Quaintness, Family & Chefs

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Under a bright and sunny sky on Saturday we took a short side trip into beautiful Quebec. Wakefield, Quebec to be exact; population of around 1200 according to Rick’s cousin who lives close by. Arriving for coffee at a small coffee house early morning, and hooking up after decades of not seeing each, the cousins and I enjoyed a walk around a very picturesque and quaint village. It’s the kind of place I would expect writers or artists to escape to…it’s that peaceful and charming! Wakefield is nestled on the western shore of the Gatineau river. A walking path and old railroad tracks serve as the sidewalk for part of the way on the river side of the street, before the old tracks just meander off into the bush. Shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and an assortment of wine bars lined the other side of the street while further down towards the end of town were country inns, small hotels, and bed and breakfasts. Looking out across the river is an old covered bridge. Yes, this is a picture perfect spot, and I could have stayed longer than a few hours. Time was short though and we needed to head back to Ottawa to the ByWard Market as a food festival was beginning and chef Lynn Crawford was going to be there demonstrating.

Lynn has a show on the Food Network channel called Pitchin In. She’s funny and absolutely the same in person as she is on the show. As for the demonstration of cooking…well she was more entertainment than chef this morning. The makeshift kitchen had all the food set up, today’s recipe being a winter soup. Vegetables lined the counter along with pots and pans, while pumpkins of all sizes were used as serving dishes. True to a chef’s love of food, she wanted all to share in the moment. The massive veggies which were there were being given to the audience. She’d ask who wanted the cauliflower, or the onions or leeks, then promptly deliver it to them or have the people on the stage doing various chores, such as peeling potatoes. She came and gave me thyme, I was thrilled! After a short comic relief show it was book signing time. She is very personable, friendly and full of laughter. When I went to get my book signed, Lynn looks me over, smiles and says, “You look nice”. We then talked about where Rick and I were from, where we’re going and can she come to Arizona. My day was complete, it couldn’t have turned out better!

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