Lady Marmalade

The text across the shard of pottery says “Marmala”. The rest of the centuries-old stoneware jar is missing, presumably still buried somewhere here at Fort York where it has been sitting in the ground since the mid-1800s. We are told that children who visit the fort on school tours don’t know what marmalade is, which seems a terrible shame.

I am at the “Mad For Marmalade, Crazy For Citrus” event at Historic Fort York, the third annual event, produced by the fort and the Culinary Historians of Ontario, that celebrates all things marmalade.

This isn’t your typical Toronto food event – aside from myself and Sarah B. Hood of Toronto Tasting Notes, there are no bloggers, no writers, no “foodies” here for the free samples. Instead there are about 80 people, many part of the above-50 set, who are all here to learn – or share their knowledge – about that most delectable of preserves, marmalade.

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Chinese New Year Banquet

We headed out in the cold last night to attend an 8-course Chinese New Year Banquet at a local seafood restaurant. Hosted by local foodie walking tour guide, Shirley Lum, the evening was both delicious and informative, as Lum explained Lunar New Year traditions and discussed various aspects of the Chinese zodiac as we ate.

Seated at a table of nine people, I must say, the evening, while festive, wasn’t especially banquet-like. Dishes didn’t come out in order, and for the $50 per person charge, we certainly didn’t leave as full as we normally might have if we had gone on our own. it was an opportunity to try many new dishes, however, and Greg even made a new friend.

Because we were at a large round table with a lazy susan in the centre, I wasn’t able to get shots of all the dishes as they arrived, but I did my best.

Each place setting had two kumquats and two candies. The candies represented the red and gold packets of money traditionally handed out at Chinese New Year, while the kumquats also represented wealth and life.

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