LONDON UK – It was about six years ago and my mother and I were about to leave her flat on Steeles Rd. in Primrose Hill. We were standing in the small hallway when she put on her new navy blue gabardine coat with a hood.
“Immaturity and hair dye keep me young.”
I’m repeating the title of this post for a few reasons: First, everything clever is worth repeating. It usually gets a good laugh – one of life’s giddiest pleasures, especially at my age. It’s true and unabashedly honest. It sums up what’s to follow – the announcement that I turn 70 in a few days. And last, it’s original.
My mother Ruth Schachter (nee Nisse), age 88, is one live-wire.
She reminds me (and others) of the cute little old lady in the original “Ladykillers” starring Alec Guinness and a young, dashing Peter Sellers. White-haired and blue-eyed, that sweet, seemingly innocent, slightly scatter-brained octogenarian is far more savvy than she looks. ‘Nuff said.
U.K. – In January, 2009, I wound up my annual trip to London to visit my mother with dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s newest restaurant York & Albany located at 127-129 Parkway in my favourite neighborhood, Camden Town.
When I was growing up, my job at dinnertime was to set the table and make the vinaigrette for a salad my nutrition-conscious mother served with each meal. It was your basic version: 2 to 3 parts olive oil to lemon juice or vinegar sometimes with a little mustard whisked in, salt, pepper and, mum always insisted, a good pinch of sugar.
Whenever I cross the ocean to visit my mother in her lovely North-West London neighbourhood of Primrose Hill, we set out for dinner on our first or second night together to the wondrous nearby Greek restaurant called Limonia. Always packed, it is a local favourite with celebs and regular folk alike.
Marion Kane has been a leader in the world of food journalism for a few decades. She is an intrepid populist whose work combines social commentary with a consuming passion for all things culinary. For 18 years, she was food editor/columnist for Canada's largest newspaper: the Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto's colourful Kensington Market and is currently a free-wheeling freelance food sleuth®, podcaster, writer and cook.