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Archive for February, 2009

I remember Kermit the Frog celebrating his ‘Froginess’ with fondness.  I celebrated being a child – you can quickly forget to celebrate being an adult between driving to work, cleaning, laundry, cooking, working, eating, shopping and just being.

On my way home from work on Friday I stopped into the LCBO on Summerhill (it’s an amazing, unbelievable place for the uninitiated and I will have other blogs and photos on that soon).  It has been a long week.  Very productive but intense – and a foreboding March is on the Horizon, followed by an exciting and scary busy April, May and June.

I was looking for a few of the fine products I had tried at Leslieville Cheese this week plus a few extra bottles for the blog.  My cart was full – mostly with a briefcase with two laptops.  A woman yelled at me from about 20 feet “inviting” me to free food and wine.  I was not entirely in the mood.  I pulled my cart closer and she gently offered to watch it, handed me two sampling tickets and ushered me in with a welcoming smile.

Pleasant music played, people were happy.  Two chefs cheerfully cooked away and made food to pair with the two wines being offered.  One sample was an entire piece of perfectly prepared pork, the other a small salad and smoked salmon roll in rice paper.  A television showed the movements of the chefs and I had a blissful 10 minutes to enjoy me in the company of people enjoying them.  It was extravagant.

It’s great to be an adult (an odd thing to say at 35 I suppose!).

I am opposed to a lot of the money that I perceive the LCBO throws away in a market with no competition.  Tonight I was so thankful and it really made my night.  10 minutes of sweetness.

Joel

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The second rule of Fight Club is don`t talk about fight club.

Today`s post felt like cheating because it was so short – so I figure that cheating twice is better than cheating once.

And since you can`t talk about fight club, you can`t talk about Charlies Burger.  This is food related and it`s not violent.  Check it out:

Charlies Burger

Charlies Burger

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There are some things better off read first hand.  I offer you a link to Cute Yummy Time – a cook book due out this November from Penguin (and, of course Japan):

Cooking Cute

Cooking Cute

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“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”  But I did.

The Joel of Cooking

The Joel of Cooking

It was 78 years ago that a mother and daughter combo wrote the first version of The Joy of Cooking.  The iconic kitchen bible (or Koran) came out first in 1931.  9 versions later it was Irma Rombauer’s grandson that continues and adds to the family tradition with the 75th anniversary edition.

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A bit of eye candy and something to tickle your brain – thought this short video was well done, interesting and has me thinking:

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There is love and then there is love.

I have had the pleasure of eating at Kultura 3 times now (Dana reminds me that she has eaten there 4 times).  I find it simply stunning and think it is one of the best restaurants in this city at any price range – and dollar for dollar it is so far ahead of the pack that it is silly.  The decor is faultless, service wonderful, wine list is strong and the food has an honesty and originality that is complimented by flawless preparation.

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Always found that the term Great Depression was somewhat of an oxymoron.  It’s kind of like a really long, really awful Wonderful Hangover.

Oddly we have had several people arrive at the site after searching for food from this era in recent days and, ever wanting to please, we are happy to accommodate your requests!  After all, the food of the era is a wonderful part of my family history however – wonderful, often simple food passed from one generation to another.  Creamed Peas on Toast is such a dish and provides many wonderful memories of my Mother and I (sometimes with Dad there, others while he worked evenings at the Firehall) having an early dinner as she would tell me how her mother would make it, how she ate it as a child (6 kids, 2 bedrooms, an outhouse).

At the essence, here is the essence:

1.  Add butter to a sauce pan.  A few tablespoons will do.  This is best if you don’t measure.
2.  Add about the same amount of flour – again best if not measured.  Cook down  with a medium-high heat to form a roux.  It will start as a paste on a medium-high heat and begin to bubble and thin out.  Stir and brown lightly.  Ensure it has thinned out and is forming bubbles like it is boiling.
3.  Remove from heat.  Add a little milk at a time, stirring in as you go.  Patience is the key – too much will result in a chunky paste that simply won’t do.
4.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Add peas (frozen was our preference – especially if the package had been used previously to help sooth a twisted ankle!).  Add this and gently heat.  Don’t over cook – the idea is to warm the peas without turning their texture to guck.  Blanched asparagus will also work as we found out last Tuesday.
6.  Make toast, add butter.
7.  Put creamy peas on toast.  Hot sauce was my departure from the ordinary.

Eat with a knife and fork – this is better with someone you love.

You can add flare to this if you are not a purist – Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, dill, a bit of cheese, bacon, dried Parmesan, roasted garlic (or rasped garlic added raw to the butter in step 1), tuna or pancetta on the toast are all good companions.

Update: The post above is from February of 2009 – we made our own canned peas from scratch the following July – read about how to do that here.

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