An ode to the cottage

By Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca

A week away from my fave foodie columnists, bloggers and tweeters and you'd think that I'd shrivel up like a Sunmaid raisin from lack of a gastronomic fix.

Breakfast cooking on the wood stove. (Amber Hildebrandt/CBC)

I was off at the family cottage, located on an island far away from the convenience of a grocery store.

There, food is not the subject of gorgeous pictures and mouthwatering descriptions. It's a necessity, but a lavish one at that.

It's enforced simplicity in a way. Food adds weight to every boat trip and so we go without exotic ingredients and rarely replace our aging spices.

We may have only the food we cart on the boat, forage for on the island or catch in the river, but we have the decadence of time.

And at every meal, we feast. (Mostly thanks to my grandmother, whose culinary skills and ability to cook on a wood stove may be unrivalled ... at least for me.) Breakfasts regularly feature hash browns, eggs, bacon and toast. At supper, we dine on the catch of the day or some thick slab of meat.

Recipe books are tucked deep in a drawer and most date back to the 1940s, when a previous owner thought to bring them. My grandmother has no such need. She simply tosses her ingredients together with an able hand.

And I have to admit, I didn't miss my favourite blogs and go-to recipe websites. Not at all.