When faced with a grey, chilly Saturday morning in November, usually I go back to bed after walking my dog, and curl up under the blankets, at least for a little while. This morning, however, I had scheduled a coffee meeting with a friend about the future of our local co-op The West End Well, so I was up and at 'em.
I put on a warm sweater, an inside scarf and outside scarf (does anyone else do this?) and set out on foot to meet my friend in my lovely neighbourhood of Hintonburg. We met at a busy Bridgehead and enjoyed some hot beverages and conversation among the young families, students, and other Saturday morning coffee and laptop people.
After our meeting, I set off for home, with the intent of making a few neighbourhood stops along the way. After a pleasant run-in with a fellow food blogger and her adorable family, I enjoyed checking out a new pop-up shop, hoping to be permanent: Maker House Co. Today was their grand opening and they had a lot of beautiful handmade items inside -- I especially loved the hand-turned rolling pins and the vintage radio that had been re-wired to play music from an iPod or iPhone.
After resisting the temptation to buy all of the beautiful housewares, I stopped in at Hintonburg Market to pick up some ingredients for soup (recipe coming soon!). Maybe it was the act of grocery shopping itself, or perhaps the fact that all I'd had for breakfast was a cocoa-chai, but suddenly I started craving one of my favourite brunch items in life -- smoked salmon on toast with capers, red onion and lemon. I picked up some capers and a red onion, and was on my way.
I stopped in at the awesome neighbourhood bakery, Bread By Us next. They still had some of yesterday's country sourdough which would be perfect for my smoked salmon treat, so I bought a loaf.
All I needed now was some lovely smoked salmon, which I picked up at The Bagel Shop in Wellington West, but not before running into another couple of friends who were fuelling up at the other Bridgehead before heading to a family party. Back to the apartment I went to put together what I call my cure for the first chilly Saturday in November.
- 1/2 a juicy lemon
- a few thin slices of red onion
- Vegenaise (or cream cheese if you prefer)
- capers, drained and rinsed
- Bread By Us country sourdough (fresh or toasted)
- smoked salmon (this one hailed from Quebec)
- salt and pepper to taste
I didn't bother toasting the bread because it was still soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside just as I like it. I spread some Vegenaise on the bread (damn you, GP for getting me addicted), and then topped it with the smoked salmon, thin slices of red onion, and salty capers. I recommend using a very juicy lemon to dress this open-faced sandwich with a liberal amount of lemon juice. The perfect brunch snack for a grey, chilly day like today -- salty, savoury, bright, and refreshing, I devoured it before my fish-loving dog could even begin to beg. If you're in the mood to get a little day-drunk, you could pair this with an affordable Vinho Verde like Gazela, or Aveleda. For a non-alcoholic pairing, I would suggest something as simple as hot lemon water, or a sparkling water with lemon.
What is your cure for a chilly Saturday in November?