Writing about food and being a freelance family

Summer salad I’ve been writing a few posts a week for Healthy Harvest House, much to the detriment of Travel Food Family. Drifting between sleep and wakefulness as I rocked Charlie last night, I had a eureka moment. The writing I’m doing for HHH makes up  the elusive “Food” component that rarely breaks surface on this site.

As a result, I’ve decided that I need to start sharing my work on here, as much of it is related to our travels, the food we eat, and my approach to family. That is, all of the things that inspired me to start this website in the first place.

So to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to, here’s a post on canning strawberries from a few weeks ago. We had planned on going strawberry picking, but made the mistake of trying to cajole April into tidying her room before we left. Four hours later, little progress had been made and Josh and I had lost hope. So I headed to the Atwater Market and bought two flats of gorgeous Quebec strawberries. After devouring as many fresh strawberries as humanly possible, my friend Catherine and I got to work making strawberry jam, the old fashioned way. I now have two jars left in my cupboard that I will attempt to eat slowly through the fall and early winter. While I don’t eat much toast, it is sinfully delicious with coconut ice cream.

We’re sticking around in Montreal for most of this summer. This means that I get to focus on the things that I’m excited about in my home life. Growing and preparing food, spending time outside with the kids, and writing about things that inspire me. (Come to think of it, those are also things that inspire me when I travel!) I feel very lucky that I’m able to make a living writing about things I care about, but I suppose that this is less luck than hard work, and that a good portion of my time is spent building websites and writing about things that aren’t related to my own life. The Pollyanna in me then says, “Well, aren’t you glad that you get to learn about new things?”

I still have itchy feet despite the self-imposed summer at home. We are going to visit my parents and head to their cottage in the country for a few days in August, but that’s not the same as hopping on a plane to Cuba or driving north-east to Newfoundland. Given that we’re heading back to Cape Town in January and then more than likely moving to Vancouver in 2014, I feel that I should try to appreciate Montreal for all it’s worth before we leave and I start missing it terribly.

And I will miss it. While at the Atwater Market yesterday with the girls, we ran into one of April’s daycare buddies. I had been feeling bummed out that my good friends were all away or sick or too busy to hang out, and then, without any effort, we found some friends to spend time with. Being involved in the community garden, as well as sending April to a Montessori daycare around the corner from our house, not to mention all of the hours we spend at the various parks, means that we now know a lot of people in Pointe Saint-Charles. In the summertime it’s rare that I leave the house without seeing at least one person I know. I only hope that we manage to recreate this when we move to Vancouver.

Josh is also making the most of our remaining time here. We have both somehow managed to fall into the groove of freelance work. He’s shucking oysters a couple of nights a week and will be on the team catering the Osheaga Music Festival this year, which will hopefully pave the way for other gigs. Although he had a job interview for the chef position of a popular Toronto restaurant that is opening a Montreal location, he admitted to me that he doesn’t really want it. He had spent some time that day with my brother’s girlfriend, who made a comment that describes exactly the way we’re trying to live our lives.

“It’s amazing what comes to you when you free up your time,” she told Josh.



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