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Everything posted by marlowe

  1. I think all of the food magazines go for turkey on the covers of their November issues -- it's the annual "anxiety" issue for the somebody who has to host Thanksgiving dinner for the extended family for the very first time. Fine Cooking certainly maintains this tradition, and does it quite well. I think I have three FC's on this topic, until I started to skip it.
  2. Walked by Pusateri's on Yorkville yesterday; there is a sign in the window offering Wagyu beef at $200/lb. At that price, I'll never taste it. Must be great.
  3. I nominate Kubrick's 2001 : A Space Odyssey. After seeing it a few times, I noticed that every scene has food in it. From the opening scene with apes killing game to the spaceport, the lunar bound ship, the shuttles at moon base, the Jupiter ship, and the last scenes with the old man and the tea tray -- every where there is food. It's as if Kubrick wanted to scale down the awesome events of human evolution by saying, hey, everybody has to eat, somehow. It's rarely the focus of a scene, it just something a person does while doing something else. I thought it quite clever. Of course if you're watching the movie, well, shall we say, under the influence, then the food fixation is even more salient.
  4. If you are serious about Algonquin Park, but don't want to camp, google the three lodges that operate within the park boundaries: Killarney Lodge, Arowhon Pines, and Bartlet Lodge. I've been to the first two. Not inexpensive, but comfortably rustic and food and canoes are included. Since Park regulations prohibit the sale of alchohol within the Park, it is strictly BYOB, but they will chill and serve the wines without corkage fees (or chill your brew if you prefer). The American fellow with his family sitting next to us had a nice bottle of Colgin on his table when I was last there. Arowhon has a groaning board buffet at breakfast and for dessert, but otherwise the meals are limited to a few selections, almost always including a seafood entree. Toronto's leading food critic's family owns the place. Killarney is very good too, a little more accessible (it's just off the main highway within the park, on a large lake. Food is quite decent there as well, from memory. Happy trails.
  5. I think it was Ethereal Natural Foods, and it was in the building that housed Rochdale in the early 70's...now an senior citizens residence. You could buy pot from dealers at the Zumburger across the street. Rochdale's motto at the time was "I feel more like I do now, than I did when I first came here." Ethereal had a good California sandwich, I recall, that had cheese, avocado, tomato and sprouts on whole grain bread. But the washrooms were definitely to be avoided. Long gone.
  6. Aw c'mon, it's not that far downtown! Wm Ashley stocks Spiegelau, so does the Wine Establishment and so do a lot of the wineries in Niagara. At 8 - 10 bucks a glass....
  7. I have had the exact same experience in this store. I will never return, there are too many other shops out there carrying the same items with decent service. ← I won't be so quick to judge. The first time I went to that store, dressed in my cycling clothes and looking like a bike messenger, I really felt I was being watched as a likely shoplifter. But on another occasion, dressed differently, I got a good deal on a Weber Silver barbecue, better price than Home Depot or the Home Show, which was on at the time. The owner even dropped it off at my house in his van, on his way home from work. He was quite friendly, and bent over backwards to accomodate me. He turned out to be not all that gruff. Maybe he just needs some coaching...
  8. Thank goodness they've invented the home defibrillator just in time: No problem, honey! Kids stand back, CLEAR!
  9. marlowe

    Indian food

    I strongly recommend Ghandi (Queen Street just a few store fronts East of Bathurst) for their roti's. Three or four small tables are crowded in the front of the small shop, cutlery is plastic and the dishes are aluminum foil trays. But the food is available for takeout. You can phone ahead and your order will be ready for you. There are over a dozen rotis available ranging in price from $6 to $12 for the most expensive, a chicken korma, which is boneless with a delicious sauce wrapped of course in roti. One could feed two people. Half of the rotis are vegetarian, the others are mostly lamb and chicken. I hear the butter chicken is really good, but I haven't tried it. I particularly like the potato and cauliflower. You have a choice of mild, medium, or hot. And hot is HOT. Even the mild has a quite pleasant burn to it. Tropical juices are available, as are some pakoras and samosas for a buck and a half. Good eats!
  10. I agree with an earlier post. If you show a genuine interest in wine, you will probably not be charged, except probably for ice wine, which considering its retail value, is fair. I suspect the charge is for the tour bus, or possibly the yahoo crowd, trying to get a buzz on before lunch. Usually, the charge is nominal anyway. It's one thing to taste a wine, in order to evaluate whether you want to buy it, and another, if you're a wine tourist.
  11. Mildred Pierce restaurant has a brunch cookbook. The old Bamboo had a cookbook out (Bamboo Cooks), with its pad thai recipe in it. What about the Surreal Gourmet? He's local, I believe. Or was at one time, catering movie shoots. Joe Fiorito, who has a column in the Globe, wrote a book called Comfort Me with Apples (before Reichl did), but I think he was resident in Montreal at the time. Cynthia Wine wrote reviews in the Toronto Star some years back, and wrote a book called Eating for A Living about her experiences thereof. The dust jacket credits her with other books on local cuisine. Tony Aspler, the wine comentator has both fiction and nonfiction out. That's all I can think of for now.
  12. I was in Stratford last month and our innkeeper recommended the Globe, not far from the Avon Theatre. It's owned by the former chef at Foster's. It was open for lunch only, and had not yet received its liquor license. Tapas style portions, and the food was excellent, nicely presented, at very fair prices. Among the dishes we sampled were kung pao sweetbreads and lobster risotto. I highly recommend this newcomer. They plan to have a dinner seating, maybe by now they do.
  13. I think Vineland Estates is a great place to visit. Excellent tasting bar with a wide selection of varietals. Whites are a strength, especially Rieslings, but good Chard and the Pinot Gris just tasted recently was delightful. Good, if pricey resto on the property, reservations a good idea. Beautiful view across the vineyards to the Lake from the terrace. Large enough to accomodate groups and individuals and the people at the tasting bar attentive and enthusiastic. It's not far from Thirty Bench. But there are many many others worth visiting....I can name Peninsula Ridge, East Dell (for its proximity to the Bruce Trail) Henry of Pelham (good for a quick bite, too), Malivoire for excellent Chard, Gamay, Pinot Noir; Crown Bench is in the vicinity for some very interesting small production wines from red grapes, including Cab Franc, Merlot, and you've got to taste the Jalapeno Ice Wine. The new winery that's created a buzz is not far from the town of NOTL is Stratus. Our first post-modern winery in a pomo building. Very pricey wines, three tastes for ten bucks, but you get served in Riedel glassware. Their signature white wine tastes a bit like an Alsatian blend, but costs 3 times as much. If your in the area, try Lailey, on the Niagara Parkway, with an enthusiastic winemaker on hand to pour you a few samples. The old vines Chard is reputed to be the best in Canada. And in the vicinity there are many others. Happy wandering!
  14. There's a useful website, introduced to me by an American friend, called www.mushroomexpert.com that will help you with morel identification. I recall that false morels can be quite nasty. Some of the mnemonic devices for distinguishing the two are amusing. Such as "If it's wavy, don't make gravy" referring to the pattern on the morel caps. Looking at my Peterson field guide, some species are poisonous (but not necessarily deadly) to some people. Depending on quantity consumed and the individual's tolerance. Some morels are toxic if consumed with alchohol. Happy hunting -- best to go with an old "babushka" who knows her stuff. I've hiked the Bruce Trail near Caledon, and also near Beamsville -- have yet to see morels, but I think it was too dry when I was out recently. Bought some beauties at a high end grocer near home and had some great scrambled eggs. Left a few very large caps for later....a couple of days I looked in the paper bag, and they were crawling with worms. Back to shitake's I guess....
  15. Let's make it simple. It appears that individuals want to make as much money as possible, and to keep as much of it as they can. We employ tax strategies to maximizie disposable income, and then shop for the lowest price goods and services, in order to maximize our savings. But if the suppliers of those goods and services are bid down to the lowest profit margins, or are forced out of business entirely, then they can't buy the high margin goodies produced by the people who want to make as much money as they can. This puts the jobs of the people who make and sell things, especially high value added things like automobiles, for example, at risk. Much of our consumer transactions are made by credit already. Interest rates are rising. Less money will be available for everyday consumables when that borrowing has to be repaid. I think you can surmise the rest of this scenario. Doom.
  16. marlowe


    I stopped lining up for wine at the Vintages stores some years ago. I noticed it brought out the worst in people. It reminded me of lining up for a chance to buy meat in the old Soviet Union. People were often rude, having family members (including young children) stand as place holders to get liimited wines....people who insisted I was standing in "their spot" as they had only gone away to get a coffee. It took the fun out wine, and wine is supposed to be fun. I find I do quite well without the trophy wines, spend a lot less money, and frankly, I already do probably have more wine than I can drink in my lifetime. I am enjoying it much more, by taking a more relaxed attitude towards the whole schtick. I remember years ago trying to get some 97 Chianti, a very good vintage. It was constantly being sold out before I got a chance. At that point I ordered several cases from an agency, and was quite pleased with this approach.
  17. Based on what I saw on the program, I would definitely eat at Bayless's restaurants in Chicago (Topolo and Frontera), but would definitely take a pass on any of Flay's. The former's seemed like an adventure, but the latter's a trayful of cliches.
  18. Martha Stewart's Christmas book has a recipe "Cassoulet for a 100" that takes days to prepare and assemble. Actually, it's a bad idea. I would never feed a bean dish to a hundred people. A recipe for disaster....
  19. I once had a gecko in my room in Calcutta. I was staying at the Tolleygunge Club. I was told that it was good sign, as they ate bugs... But to the point, I once saw an interview with Garrison Keillor on TV, and behind him in his home kitchen, was a Garland salamander. So there you go -- if it's good enough for a praire Lutheran, it's okay for the rest of us.
  20. A new cookware store just opened on Bathurst Street north of Bloor, called Nella, I think. It was written up in one of the weekend papers a week and a half ago. A lot of professional equipement, as well as domestic. From professional slicers and fridges to sieves and knives. Worth a look.
  21. Ditto Alex Farms at the market, but there are a few other good cheesemongers there too, with a good selection of Quebec farmhouse and artisanal cheeses. Also All the Best Foods at Summerhill and Yonge; there is some interesting sampling of three or four varieties on Saturdays. Whole Foods on Avenue Road has a good selection, and some of the staff at the cheese stall are very knowledgeable. Both of the latter two venues are pricey, however. Alex Farms at the market seems to have gone out its way to present Spanish cheeses, and also has a number of Neals Yard imported goat cheeses from England. Enjoy.
  22. Let me be serious for a minute about anorexia. I heard that someone was getting some really good results in treating anorexia, not as a psychological problem (i.e., a subconscious revolt against a parent figure, etc.) but as a problem that is fundamentally physiological in nature. This is based on an hypothesis that arose from the observation of some animal groups, namely that under certain circumstances some birds and other creatures would stop eating, due to mating season, or competition for habitat, or something. In other words, some instinct was triggered. So anorexia in humans is also now thought to be the failure of some instinctual trigger that is a residue of our evolutionary heritage. So the therapy shifts from issues of guilt and rebellion to overcoming a defect in a physiological mechanism. Apparently, there has been considerable success in this approach-- as we are aware that anorexia is very difficult to treat, this is a plus. I heard this on some science show, and found this quite interesting.
  23. I like to cycle the wineries --- the www.cycleniagara website has some mapped out itineraries on the Bench and other local areas that pass by some of the wineries. Two of the routes begin in Jordan Village, one is for 24 km and one is for 40. Besides Cave Springs, which is in Jordan, the 24 km tour passes Hernder Estates and Creekside. Creekside is worth a taste for its Sauvignon Blanc and the red Laura's Blend. Vineland has among the largest variety of wines. Very good quality -- try the very fruity Chenin Blanc. A very surprising wine. A beautiful tasting room. Henry of Pelham is near Short Hills Provincial Park so you can have a hike after your wine tasting. Very good Riesling, Chard, and Baco Noir. Crown Bench has some amazing dessert wines not far from East Dell, most of which are not available anywhere else. Besides some very good reds and Chardonnay, you might try the jalapeno ice wine, and a white dessert wine (can't remember if it was a vidal or riesling) with a chocolate flavor. Malivoire's wine maker, Ann Sperling, won winemaker of the year honours recently. Definitely worth a visit. There are many others, I try to visit a new one each time I go, in addition to old favorites. Have fun.
  24. marlowe


    I tried to register with them for on-line access to web articles but their java applet denied that my e-mail address was valid. This was news to me.
  25. marlowe

    caesar dressing

    Rick Bayless of Chicago's Frontera Grill does a version of Caesar but substitutes: Lime juice for lemon, ancho chili powder for black pepper, and dry aged Monterrey Jack cheese for a different Mexican flavour (yes I know, the original Caesar was of Mexican origin).
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