Saturday, June 13, 2020

Self-Isolation Week 14

Weekend Cooking is now hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader!

June 2020 - Toronto ON

A mural of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who died after falling from her apartment balcony in Toronto last week, was painted in Graffiti Alley.

All we're asking for is peace. Toronto protests last weekend.

Prime Minister Trudeau took a knee in Ottawa during a protest.

Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi, speaks about protests in his city.

Saturday saw several peaceful protests in Toronto. Some businesses had boarded up their buildings and the Eaton Centre was closed in case of looting, but none of it was necessary.

This week was our busiest since the lockdown began. As of this Friday, June 12, it has been 93 days for us.
But this week we got our EVERY day!

Monday we headed to Graffiti Alley to see the new BLM murals painted on the weekend. 
A group of local artists came together to paint murals of George Floyd and other Black figures throughout Toronto’s Graffiti Alley over the weekend, in support of anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

I posted many of the murals here.

Ready for a fight?

Now it just so happened that the block we parked on, Queen St. West near Spadina is in the Fashion District.

Despite several closures over the years, Toronto's Fashion District—which stretches from Queen past King, between Bathurst and Spadina—is still home to just over ten shops supplying the craft-inclined with the tools they need to turn nothing into something.

And, it so happens, that we were right in front of a store with a moving sale AND sewing machines in the window. So I said I would check it out when we came back to the car. 
I've regretted not moving my sewing machine when we moved. 

So we returned to the car and I am now the proud owner of a new sewing machine!

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has seen a dramatic increase in homeless encampments across the city as inhabitants find themselves without shelter space and apprehensive of facilities that have become vectors for the deadly virus.

Early in March, the city imposed a moratorium on clearing homeless encampments, given the challenges of ensuring physical distancing in shelters. But the city has since resumed the removals of the encampments as they implement new, temporary housing measures for the homeless.

We made a stop at Peach Berserk to pick up a replacement mask for a friend as it still has not come in the mail. I insisted on paying for it as I will keep the mailed one (if it ever comes). Canada Post is so overwhelmed these days they are now working 7/24! Who thought that would ever happen??

John headed out to golf and I set up my machine. That is as far as I have gotten with it this week.

Tuesday we took a trip to the Niagara Wine Region. We knew they weren't really open, but thought we'd check them out and get some photos.
You can read about it here Day Trippin' 2.0

A brewery in the middle of wine country.

First ice cream of the season. Grapefruit and raspberry lemonade.

We bought a rose here.

Next stop - London Born

The owner said this was their pizza wine $10, so we got one!

Hockey stick holding the debit machine as John paid for lunch.

Wednesday John golfed early, it was a hot hot day with the humidity making it feel like 37C.

I took my first trip on public transit - bus, since March. Every other seat is blocked off, you must enter and exit by the back door, and the driver area is unapproachable. A man got on and asked how he paid, she said, they don't accept cash any longer. Glad we have our Presto cards.

Subway ads thanking frontline workers and providing Covid information.

A spot for buskers.

Headed to Bloor West Village.

Queen of Hearts with mask and it says Essentials.

I like the creativity of these signs - Keep about 24 body butters apart.

Thursday and the weather changed to a cool 22C sunny and windy. We had incredible storms north of us overnight and two tornadoes touched down around London On.

We decided to see if there were any changes to the murals at the Underpass Park.

Turns out there weren't many changes or additions.

The condos are sprouting like crazy in this area.

We picked up a dinner for two from August 8, our favourite sushi restaurant.

dinner for 2
miso soup (2)
green salad (2)
salmon sushi (2 pcs)
white tuna sushi (2 pcs)
shrimp sushi (2 pcs)
crab stick sushi (2 pcs)
california roll (6 pcs)
spicy salmon roll (6 pcs)
chicken teriyaki & fried rice
shrimp tempura (2 pcs)
vegetable tempura (4 pcs)
deep fried vegetable spring roll (2 pcs)

It was good, but this is our second takeout since the lockdown and neither have lived up to our expectations. Next time we will just pick up sushi and skip the warm items as they just can't do justice to eating them in house.

Some parcels arrived. John got me a larger food processor using some credit card points. This is 8 cups mine was only 3 cups.

Our frying pans had gotten worn out.

First tomato from our plant.

Friday and it is cool and sunny. John golfed.
I took the streetcar (first time since March) to Dufferin and then walked back to Roncesvalles. This area is not very gentrified and is known as Parkdale.

I popped into Dollarama and got some potting soil and a small planter. There are several local shops selling really lovely plants and I picked up a couple. Par of our shop local initiative.

A really worn mural, must look and see if I can find a photo of the original.

Though his restaurant is new, Jerome Robinson is a familiar face and name in Toronto. He has been catering for years and participated in some of Toronto's food festivals. In fact it is so new, he only opened March 7 a week before we all went into lockdown. It will be on my list to visit when restaurants are allowed to open.

Another store I want to visit.

Lovebird - chicken ALL GLUTEN FREE! Can't wait to try.

Garleek Kitchen is an Asian fusion restaurant serving Tibet, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka & Vietnam cuisine, very intriguing.

Little Tibet is an enclave of Parkdale that is home to the largest concentration of Tibetans outside of Asia.
Known as 'the gateway' to Canada, Parkdale and its historically affordable housing have long been viewed as ideal landing ground for those fleeing Chinese-occupied Tibet.

In the window of The Rug Club.

A short walk, 2km but lots of crossing back and forth and poking into various shops.

I potted the lavender plant I bought on Bloor St. this week with another plant.

I put a lace piece from Brussels on the new screen otherwise John was going to walk through it!

Two new plants in the new planter from Dollarama.

WOW what a week we were out five days in a row!


Roast chicken roast potatoes broccolini and carrots.

The chicken carcass went into the soup pot with some added vegetables.

I had a bag of carrots that were getting past their best, going a little woody and mushy. So I made a pot of  creamy ginger carrot soup using some of the homemade stock from the chicken.

Then I made a coconut carrot loaf with a cream cheese icing. Most recipes had 8 oz of cream cheese in the icing which seemed excessive so I found this one that had 3 oz and it still made a little too much. A keeper.

I made a lemon cheesecake gluten free, and forgot to take a photo!

Leftover roast chicken Caesar salad - dressing from Jamie Oliver Keep Cooking and Carry On TV show. John, who used to make our Caesar dressing declared this to be the best. I had the recipe in my 15 Minute Dinners by Jamie Oliver in my collection. Another keeper.

Pasta Carbonara I used prosciutto and I had some frozen brie in the freezer so I used that to replace some of the cheese.
Using the GFJules flour I made homemade gluten free buttermilk biscuits. These were really good, to me they were as good as "regular" biscuits!

Salmon with Caesar salad

Korean meatballs (frozen from last batch) lettuce wraps (romaine works better than iceberg) with peanut sauce

Oven fried chicken and potato salad

Steak and potato salad, we enjoyed it so much last night I made another batch.


We finished Prison Break! So we started on Queen of the South.

I am nearing the end of  Mad Men. UPDATE I'm at season 7 episode 3 and on June 9 Netflix pulled it!!!

I started watching a British series Bodyguard.


I discovered why I have done so little reading during lockdown. I did a lot of my reading before this in transit. On buses, subway streetcars etc. This week is the first time in 15 weeks that I have used public transit.

I am still on Tessa Hadley's Late in the Day, it was slow going at the beginning but is now getting a little more interesting.


Since travelling is off the table at the moment I am revisiting our travels for The Food Edition.

Breakfast in Mexico is one of my favourite meals from the cafe de olla to the gorditas and everything in between.

Some breakfast menu items you can find.
Papas con chorizo
Mexican style scrambled eggs
Chilaquiles with eggs

In 2019 we found a new restaurant, La Martina in La Noria, courtesy of friends. And we went back several times.


  1. ...Maya Angelou was one smart cookie!!!

  2. Good Maya Angelou quote. I hadn't heard of Bodyguards will need to check it.
    I left you comment on another post - new Tana French book coming out!! Can't wait. NIce Mad Men photo, that John Hamm is a nice looking man :-)

  3. I watched Bodyguard twice, a rare thing for me. Collateral is another one for you if you like it. Fleabag is amazing. And all these pictures. Reminder to myself, my Cuisinart is original and about 50 years old. Still does a fine job.

    the sushi made me salivate.


  4. I really admire and respect the wisdom and inspiration of Maya Angelou- one of my favorite authors!

  5. I always love looking at all the art on your posts--so beautiful. Toronto is such a vibrant city. It's great you got out so many days too. ;-)

  6. Your collection of street art is awesome!

    be well... mae at

  7. Bodyguard was so good! And yay for new appliances! I got a couple of new toys recently and so we are busy trying out new things!

  8. Hope you enjoy your new sewing machine. I have a brother sewing machine also

  9. While they are a long concentrated read, I really enjoy your weekly round up of your lives. I heard elsewhere that COVID transmission in Toronto is still high? What do you know? We are people with a food processor that sits unused in a cupboard. The stick blender and mandolin seem to do the job. The nightmare of sewing machines was knowing how to thread them, but I did learn. The Brother looks pretty easy. Did you carry a bag of potting mix back home on the street car?

    1. We are trending down this week, but still not ready to move from Stage 1, which is fine with me.
      Andrew, it was a very small bag of soil!!!!

  10. I'm glad you have been able to get out every day. The murals and storefronts you photograph always brighten my week. We walk each day, but we live in a small town, and there are only a couple of murals. It seems like now would be a good time for people to be painting murals.

    I used to have a sewing machine. It was a very simple machine, going forwards and backwards, but it was perfect for me. I can see that a sewing machine would be a wonderful tool to have, especially right now.

    I love the idea of a carrot soup (I've never tried that) and carrot bread. We have carrots in our garden and they are almost ready.

  11. you have a lot of talented street artists - great captures

  12. Oh all these street photography just made me so happy! Thank you so much for taking us around! Happy New Week!

  13. I love all the street art. It makes me wish I was good at artistic things. I hope you have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  14. I always enjoy your mural photos. What a wonderful project. My Sunday Salon post

  15. I'm dizzy from this long walk through Toronto. ☺ I've never seen pictures of this city taken this way. I will definitely be back to see them again.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a good day!

  16. It looks like Canada is doing much better with peaceful protests than the USA is doing. To let painters paint murals about the BLM subject, is much more constructive than looting! Maye having to do with that it's not an election year for Trudeau. Good for you I would have bout a new sewing machine as well:):) Hope you like this one.That ice cream looks so good.Gluten free chicken - wonder how that would taste ... Happy for you that you could get out every day! Here, it depends on where one lives, even in the same state. Someone from Berkely (2 1/2 hrs. West coast came to our house, and he couldn't get over it, that "no one is wearing as mask here!" Many thanks for sharing this inspiring post with All Seasons Jackie:) Since I'm moving (thank you for the kind comment!), am wishing you a terrific upcoming 4-6 weeks, jesh

    1. Gluten free chicken would just mean that the coating uses flour that is not wheat based and gluten free breadcrumbs.


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