CNY23 Objects of Desire
What will your legacy be in 2023?
Since it’s New Year. I want to tell you a little story.
Two philosophers met one spring day on an isolated mountaintop. They were going in opposite directions but when they saw each other they felt like stopping to exchange news. One philosopher was sweating profusely as he was carrying a heavy bag. The other was bright and cheerful with just a knapsack and a pannikin of water.
“How are you today? Would you like some water? You look tired and thirsty,” said the cheerful philosopher.
“I would dearly love some water. I am so tired carrying this heavy load,” said the other.
So the cheerful philosopher shared his water. And then he said, “You look hungry, as well. Would you care for some of my rations?”
“Well, yes!” said the hungry philosopher. “I would feel much better with something in my belly.”
So the cheerful philosopher shared his meal.
After they had eaten, the tired and thirsty philosopher was no longer so tired and thirsty. He looked at the cheerful philosopher and said, “I have to confess. My pack is full of gold. It is so heavy and I have such a long way to go. I feel so lucky to have met you — I don’t know how I would have made it to my journey’s end without your help. Will you take a little of my gold, for luck?”
“I would be honoured,” said the cheerful philosopher. “But on the contrary, I am the lucky one to have met you. Because now I will be able to refill supplies at the next town. I thank you, sir.”
With that, they exchanged the gold and both went on their way as The Two Lucky Philosophers.
I hope you enjoy my Objects of Desire for 2023. Two of them are precious metals and celebrate the luck that we make for ourselves when we are generous to others. The Montblanc Year of the Rabbit fountain pen would make a wonderful gift for someone who writes stories — or checks! And the Royal Canadian Mint’s gold and silver collectible coins would be a wonderful heirloom for a young relative. Finally, there’s a recipe book from my favourite Vancouver chef, J-C Poirier from St Lawrence restaurant, which reminds me that the memories we make with our family and friends are always more precious than gold.
Happy New Year!
This Rabbit Will Run and Run…
Celebrate 2023 With A Montblanc Memento
The ancient art of calligraphy teaches us that it’s not just what we write about that’s important; the way we write adds value to the expression of our thoughts. Whether penning a note to a loved one or inking a new business agreement, taking time to consider every stroke tells the recipient so much about your intentions. Haute is on the trail of truly enlightened writing for the New Year.
A fountain of meaningful words
There will be few more meaningful ways to signify your intentions for 2023 than the new Legend of Zodiacs Rabbit Limited Edition 512.
Why 512? Because 8x8x8 …
Like the lucky rabbit of lore, Haute feels that the new Montblanc Rabbit will be successful in matters of the heart and of the head. The cap is wrought from Ag 925 sterling silver, decorated with a hand-engraved rabbit in an alert and upright stance. The engraved osmanthus tree represents the promise of a successful career. The cabbage and radish symbolize wealth, while the mountain in the background is a metaphor of highest protection. Naturally, the cap is crowned with the Montblanc emblem in mother-of- pearl.
There’s luck in every letter
In contrast to the cap, the rose gold-coated barrel is delicately engraved in ‘lucky clouds’ for luck and happiness. The cone is set with a radiant pearl – the birthstone of the rabbit sign. The current year 2023 is engraved on the cap ring alongside the six previous years of the rabbit. The glowing Au 750 solid rose gold nib, where personality meets paper, also bears the rabbit symbol.
How lucky would you be to receive one of these fine writing instruments? Well, perhaps you should ask someone born in the Year of the Rabbit!
Are You Ready to Hop into Gold? The Precious Metal May Outrun Crypto
We’ve all been following the rise and (mostly) fall of the ‘crypto bros’. It has become fashionable to hold some Bitcoin or similar digital tokens in a virtual wallet in spite of wild fluctuations and dubious business practices.
Perhaps 2023 will see crypto come roaring back. Even so, there’s a cool alternative to cash that’s been a popular haven for investors for a little longer than Dogecoin or Ethereum. It also needs to be mined, is largely untraceable and is impossible to hack. We’re talking about gold.
Worth its weight in … ?
All the gold in the world would weigh about three-quarters of the mass of the Empire State Building. But don’t be fooled into thinking that gold is static in any way. By linking gold to digital trading platforms, $155 bn USD is traded every day — that’s more than the Euro and Sterling combined, and more than US T-Bills. Gold is alive and kicking. According to the World Gold Council, gold outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 20 years.
As a hedge against inflation, gold has been hard to beat. Unlike fiat currencies (such as the Canadian dollar) which can be increased indefinitely, gold is a finite resource; you only get more of it by mining in the real world with heavy machinery.
What’s more, gold has practical and social uses, like in your computer’s printed circuit board or maybe as a ring on your finger. These uses reduce the amount of gold available for sale — keeping its value higher.
Are you bullish on bullion?
There are many ways to invest in gold. You can buy actual gold bullion — mostly as ingots (gold bars). But then you’ll need to store them! Instead, you can choose digital derivatives, like ETFs (exchange-traded funds) which invest in gold, or use an online service to own a share in gold reserves that are held in a secure location.
Perhaps you would prefer your gold to look good — in which case maybe investing in jewelry or coins would be fun; although you need to make sure you are really buying gold or other collectibles … it’s good to know that you can trust the seller.
Golden rabbits are rare
To celebrate The Year of the Rabbit, The Royal Canadian Mint is offering a $100 coin, currently valued at $2188.88! The popularity of gold is perhaps underlined by the fact that the Kilo Pure Gold Coin, worth $99,500, is sold out!
A Book That’s Good Enough to Eat:
The Passion of St. Lawrence
It got a Michelin Star. I knew it would. Anyone who has dined at J-C Poirier’s St. Lawrence will tell you that his plates whisk you from Vancouver to Québec to Paris and back again — in three magnificent courses.
But have you ever wondered exactly how you might make their signature Éclairs à la Mousse de Foie de Canard … chez vous? Spoiler: it’ll take you at least two days. Québecois Yellow Pea Soup? Classic Îles Flottantes et Crème Anglaise? From comfort food to haute cuisine in 125 recipes, J-C’s homage is set to become a Vancouver culinary classic. It’s also an insight into the fire that keeps Poirier’s enthusiasm at a steady boil. It will undoubtedly send you running back to St. Lawrence to get the real goods.
Every kitchen should have a copy of Where The River Narrows. As the chef himself suggests, it should be “well loved and well used, adorned with sticky notes marking favourite recipes and handwritten notes in the margins. It should be messy, splattered with stains from bubbling pots, torn, and maybe even a little bit smelly from being too close to the stove.”
I think I might just manage to make his Montréal Steak Spice …
WHERE THE RIVER NARROWS: CLASSIC FRENCH & NOSTALGIC QUÉBÉCOIS RECIPES FROM ST. LAWRENCE RESTAURANT by J-C Poirier with Joie Alvaro Ken, foreword by: Derek Dammann, is published by Appetite Random House.