Due to a glitch in a third-party firewall, access to the online version of Gentleman’s Portion: The Cookbook is currently on hold. The publisher’s IT department has promised a speedy response. We’ll see! In the interim, be comforted by this outstanding tomato soup recipe.
Booking a cruise vacation used to be a simple and enjoyable process – decide where you want to travel, find a reasonably priced cruise with an interesting itinerary, and get ready for a carefree holiday. But indecisive bureaucrats and cruise executives have turned that simplicity into a wacky world of confusing and changing COVID-19 policies that only a forensic accountant could decipher.
In my Market to Table cookbook, I named the first dish in the book after my beloved—Aguacate Diane, chilled avocado soup. It’s a tribute for dealing with months of taste testing and proofreading. Now that we are both in our seventh decades, she is still a dish.
Our wine scribe Jim Walker’s 60th birthday was fast approaching and his wife Hélène wanted to know how he wanted to celebrate it. “How about with a bunch of close friends in Provence,” he suggested somewhat facetiously. “If anyone would come,” he added. So Hélène got the word out and low and behold everyone thought it was a grand idea. And that was how a long, thoroughly enjoyable association with Beatrice Navarre and her bastide near Châteauneuf du Pape began.
The mega-rich can afford to build their own super-yachts and fill them with expensive toys. And more are doing so than ever before. But for those who don’t have $50 million to spare, there’s always the option of chartering someone else’s yacht, or cruising aboard a small luxury vessel that just feels like one.
In Toronto, we’ve been invited for “drinks and a light supper” by a dear friend. We know who the other guests will be, a charming couple we’ve known casually and bumped in to at various occasions over the years, so there’s no minefield on the people side. But what will we be served? That’s the big question.
On our first few outings when lockdown allowed us to dine on outdoor patios in Toronto, we went for our favourite ethnic comfort foods: Italian, Greek, English and Italian again, where the sweet scent of basil flavours everything.
Don’t you just hate it when one of your favourite restaurants closes its doors? Our wine scribe Jim Walker was confronted by this all too common occurrence during the wretched plague. Now all that remains is the lingering aroma of the world’s best onion soup and a treasure trove of memories. We know there are legions of other patrons joining Jim in his lamentations.