We have a 7½ for rent in La Petite Patrie — please share!

August 14th, 2015

Welcome to de Normanville Street!

Semi-furnished, large 7½, ground floor of a triplex in the popular Petite-Patrie neighbourhood.

$1850/month

Renovated to preserve the original cachet of a 1928 multiplex. New windows and doors. Newly refinished hardwood floors.

Original 1928 textured wallpaper lines the hallway – le papier peint texturé de 1928 le long du passage

Original 1928 textured wallpaper lines the hallway – le papier peint texturé de 1928 le long du passage

Living room with built-in bookcases and drawers. Dining room with original 1928 built-in china cabinet.

Living room with built-in bookcases – salon avec bibliothèques encastrés

Living room with built-in bookcases – salon avec bibliothèques encastrés

The living room has four built-in bookcases and adjoins the dining room – Le salon a quatre bibliothèques encastrés et s’ouvre au salon

The living room has four built-in bookcases and adjoins the dining room – Le salon a quatre bibliothèques encastrés et s’ouvre au salon

Living room – salon

Living room – salon

Sunny living room – salon ensoleillé

Sunny living room – salon ensoleillé

Dining room with 1929 china cabinet – salle à manger avec son vaisselier de 1929

Dining room with 1929 china cabinet – salle à manger avec son vaisselier de 1929

Columns ornament the dining room – des colonnes ornent la salle à manger

Columns ornament the dining room – des colonnes ornent la salle à manger

Large modern kitchen with island and appliances:
• stainless steel Samsung induction stove with double oven;
• stainless steel GE fridge;
• stacked LG washer and dryer;
• Bosch dishwasher.

Cuisine – Kitchen

Cuisine – Kitchen

Tiled bathroom with built-in cabinetry and deep bathtub.

Bright bathroom with deep soaking tub – salle de bains éclairée avec baignore profond

Bright bathroom with deep soaking tub – salle de bains éclairée avec baignore profond

Two closed double bedrooms. (Each bedroom is a double room.) One of the double bedrooms includes a workspace with built-in desk and cabinets.

Bedroom easily accommodates a queen bed and armoires – chambre à coucher assez grand pour y ranger un lit queen et des armoires

Bedroom panorama – panorama de la chambre à coucher

Bedroom panorama – panorama de la chambre à coucher

Work room next to bedroom – atelier à côté de la chambre à coucher

Work room next to bedroom – atelier à côté de la chambre à coucher

The second bedroom could be an office – la deuxième chambre à coucher peut server comme bureau

The second bedroom could be an office – la deuxième chambre à coucher peut server comme bureau

A guestroom next to the office – une chambre d’invités à côté du bureau

A guestroom next to the office – une chambre d’invités à côté du bureau

Porches and gardens in the front and back. Wide patio stairs and patio with sun but also the shade of several trees. Private parking space accessible through quiet alley.

Living area 1350 ft2 (125 m2), plus about 1000 ft2 (90 m2) of outside space.

Located on a quiet tree-lined street within a 7 minute walk to Beaubien metro station, and 1 minute from bus stop with frequent busses. Large park, grocery store, pharmacy, bakery, fishmonger, cheese shop, SAQ, the independent Cinéma Beaubien, and many restaurants and bars all within a few blocks on Beaubien street. Close to Jean-Talon market, the Plateau and Mile-End. Seven minutes by car to the 40.

Available September 1. Email me at alison.cummins@gmail.com if you’d like to check it out.

Nous avons un 7½ à louer dans la Petite-Patrie … partagez svp !

August 14th, 2015

Bienvenue à la rue de Normanville !

Semi-meublé, grand 7½, rez-de-chaussée d’un triplex dans le secteur recherché, la Petite-Patrie.

1 850$/mois

Rénové en conservant le cachet original d’un multiplex de 1928. Nouvelles fenêtres et portes. Planchers refaits.

Original 1928 textured wallpaper lines the hallway – le papier peint texturé de 1928 le long du passage

Original 1928 textured wallpaper lines the hallway – le papier peint texturé de 1928 le long du passage

Salon avec bibliothèques et cabinets encastrés. Salle à manger dôté de son vaisselier de 1928.

Living room with built-in bookcases – salon avec bibliothèques encastrés

Living room with built-in bookcases – salon avec bibliothèques encastrés

The living room has four built-in bookcases and adjoins the dining room – Le salon a quatre bibliothèques encastrés et s’ouvre au salon

The living room has four built-in bookcases and adjoins the dining room – Le salon a quatre bibliothèques encastrés et s’ouvre au salon

Living room – salon

Living room – salon

Sunny living room – salon ensoleillé

Sunny living room – salon ensoleillé

Dining room with 1929 china cabinet – salle à manger avec son vaisselier de 1929

Dining room with 1929 china cabinet – salle à manger avec son vaisselier de 1929

Columns ornament the dining room – des colonnes ornent la salle à manger

Columns ornament the dining room – des colonnes ornent la salle à manger

Grande cuisine moderne avec îlot et électroménagers :
• cuisinière à induction Samsung en inox avec double-four;
• frigidaire GE en inox;
• laveuse et sécheuse LG à chargement frontal ;
• lave-vaisselle Bosch.

Cuisine – Kitchen

Cuisine – Kitchen

Salle de bains finie en tuile avec cabinets encastrés et baignoire profonde.

Bright bathroom with deep soaking tub – salle de bains éclairée avec baignore profond

Bright bathroom with deep soaking tub – salle de bains éclairée avec baignore profond

Deux chambres à coucher doubles. (Chaque chambre à coucher est une piece double.) Une des chambres à coucher contient un coin de travail avec bureau et cabinets encastrés.

Bedroom easily accommodates a queen bed and armoires – chambre à coucher assez grand pour y ranger un lit queen et des armoires

Bedroom panorama – panorama de la chambre à coucher

Bedroom panorama – panorama de la chambre à coucher

Work room next to bedroom – atelier à côté de la chambre à coucher

Work room next to bedroom – atelier à côté de la chambre à coucher

The second bedroom could be an office – la deuxième chambre à coucher peut server comme bureau

The second bedroom could be an office – la deuxième chambre à coucher peut server comme bureau

A guestroom next to the office – une chambre d’invités à côté du bureau

A guestroom next to the office – une chambre d’invités à côté du bureau

Espaces vertes en avant et en arrière. Petit coin aménagé avec marches de patio larges, du soleil et l’ombre de plusieurs arbres.

Stationnement privé accessible par une ruelle tranquille.

Surface intérieure environ 1350 pi.ca. (125 m2), 1000 pi.ca. (90 m2) à l’extérieur.

Situé sur une rue tranquille bordée d’arbres. Sept minutes à pied du métro Beaubien, une minute à pied d’un arrêt d’autobus bien desservi. Grand parc, épicerie, pharmacie, boulangerie, poissonnerie, fromagerie, SAQ, le Cinéma Beaubien indépendant, ainsi que plusieurs restos et bars tous à quelque coins de rue sur Beaubien. Proche du marché Jean-Talon, le Plateau et le Mile-End. Sept minutes en voiture à la 40.

Disponible le 1er septembre.

Envoyez-moi un courriel si vous avez le goût d’y jeter un coup d’oeil. alison.cummins@gmail.com

Torta Ljiljana, more succinctly

January 5th, 2015

Like a lasagne, only dessert.

Pastry
1 packet dried yeast or equivalent
¼ c warm water
½ c room-temperature sour cream
¾ lb or 375 g soft butter
4 large egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
4 c flour
• Dissolve yeast in water, combine with sour cream.
• Cream butter. Beat in wet ingredients. Fold in flour.
• Divide dough into three portions. Cover in plastic and let rest 20 minutes.

Nut layer
16 oz, 1 lb or 500 g walnuts, ground
¾ c sugar
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
• Combine.

Apricot layer
3 c apricot filling

Assemble Torta
• Roll pastry dough out into three rectangles the size of your cookie sheet.
• In cookie sheet, stack (from the bottom up):
— Pastry
— Nut mixture (set aside ½ cup nut mixture for topping)
— Pastry
— Apricot filling
— Pastry
• Bake 40 minutes at 350°F/180°C.

Meringue
4 large egg whites
⅛ t cream of tartar
½ c sugar
• Make meringue and spread it over the hot torta as it comes out of the oven.
• Top with remaining ½ cup of nut mixture.
• Bake 12 minutes at 400°F/200°C.

Cut into diamonds when cool.

Torta Ljiljana

January 4th, 2015

In honour of my friend Lilian who is heading off to parts New York next week, I made a serbian dessert for her send-off tea party. She said the pastry was familiar but the meringue was a novelty. “Must be a regional thing,” says Lilian diplomatically. Whatever, it was a hit. People asked to take some home with them.

A layer of nuts and a layer of fruit are stacked between three layers of doughy pastry and topped with meringue. The result is something between baklava and that polish poppyseed roll — makowiec — only with fruit instead of honey.

Torta Ljiljana

Equipment
Cookie sheet with a lip, about 18″ x 12″ or 45 cm x 30 cm
4 pieces of parchment a little bigger than the cookie sheet
Electric mixer or manual eggbeater for meringue
Blender, small food processor or coffee grinder for grinding walnuts

Pastry
2¼ t dried yeast
¼ c warm water
½ c room-temperature sour cream
¾ lb or 375 g soft butter (I accidentally used a whole pound of butter. It was fine.)
4 large egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
4 c flour (Since this was the first time I was making it and I didn’t know what to expect, I used the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. Next time I’ll use whole wheat flour.)

Nut layer
16 oz, 1 lb or 500 g walnuts
¾ c sugar
1 t cinnamon
½ t grated nutmeg

Apricot layer
16 oz or 500 g of apricot jam (the extra fruit kind is best)
8 oz, ½ lb or 275 g dried apricots
2 T cornstarch
1 t almond extract
2 T Grand Marnier or Triple Sec

Meringue
4 large egg whites
⅛ t cream of tartar
½ c sugar

Make the pastry:
1) In a small glass, sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit 15 minutes or so until it dissolves.
2) Put the sour cream in a small bowl and warm it gently in the microwave to room temperature or a little above.
3) Stir the yeast into the sour cream and set aside.
4) Cream the butter in a large bowl. The easiest way is to soften the butter gently — don’t melt it! — in the microwave on low power first and then beat it until fluffy with an electric mixer.
5) Beat in the egg yolks.
6) Beat in the yeast and sour cream mixture.
7) Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon.
8) Make three balls out of the dough, wrap them in plastic and let sit for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the nut and fruit layers.

Make the fruit filling:
1) Empty the jam into a small saucepan on low heat.
2) Chop the apricots finely and stir into the jam.
3) Stir in the cornstarch until it dissolves.
4) Keep stirring so the fruit doesn’t burn. When the mixture has started to bubble nicely, take it off the heat.
5) Stir in the almond flavouring and the liqueur.

Make the nut filling:
1) Grind the walnuts finely in a blender or small food processor, ¼ cup at a time.
2) In a medium bowl, mix the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3) Set aside ½ c of this mixture for the topping.

Assemble the torta:
1) Heat oven to 350F or 180C.
2) Roll out one ball of pastry dough between two sheets of parchment into a thin rectangle the size of your cookie sheet.
3) Peel off the top sheet of parchment and place the rolled-out pastry into the cookie sheet, leaving it on the bottom sheet of parchment.
4) Spread the nut mixture (except for the ½ c you set aside) evenly over the pastry, right to the edges.
5) Roll out the second ball of pastry dough between two sheets of parchment into a thin rectangle the size of your cookie sheet.
6) Peel off the top sheet of parchment and invert the rolled-out pastry onto the nuts. Peel off the second sheet of parchment.
7) Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the pastry, right to the edges.
8) Roll out the third ball of pastry dough between two sheets of parchment into a thin rectangle the size of your cookie sheet.
9) Peel off the top sheet of parchment and invert the rolled-out pastry onto the fruit. Peel off the second sheet of parchment.
10) Bake 40 minutes.

Meringue topping:
1) About 5 minutes before you take the torta out of the oven, beat the egg whites until they form slightly droopy peaks.
2) Beat in the cream of tartar and the sugar.
3) Remove the torta from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 400F or 200C.
4) Spread the meringue over the hot torta, evenly and right to the edges.
5) Sprinkle the meringue with reserved nut mixture, evenly and right to the edges.
6) Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve:
1) Remove the torta from the oven and cool the cookie sheet with the torta on a rack or balanced on something so that air can circulate above and below.
2) When cool, cut into diamond shapes.

Adapted from:
http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/russiandessertrecipes/r/Russian-Apricot-Nut-Meringue-Torte-Recipe.htm

Shortbread cookies

December 27th, 2013

My mother made these every year from a hand-written card in her recipe box. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s what christmas cookies mean to me. Missing are the instructions to cut the cookies out with a cookie-cutter after rolling out the dough, and to decorate the cookies with a bit of red or green glacé cherry in the middle before baking. Personally my favourite cookie-cutter is a small tomato paste tin with both ends cut out.

I used to use “cultured unsalted butter” thinking it would add a delicate sour-cream flavour, but people complained the cookies tasted cheesy. I think plain (sweet) unsalted butter would suit the sophisticated palate best though my mother used ordinary salted butter.

225 g/ 1 c butter
125 mL/ ½ c icing sugar
500 mL/ 2 c all-purpose flour OR
      500 m
L all-purpose flour + 50 mL rice flour
      (2 c – 3 T all-purpose flour) + (3 T rice flour)

¼ t baking powder
¼ t salt

Work butter, add sugar.
Sift dry ingredients. Add. Work together. Roll out.
Grease sheet lightly. Bake at 150°C/ 300°F 15–20 min till brown on bottom only.

Creamed onions for Thanksgiving and Christmas

December 27th, 2013

This recipe is for a traditional holiday dish from the american side of the family. I don’t know what their recipe is — it’s unlikely to be as fussy as this one — but this is mine adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

Steam 600g/ 20 oz pearl onions in a single layer for 30 minutes or until done. Peel. (If you live in the States where you are lucky enough to be able to get pearl onions frozen, go for it! Follow the instructions on the package.)

Melt in the top of a double boiler:
30 mL/ 2 T butter

Stir in:
30 mL/ 2 T flour

When blended, add gradually:
500 mL/ 2 c stock at 1.5 concentration By which I mean:

  • if 1 stock cube is supposed to be good for 2 cups/ 500 mL, then use 1½ stock cubes in 2 cups/ 500 mL boiling water.
  • if 1 stock cube is supposed to be good for 1 cup/ 250 mL, then use 3 stock cubes in 2 cups/ 500 mL boiling water.
  • if 10 mL/ 2 t concentrate is supposed to be good for 1 cup/ 250 mL, then use 30 mL/ 2 T concentrate in 2 cups/ 500 mL boiling water.
  • if you’re starting with regular stock, whether home-made, canned or from a box, simmer 750 mL/ 3 c until you’ve reduced it down to 2 c.

Stir over low heat until well combined and thickened. Add:
60 mL/ ¼ c mushroom peelings

Place in the double boiler and simmer over — not in — hot water for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine sieve, then add:
A pinch of nutmeg
1 egg yolk mixed with 30 mL/ 2 T cream

Stir the sauce until it is slightly thickened. Just before serving, stir in:
15 mL/ 1 T lemon juice
15 mL/ 1 T butter

Cook the onions and the sauce together for 1 minute. Add:
60 mL/ ¼ c chopped parsley
A dash of cloves
1 mL/ ¼ t paprika
30 mL/ 2 T dry sherry

Wonderful additions are:
125 mL/ ½ c sautéed mushrooms
or:
Minced celery