A first time for everything …

I don’t have a sweet tooth, never have had, even as a child. Apparently, as far back as when I was two or three instead of reaching for the platter of brownies, I’d be reaching for the olives and pickles. Odd, because both my parents liked sweets.

My father was discriminating. Way back when there was what would now be described as an artisanal chocolatier in Montreal — Andrée Chocolate. They had a small store on Park Avenue, in an area of the city called The Plateau. I can still see their boxes. White, with “Andrée Chocolate” written in script, in black.

They only used dark chocolate and my father loved their almond bark, chocolate-covered ginger and Continue reading

Let them eat cake and plenty of it …

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I wish the photo was that recent, but both she and her twin sister, with whom she is celebrating, have both passed.

In fact, it goes back quite a while, because my mom moved to Toronto in 2000, after my aunt died. And when this was taken, she still lived in Montreal.

Clearly, they were surprised and happy. They loved birthday parties, everyone’s parties, and particularly their own. And most of all, they loved birthday cake. So I fully expect they had plenty of cake yesterday. And, if my Continue reading

Let there be cake and lots of it …

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday. Unfortunately she’s not around so I couldn’t celebrate with her.birthday cake She loved birthdays. Unlike most women who, once they’ve turned 30 or 35, don’t admit to how old they are, my mother told you before you asked.

She was proud of it and gloried in the fact that no one ever believed her because she looked, and acted, so much younger. She was a spunky one, full of piss and vinegar. She didn’t mince words, that one.

But she was also sentimental and her favourite cards, for all occasions, were the mushy ones. And she saved them all. After she died I think I found every birthday, Continue reading

Ninety-two years ago tomorrow …

Tomorrow’s my mother’s birthday.  She loved celebrating her birthday.  Even when she got older.  Especially when she got older.  She delighted in telling people chocolateher age; and loved their reactions.

Because no one ever believed it.

She looked considerably younger, but I think the main reason everyone stared at her in disbelief was her ‘spirit’, which was probably about thirty years younger than she was.  At least.  Her zest for life, her curiosity, her willingness to try new things, her open mind, her determination, her sense of humour, her giggle, the twinkle in her eye, her energy, her positive attitude all kept her young.

One of her greatest pleasures was eating chocolate.  You could see the look of rapture on her face the minute she bit into one.  And to her, it didn’t matter — it could have been a handful of chocolate chips or a candy Continue reading