Saturday, October 10, 2020

Open To Serve You (NOT)

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

October 2020 - Toronto 

I am bored with counting the self-isolation weeks (31) in the title! So I will track the weeks here and write more inspiring titles, food related.


Well, so much for my optimistic title and opening photo! I chose these last Saturday without the NOT!
As of yesterday, Friday, the numbers reached a new (not a good thing) record of 939!! Soooooooooo...
The provincial government said that indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars, and other food establishments will be closed for almost a month to stop the spread of the virus.
Indoor gyms and fitness centres, casinos, performing arts centres and venues, and interactive exhibits are all asked to shut down as well.
There will also be a reduction in social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
The province is also prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service.

This upcoming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and this is what the province has to say.

Torontonians should not gather with anyone they do not live with on Thanksgiving, the city’s top doctor said on Monday.
And if you live alone? Tuning into Thanksgiving dinner virtually is the “safest” option.
“Please do not hold a big Thanksgiving dinner. Please, limit your Thanksgiving dinner to the people you live with,” Toronto Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa said during a press briefing at city hall. “If you live alone, the safest option is to join with others virtually".
Thanksgiving, which is on October 12, is the first statutory holiday in Ontario since the second wave began.

Ontario opened its casinos last week with scaled back operations. We're not casino fans so it makes no difference to us, however, it seems an odd thing to do with our mounting numbers, oh wait, it's all about the money. I had written that earlier in the week!

Here is a gloomy, depressing article about one reporter's visit.

The homeless have set up camps in parks throughout the city as there is no room in shelters due to social distancing requirements which reduced the number of spots available although there is a Toronto bylaw banning tents and camping in city parks.

In pre-pandemic times they would be cleared out by the city but this year they have been allowed to stay.

A couple of photos I took over the summer surreptitiously. 

This guy is settled quite comfortably in front of Old City Hall on Queen St. West.

And then there was the fly on the wall head at the debate. And the internet goes fly-crazy!


With the pandemic numbers as high as they are we didn't venture very far.

When in Michael's on Friday with my BFF I bought some fall flowers (40% off) for my table centrepiece. John cut the stems on Saturday.

Monday I headed out on the 9:10 bus for a haircut. I wandered underground as I was early. 

Shoe shine? 

Kanga meat pies, Australian style.

Commerce Court looking rather empty at coffee break time.

You can't see this art deco building amid the towers above. 

Fall plantings.

John headed to golf and I came home on the 11:30 bus. 

Thank goodness he took some photos otherwise there would be none this week!

I poked around doing this and that. I framed a couple of photos of us. We had hung some a few weeks ago.

Tuesday John did another Costco run as they did not have toilet paper or paper towels last week. An employee was handing out one package per customer. He also got us a turkey.

Wednesday John golfed with his usual buddies and I met a friend in the building for a short chat.

Thursday John bottled our wine.

Friday I had plans to go out but decided to not tempt fate and we took the car to get vegetables for the long weekend. John cancelled his golf.

I did the paperwork for our floor replacement coming up in November. In light of that John took some stuff down to the locker and brought up some boxes for packing things.


August 2020 - Queen St. West Toronto

John has been dying for pizza so he ordered from a new place that has gluten free pizza and went to pick it up on Saturday.
Panago definitely decent takeout pizza.

I made gluten free pumpkin pancakes. I mixed the batter while John went to pick up the pizza last night. A keeper. Note to self - use the griddle.

For dinner we decided to try making gluten free puff pastry. I decided to use the recipe from GFJules and I buy my flour from her. It was a fun exercise. It didn't really come out like a puff or phyllo pastry but it was decent pastry.
I stuffed it with a ground lamb, spinach and feta cheese for a version of Greek meat pies. I also made a homemade tzatziki and had a salad on the side.

Cucumbers being drained for tzatziki.

John working the dough.

It felt nice and buttery.

Monday we used up Sunday's leftovers.

Tuesday roast chicken, homemade gravy, roast potatoes.

Wednesday hot chicken sandwiches (last night's chicken) with copycat Swiss Chalet sauce and salad.
The chicken carcass and leftover Swiss Chalet sauce were made into chicken stock which will be the basis for our Thanksgiving turkey gravy.

Thursday pork belly and sauteed bok choy and scallions which had been languishing in the fridge.

Friday steak and sauteed broccoli.


I read and finished The Wives, turned out very differently from what I expected. But the plot turns out to be totally unbelievable.

I started  Many Rivers to Cross,  part of the Alan Banks series, written in 2019. He touches on all the current events such as #MeToo, Brexit - interesting to see an immigrant's feelings about the British, Trump - considered absolutely despicable.


  1. Sad to hear that you are experiencing a surge in Covid cases. I hope you'll soon go back to normal!

    be well... mae at

  2. We too are expecting a stay-at-home Thanksgiving, even though we're at least a month later than you are. Beautiful fall trees! We are going to try to go for hike midweek (to avoid others on the trail) and take some photos. That pizza looks FAB!

    1. We also like to go out during the week and early in the morning.

  3. The cabbage plants, the fall scenery and your pumpkin mousse look wonderful! Have a great week.

  4. Do you have a recipe for the pumpkin mousse ?

  5. It's so frustrating to go "back" with what's open and closed. We just went through 4 weeks of it and now on on another tiered reopening plan but thankfully I was able to get a haircut this week. Hang in there! ;-)

  6. Judee, I have added it to the post and I'll drop by you and leave a link too!

  7. I love your shots of the Fall plantings. Beautiful! Not so good the Draconian Thanksgiving dictates.

    1. I don't consider it Draconian. The problem is the irresponsible people who spoil it for the rest of us.

  8. Sure is pretty fall there. Our Thanksgiving is in November and looks like my hubby are going to buy couple of cornish game hen. Unless this virus goes poof and it's no more. Which I doubt.

  9. It is all very well for the top doctor to suggest what to do, but where is the Premier who should be imposing restrictions?
    Homelessness has been a big problem here, until COVID when suddenly money was found to house people, albeit some just in hotels.
    Pepper steak pie! I limit to one a week.
    The trees in their autumn colours look beautiful.
    Hmm, you spell phyllo as in pastry different to us. Filo pastry.

    1. Our premier is an a$$ and puppet.
      They did house some of the homeless in an empty hotel but the neighbours complained about having them there. A case of NIMBY.
      I popped over to yours to mention phyllo/filo. Seems both are used, phyllo coming from the Greek for leaf. I've also seem it called puff pastry.

  10. As I read your posts, I think I want to comment on this and that, but by the end I have forgotten the early ones lol.

    I will say that the Kanga pies look pretty Aussie, although I am not sure I have ever seen a creamy zucchini pie here!

    Love those fall colours.

    Sorry you are going back into tighter restrictions. We have been in very strict restrictions for more than 100 days now, and it is going to be another few weeks yet.

  11. Ontario is a mess, we have a few more cases here but they're in self-isolation, a flight from Africa. Gosh your meals are amazing Jackie, I am in awe. Love the photo framing too. Well, all of your post on everything. I had to go to casinos, etc, as part of my job at one point and I always found them utterly depressing. No one looked happy. And I am grateful I didn't get that gambling gene. The mathematical odds for winning are almost zero.


  12. I read this morning that there have been 1 million new cases in the world in the last three days. I am so sad for Canada. It's horribly frustrating here. The president acts like he could care less about anyone getting the virus. Fifteen hundred people in our little town have come down with the virus and 23 have died. I do not understand this.

    I love that Greek yogurt pumpkin cheesecake mousse. I must take a look at the recipe.

    Thanks for your husband's golf shots. We don't get fall color here, and I am happy when I get a chance to see a little.

    I don't know how I miss things, but I completely missed the fly. Hahaha.

    I hope things get better soon in Toronto.

  13. Love your pics! So varied and interesting. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a lovely week!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving! My friends in Denver say that a similar situation is happening with the homeless there. The city government is trying to get a camping area set up for them in an unused parking lot so they can camp while social distancing. I hope you have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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