Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I am still eating leftovers from Sunday's dinner. I tried to give away as much as they could carry, but it was a struggle at times as I pointed to my freezer, "do you see the immense smallness of that thing?" after protestations of keep it, you can always freeze it y'know. Yes, I could make soup, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between. But, I don't want to. I will be sick of it long before the week is out, then it will be bad by the time I remember it sometime next month. The times I have bought fresh produce, with all the greatest of intentions, only to bung it in the non-clear crisper bins and promptly forget about it. Or use a small portion, then ... end up throwing it out
Of course, part of this week's particular problem involves the vast amount of food I bought because feeding six is a lot more food than for one. With the help of my friend (yes, the one who likes to help - though at least this time it did not involve travel plans). He has access to the "market" that is actually the Ontario Food Terminal. That massive swath of land under the highway in west end Toronto where growers and wholesalers of all things vegetable, fruit and plant sell their wares to retailers of all manner of grocery stores. The general public is not invited. I love going there. The shear size of the market, and the quantities of food, blows me away every time. Watching the guys zip along on their motorized forklifts and scooter type things is fun, too. (click on photos to embiggen)
The thing is, you can't just buy one or three cauliflower. You must buy the whole flat or box. As in 15. I split it with my friend, then gave away some to the family and to a neighbour. I still have four. But, the price of this stuff makes it worthwhile, and now I know how much of a mark-up some of these grocers take to their advantage. Pusateris and Longos and the Asian shop on the corner all shop at the same food terminal. My cauliflower was much less than a dollar each.
Oh right, and I thought I had problems using up a bag of parsley...
I have some spinach and caulifower soup to make. A modified recipe involving:
- a head of cauliflower cut into florets and 2 shallots chopped up and sauteed in a pan with lots of butter, then add some vegetable broth and simmer covered for about 10 minutes
- top it off with
couple hundred gramsseveral handsful of baby spinach and let it wilt in the heat, add lots of nutmeg, and a bit of salt and pepper, stir it all up, then let it cool before blending
- when ready to eat, stir in the creme fraiche you bought but forgot to use, and garnish with some fontina or gruyere or other melty creamy cheese, and maybe the rest of the walnuts just for some crunch
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
However - as luck would have it, while I was taking photos of the chapel at Appleby College (which is on an old lakefront estate in Oakville) for last week's challenge, I found this:
right across from the stained glass windows of the chapel
with the tennis courts attached
looking a little different from the usual barn
It is the fancy stonework that fascinates me
for more barn views see SundayStills
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My first impulse was to shriek, E, there's a man outside with a squeegee! Oh yes, says she, and then launches into a long tale about the window cleaners who have been coming to her for yonks and how this, the son, has taken over from the father who is getting on, and what a good job they do and they didn't even charge her extra when they put the extension on and therefore added four extra windows.....
My cousin gesticulates wildly when she talks, so she kept waving her arm towards the window where this guy was squeegeeing the supposed dirt and grime of what turned out to be 6 weeks accumulation. So he must have known he was being talked about. I kept watching his smooth sweeps of the squeegee (I like that word, sounds so silly and fun to say) as she prattled on, feeling rather, erm, exposed, sitting there in full view, in my pyjamas.
So, what does one do when the window cleaner comes by? I don't get to experience that much. Actually, not at all. Because in my world, it is me who is the designated window cleaner and I don't dedicate myself to that task very often. But really, isn't it a little weird having someone come by at irregular intervals who can see into your daily activities as you watch tv, eat dinner, dust, play the piano...
Then again, isn't it nice to be able to see into the outside world as the birds fly about, the clouds move, the sun shines, the mail carrier comes with another postcard from Finland.
Gotta go, more sprung cleaning to do!
Spring is sprung
the grass is ris
my how noisy
the birdies is
but first some entertainment by George Formby
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The John Bell Memorial Chapel at Appleby College.
It took 7 years to build this Anglican chapel and was finally dedicated in 1929
There are so many beautiful temples, churches and mosques in every style imaginable - from simple, to elegant, to ornate, to ostentacious.
I come from a tradition of the plain church which has made it difficult for me to relate to the grand, excessively ornate style of cathedrals or large churches as a place of worship. The history and architecture may be fascinating and jaw-dropping, but as a place of commune or a spiritual base, for me, some intimacy is lacking within.
Or maybe I just need fewer distractions. Our church had coloured glass panes, which pleased me no end as a child. Until I experienced stained glass gothic windows. Now, there was a distraction.
An example of a modern stained glass window on right
Inuit designed stained glass window by Kenojuak Ashevak.
for more photo takes on this theme see SundayStills
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
He is very much misinformed, and misguided, if he thinks that a) "those who identify with [the ER symbol] will be few in number", b) this ER is about the Queen, and c) the highway is of a colonial era.
A flurry of letters responded to this anarchist. Well, as much a flurry as any wrong-headed letter-writer in a small local paper might receive. Some of them were almost as misinformed, but every one disagreed with him about erasing our past. And many felt a small wave of nostalgia when the lamp posts were erected.
Such displays of symbols are a good way to learn a bit of the history of where you live (or are visiting).
So, very briefly (I don't want to bore you, dear readers!) neither the highway, nor the Queen, is of a colonial era. That ended in 1867 with Confederation. And, the Queen Elizabeth in the ER, is not Queen Elizabeth II, but the wife and consort of King George, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, affectionately called [the] Queen Mum. It was on their visit to Canada in 1939 to commemorate the coronation of King George that the highway was officially named. Eventually linking the western edge of Toronto with Hamilton, Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, and to the USA, The Queen Elizabeth Way is the only highway without any numbered designation. A lot of the vintage architecture is slowly being dismantled as the highway (note not freeway, that's American usage), is being upgraded and widened, but those iconic ER light standards are slowly being reintroduced as a nod to the historical significance of this major travel route.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I am reminded of her, and many independent booksellers, when I ask for a book in Chapters or Indigo. Where the staff will immediately walk to a computer terminal to look up the title/author and if you don't remember it, well, it could be a fruitless search with you being ultimately led in the general direction of where you might find your request. My favourite booksellers are the ones who can decipher a "I read a review in the Globe about something about (insert semi-remembered description)" or "I heard a book review on CBC on Sunday..." and they know what you are talking about. These people love books. They breathe books.
I used to buy a lot of books. The cost has made buying sprees a bit more prohibitive than in the past. And I've never bought anything from Amazon. I'm more of a browser. Put me in a room with shelves of books, and I can't help myself. I twist my head to read the spines, I pull interesting book titles down, I fondle covers, I flip pages. I sniff books. There is something about the musty smell of old books that is comforting. And also the still strong ink and paper smells of newly printed pages. To be the first to open a book and begin reading... and to open an old book, especially one of prose or poetry, and have it fall open at a favourite passage of the previous owner, is a silent thrill of discovery. I have discovered great new reads that would never have occurred to me just by being attracted to a title, the first paragraph, a description on the cover flap. And I've even judged a book by its cover. I have not bought books that didn't feel right. I used to have small collections of books that had different covers, because the idea intrigued me of other artists renderings of the tale. If I start a series, I have to buy the rest in the series until it is complete, or it will irritate me, even if I didn't particularly like the third book, or whatever. A teeny, tiny bit of OCD.
A friend and I share books regularly, she more than me, because, I couldn't tell you the last time I read a book in its entirety. I have piles of them gathering dust by my bed. The cat uses them as a stepping stool to get herself up on the mattress (she's a bit lazy, why jump when you can risk falling by climbing). Still, I went to the library last week and came home with several books to rekindle my reading habits.
Which is why I haven't been around as much, or posting as much.
And from the book store, a new release, Sandra Gulland and her tale of 'Louise de la Valliere, the young equestrienne who won the heart of France's charismatic Sun King'.
I have coffee waiting at my favourite coffee house and my book to read so, later......
in honour of National Library Week.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Our story today is about RED.
Above, we have my planter. I was hoping the tulips would be red, but apart from not being ready for this week's challenge, they will be yellow. There were yellow and purple crocuses on the other side, yellow daffodils and purple muscari on this side. After the yellow tulips will be the iris - any guesses on their colour?
The silly grinning gnome with the red cap is Jimmy. He's so named because I just can't seem to take anyone seriously who is named Jimmy (no offense to any Jimmy's out there, but really, James is a great sounding name. how did it ever become Jimmy out of James, anyway?).
While admiring my wee garden I had breakfast
the last hot cross bun with a cherry on top.
then off for a walk
red fire hydrants on lawns
red Muskoka chairs on porches
and even red balloons on trees
until I reach my destination
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Here I present the penultimate Canadian triangle.
The Centennial symbol.
Who else remembers getting the rulers out and the protractor and trying to make the perfect triangle? Then colouring in each one? Eleven times. One for each province and one for the territories. Or so the story goes - but, since there were, at the time, 2 territories, this theory is debatable.
This was designed as a stylized maple leaf (after the Maple Leaf became our official flag in 1965), and was reproduced everywhere during that heady, exciting year, 1967, celebrating 100 years of Confederation.
Even on the sidewalks.
click on PhotoHunt for more interesting triangles
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
However, on a venture to some greenhouses and vineyards last week, we had to stop suddenly.
Then, a little further down caught sight of a horse standing in a shelter. Not a great photo (rather upset at chopping his ears off), but he came out to pose for me.
Not very inspiring pictures, but I was truly excited that I could participate this week without travelling too far into unknown territory.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
More flowers - and look: they're pink! (not my favourite colour, remember?), but they are stripey, in a broken stripe sort of way.
Or, have a gander at this wall mural I found in a part of Toronto called The Beaches.
I'd like to say, any day now we can get out our striped t-shirts and head out to the water...
but at the moment it is cold and rainy and very, very windy.
We had a dry March - not a flake of snow during the whole month (for the first time in 50 years since records have been kept), but the rain is making up for it this weekend.
to see what other stripes were found from around the world, check out PhotoHunt
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
But you'll be sorry for what you missed.