What a whirlwind weekend I’ve had. I feel like a celebrity jetsetter. Except for the small fact that I was in a car, not a jet, I’m tired because I stared down a highway for 2 days and not due to fancy time zone changes, and I went to Nova Scotia, not Milan. So actually not like a celebrity jetsetter at all. Anyway, on to some actual details about my trip- the boyfriend (Steve for future reference, it gets tiresome typing out “the boyfriend”) and I picked up the car around noon on Thursday and proceeded to pack my life into it, aka 4 years’ worth of university textbooks, furniture, clothing, and whatever else you can cram into a small car. Let me tell you, we did NOT waste space either. Any and all free nooks were stuffed with dirty laundry for us to wash at home (anyone else still do this? I always bring laundry home, even when home is 12 hours away…). We left a couple hours behind schedule but figured we could make up the lost time by speeding through Quebec. Not a good idea. We got pulled over less than an hour out of the city by a cop with a huge flashing arrow on his car. We somehow didn’t notice this huge, blinking monstrosity on the side of the road. He didn’t speak a whole lot of English and we wound up with a speeding ticket. Whoops, so much for trying to get back on the time schedule.
The rest of Quebec involved an hour-long detour through god knows where and then we entered New Brunswick, which shall now be know as the land of the moose. By now it was insanely foggy and 2am and there were these huge moose crossing signs every 5km with ATTENTION written in bright red letters underneath a picture of a huge moose. I never thought I would be scared of moose, but I am now. I did not want one of those going through my windshield. Luckily though, we arrived moose-free and safe in Nova Scotia at 4am. Of course we woke up my mom and her new PUPPY which we had to play with for a bit before heading to bed at the very reasonable hour of 5:30am.
After the trauma involved in actually arriving, the visit itself was quite relaxing. My dad bought us 4 pounds (yes you read that correctly) of super fresh NS scallops for dinner Friday night. They were fresh enough to eat raw- I tried one this way and wow, it just melted in my mouth. I have never before tasted seafood that good. We had our big turkey dinner on Saturday which was also amazing and involved homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, wine, and those infamous NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are worth the hype, go make some now!!!
We left Sunday morning and got back into the city (moose-free again) late that evening. So while it was a quick visit, I’m certainly glad we went. Except for that speeding ticket.
Now that I’m back in my own home, I feel completely immersed in the Fall season. All of the leaves are turning gorgeous shades of red and yellow and the air is crisp, yet the sun keeps the days fairly warm. This is by far my favourite time of year, and not just for the scenery. You may exclaim over perfectly ripe strawberries and summer tomatoes all you like- but for me, nothing beats an apple right off the tree in the middle of Fall. I didn’t get a chance to go apple picking while home (and there aren’t many orchards in downtown Montreal) so I’ve contented myself with luscious Honeycrisps for eating raw and deliciously tart Granny Smiths for cooking. Apple pie and apple crisp are quintessential Autumn desserts for me, and the smell of cinnamon in my kitchen is comfort at its best, so it wasn’t hard for me to choose what to make for dessert tonight. I decided to play with the flavours a little by adding in a pear to this apple crisp recipe, and wow what a difference it made! I will be going back to this recipe all Autumn long :)
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into small cubes
1 pear, chopped into small cubes
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 to 2 teaspoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
(1) Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased (I used cooking spray) pie dish or oven-safe saucepan.
(2) Mix together all streusel ingredients (except for butter) until well blended. Cut in butter until lumps start to form in the mixture. *For a richer taste, use more butter- up to 3 tablespoons if desired. I wanted to keep this light so I cut down the butter and just sprayed my crisp with a little cooking spray before putting it into the oven*
(3) Top filling evenly with streusel topping. Bake for roughly 45 minutes, until apples and pears are soft. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Tastes best with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.