Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Choir Girl in Montreal

I am traveling away in Montreal and I have a few highlighted snapshots to show for it :)

Started out in Verdun, QC walking from Leanne and Jeremy's apartment to the metro

Heading up to the Plateau area to have lunch at Reservoir (a restaurant recommended to me by my sister). So delicious! The restaurant had a laid-back vibe but the food is gourmet in a non-pretentious way. The menu was all in French on a chalkboard and I ordered something where I recognized the words "salmon and apple" but I wasn't wholly sure of what the dish was. However, I did find out it was a pan fried salmon which was topped off with deep fried sweet onions on a baked slice of apple. I know it sounds like a strange combination but it was so inventive and appetizing. I have never tasted anything in my life like it!. To top it off, I got warm crusty bread to go along with my latte!

Then I was off to a concert at St. James United Church to see Leanne play in her string trio. In between waiting for busses to arrive and dodging hobos at church entrances I couldn't get into I, unfortunately, was late and missed their piece since they were first in the program. But I did catch the other performers and they sounded great. The church was also a really nice venue for music.

After the concert I met up with Canadian composer, Donald Patriquin, and chatted about music over sushi. What an excellent combination! We did a gift swap at the end where I passed along some music from the Cantilon Chamber Choir and he shared a DVD with a musical he wrote music and directed called "Chickasaw." He also gave me a reusable bag with a Nietzsche quote in French "Life without music is an error" to bring a hopeful reminder that I made the right choice about not going on the choir tour after reading my post: Choral Apathy.

Then I was off to St. Catherine's for shopping! I raided of Simons thoroughly and afterward I gawked at beautiful things I can't afford at Ogilvy's.

Since I had time, I went to Schwartz for a smoked Montreal meat sandwich. I was told that I HAD to eat here and after dodging the hobo outside the door (lots of hobo run-in's today) I enjoyed a deli sandwich at the counter. It was delicious but there was just SO much meat. I couldn't even see the bread! I had to divide what I thought was the midway point of the sandwich and eat 4 separate pieces with a fork and knife. It's very much a eat-and-go restaurant, since there's always a line-up, but I think it would be a much more relaxing dining experience if I went back with some more people next time.

Then I took the bus back to the McGill area and had a chai latte at Art Java. It was nice to just sit down and read the McGill student newspaper. Olympic news was also on the t.v. so I enjoyed how people were in Stanley Park golfing since the weather was so nice and warm for the Olympics. It was also just nice to be near other students, even though they were all there cramming for exams and finishing up their papers before their reading week, which happens to be a next week.

After meeting up with Leanne we came back to her place and baked chai spice cookies from scratch and had a craft evening where we made cards. What a fantastic way to unwind after a very productive day!

Because I believe in sharing delicious things, here's the recipe to make your own chai spice cookies! Credit to Lilian, Leanne's friend!

Chai-Spiced Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

Fragrant with the classic flavors of chai tea, these buttery, crumbly cookies are perfect for dunking in a cup of tea of coffee.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter with granulated sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in flour, spices and salt until just combined.

Scoop and roll dough into small teaspoon-sized balls and place about an inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and let cool completely on a rack. Store in an airtight container.


Miss Sarah said...

Mmm... MY purse looks pretty good in that photo.

Anonymous said...

I was doing research on my old choir, the Montreal Girls Choir. We did a recording up in Cotes des Neiges but I can't find any trace of it. I saw your blog and instantly became homesick by the way! Lol! Our conductor was Dr Joan Heels, who at that time (60,s)was my highschool (Northmount) music teacherm. If you can help I will leave my email I live now in NY mrsgarrett52@yahoo.com. Thanks