You say tomato, I say San Marzano

I enjoy a good meal although I’m not sure I’d call myself a foodie.  Maybe I am, who knows.  What I do know is, I don’t San Marzano Tomatoesoften wax poetic about what I’ve eaten in restaurants, or cooked, in this blog. Having said that I do remember going into raptures about a peach back in 2012.

Recently, though, I had an otherworldly experience involving a tomato, a San Marzano tomato, (looks sort of like a Roma, but it’s longer, thinner and one end is Continue reading

I never realized how time consuming it could be to shop for, prep, cook and eat food …

So now I bet you’re sitting there saying “What planet is this woman living on?  What does she do, eat in restaurants all the time,celery or live on frozen dinners or have a personal chef?”  The answer to that would be “no“.  Sure, I eat out sometimes and I have been known to linger at the grocery store take-out counter.

But I also cook.  I like to cook.  The thing is, I’m on a diet.  Yeah, ‘yawn’.  Isn’t everyone always on a diet?  What’s the big deal?

The answer to that is, “there is no big deal.”  What it is, though, is probably the most Continue reading

Holidays sure aren’t what they used to be …

Guess I’m showing my age here, but I remember when statutory holidays, like Christmas and New Years and Easter and Victoria Day and Labour Day, were just that:  Statutory.  easter eggsEverything was shut down.  Banks, the postal service, schools, offices, grocery stores, all retailers in fact.  But now, at least here in Toronto, that’s definitely no longer the case.

This past weekend was Easter weekend.  I naturally assumed everything would be closed on Good Friday.  I know it used to be.  I remember in Montreal, where I’m from, you could have rolled a bowling ball down any major street in the city and it Continue reading

Day 309. True Grit

This is highly unusual.  It’s Monday night and I’m sitting here, writing tomorrow’s blog.  Don’t always write them in advance.  Of course if you’re reading this, it’sumbrellas already tomorrow.  Tuesday.  But for me, right now, it’s still tonight (last night for you, though).

Tuesday’s my day to volunteer.  I start at 8:00 a.m.  Which means if I want to write and post my blog at my usual time I have to get up very, very early.  Like 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. early.  Usually I don’t mind.  But I don’t want to do it this time.  I’m too tired.

I’ve been writing into the wee small hours lately.  Practically every night for a couple of weeks.  And by wee small hours I mean until 2:30 or even 3:00 a.m.  So I am definitely sleep deprived.  And it’s beginning to catch up with me.  Plus the weather’s really getting me down.

Making me very drowsy.  Dark and dismal and wet does not work for me.  Not at all.

We have had very few sunny days so far this summer.  And very few warm days.  I’m cold most of the time.  I’m wearing sweaters and even jackets.  And still I shiver.  The minute I wake up I have to close my windows and get back into bed for fifteen minutes, to warm up, before I take a shower.

In the middle of June?   Continue reading

Day 286. Something’s Fishy

What are you afraid of?  There’s got to be something.  I’m afraid of heights.  So one thing’s for sure.  You will NEVER catch me washing windows for a living.  Or zipliningwalking a tightrope.  Or bungee jumping.  No siree!  Not even if a gun was pointed at my head.

Now zip lining.  That looks like fun.  It’s something I’d like to try.  Of course I say that with my feet planted firmly on the ground.  Whether I’d ever have the balls to do it is a whole other story.  But I think it would be very cool.

Let’s see.  What else am I afraid of?  Needles used to do it for me.  But I had to have so many different shots when I went to India I got over it.  I wanted to take the trip so badly I overcame my fear.  I’ll bet that’s pretty common.  I think we have the power to talk ourselves into and out of most anything.

When I would have thought I’d be scared, I wasn’t.  The terrorist attacks in Mumbai took place less than two weeks Continue reading

Day 280. Food Lovers

A former client of mine has just started a blog here, on WordPress.  It’s called tea & tamarind, and you should check it out.  In all the years we worked together, I cookingnever knew she was a foodie.  I knew she loved to travel, but had no idea there was more to the story.  See, you do learn something new, every day.

So it turns out her latest post is the inspiration behind this story of mine.

Yesterday she talked about how her mother’s life-long love affair with food influenced her.  And how the fact her mother is such a wonderful cook, was responsible for her own interest in cooking.  At the end of her blog she asked, “What’s your favourite food memory with your mother?”

As I thought about what my answer might be, I realized I had far too many memories to leave as a comment on Continue reading

Day 190. Xiang Shou

Between the snow storms throughout the East, the Grammys and the news about the Pope resigning, Chinese New Year has taken a bit of a back seat.  It started this snakepast Sunday.  This year we’re celebrating the Year of the Snake.

It’s interesting.  In North American culture, when we refer to someone as a ‘snake’, it’s not very complimentary.  And yet, ancient Chinese wisdom says a snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will never starve.

In fact, this is the year of the water snake.  Water snakes are influential and insightful.  They manage others well.  They are highly motivated, intellectual and very determined.  They are success-oriented.  While they are affectionate with family and friends, they keep their private lives private.  So don’t expect them to be demonstrative when they’re with colleagues and business partners.

I read, somewhere, that snakes and pigs should avoid each other.  Which is unfortunate.  Because I am a fire Continue reading

Day 85. Mmmm Good!

I mentioned, briefly, in yesterday’s post that I had brunch, this past Sunday, with a friend’s daughter and her boyfriend.  We went to the Thompson Diner, one of the restaurants in the very trendy, luxury boutique hotel that opened not all that long ago, in Toronto.  I suggested it because they serve a good breakfast; and, in particular, their pancakes are outstanding.

Don’t believe me?  Think a pancake is a pancake is a pancake?

Well, feast your eyes on this stack.  That’s what I ordered.  Blueberry pancakes.  Yes, they are that huge.  The size of a dinner plate.  Each one is close to a quarter of an inch thick.  And you get three in an order.

Crammed, and I mean crammed full of fresh blueberries.  Topped with even more, and a light dusting of powdered sugar.  I had to have a side of crispy bacon.  After all, what are pancakes without bacon?  And good maple syrup.  Real maple syrup.

The Thompson Diner’s pancakes are the lightest, fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten.  Trust me on this.  But even so, it is impossible for one person to finish the whole order.  I’ve been there three times now, and the most I’ve ever eaten is half. Continue reading