I’ve been quite fortunate all my life. I’ve met great people from different backgrounds as well as very well-known people throughout my life… a long list of them! One of them became good friends of mine and it all started when I was studying to become a reporter. One late afternoon I went to a bar-lounge in downtown Montréal and sat at the bar. Not far from me maybe 3 to 4 stools away, was sitting a man in his 30s’. He was loud, funny and quite interesting. When he noticed me, he bought me a drink and then we started talking about a bunch of things with one of the topics being my desire to become a reporter and taking it as my major. He looked at me, and burst out laughing… “What’s so funny?” I asked. “Is it really what you want to do young lady?” he replied. “Of course!” I said. He then said “Because I work at the Gazette!
That night he told me about himself and his friend, who worked at the same place as a sports editor, and about a board game they both invented and were hoping to get a big contract for. After telling me more about it, talking more about nothing and everything, exchanging phone numbers, we left the bar then he kissed the top of my hand and we both took off in different directions. Only years and years later I ran into him through another friend of mine who was a member at a private golf course – The Devil’s Pulpit in Caledon, Ontario.
I remembered sitting at the bar of the Club House with my friend “Big Richard” also known as “Red Dog”, a few stools away from that very loud man. He turned towards us, greeted Richard and suddenly my mouth dropped. It was that man from that bar… it was Chris! At first he didn’t recognized me and didn’t for a while until maybe a month later, he played golf with Richard and told him “Yep I remember her now… she wanted to become a reporter… Did her dream ever come through?”
No my dream never came through although I ended up working for a short period in the newsroom of Radio-Canada before the budget cuts which laid me off. The next time I went back to the Pulpit, Chris and I sat together and he told me how well Scott (the sport editor) and he did with their board game… Trivial Pursuit! He also introduced me shortly afterward to his fiancé Hiam. Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly where she came from but she and I got along very well. She was so sophisticated and well-educated. She spoke many different languages with French being one of them. She was absolutely incredible!
One night Richard and I were invited to their place and on the kitchen island was a jar with a handwritten label of “Pomegranate Molasses”. I asked Hiam what this condiment was for and she said she uses it to enhance the flavor in many of her recipes. After tasting it, I was “hooked”! It was an “OMG” reaction. I couldn’t believe how amazing this molasses was. That night she cooked a lovely meal using this condiment and before I left (Richard was staying there), she gave me the recipe.
Through the years, I was lucky to spend more time with Chris and his lovely fiancé Hiam but sometimes circumstances – or just life – separate people. I got busy with my event planning company until 9-11 and then my life took another turn. Unfortunately I saw them less and less to the point that years went by. Next thing, I met David and moved to the West Coast. The year after I got here, I sadly found out about Chris’ death and although I tried to find Hiam, I couldn’t.
Because of this lady, I’m sharing this fabulous Pomegranate Molasses recipe with you! I’ve been using it in so many dishes and one of them will be posted next year in 2018 – I haven’t decided which month yet but please pencil it in… It is called Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Dates & Pomegranate Molasses. I also use the molasses as a Balsamic Vinegar substitute. I’m also working on creating a dessert with it – I know I shouldn’t spill the beans. After you make this condiment, you’ll be happily surprised by how incredibly versatile it is and how you can use this molasses in many of your favorite recipes.
This recipe means a lot to me. Not only is it a fabulous condiment that EVERYONE should have in their kitchen but it is also a reminder of these two great human beings I was fortunate to have in my life… Chris and Hiam!