By Wendy Elliott
A Gaspereau woman who paid homage to her late mother’s Yuletide baking has won a blogging award.
Aube Giroux made a video blog of her mother Jali’s Baba au Rhum recipe this past Christmas and recently won the 2012 Saveur Best Single Food Blog Award. She was the only Canadian winner.
Giroux says her mother’s “love is always with us through her magical recipes, including this very special one.”
The video shows Giroux baking, her sister Ariell Collins and step-dad Gary cutting a Christmas tree. Then she brings the seasonal treat to her mother’s knitting group at Gaspereau Valley Fibres, as Jali did until two years ago.
“I can't actually remember the first time my mom made Baba au rhum. But somewhere in my teenage years, it became a yearly tradition and she wowed family and friends - and got them tipsy too! - with this recipe.”
A Baba, says Giroux, is a yeasted brioche bun that is soaked in rum syrup.
“My mom would make this dessert only once a year at Christmas, so it was a cherished and much-anticipated holiday treat.”
She began the project last July while home on a visit and the final product can be found on her blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
“My videos aren't exactly of the instructional cooking video variety,” she said. “I am a passionate eater of local, organic foods and I like to know the story behind my food, so in my videos you'll usually catch glimpses of the gardens, soils and farms that grew the ingredients in the featured recipes.”
Having grown up with a French-Canadian mom and a vegetarian father, Giroux says her cooking “is influenced by what I affectionately refer to as ‘hippy cuisine,’ and a good dose of Mediterranean influence from my time living in France, Italy and Tunisia.”
She also credits her grandmother, Beatrice Collins, who lived in Middleton, for the fact she is always planning menus in her head.
A documentary filmmaker based in Toronto, Giroux is currently doing some hands-on farming as an apprentice.
“It’s been a dream of mine for three years and now I have a window of time.”
Giroux’s films have been shown on CBC television and at international film festivals. She graduated from NSCAD University and is completing a Masters Degree in film production at York University.
Giroux says her personal blog fits nicely with both her Masters thesis and her obsession with food blogs. She aims to add a new video every 10 days.
In the third of the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards, organizers sorted through nearly 40,000 nominations for blogs, videos, and websites. Giroux has been invited to the award
event in New York City.