My name is Monique Dykstra. I am a photographer and author from Montreal, Canada.

“My French Canadian Year”  is my  year-long project to cook traditional French Canadian food, with a special focus on recipes that reflect Quebec’s religious heritage and people’s deep attachment to the land.

I was inspired to do this project by a 13th generation French Canadian friend whose ancestors farmed on the Plains of Abraham hundreds of years ago.

The Identity Smorgasbord

I envy those roots. I’m not really “from” anywhere. Like many Canadians, my family history is a smorgasbord.

I was born in Toronto. I moved to Quebec 25 years ago. My roots are Dutch /  Irish / American / United Empire Loyalist. I’m married to a Lebanese man. Unlike either of us, our kids were born in Quebec and switch between English and French with dazzling ease. Good luck sorting out your identity, boys!

I am also doing this project to introduce new traditions into my family.

Great Stories Make Rich Moments

With two teenage boys in the house, there’s an awful lot of texting, rushing, sports, video games and homework going on.

Any chance I have to stop all that for just a moment with plates of food for my hungry family is a blessing. And these moments are richer still when there’s a great story attached to the food, as there often is with recipes.

I invite you to come along on this journey with me and learn more about these French Canadian recipes and traditions with me.

montreal photographer monique dykstra