Saturday, July 31, 2010

Laying Under Trees... Again

A chestnut this time.

This one made me do a double take. The two lumps at the bottom are my knees. Knees 'n' trees!

Got some irresistible reading.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cool Toronto

It's Caribana weekend! In its 43rd year, and the largest of its kind in North America, this Caribbean celebration brings one million visitors into the city and a great party atmosphere. This costume is on display in the Bay-Adelaide Centre and was from a few years back. It gives you a sense of the kind of fabulousness we can expect from the parade.

A Taste of Honey

Friends of mine keep bees on the top deck of their downtown Victorian home. After dinner at Jam Cafe we returned to their home and there was a frame dripping onto a baking sheet in their kitchen. I think honeybees are about the most magical creatures around. Their handywork is breathtaking.

I was invited to take a spoon and scrape off a lump of honeycomb.

I did and let the honey melt off the wax and into my mouth. It was nectar. I could have swallowed the wax, which was tasteless (not like Bernie Botts beans!) and a bit plasticky, but after I had got all the honey out, I just removed the pellet of wax from my mouth and that was that.

The honey was mesmerizing to watch as it slowly dripped down the comb. I left with a big jar. Lucky girl.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cottage Memories

It was another wonderful week away at the same cottage we've been renting for years. I can't describe the bone-deep relaxation I experience there, combined with a lot of energy expended swimming and kayaking, but here are a few pictures that might help give you an idea of how much I treasure this time.

The weather was glorious and changeable. So, I got to appreciate some clouds:

Baby trees on the forest floor:

And... more trees, big enough for hugging:

Time for kayaking:

There were a great number of water lilies in evidence this year. Here are some in a quiet inlet:

Happy toes:

Canoers at sunset:

And, of course, the food. Watermelon during sunbathing:

Moroccan chicken and couscous:

One grey afternoon, scones with jam and whipped cream. The scones didn't rise as much as they usually do for me, but it didn't bother us:

Butter chicken with watermelon salad:

In my opinion, the only way to do scrambled eggs is to wait till everyone is sat up before starting them. These stayed moist:

This was some good burger:

The food gives you an idea of how much energy was being used up!

Mmmmmmmmmm... we're tanned and happy.

Catching Up: Eating in, Sort of

There's not been much cooking at home. Just tons of salad.

Oh, and keeping cool with my own freezer pops. I make these by combining plain yoghurt with bananas and, in photograph one, mango:

In photograph two, I mix in raspberries. They cool me off and are very tasty. I can't get enough and all healthy!

I did make a batch of Nigella's triple chocolate brownies for a work celebration:

Summer fruit once more has me in its limpet grip. Then I broke my favourite plate, shown below. Sigh. Fans of Borat will find the next cheese most amusing. It's so delicious - a Quebecois specialty.

And, excuse me, what's with all the snootiness around white wine spritzers? This blogger loves them early in the summer before she hits the hard stuff.

I wish I had some of that cheese right now, dagnabit.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not as Smart as I Look

My new favourite kitchen object? A fish poacher which came to my rescue five weeks ago.

Any idiot can be a fool, and five weeks ago tonight I was such a one. I was searing a pork tenderloin and managed to give myself a bad second-degree burn on a good-sized patch of my inner lower arm.

I yelped like never before in my life and immediately thrust my arm under running cold water. After a call to TeleHealth Ontario, I was advised I'd be in pain for days and should have plenty of Tylenol on hand.

For the next two hours I watched The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) to distract myself, dipping my arm occasionally into my mother's fish poacher, filled with ice and water. At the end of the two hours, there was no pain, and the pain never came back. Of course then my arm got really messy, with blisters and the works.

No, I didn't see my doctor. I took great pride in doctoring myself and it's healing well, and I don't think there'll be much of a mark in time.

Of course I took a bunch of pictures of my arm, but I don't want to gross you all out. Instead, here is the fish poacher - the perfect length and shape for one arm plus one hand.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Fave: Trattoria Nervosa

Unpretentious among all its shi-shi-poo-poo neighbours in Toronto's swankish Yorkville, this restaurant serves excellent Italian food in a delightful setting. I've been there a LOT of late.

And how happy am I that more and more restaurants are selling Prosecco by the glass? I can't put away more than a glass before a movie or theatre.

On another visit, I had the seafood salad.

On Mothers Day, my Roman mother declared this the best pizza crust she'd ever had. The Calabrian sausage was thinly sliced and delicious.