Lucky Dip – August 29th, 2013

I can’t help it, I continue to be enthralled by Quentin Crisp. Think about this the next time you chow down on calamari – the octopus (and other cephalopods) may have brains in its tentacles. (Border Collies of the sea, people, smarter than you realize!) [Scientific American] “To invent your own life’s meaning is not […]

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Lucky Dip – Monday, August 27, 2013

This brings new meaning to the phrase “Animal House.” Photograph by Kai Fagerström [Twister Sifter] The above house is in Finland, but it could play stand-in in the movie version of Al Jourgensen’s war with raccoons. [Slicing Up Eyeballs] There was a time where I’d be all ranty about bloggers taking freebies, screeching about “ethics” […]

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Remember those essays? The first day back to school, the teacher was still setting up the year’s curriculum, ordering books, etc., and so you’d get handed a piece of loose leaf and a fresh new pencil and directed to start off the school year with the child’s worst enemy – the familiar essay. We lived […]

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Perfum(ing) 2

If you watched CBC’s The National last night you might have caught my 15 seconds of fame as I was interviewed for a piece about perfume and perfume allergies. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication on the specific topic and my own failure to research the correct issue, very little of what I said in the […]

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Happy Krampus Day!

It used to be December was all about Santa Claus, but in recent years, North Americans are rediscovering Santa’s European sidekick. Krampus (who actually derives from Pagan mythology) is said to have accompanied Saint Nick on the evening of December 5th, leaving switches and coal for the bad children (or even abducting and torturing them) […]

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Hospital Food

This piece was written for my book, Kitchen Party, but somehow, in the transferring of 47 essays and images to the final manuscript, it got lost. I remembered/discovered it this past weekend and was very disappointed, because not only was it written specifically for the book, it is one of my favourite pieces. So I’m […]

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Fleeing the Flea

My family is not religious. Most of us have been baptized in the Anglican church, but aside from weddings, baptisms and funerals, as a child growing up, I can’t ever remember getting up to go to church. In fact, when questioned about religion, I’ve often joked that our religion was the flea market, because that’s […]

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Your Fat Makes Me Crazy

If you live in the western world, no doubt you’ve seen or heard about this video, created by a Wisconsin news anchor after receiving a letter from a viewer who was ostensibly “concerned” about her health and her ability to be a role model to viewers. As a fat woman, I am fully supportive of […]

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Seeing Red

If you watched the last episode of Mad Men this season, you may or may not have noticed a trend towards the use of the colour red strategically throughout the episode.  An article on Slate works on the theory that the red, used at some point to costume each of the female leads, represents female […]

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Skydiving in Literary Form

So, as you probably know, I wrote a book, and I’m in the process of setting up a publishing imprint to self-publish it, and eventually, other books, maybe even by other people. When I tell people this, they often react with a note of awe in their voices. “Wow! That’s amazing, I could never do […]

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Me, I Disconnect From You

My husband is a huge Louis C. K. fan. When it was announced that C.K. would headline the JFL42 Festival taking place in Toronto in September, Greg’s brain near exploded with glee. More so when it was announced that another major act would be comedian Patton Oswald. But then we started looking at the ticketing […]

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Bag Lady Redux

Let me tell you about my bags. I have many. My black knapsack is my go-to bag for any kind of shopping. I bought it for $15 in 2003 in Chinatown during the SARS epidemic, half off because the shop owner was just so delighted that anybody was in his store at all. Nine years […]

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Flower Child

So florals are big this spring. They’re showing up on everything from dresses to pants to bags. I’ve always been big on florals. Maybe not on fabric – the wrong print can make the wrong person look like they’re wearing Aunt Bertha’s curtains – but who doesn’t love having flowers in their life? Living in […]

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In Praise of Snarky Men

I’ve been reading a lot lately. This is about 50% procrastination (writers will do anything to get out of writing, especially without a firm deadline in place), 20% sheer joy at having time to actually sit down and read a book (during my TasteTO days, it was a rare occurrence if I finished a book […]

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The Processed Way of Eating

Despite my plan to avoid social media while working on my book, I’ve spent the earlier part of this afternoon over on FaceBook discussing meat glue (why yes, I am procrastinating, how did you guess?), and its implications in the greater food service industry, aside from its use in molecular gastronomy. Because it seems that […]

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Girls, Girls, Girls

I spent last week not working away diligently on my book but flat on my ass in front of the television. After successfully avoiding every cold, flu and virus for the past 12 months, something finally caught up with me and it was as if all the cooties that I had avoided for the past […]

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Lucky Dip – Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

In Toronto: Keriwa Cafe (1690 Queen Street West) had updated their website. All the better to see their monthly menu updates. Chef Justin Cournoyer’s new restaurant Actinolite (971 Ossington Avenue) opens to the public tomorrow (Wednesday, March 28th) serving up a menu with Spanish, Portuguese and Italian influences. Basilio Pesce of Oliver & Bonacini has […]

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Lucky Dip – Friday, March 9th, 2012

In Toronto: Bistro 990 (990 Bay Street) will shut its doors on March 17th. Vegan chef Doug McNish‘s first book Eat Raw, Eat Well will be published on March 20th. It’s available for pre-order at various online booksellers already. Tori’s Bakeshop opens today at 2188 Queen Street East offering vegan, organic and refined sugar-free goodies […]

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The Grove is Gonna Be Groovy

Do not adjust your screens. I know I already wrote a preview of The Grove back in November when I attended a pop-up dinner in conjunction with First Drop Canada. At that point, owners Fritz Wahl, Richard Reyes and Chef Ben Heaton were expecting their Dundas Street restaurant to be ready to go before Christmas. […]

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Lucky Dip – Thursday, March 8th, 2012

In Toronto: On this International Women’s Day, let’s take the time to acknowledge all of the fantastic female chefs, cooks, bakers, farmers, winemakers, brewsters and food entrepreneurs who work so hard to make a name for themselves in what is still a very male-dominated industry. You ladies add flavour and charm to Toronto’s food scene […]

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Won’t You Take Me To Hungry Town

Tom Fitzmorris’s Hungry Town: A Culinary History of New Orleans, the City Where Food Is Almost Everything Tom Fitzmorris Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010, 224 pages Anybody who has ever strolled the streets of New Orleans, lazy with the humidity and history, overcome by the wafting smells of magnolias interspersed with a blast of jambalaya, […]

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Foie Gras Faux Pas

Every year we buy a food-related calendar for the kitchen. I’m not sure why – in this age of personal electronic devices, wall calendars are pretty much obsolete, and the selection becomes more and more sparse each year. But we have this one section of wall that needs something, and it’s kind of fun to […]

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Loose Ends

I seem to be starting my new year at somewhat loose ends. While 2011 was a very good and productive year in terms of work, and certainly beat 2010 in terms of emotional issues (yay for nobody close to us dying), I was left feeling that I didn’t accomplish very much. This whole food writing […]

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Death by Turkey

I am spending this week watching holiday specials. Not the cartoons and tired old movies of yore (Come on admit it, It’s a Wonderful Life is three hours of tedious, sentimental schlock.), but holiday food and cooking shows, specifically of the UK variety. As it turns out, holiday cooking shows are the big thing for […]

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