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Happy-Gourmand

Writer compares road to Dr. Seuss street

Living on a magical street

When I was growing up, my Mom read us bedtime stories.

I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss, and one of my favourites was “And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street”. It was a story about a kid who travelled down this one street that had all kinds of fantastical creatures and people. It was a real adventure. I always wanted to live on Mulberry Street someday… and now I do.

We live on a street at the edge of Westbank, one that is mostly agricultural land. It is certainly not your average suburb. The houses are far apart, and there is a vineyard, and a huge vegetable farm alongside the fruit orchard at one end of the road. Behind our house is a vegetable patch full of tomatoes and cucumbers and basil. Every morning the farm crew is out there picking.

There are not only dogs in the yards, but also horses, chickens, goats, and even a couple of alpacas and deer wandering through. On a fine summer day you may hear the alpacas talking to each other.

Not everyone is keen to live in such a unique atmosphere, but for us it works very well.

Everyone is interested in the neighbourhood and the people in it. Neighbours watch out for each other. We have gotten to know pretty much everyone on the street and often they will stop and chat as they go by walking their dogs or kids, or maybe coming back from having an ice cream or coffee at the fruit stand.

I bet many of you just re-read that last paragraph, didn’t you? She has a place to get ice cream at the end of the road?

There is something extra-special about being able to enjoy your ice cream sitting amongst the fruit trees, or wandering down the road enjoying the animals, the view, the neighbours. It’s just as wonderful as living on Mulberry Street, I think.

There aren’t any houses for sale on our street, but you are welcome to enjoy the ambience.

Ice cream weather may be coming to an end, but you can come by and pick a pumpkin, or choose some heirloom organic peppers, or apples or pears… well, you get my drift.

Before fall has ended you really need to plan a trip out to one of the many local farm stands and take in the fresh air and the ambience.

If you need an idea of what to do with your pumpkin besides having a Jack O’ Lantern, try this recipe.

Pumpkin Pound Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour ( all purpose flour is OK too)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 eggs, separated (at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup puréed pumpkin

Powdered sugar for dusting

- In bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside. (Cake flour just makes the end result an extra bit lighter. Sub in ½ whole wheat flour if you like.)

- In large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Gradually add in brown sugar. Add vanilla and beat approximately 3 minutes.

- Gradually add beaten egg yolks. Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth.

- Add flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix well. Set aside.

- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gently fold whites into pumpkin batter.

- Spoon batter into greased tube or Bundt pan. Bake in lower third of oven 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Internal cake temperature should be 195 F, or insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.)

- Allow cake to cool 10 minutes, then invert onto cake plate. Once cake completely cools, dust with powdered sugar.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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