In anticipation of our Mediterranean oils, I am doing what I love to do most, devouring cookbooks and trying recipes. Fresh oil excites me, no matter where it comes from. I just happen to enjoy the concept of the "Mediterranean Diet". Simple, basic, good quality food. If the truth be known, that is all I have time for.
Being on the road as often as we are, tending our flock, has us eating in restaurants more often than we would like. This is never a healthy lifestyle, no matter how conscientious one is, so when we can, we keep it simple and healthy. I tend to carry my own Restaurant Rescue Kit. A 60ml of fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a yummy Balsamic Vinegar. We do have our regular haunts, that in our opinion, go the extra mile. Sit at the bar and chat at Tess, enjoy intimate dining at Epicurious Morsels, Obledee for great Charcuterie and cheese, and Piatto for pizza to name a few.
One of my new favorite Chef's, is David Rocco. His recipes are simple, delicious, and beg for good company and a bottle of wine. Dolce Vita! He grounds me. The days of long hours making complicated, multi course meals, are long gone. My pantry is not a complicated one, nor are my kitchen gadgets. Sharp knives, a rock for smashing garlic, a mezzaluna, and a good cutting board, do the trick. I have discovered that a dozen or so basic herb and spice selections from Epices de Cru, stock, wine, butter and a variety of the freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oils and great Balsamics, make putting a meal together much simpler.
We are very fortunate to live in the North End of Halifax, or on the Peninsula for that matter. I visit Bishops to stock my wine cellar, Jessie at the Highland Drive Storehouse, for all things carnivore as well as in season veggies, Julien's for bread and coffee, always fresh fish at the local fish markets (Saturday markets when possible), and the big grocery stores for the rest as needed. Looking for a gift? Look no further. No big box stores for me.
I guess in my own way, I am trying to encourage all who care, to get back to basics. Give processed/prepared food a pass, shop local and in season when possible, and don't assume that organic, healthy and natural labels, are honest.
Buon cibo, vino e amici = Buona Vita!