Quick Recipes and Easy

Memories and the Comforts of Foods

Growing older has many excellent points I suppose. Maturity brings a lot of knowledge and experience one can share, with others but mainly with our children. Most are not in need or want of what we have learned in the past and prefer to experiment and learn for themselves.

With this in mind, it occurred to me that one thing most accepted and shared is a joy in food. Sharing the experience of foods loved, cooking, and sharing tastes of the past are always welcomed.

At this stage in my life after seventy one years I find that many pleased memories seem to dwell on foods of my past. I thought I would share some of the more unusual ones with you.

I was born in Montreal, Canada, and though I left when I was only sixteen I have to admit I left my heart in that gorgeous city of my past. I now live in California and no one would say that we do not have excellent food. Our salads alone could fill an entire recipe book. The diversity of foods in this state is overwhelming.

Ah! but still, I dream and re visit my past only to find and eat the foods I find comfort in. Every trip I make to Montreal consists of meals I long for and every time I travel back there I find it a bit harder to find. So I feel a need to document some that I would despise to see lost.

A chocolate bar I simply adore is called “Cherry Blossom.” Hershey, Canada makes this. It comes in a small square yellow box. One bite is so tasty my words can hardly describe it. Milk chocolate, mixed with chopped nuts covering a small amount of liquid and a cherry in the middle. The right amount of sweetness, not too much and the right size to consume with comfort. When I bite into this candy my mouth is overwhelmed by its taste and how much pleasure this candy brings. I tasted this bar over sixty five years ago and have loved it ever since. How often can you find a product unchanged in this much time?

A sandwich called smoked meat is unique to Montreal. It is a delicatessen delight loved by many visitors and Montrealer’s as well. This meat is similar to pastrami or corned beef, but I despise to even mention those meats as smoked meat has a taste that is unique and really cannot be compared. The best is that of a delicatessen called Schwartz’s on The Main. The original with some stout, sliced by hand served hot is what to eat. Heaven for sure. If comfort is what you want, there is nothing better than a hot corned beef sandwich. Can you imagine the agony I suffer knowing I can only have this on yet another trip to Montreal? The recipe is unknown and not shared so in California or any other part of this world, no one has a clue.

Montreal is home to French Canadian food. Some foods only served at certain times of the year. Their foods are all tasty but I favor a few that I find irresistible. There is a meat pie called Tourtiere Pie that is usually served at Christmas and after the Midnight Mass. Excellent Lord, I could never wait to eat this perfection once a year. Luckily many restaurants offer this delight daily. Each restaurant along with every homemaker has their own proven recipe. I have yet to taste a Tourtiere pie I did not like. In fact I searched for years to find and perfect a recipe which I shared in my second published novel, “Discoveries of a Hidden Past.” I will add my recipe at the end of this article.

The other French Canadian dish I like is a Maple Sugar pie. This dessert is very unique as it has the splendid taste of pure maple sugar. Canada has some of the best maple syrup produced today. Of course I must also mention the delightful and hardy Pea Soup. This is made of yellow split peas and cooked to a thick soup that can only be the best soup for a feeling of complete comfort and satisfaction.

There is a large Jewish population in Montreal and some wonderful tastes of the unhealthy foods; so we are told, can be found, and eaten to everyone’s pure delight. Potato knishes, chopped liver, kasha varnishkes, potato varenikas, blintzes, and cheese begalla, and we all share in eating bagels, cream cheese, and lox. No bagels can compare with Montreal St Viateuer Bagels. They have a chewy texture and wonderful taste, nearly worth visiting for them alone. Most are found in local delicatessens.

One food though that is unique is a Rib Steak at Moishe’s on The Main. This restaurant has been there since my childhood and still remains a place for this unique steak and rare treat. Frequented by so many people you certainly need a reservation. Many of their extras include some of the Jewish style foods I mentioned above.

Okay, I’m obsessed on food and all are for me comfort foods from my past. I have shared them with you and I do hope the next time you visit Montreal you try some. Until then, my mouth will water as I long for these delicacies and contemplate on how and when I may take my next trip back to indulge once again.

Tourtiére Pie

1-pound ground sirloin

1/4 pound ground pork

1/2 to 3/4 Cup of cold water

1/2 cup of finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/2teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried savory

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

1 large potato cooked and mashed

One double 9-inch pastry crust

In a large heavy frying pan, combine beef, pork, water and heat to boiling
point. Add seasoning and spices then cover and simmer for 1 ~
hours. Stir and check that mixture does not dry out, add water if

Stir in the mashed potato and transfer the mixture in to the bottom
unbaked crust in a 9 inch pie plate. Place the top crust on top and seal.
Cut slits to vent for steam.

Bake in a pre heated oven 400 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce the
heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes or until golden.

This pie serves 6 and freezes well.
Delight in!

Anne Lebrecht is a published author of two novels, poetry, small tales and articles. She lives on Balboa Island with her husband of 53 years. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.
You can contact her and read more on her website:
annelebrecht.com annelebrecht.com

About the Author

has written 10297 stories on this site.

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