which is good, really).
+ points for the decor
+ points for the vegetarian/gluten-free/kid friendliness of it all
– points for normal tasting food (replace the mozza-type cheese with some real face-punching salty queso, and THEN we’d be talking!)
+ it’s such a family-run place – we talked to the guy running the show that day and he explained to some depth his brother’s toy-and-oddity fascination
+ Tacorama Fridays after 9pm!  I can only imagine the joy of that.  Woah, hey, dudes, now we have TWO late night taco places in the mile end!  Sweet.

Tachido on Urbanspoon

****** SPECIAL BREAKING EDIT/UPDATE !!!!!!!!!!
OMG.
So, you know how I ordered a huitlacoche quesadilla?  I knew it was a mushroom.  I didn’t know it was also called CORN SMUT!
*dies laughing*
oh, that’s awesome.