#TKLucky7 2 Doors Down 5D Mark II abandoned Able Sense agave AGNS al fresco Alderney Market almonds Annapolis Valley anniversary aperitif Aperol appetizers apple butter apples aqua arancini Arborio architecture argus 75 Argyle Street Ashwood Ridge Asian-inspired dishes auction avocado award baby backyard bacon baconandbaileys Baileys baked apples baking banana banana bread bars basil Baskin Robbins BBQ beach beef Benjamin Bridge best carrot cake ever best carrot cake recipe ever bird's nest birthday biscotti biscuits Bish Bishop's Cellar black plums blood orange blood orange marmalade blue blue cheese blueberries book review Boston Bourbon brandy bread breakfast Brewery Market bride brie brioche brisket Brooklyn Brooklyn Warehouse brown butter brown sugar bud buds Bulk Barn bunny buns butcher butter buttercream Cabot Links cake cakes Campari candied bacon Canon Canon 5D Mark 2 Cape Breton Carbonara card cardamom carrot cake carrots cats chai chalkboard charcuterie cheesecake cherries chicken chicken salad chili paste Chinese New Year Chinese wedding chocolate Chocolate Lake Christmas christmas photo cards cilantro cinnamon citrus recipe Clafoutis Clam Harbour Classic Cocktails Clementine cobalt blue cocktail cocktail photography Cocktails coconut coconut macaroon pie crust coconut milk coffee Colosseum colour comfort food condensed milk contest cookbook cookies cooking cooks corn corn field Cornwall cracker crust crafting Cranberry Madeira Crawfish cream cheese cream cheese frosting cream sauce crockpot croquettes crostata CTV culinary guide cupcakes Curry custard da Maurizio dahlia dates David Lebovitz DesBarres Manor Inn dessert Diana Domaine de Grand Pre Donna Hay dried dulce de leche Earl Grey early morning east coast living magazine easter Easy Easy Asian Easy Italian-Asian Easy To Make EatInEatOut editorial eggs elderflower engagement Europe extra toes fall family fans farm farmer's market feathers february Feel Good Food Feisty Chef Festive feta Fine Cooking Magazine Fine Lifestyles Magazine Halifax firefighter fish in parchment Fish Sauce fish taco flax flea market Florence flourless flowers fog food Food and Wine food bloggers Food Bloggers of Canada food film food photographer food photography food photography tips food styling food stylist food video food vignette forest Forum fountain france French French wine fresh fresh herbs Friends friendship frozen fruit fruit butter fudge fundraiser garden garlic garlic scapes Getaway Giada de Laurentiis Gin ginger girl glamour glass Glen Arbor gluten free GMCR gnocchi golden hour golden spiral gorgonzola granola green Grilling groom guacamole guanciale Hali Deli Halifax Halifax fashion photography Halifax Food Bloggers Halifax food photographer Halifax food photography Halifax food styling halifax food stylist Halifax newborn photography Halifax photographer Halifax photography Halifax restaurant Halifax restaurant photography Halifax restaurants Halifax wedding photographer haskap hazelnut heart Heart and Stroke hfxfb HHalifax photographer holiday home homemade homemade liqueur homemade tacos honey house Hurricanes hydrangea ice cream ice cream sandwiches icing sugar Idiot Cake il Mercato il Mercato Spring Garden Indian ingredients iPhone Italian Italy ivory jam jane's next door jane's on the common January Jeffrey Van Horne Jennie Dobbs JIVE Photographic Joy The Baker Julia Child juniper berries JVH K-Cups Keurig kids Kingsburg kitchen vignette kitchenaid lace Lamborghini Larry Uteck lavender Le Caveau Le French Fix leftovers lemon lemon bars lemon curd lemon curdsicles light lighting lighting practice lime linguine Live at 5 lobster Local Lord Nelson love Lulu and Po Lunenburg mac and cheese macarons macaroons Made With Local magnolia tree Makin' Bacon Manitoba many feet maple maple rosemary almonds marble Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Marsala marshmallow Martha Stewart Martha Stewart CAKES Martinis mason jar meatballs meatloaf medjool dates menu meringue Merry Christmas Mexican Michelangelo Milan mini eggs MINI Plus mint mint green Minted.com models monthly miettes morning Morris East MRB muffins mushrooms My Paris Kitchen Nanny Burke Nanny Neil nautical 'Nduja Negroni New Orleans New Year's Eve Nova Scotia NSLC Nutella oak island inn oats Occasions olive olive oil Orange oranges orchid Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens overnight oats Oxford Pad Thai Noodle Pie painting with light pancetta Pantheon paper paperie parents Paris park Parrsboro party decor party food pasta pastry pasty Pavlova peach peaches peacock peanut butter pear Pearl pecans pepper Pete's phlox photographer picnic pie pink pink grapefruit pink peppercorns Pinterest pistachio pizza pizza Halifax Playbook plums Point Pleasant Park polenta polydactal pom pom pom poms porcini pork belly potatoes pp Neil preserves pretty product shots prosciutto Prosecco published pudding pudding pops pulled pork Purcell's Cove purple quail Quick Meals Quinoa rain Raincoast Crisps rainy day Random House of Canada RANS raspberries raspberry Ratinaud recipe red red currants restaurant Restaurant Association rhubarb Rice Krispies rice noodles rice pudding risotto Ritz roasted almonds roasted garlic roasted red chiili paste rolls Rolls Royce Rome romesco rose rosemary rum rustik magazine Sackville sage salsa salsa doña San Fiorano sand santa Saskatoon berries sausage Savour scones Scotch Scott Jones sculptures sea salt Seahorse Sweets Seaport Market seeds shortbread shortcrust shrimp simply balance sister skillet Skor Bits smoked salmon snack snickerdoodles soup Spanish spice spicy Thai mango spring Spring Garden Road sprinkles squares St. Famille St. Margaret's Bay St. Mary's Basilica stamp stars steak Stephanie Bertossi still life storyteller strawberry strobes studio Stuffed Pork Chops summer Summer Fresh sun Sunday sunrise sunset supper sweet potato syrup tarts Taste of Nova Scotia tea teabiscuits Texas Thai Thai Cooking Thai food Thai Kitchen Thai Kitchen Canada thank you The Bicycle Thief The Bitter End The Coast The Hugo The Vatican thyme Tidal Bay Tiramisu tissue tissue paper toast toasted tomato Toronto tracks Trajan's Forum travel Trevi Fountain TTV twinkle lights Untitled Eats Valentine's Day Van Houtte vanilla vegetables Venice Vermouth versailles video vin d'orange vintage vintage bakeware Vittorio VW wallpaper washi tape waterfront wax paper wedding Westin whipped cream white white wine wild strawberries Willy Krauch window Windsor wine wine jelly winery Winners Wolfville wood wreath writer Wuthering Heights yellow Zabaglione

Entries in recipe (7)

Friday
Oct032014

Nanny Neil's Apple Pan Dowdy

 

The woman in the picture above is Elodie Mary Gallien Wade.

And she was my Nanny.

 

 

Nanny was very close to my sister and I when we were growing up. Every weekend, my Mum would take us to Halifax to visit Nanny where she had her own little apartment on Victoria Road. We'd go to movies, the Public Gardens, the beach and sometimes, we'd just hang out in her apartment. It didn't really seem to matter what we did. We were always together.

When I was 15 years old, Nanny came to live with us. She had been battling the first stages of dementia for a while. For three years, my mother, my sister and I lived with a stranger who cried constantly, begging us to take her home. 

She gradually withered before our eyes, at the end, an empty Alzheimers-ridden husk.

Twenty years after her death, I still carry the weight of grief, heavy, as apple peelings slip from my hands to the wooden board below.

 

 

I can picture my 18 year-old self, after her freezing February funeral, dressed in a black turtleneck, burgundy courduroy skirt, black army boots, and black pea coat, roaming the streets of downtown Dartmouth, chain smoking, blinded by tears.

 

 

 

Her death drove deep into my soul.

I will never get over it.

 

 

Born in Caraquet, New Brunswick, my Nanny moved to Halifax when she married my grandfather. She spoke little English, and seemed embarrassed by her thick Acadian French accent.

I wish I could tell her how I've tried to learn French, that I chose to study French as my university minor, because of her.

 

 

I love cats. My Mum tells me Nanny loved them too. Mum tells a story about a cat named Toni that would come to their house on Wright Avenue after the previous owners left him behind. Nanny worked serving night lunches at the VG hospital, and every night, Toni would walk with Nanny to the hospital, waiting outside for her, until it was time to go home.

It's these little stories I need, I crave, because I'm afraid I'll forget what little I can remember.

 

 

My other grandmother, Barbara Jean Ellis, was a great beauty.

She lives today with my father, her son, sucked into the vaccuum of dementia.

 

 

While I was growing up, she lived in Ontario.

I never got to know her and I'll never have the chance.

 

 

I have so many questions.

 

 

Last Christmas, I was thrilled when Sean's aunt offered me a box of her mother's cookbooks and handwritten recipes.

'I think you're the one that will appreciate them the most', she said.

She was right.

To me, Nanny Neil's handwritten recipes are something to be treasured; a small glimpse into a life I'll never know.

 

 

Mary Elodie Gallien Wade - Barbara Jean Ellis - Almina Eugene Densmore Neil - Mary Ellen Harris Shand - Ethel Melvina Craig Shand

Who were these women beyond my perceived notion of them as grandmothers?

What was it like to be in their shoes?

What would they think of me?

These questions fascinate me.

 

 

 

 

I've been wanting to share one of Nanny Neil's recipes for almost a year now. I approached James Ingram last spring with an idea for a project about grandmothers. This summer we spent a day shooting with Nicholetta from Pepper + Paint, testing my concept in her beautiful bright modern summer home on the North Shore.

Afterwards, I phoned James.

'It just didn't feel right', I said.

Maybe it's grief, maybe it's nostalgia.

Whatever it is, it doesn't feel light and airy to me.

 

 

I do know this.

Diving into the past, dragging up old memories?

It's complicated. And it hurts.

But it helps.

Me, anyway.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Nanny Neil's Apple Pan Dowdy (I've adapted the recipe directions to be more clear than what's written on the original card)

1 C brown sugar

1/4 C flour

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C water

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

4 C peeled, chopped apples

Biscuit Topping:

1 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C milk

2.5 Tbsp shortening (I used butter)

- preheat 350º

- cook brown sugar, flour, salt, water and vinegar over medium heat until thick, about 8 minutes - remove from heat and add butter and vanilla - mix well and set aside

- in a buttered casserole dish, arrange peeled, chopped apples 

- pour brown sugar sauce over apples and toss to coat

- Biscuit Topping - in a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, milk and shortening only to make wet - drop by the spoonful on top of apples - bake 40-45 minutes, or until biscuit topping is golden

Tuesday
May202014

Food Film #2 : Nanny Jean Coleman's Banana Bread

Nanny Jean Coleman's Banana Bread - food photography : food styling from Kelly Neil on Vimeo.

My friend Patrick gave my his Nanny's recipe for Banana Bread a couple of years ago and it's still the best I've ever had, so I thought it would be the perfect choice for my second food film. I'm teaching myself how to make these films, and I see things in this one that I would do differently next time, but that's what learning is right? I can live with it. A huge thank you to Padde for permission to share!

Nanny Jean Coleman's Banana Bread (aka The Best Banana Bread Ever Recipe!!!)

1/2 C butter, room temperature + 1/4 C for greasing pan

1/2 C white sugar

1/2 C brown sugar, packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 C flour, sifted

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup sour cream (I use Greek yogurt if I don't have sour cream on hand)

1 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 C dark chocolate chips, tossed lightly in flour (optional)

- Preheat oven to 350°F

- Butter loaf pan w/ 1/4 c butter, lightly flour (I like to use a piece of crumpled up Reynold's Wax Paper to butter my loaf and cake pans - it's what my Mum taught me to do many years ago!)

- In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes on medium speed

- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until combined

- Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with butter mixture - blend well

- Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla - mix well

- Add floured chocolate chips, if desired

- Bake 50-60 minutes - I test with a toothpick at 50 minutes and then continue to check every 3 minutes  until toothpick comes out clean - mine takes about 60 minutes

Enjoy!

Tuesday
May132014

My first food video : David Lebovitz's Black Olive Tapenade

David Lebovitz's Black Olive Tapenade - HD from Kelly Neil on Vimeo.

 

Last month, Random House Canada sent me a copy of David Lebovitz's new book My Paris Kitchen for review. I normally shoot still-photos for cookbook reviews, however, filming my own video is something I've wanted to do for a REALLY long time (I've had my Vimeo account for 3 YEARS). After reading through My Paris Kitchen, I thought David's recipe for Black Olive Tapenade would be a simple way to ease into making my own film, so today, after figuring out how to actually use the video function on my Canon 5D Mark II, I shot and edited 'Black Olive Tapenade' (my very first food video!!!) in about two and a half hours.

Other than the fact that I am becoming totally smitten with filming motion, My Paris Kitchen is an amazing book filled with wonderful recipes, jaw-droppingly gorgeous photographs, and hilarious anecdotes that make you feel like you are hanging out with your best friend - you should totally buy it.