To the Ladies of the Palace

It is unbelievable how fast time can move. Where have the past four years gone?

Saturday was move-out day. After three years in that house, it was time to say goodbye.

It's weird being home. I know I'll have loads more time to blog now that I'm out of uni, but will living without my housemates cause my drive to create and experiment in the kitchen to slow down? It was with my four housemates that I developed my deep passion for baking, cooking and eating. Together we discovered food - our TRUE love.

Cooking in our big kitchen was like an event. Almost every night of the week we came together, tossed around the dinner ideas we had been brainstorming that day, threw on some tunes and started chopping, dicing, seasoning and laughing.

With this post I have decided to look back on the meals we shared together in our house. I have compiled a collection of some of our most creative, most memorable and most delicious dishes.

So here's a reflection on the past 3 years of cooking, baking and eating with these extraordinary ladies.

A, J, S and M: I raise my fork to you

I'll start with a recent one: our traditional Peaster dinner (celebration of Easter and Passover).
This year for Peaster we were surprised with 3 lobsters brought fresh (alive) all the way on the train from New Brunswick by my one of my housemates. M cooked the lobsters and taught us how to eat them PROPERLY, step-by-step. It was such a fun experience, and a great way to enjoy lobster for the very first time.

This fantastic meal was accompanied by a spicy jambalaya, which we cooked a few times at the end of the semester to use up all our freezer food and fresh produce.

Another fantastic tradition of ours (and possibly my favourite) is our Dessert Party. This is held during the Christmas holidays and it replaces dinner. Each of us creates a spectacular dessert (sometimes more than one) and we devour them while watching Love Actually. Sadly I don't have any photos from the first annual dessert party, I think that was before the obsessive food photographing had begun. Last year A made pears poached in wine. Divine.

J made the beautiful dish above, which I will call a fluffy orange cloud as I can't recall the name of it.

This year's dessert party was definitely the most indulgent to date.

Last year some French exchange students came over and cooked us an amazing French meal complete with a cheese course. We were at the table savouring each bite for a good three hours.

We have some pretty odd fusion dinners every now and then but they are always delicious. This was a chocolate chili (sound weird? it was yummy!) accompanied by saffron and rosemary cornbread.

For dessert A and I experimented and made a dulce de leche mousse! It wasn't perfect, but it tasted pretty great.

Who could forget the chocolate, cheese and wine party we had for S' birthday?! The amount of chocolate and cheese that filled our house was unreal.

Thanksgiving is a big tradition in our house. We cook up a ridiculous amount of savoury and sweet dishes, invite over as many friends as our house can hold and stuff ourselves with as much food as our bodies will allow. I don't eat prior to the meal, and I'm still full the day after.

We've had some pretty yummy breakfasts/brunches at uni. For St. Patrick's day this year we had green pancakes (what else?!). Looks weird - tastes awesome.

Just one of our many weeknight dinners trying something new - Gordon Ramsay's Spicy Thai Coconut Soup. Wonderful.

Before leaving for reading week we tried to eat up the rest of our fresh foods. This dinner consisted of three of us adding together all of our leftover produce in a big casserole dish and throwing it in the oven. It was really colourful, fun and yummy.

We bake quite a bit in our house. We're all such foodies and we love to indulge... maybe a bit too often.

This is from the first, big, family dinner we all cooked together. I believe it was at the beginning of winter 2008 and we all contributed a dish. It marks the beginning of our cooking adventures, our dinner parties and our wonderful eats.

Missing my ladies and our kitchen already.


  1. JEN! This is my favourite post :)
    Such a beautiful ode and you are right! Cooking at home is just not the same... We will reunite soon in a bbq feast!!

  2. I read this last week and had to show my parents the pictures of our lovely concoctions right away so I forgot to comment then! Better late then never though :). Awww this post made me so happy and made me miss the palace so much :( I miss cooking with you in our grand kitchen. We're going to have to get together for some remedial kitchen time soon I think :) LOVE xoxoxoxo