Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekend Cooking

July 2016 - Toronto ON

Click here to see some brain power around town.

Saturday - we are in Montreal for the weekend. John went to meet a friend for lunch and I went to La Fleur's just around the corner from the hotel for a regional delicacy.

Steamie, poutine completed by a Pepsi. Why do I mention the Pepsi so strategically  placed in the photo? I don't even like Pepsi as a rule but it is all they had.

I found this light hearted description at Maisonneuve. I, too, grew up with this expression. Any funny enough, to show how these expressions linger, with humour now, the first thing John said was "what, no Mae West"? And then later in the day, his son said the same thing to me.

Among the plethora of ethnic insults that traffic in food—Germans as “krauts,” say, or Irish people as “potato eaters”—“pepsi” deserves special mention. It’s the only slur I know that is based on a beverage. The lexicography team for the Canadian Oxford Dictionary tell me the epithet “pepsi” derives from the belief, first held by Quebec anglos in the late forties, that their French-speaking counterparts swilled Pepsi because they were too poor to afford Coke (which was marginally more expensive). While Pepsi’s early marketing did promote itself as the more economical alternative—“Twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you”—impecunious Québécois of yore were probably imbibing Kik, which was the cheapest postwar cola available .In any case, growing up in Montreal, I first heard the term “pepsi” used to describe French Canadians in the late fifties. English Canadians outside Quebec may have referred to them as “pea soup,” but “pepsi” was our private moniker for those people who lived east of the Main. You need to remember that, back then, the two solitudes did not interact a hell of a lot. Sometimes we even called them “pepsi may wests,” as May West was the brand name of a locally made cream-filled white cake covered in dark chocolate and supposedly popular among French Canadians. This was also the closest the expression ever got to the food-as-abuse convention.
Sometime in the eighties, I started to hear French Canadians say things like, “Il est un vrai pepsi.” Being a discerning bloke, I sensed this designation was being used to impugn the aesthetic sensibility of some bumpkin hailing from Chibougamau or the Gaspé peninsula. But given Pepsi’s wildly popular (and, to this day, ongoing) advertising campaign featuring local comedian Claude Meunier, I wouldn’t be surprised if “vrai pepsi” hasn’t started to evolve into a half-teasing, half-cherished label. That Meunier’s most enduring character from these ads is a spaced-out hockey player points to the fact that the company’s success—Pepsi is said to outsell Coke two to one in Quebec—comes from promoting the idea of being able to laugh at yourself, of taking pride in yourself as a culture. Just as Québécois now embrace Pepsi as their brand, maybe they now can embrace “pepsi” as their slang.

Sunday after brunch with family we drove back.

Monday John picked up his new car!

Tuesday I met my BFF and we went to lunch at the Museum Tavern.

We then went to the ROM for the much anticipated Chihuly exhibit and it was gorgeous! More photos to come. This photo is from the ROM website.

Wednesday was John's weekly golf game and I went to get my hair cut and poke around the shops.

Before I left I made John a tomato chorizo soup. It was last night's leftover Spanish chicken thighs with chorizo. The leftover mashed potatoes and broccoli were added along with the extra diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.I then pureed the mixture. Then
 I fried the two remaining chorizos and added them. At the end I added the leftover quinoa with garlic and mushrooms.
I received a text when I was out that it was "delizioso".

 In all I walked over 11,000 steps on this outing. I had fortified myself with lunch at Union Station before I began.

I then started putting the backing on a baby quilt that I finally finished.

The Cat and the Fiddle


Thursday we took a day trip up to Midland and visited a couple of historical spots along with a lunch stop.
It's about a ninety minute drive north. As always the roads were packed with transports.
It doesn't take long before it feels like country.

Lunch stop - hot dogs and fries.

First stop (more photos to come) was the Martyrs' Shrine. This is really something to see.

The Martyrs’ Shrine is a Roman Catholic church that is consecrated to the memory of the Canadian Martyrs, six Jesuit Martyrs and two lay persons from the mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.

It was an extremely hot day with a heat warning in effect. The temperature was 33 C feeling like 37 C.
That's 91 F and 99 F for my American friends.

We were sweating as we walked around. The grounds around the church are huge.

Just a sneak preview, check back on Sunday for more.

From there we went to the historical village of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.

A kindred spirit as we went through Midland.

More moose on the loose along the highway. I love my camera lens!

On the way home we stopped at the Tanger Outlets just south of Barrie. Scored a shirt for $7 and another for $13. 

Traffic was crazy coming home.

Rather than stay stuck on the highway we got off at Jane and came straight down.
Caught this mural as we waited at a light.

Friday was mani pedi day, some grocery shopping and baking black bean avocado brownies.


Saturday - at family. Bacon wrapped steak, potatoes and salad.
Sunday - after a long drive cheese and crackers
Monday - Steak  with NEW mushroom garlic quinoa
Tuesday - Spanish chicken thighs (tried and true tradition in our house) with broccoli mashed potatoes
Wednesday - NEW cliantro garlic salmon baked in a foil package with potatoes, onions, broccoli also in a package. Leftover potatoes will become Saturday breakfast.
Thursday - pasta with homemade sauce (frozen)
Friday - steak and salad with garlic bread. leftover bread will become croutons.

Lunching around the world

Vietnam Pho soup at Green Mango Boys Cloverdale
Italy pizza at Olympic Bloor/Yonge
International Burgers at Batch in Financial District
New England Clam chowder at St. Lawrence Market
Chinese General Tao Chicken at Sawtow in Chinatown (Spadina)
Thailand Thai curry soup at Noodles and Co. in TD Centre Financial District (twice)
Mexico tacos at La Carnita John St.
Poland Cafe Polonez cabbage roll, pierogis and potato latkes.
India Aroma buffet
Asian Pork won ton noodle soup
England Afternoon Tea
International Hero burgers
Canadian and Israeli Luminato Food Festival and Taste of Toronto
Indonesian Szechuan Taste of Toronto
Japanese steamed pork bun Momouku
International - Taste of Buffalo
Jewish deli
French Canadian and Atlantic Canada

Photo Friday.

Weekend Cooking hosted by

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  1. I love your weekly recaps specially the "pepdi mae west" article.

  2. Your baby quilt design made me smile. I had no idea of the significance of Pepsi in Canada. My partner partook the New York version of poutine and it was quite disgusting, but then I am not fond of gravy.

  3. Love your photos, especially the mural. I've always been a Pepsi lover, I can't stand Coke.

  4. Thanks for the history and explanation of "pepsi." So interesting! Your cross-stitched quilt is beautiful. A work of art. I'm looking forward to more photos of the Martyrs' Shrine and the Chihuli exhibit. I've been to the Chihuly museum in Tacoma, WA, but haven't visited Chihuly Garden & Glass in Seattle. It's on my list.

  5. The museum tavern food looks super indulgent. I love how you recap the whole week instead of just a sharing a few pics.
    Congrats on the eleven thousand steps!

  6. I'm in so much love with that baby quilt! The Pepsi story is amazing! I never would have thought of Pepsi as an insult though I'm not a fan of the beverage being completely loyal to Coke. I'm fascinated by the whole concept of poutine. It sounds delicious but I've yet to find it here. Hopefully when we're able to travel a little more I'll be able to give a try.

  7. I love these posts. I too was interested in the Pepsi story. Love your quilt! Nice that you got a mural shot by taking the detour. I'll be back to see the photos of the shrine.

  8. Love the quilt. I have never had poutine but when we visit Canada I sure want to try it.

  9. My parents have been up to the Martyr's Shrine and Sainte Marie, but I never have.

  10. The Pepsi thing is really interesting. I'd never heard it, though there are many French Canadians in my area. My French fries are just real potatoes and lots of salt. Probably my favorite meal, if pressed. :<))

  11. Adorable baby quilt -- it must have been a lot of work with all those tiny stitches!
    best... mae at

  12. I would love to visit Canada and try poutine. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  13. Wow, you covered a lot in a week. I was busy looking up what a steamie is while you were explaining pepsi!

  14. Poutine has become very popular in So. Cal. They serve it with everything. I laugh at how they call it poutine when it is nothing like what you get in Quebec.

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