Saturday, March 6, 2021

Thank You Coffee

March 2021 - Toronto ON

2021 - Toronto ON

Still in lockdown although we move to the grey zone on Monday. Which confuses me because I thought we were in grey as per this chart.
The only real change for us is that "other" retailers may now open with 25% occupancy rate.

Some things got finished, my book House of Correction finally, my scarf from leftover wool and the series Breaking Bad. 

We had a spectacular sunset on Tuesday.

The rest of the week was more of the same but we had sunny days. John took a friend for a physio appointment, he had an appointment, the cleaning lady came, we had a movie afternoon, chores got done, we did a grocery run...same old. We didn't really venture out.

John and his son had a cocktail hour.


Added to My Recipe Box this week.

We made good progress with our Costco sized fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, celery, blueberries and nothing got wasted! Other fruit, two containers of strawberries (2 for $5), bag of tangerines, gooseberries also finished. The Swiss chard was not a hit.
We tried new tangerines from Longo's this week, MandaRosa mandarins are a natural cultivar of a Tarocco Blood Orange and Clementine, also known as the Mandared variety, and are officially the world’s first patented pigmented, seedless mandarin.

I had yogurt and fruit for breakfast and incorporated our "new" fruits passion fruit and gooseberries including the mandarosas. Gooseberries are not new to us, as such, but I've never bought them. We have had them occasionally when dining out.

In researching gooseberries, because our cleaning lady looked puzzled when I showed her one of these. It seems there are two types.
She is used to the green variety gooseberry or European gooseberry, is a species of flowering shrub in the currant family,

The ones I bought
Physalis peruviana, is a South American plant native to Peru and Colombia in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), commonly known as Cape gooseberry or goldenberry, known in their countries of origin as uchuva, and in Hawaii called poha.
P. peruviana is closely related to the tomatillo and the Chinese lantern. As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is related to a large number of edible plants, including tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes.
This also explains why I thought these were called tomatillos!

Spare ribs in the slow cooker and potato salad with marinated tomatoes were on the menu.

Saturday Cocktails V4.0 John chose New York Sours, and I will say these were delicious and I think my favourite to date!

Combine 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 1 ounce maple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover, and shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Gently pour 1/2 ounce fruity red wine (such as Shiraz or Malbec) over the back of a spoon held just above the drink's surface so wine floats on top.

To date we've tried:
Mai Tai with orgeat which is new to us
Tequila Sunrise
Rob Roy required bitters which we had never bought

Sunday I felt like mashed potatoes and made my trusty Spanish chicken thighs to which I added Swiss chard and broccolini.

Monday I tried the air fryer recipe for coconut shrimp and it worked very well. I served it with sauteed bok choy, broccolini and onions and a new sauce that I've added to my recipe box.

Tuesday leftover Spanish chicken thighs and I added some spicy sausage to it.

Wednesday slow cooker short ribs fajitas. I removed the meat and cut it up while the slow cooker preheated to brown and I added the green peppers, onions and jalapenos to the pot with the meat. John enjoyed the meat I prefer using a cut like flank and using a pan with my usual fajita spices.

Thursday we drove to Longo's to pick up some fruit and vegetables ($150 later) along with sushi for lunch.

Thursday dinner - Chinese curry chicken.

For lunch on Friday we had smoked meat sandwiches, it's been a long time since Costco had these.

Steak and roasted broccoli/tomatoes. The vegetables were soaked in a mixture of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper. You can put this on a baking sheet in the oven. I chose to use the slow cooker on roast. When ready cover with parmesan cheese.


Mank is a 2020 American biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941).

First of all the cinematography was gorgeous. 
Gary Oldman was spectacular as always. His delivery of his lines entertaining,
The history of the Golden Age of films is interesting. Keeping up with the characters in Hollywood movie making was a little difficult at the beginning and I knew all these names, Hearst, Mayer, Thalberg, Orson Welles, John Houseman etc.

I do now want to read more about Marion Davies, Hearst's lover. I think I'd start with The Times We Had if I can find it at the library (no, it isn't).
It would have been great to read before we had visited Hearst Castle.

I didn't know who Mank was before watching, I do know the movie Citizen Kane but am not sure if I've ever seen it.

It is a movie about fake news(reels), economic devastation, and an election in which an idealistic socialist candidate loses by the misinformation-wielding wealthy and influential mimicking real life politics.

We followed it with a silly light-hearted spoof on gangster movies. RocknRolla is a 2008 action crime film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Gemma Arterton and Toby Kebbell.

We also watched Close, a 2019 action thriller film directed by Vicky Jewson and starring Noomi Rapace. Rapace's character is based on that of Jacquie Davis, one of the world's leading female bodyguards, whose clients have included J. K. Rowling, Nicole Kidman and members of the British royal family.


Still don't have my reading mojo.
I read The Mars Room and didn't like it, I thought I would. But it just didn't flow and it was frankly, boring.

On my phone I have Before This Is Over, it was okay. Perhaps because I am reading it in the midst of our own pandemic, I am a little blasé about the topic. It didn't help that the mother is a total helicopter parent and very annoying. However the circumstances in the book are much more dire, water getting contaminated, losing power, food shortages, mob mentality as people steal and injure others to get drugs and food. 


  1. I have seen those SA gooseberries called "physallis." Oddly the place I saw them was a pub in Galway, Ireland! They were used as a garnish for a dessert, and we asked about them. The European gooseberry was banned for a long time in the US because it carried "white pine blister rust" -- a disease of lumber trees. So it is more or less unknown here.

    be safe... mae at

  2. Just a big WOW for your new header. You've got such a great view!

  3. Jackie,
    Thanks for sharing the Netflix show- I'm always on the lookout and Close looks good. I've heard of Citizen Kane but don't think I've ever seen the movie. Liked the look of those blood tangerines! Congrats on you mention!!

  4. I also have trouble keeping track of this covid thing. Anyhow if I'm in building I have my mask on and either use hand sanitzer or wash my hands.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  5. I don't know that I could read Before This is Over before it is over.

  6. Congrats, Jackie, on your CFFC blog mention. Close looks like an interesting film to watch. #WeekendCoffeeShare

  7. Very cool. I will also look for those films. I'd not heard of Close, it sounds like something I'd like. Thank you.

  8. Those madarin oranges look interesting, and I've heard great things about Mank. I'm glad that you liked it as well.

  9. If you want to see opening up, come to Texas. Our governor apparently thinks the pandemic is over since 7% of the population has now been vaccinated. Sigh.

    I don't know what gooseberries are...had to look these up. I don't know why I've never seen these in the stores.

    Coconut shrimp looks good.

    My reading mojo has suffered after all the stress of opening up Texas. Hope you and I get it back soon.

  10. Sad about the Swiss chard! I love it sauteed with garlic in a little olive oil. I have been making cocktails a lot during the pandemic and joined a Facebook group called Virtual Happy Hour in the Age of Plague, where everyone posts only pictures of cocktails and recipes for cocktails. I have several different flavors of bitters now, but keep coming across recipes calling for flavors I don't have (yet), such as celery!

  11. I tried gooseberries for the first time last year. Friends of mine grew them. I made a gooseberry blueberry pie (I didn't have enough gooseberries so I added blueberries), it was so good. I LOVE using my air fryer too.


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