Flavour Flash – The Festive Special

As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, we ponder the annual question associated with this holiday with trepidation. Not what to be thankful for, but rather… will it be too hot in Toronto to actually cook a roast bird and five side dishes on Thanksgiving Day? It’s about a 50/50 draw; some years early October is cool and rainy, other years temperatures can hit the high 20s.

Since it’s just Greg and I, we usually just cook a chicken, but I don’t relish standing in a hot kitchen with the oven and all the burners going if it’s going to be a warm day with a humidex. Besides, I can roast a chicken any time, I don’t need a holiday to do it, so while we want to do something to celebrate the day, I’m never inclined to actually break a sweat.

For the past couple of years in pandemic times, upscale local restaurants have filled the void with gorgeous multi-course menus delivered to our door. One of the options we considered this year included seared foie gras, so there’s lots to be thankful for.

In the past, though, the delivery options got no more fancy than Swiss Chalet.

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The (Not So) Festive Special

For many Canadians, Swiss Chalet‘s Festive Special is an annual tradition. Even if they rarely eat from chain restaurants, most people I know admit that the chicken dinner with stuffing, cranberry sauce and a chocolate treat is a seasonal guilty pleasure.

Greg and I are no different. When the ads appear, we run around the house yelling “Festive SpeCHULLLL!” at the top of our lungs. It may be the only chain restaurant food we eat all year, but for some reason we have to have it.

So when the ads appeared recently we hopped online and started to place an order via the chain’s website. As we got to the point where it adds the tax, we noticed that the website automatically added a 5 cent surcharge for a plastic bag.

Besides the fact that we think Toronto’s freaky plastic bag bylaw is really stupid, we didn’t actually want Swiss Chalet’s bag. As an apartment dweller (no yard and no green bin) and the owner of two very large dogs, I regularly show up at friends’ homes and raid their plastic bag stash. I have been known to go to No Frills, well before the silly bylaw, for the sole purpose of buying plastic bags because I was out, and desperate. But those Swiss Chalet bags – those things are nasty; they don’t fold well in your pocket, they don’t tie well, and because of the condensation from the chicken dinners, they tend to smell of rotisserie chicken for days after.

So we cancelled the online order and called.

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