Saturday, September 19, 2020

Self-Isolation Week 28

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

September 2020 - Toronto ON


Social gathering numbers in three regional hotspots will be further restricted, Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday after Ontario reported 293 new COVID-19 cases.
Toronto, Peel and Ottawa will be limited to 10 people at indoor gatherings and 25 at outdoor ones. That’s down from previous Stage 3 limits of 50 people and 100 people.
The three regions have been reporting significantly higher rates of new infections than other regions in Ontario. Public health officials have stated these new cases are mostly due to private social gatherings. Seventy per cent of today’s new cases are in people under the age of 40,” health minister Christine Elliott wrote on Twitter. 

Whoever said "hindsight is 20/20" never envisioned the year 2020.

And to think this is the meme I used when I completed our 2019 yearly recap!!!!!

This marks just the second time in history that forecasters have had to resort to the Greek alphabet because available storm names have been exhausted.
The World Meteorological Organization has a list of 21 potential storm names, listed alphabetically from A to W (there are no Q, U, X, Y or Z names because of availability).There's only been one other year – 2005 – that Greek names have been needed, where officials had to use a total of six Greek letters.

We are seeing the smoke from the wildfires here in Toronto. This was the sunset the other night.

Came across this line.

Due to current conditions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

And on the home front:

The weekend passed in a blur of activities. Along with the usual laundry etc we rearranged John's exercise machine and decided to get rid of the bookcase which led to finding homes for items, books to be donated, wine relegated to another spot, stained glass, push desk further back. 

John filled in the spacing in the hall closet that has been there since we had to closets replaced.

Hung a picture in the hall. Cleared some items from the hall closet to the bedroom closet. Cleared off some shelves in the bedroom by hanging some more photos.

Decided that three travel bags can go into the locker for now. No plans for them in the foreseeable future. John took the some of the work tools he was using down to the locker as well.

John filled in the holes from when the closets were replaced.

Walking over to get ice cream, but disappeared in a matter of moments! Pumpkin spice and sassy turtle.

When I was at the AGO last week I saw a bag that I thought would be great as a cushion cover. 💡💡💡 Why not use a bag I had at home! Note to self, stitch the top.

John had an eye appointment on Monday morning.

The hibiscus had flowered when I went out to water the plants.

Tuesday John golfed and I headed to Queen and Portland to find some front line hero murals - see them on Monday.

I finally wore one of my new mask/scarfs.

Walking along King St.

I had posted that Kit Kat had closed a few weeks ago, and I wondered if the cows were gone, yes, they are. But the red piano is still there.

TIFF Toronto International Film Festival is on. I might need this cushion but it is too orange for me.

And we thought our favourite pizza place was closed due to Covid...

Interesting, as I turned up Portland.

A couple of purchases.

I decided we needed a mask station. I took a canvas art frame, printed off an image and used clear glue to laminate it, used velcro around the frame.

Wednesday I went to College Park. Walking along Carlton.

The old hockey arena, Maple Leaf Gardens is now part of Ryerson's University campus and houses a Loblaw's grocery store.

I saw this in Loblaw's and it is gluten free.

Thursday we took the 9:10 shuttle downtown and headed to the ROM, Royal Ontario Museum. We had members' timed entry tickets for 10:30 to see Winnie the Pooh.

All photos are our property.

Featuring interactive activities and larger-than-life environments, this exhibition will make you fall in love again with these thoughtful characters and delight in their resourcefulness while appreciating the universal themes of cooperation, friendship and tolerance that they embody. Showcasing original sketches, manuscripts, letters, photographs and memorabilia, Winnie-the Pooh brings to life the story behind the creative partnership of author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard. Finally, have your own Heritage Minute and find out how a black bear from White River, Ontario, inspired the honey-loving, yellow-furred bear of very little brain in this exhibition exclusively at the ROM, the only Canadian stop on the tour.

We've been to White River, ON!! 

There are also collections of Pooh memorabilia spanning almost a century, tracking the characters’ embrace around the globe.

Looking at the Gardiner Museum as we left ROM. We stopped for a Starbucks, pumpkin spice for John and a flat white (my first since March) for me. We then headed home to get our dinner delivery as mentioned in the cooking section.

Friday John golfed with some real turkeys.

I went to Chinatown, again, I say we should buy all our fruits and vegetables here. So much cheaper than the grocery store. I mean, really, six limes for a dollar! I know there are places in the world that you can get them cheaper (Mexico) but this is a good deal for us.

I also got pickled ginger and hoisin sauce. I know I can make my own sauce and have, but sometimes it's just nice to have it at hand.

Union Station at noon is like a ghost station.


September 2020 - Chinatown Shopping 

I found this recipe because I have so many bananas in my freezer banana cake with pineapple cream cheese icing. It also used up the remaining pineapple I had leftover from sweet and sour pork. I also had a lot of cream cheese and it happened to use shortening which I bought ages ago for who knows what. The recipe makes too much icing but I found out that you can freeze it so I did.

I made a soup from freezer chicken bones and vegetables. I added Italian sausage and some tomato sauce and paprika.

TIP - I learned this week. Put a dish towel over the soup pot when using the immersion blender so it stays in the pot and not all your walls!

Saturday we had Spanish chicken thighs with hot Italian sausage, green peppers, carrots and celery along with mashed potatoes.

Sunday ham served with potatoes and cabbage.

Monday lunch was ham and cheese toasties on tortillas and dinner was kale and spinach quiche made with homemade gluten free Bisquik.

Tuesday and a big ✅✅✅ on my cooking bucket list.

John has been yearning (and me) for my pork dumplings. I first learned this recipe in a Szechuan cooking class way back in the mid 80s. But since John's conversion to gluten free due to a family history of celiac we haven't made them.
We made this gluten free dumpling wrapper recipe and it was perfect, we just have to work on our rolling (larger size) technique and presentation.

John opened one of our summer's collection of Ontario roses.

John had come across this recipe for shrimp salad rolls a golf magazine and thought it would be good to try. I made it for Wednesday's dinner and it was delicious with enough leftover for my lunch.

TIP - I learned this week. The shrimp were put in an ice bath after cooking. Put the ice into a baggie and you won't get soggy shrimp!!

Thursday we were invited to participate in a virtual cooking demonstration where you will learn how to layer lasagna like Chef Andrew’s Nonna* (grandmother*).

This virtual experience includes everything you need to make Parcheggio’s coveted lasagna from the comfort of home! Enter Chef’s Zoom kitchen for a live, interactive demonstration with Chef Andrew Piccinin, where he’ll teach you how to make the perfect pasta dough, roll out the sheets, and guide you through making the meat ragu. The virtual class comes with a menu kit delivered to your front door!

And our kit arrived along with a bottle of wine.

Ours was the gluten free option, others got lasagna sheets.

You will require a device to open the zoom meeting.

There were about 30 attendees. It was interesting to see into other people's kitchens and see how they handled the zoom app.

The chef walked us through the recipes and did a great demo on making your own pasta.

The chef mentioned that croutons are horrible to eat, instead the package contained bread crumbs for the salad. Since we had gluten free we didn't get any so I made my own from homemade frozen cheese biscuits I had.

Friday and John had asked for a chocolate orange mousse. I used this recipe from a local blogger, Kevin at Closet Cooking. Delicious.

Steak, garlic bread and sauteed bok choy, cabbage and bean sprouts.


September 2020 - Spadina St. Toronto

Project Bookmark Canada is a one-of-a-kind, Canadian cultural innovation. Though many countries have tangible tributes to literature and writers, no other initiative in the world creates a permanent series of site-specific literary exhibits using text from imagined stories that take place in real locations.
#26 Knowing I Live in a Dark Age, by Milton Acorn
Corner of College and Spadina From Jawbreakers

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is going virtual this year. Please check it out.

We're watching Greenleaf together.  And John is now calling me Lady May after the domineering matriarch...

I finished The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I didn't love it.

I started reading The Second Wife, a quick read.


  1. The good news is that we're all spiffing up our homes??? Love, love, love that idea of using a tote for a pillow cover--what a super idea! Ha ha on the "popcorn for dinner" sign; one of my favorite dinners when Mr. BFR is not around. Also love your mask station. How cool to do a cooking class! I have one last bottle of rose in the refrigerator, but now it seems too cold out to drink it. I'm sure we'll have one last warm day, when I crack it open.

  2. Great tip on the dish towel for the immersion blender! I've almost given up on mine. I'm going to try that. Your tote bag pillow looks so good I'm going to explore my tote bag collection immediately to see if I can copy the idea. I love it!

  3. Wow! Now that's a meaty post! And yes, good idea on the pillow tote. I have a mask station at home, too. It comes in handy and maybe someday I'll just hang kitchen towels or aprons on it! Love the idea of the cooking class - my last one was back last winter before Covid. Speaking of which, I hear we are still prohibited from crossing the border. So close and yet so far away and I'm just dying to get there! And you've been busy with all the pulling the things together. Well done. Oh, the Pooh exhibit -- I would LOVE to go! Happy week!

  4. I didn't know about running out of names for storms.
    It's sad to see Union Station deserted, as it is sad to see photos of our city deserted. I hope your numbers quickly lower. I've noticed here that a mask weariness is setting in and people are being careless.
    Isn't it interesting to see other people's kitchens.

  5. I have ask what is social house. A like yellow bench and wish people here would take the covid seriously

  6. 2020 is a crazy year for sure. But you've been busy and still having a good week from what I can see. Minus the bad things in the world right now-fires, hurricanes, covid. But some things are at least mostly out of our control. Happy new week.

  7. I would love the Winnie the Pooh exhibition.
    Love your new tote pillow, what a great idea. And your mask station is cute.
    Had to laugh at that first sign of the 2020 vision, no one could imagine how this year would turn out.
    Great tip about the dish towel for the blender.

  8. Your outdoor scenes again are very enjoyable and make me wish we could take the 6 hr.trip to Toronto.

    Be well... mae at

  9. If people here would simply follow the rules our governor set out for us....but, no, we live across from where the Rotary Club meets each week...big gatherings...few masks. Very irritating.

    Love that purple mask.

    We are eye-to-eye with Beta, the second of the Greek-named storms. Sigh. We just brought all the outdoor things into the garage for the fourth time this summer.

    Kale and spinach quiche sounds so good. I am definitely doing a quiche next week. And I do have some spinach.

    How nice to be able to do a cooking class over Zoom.

    I will definitely plan to attend the Toronto International Festival of Authors. Thanks for the heads up.

    Have a lovely week, Jackie.

  10. What a great photographic record of the pandemic your blog posts are! I'm wondering if the film festival had to be virtual this year or not. We listened to a Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me show on the radio yesterday that had a set of questions on the theme of Ottowa, "also known as 'No, That's Toronto You're Thinking Of". Toronto is so much cooler! ;) (Popcorn for dinner is a favorite for me, too, by the way.)
    My Weekend Cooking post is at:

  11. I love the cushion you made from your tote! And your mask station! Our clean ones are all in a jumble near our key organizer. The Winnie-the-Pooh exhibit looks lovely! I stumbled on the "Project Bookmark Canada" when we visited PEI last year. I love that idea so much!

    Enjoy your week!

  12. Oh, I'd love to attend that Winnie-the-Pooh event. Such a favorite author and books.


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