Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Full Circle

In 1959 I arrived in Canada. My father had gone first, and my mother and I arrived some months later. We were to live in Toronto only a few months before moving on to Vancouver. We lived for a short while in an flat above a store on the corner of Mount Pleasant and Manor Road. It was a really unsetteling time for me as I spoke no English and had left all my friends behind. My mother took me to the school at the corner of Eglinton and Mount Pleasant where the teacher gave me a book, asked me to sit at the back and said something like "Just try to pick up the language". Easier said than done!
After 45 years and many other towns and cities, I now live within a few blocks of that flat.

Early home. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Bulb Onions

Visiting a local fruit and vegetable store I found this bunch of three bulb onions just pulled out of the Texas soil impossible to resist. The bulb is as sweet as fresh picked corn with just enough bite to let you know they are still onions. This, while there is still snow on the ground here in Toronto. Hard to ask for more.

bulb onions. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005


It doesn't take much watching of Food Network shows to realize that the amount of interest in any meal serving can be increased by a some simple presentation techniques. Here I've prepared braised chicken and vegetables with steamed rice. I've used three plates of different shapes. It wasn't a huge change from putting everthing on one round plate, but it certainly made the whole meal a lot more interesting.

Plating. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Random Photos

Sea trouble.

Clay's. Posted by Hello

Snow on Bathurst. Posted by Hello

Sunrise in Alberta. Posted by Hello

Change of address. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005


In 1982 I discovered a plant mail-order house called Harbourcrest Gardens which featured a large catalogue of flowering plants. In particular, they had many bougainvillea listings. I ordered a dozen or so rooted cuttings. These all grew well both indoors and outdoors (in the summer). BUT, I could never bring them into flower. Many years later I picked up a fully grown standard (about 1m high) at an end-of-the-season sale at a local nursery. This plant (shown in the photo below) has bloomed faithfully every year for the last decade!

Bougainvillea. Posted by Hello

Canguil and Posole

At a store specializing in food from Ecuador, I found some bins with gigiantic kernels of dried corn. Naturally, I had to buy some and see what could be done with them. The first, which were long yellow kernels are use to make Ecuadorian popped corn (canguil). They pop fairley gently in an hot oiled pan and are delicious and chewy. The flatter, white kernels are posole. These are boiled for several hours and then used in stews. They have a mild taste much like hominy.

Maize. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cooking With Whole Grains

Cooking with whole grains is something that was, until recently, totally foreign to me. When I first began, all I could think of from the past were the tasteless pearl barley found in canned soups. After reading Paula Wolfert I thought I would see what could be done. I began with hulled wheat berries and whole barley. I was really surprised that both of these could be used to create all manner of risotto style dishes. I am working to create/find recipes that can turn out something memorable. Stay tuned!

Cooked barley and wheat berries. Posted by Hello