From soup to nuts

I have been writing this column for 14 years. It started with my chef husband and me offering a “he said, she said” approach to food topics.

He got busier with his private chef business, The Chef Instead, and so then it was just me – and you – exploring everything from soup to nuts.

Coining the name Happy Gourmand seemed ever so fitting, as sharing my passion with you made me very happy. You have been a part of my adventures, my trials, my experiments, my ranting.

Some of you have even sent me comments and shared stories, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Food adventures have always been a key part of my life. My travel memories are full of the flavours of places, the faces around tables at meals shared across the globe.

My love of food helped me stay sane this year. My love of sharing that food around a table with friends and loved ones suffered greatly; you can see people and hear them on a Zoom or Facebook screen, but you can’t taste what they are eating.

The Christmas season has given us the biggest excuse to share, of course. Regular readers will know that Rabbit Hollow has hosted an annual Dessert Before Christmas party for the past 12 years.

The groaning buffet table harkened back to food magazine covers from Christmases decades ago. (My photo this week was our table from a couple of years ago.)

We were bereft not being able to open our doors and share all our treats, so this year we took the party on the road and did doorway drop-offs. My Olaf-the-snowman mask and Chef Martin’s Santa hat got plenty of use as we waved and shouted our holiday greetings from the front pathways of friends.

I count myself as blessed, having such beautiful surroundings at Rabbit Hollow, a loving husband who takes great care of me (and makes the best desserts a girl could dream of), and being healthy and safe. Those things make me happy every day.

I express my happiness with food. Growing ingredients, harvesting them, making recipes, preserving food and sharing it – that’s my jam. In a year when the most rewarding part of that formula – the sharing part – was tricky at best, you have been here for me.

I would like to close out this year’s column entries with a formal thank you. The community we have created is a force that can withstand even a worldwide pandemic, it turns out.

That makes me one Happy Gourmand indeed. 

As we usher in a New Year with efforts to recreate a world that lets us share more openly again, I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday break.

Happy cooking and Bon Appetit.

More Happy Gourmand articles

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


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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