Friday, April 23, 2021


April 2021 - Toronto ON

Balzac's café inside the Toronto Reference Library (closed at the moment).

2019 - Yonge St. Toronto

Excellent article in the Washington Post on the Premier of Ontario - Doug Ford Must Resign.
An excellent article from Toronto Life saying that closing outdoor recreation spots doesn't make any sense. "I can tell you that over 90 per cent of the cases coming into our hospital are from essential workplaces and their households. Just before we got on the phone I was talking to a patient with nine family members who all tested positive, all traceable to one person who works in a trucking plant."
As of Wednesday DoFo has been MIA, claimed he was "exposed" to a colleague who had tested positive and was "working from home".

Weekend chores done, laundry and housework and time to play.

Monday Mural this week and last since I forgot.

Ditto Tuesday Treasures this week and last.

Monday John did a Costco run.

I received my anti-fatigue mat I ordered for the kitchen. I spend so much time standing there cooking and watching my laptop.

Then we go this news Ontario Winter Storm will be bringing 35 cm of snow!

Looking the window on Wednesday to see how much snow we got I see this! According to one of our doormen, the van was stolen at Costco and the police gave chase.

Thursday John felt it was safe to get his snow tires removed. This was the first year he ever bought snow tires (we are "normally" away in the winter) and he didn't need them!
Our order from Simon's arrived.
Turtlenecks for John, for cold golfing mornings, WHEN they are allowed to reopen.

New sheets, dish towel and red faux leather round placemats.

I love that they don't come wrapped in plastic, instead they each have a matching drawstring bag.

I finally, gasp, almost have my new sewing machine set up, it took some YouTube videos.

Friday we went for a drive after lunch. We've been obeying the stay at home directive, but had enough. We took the car and didn't interact with anyone.
High Park has closed off access to the cherry blossoms again this year.

As we drove along Bloor St. W.

We were headed to the University of Toronto cherry blossoms.

Then along Bloor and Dundas W for some mural hunting.

We took a couple of short walks and I found a gluten free bakery so I picked up a few things. I also went into Bulk Barn for Virginia peanuts.

Inside the bakery where I stopped.

Window shopping.

Birdo and Alfalfa

Lauren Pirie project.

Monyzak aka Mony Zakhour mural.

This mural by Ben Lory marks the location where Muhammad Ali trained to fight local boxer George Chuvalo. Hop over to this link and see a plaque commemorating that fight on Ossington, lots of murals there too!

Bakery items.


John chose the Boulevardier.
Loosely translated, a boulevardier is a man-about-town. A cocktail by the same name was created by Erskine Gwynne, the publisher of “Boulevardier,” a magazine for expats living in Paris during the 1920s. The drink was popularized after it was included in Harry MacElhone’s 1927 book “Barflies and Cocktails.” In it, the author credited the cocktail to Gwynne, a regular at MacElhone’s bar. It’s a tidy story, like the drink it inspired.
  • 1 1/4 ounces bourbon (or rye)
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth


Mai Tai with orgeat which is new to us
Tequila Sunrise
Rob Roy required bitters which we had never bought
New York Sours 
Gin Fizz
Rusty Nail
Vodka Sidecar
Vodka Cosmopolitan
The Perfect Storm


Saturday, feeling lazy, pizza. First time done in air fryer, tasted great and took no time.

Sunday ham, mashed turnip carrots and mashed cauliflower and potatoes and Brussel sprouts.

Monday freezer chili I had made back for Super Bowl. I also made some pineapple/mango ice cream the frozen fruit has been hanging around the freezer.

Tuesday slow cooker short rib stew with potatoes, carrots, turnip, celery. I had some leftover vegetables from Sunday that went in to thicken the gravy, also leftover and frozen.

I baked a carrot cake and divided it into three portions and froze two while I made a cream cheese icing for the remaining piece.

Wednesday I was going to make deer battered shrimp wraps, but it got late (video call) so I just sauteed the shrimps with butter and garlic and served them in gluten free wraps with radishes, red onions, cilantro, cabbage and limes along with sour cream and hot sauce. Delicious.

Thursday lamb doner kabab, homemade tzatziki. I tried this recipe for gluten free pitas (GFJules) for the second time and they felt good as I made the dough but they turned out really hard. So I'm on the hunt for a better one.

The lamb doner kabab turned out amazing, almost like the real thing. I will publish my version of the recipe this week.

Friday steak fries and clean out the veg bin - cherry tomatoes, green pepper, onions and bok choy. This time John did the chips and the steak at (almost) the same time in the air fryer. We are loving the air fryer!!


We watched a mini-series Rebellion about the Easter Uprising in Ireland. Not well done at all, in fact we didn't even finish it. I know my history but this was so convoluted and confusing to follow. It also had bad reviews.

Tuesday movies:
Solace starring Anthony Hopkins

Eye of the Beholder was peculiar but intriguing although it had awful ratings. It was mainly filmed in Montreal.

 We caught up on our mural favourites, The Resident, 911 Lone Star, Top Chef, Top Chef Canada, MasterChef Canada, Blue Bloods.

Friday we watched 1917, the title indicates that it is a movie about World War 1 and depicts the horror of war. The technical brilliance of the filming is overpowering.

For my kitchen watching I am working my way through the Great Australian Bake Off seasons. I am happy with the judges, and liked the hosts in season 1, they weren't silly. But the hosts in season 2 and 3, where I am, annoy me to no end just as the early hosts on the British version.


I never think to borrow magazines at the library but as I was browsing I saw a copy of Canadian Living and thought I would skim through it on my laptop.
It has to be 10 years or more since I bought a magazine.
There was a recipe for shrimp croquettes and earlier this week  I had seen a contestant on MasterChef UK make shrimp fritters. So I am thinking I might do that this week.

BTW my laptop moves around the house with me and becomes my TV/Netflix viewer in the kitchen. In the bedroom I will watch YouTube/DailyMotion on it.

On my laptop - Good Veg well laid out and lots of inspiration. We eat a lot of vegetables so I am always looking for creative ways to use them. I am intrigued by the chia jams.
This sounds like a perfect vegetarian dish for an appetizer. Tiny baked potatoes with spiced chickpeas. 
I learned that there is a gluten free Asian noodle called hor fun, a flat wide rice noodle available in the refrigerator section in Chinatown.

On my phone - I finished Nomadland this is a very depressing book. I think that instead of focusing on "houseless" people it should be focusing on the disappearance of the middle class in America and Canada.
"At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules (went to school, got a job and worked hard) everything would be fine. That's no longer true today. You can do everything right, just the way society wants you to do it, and still send up broke, alone, homeless."

It is more like a documentary about Americans who lost everything in 2008 and end up living in cars, cans, trucks and RVs. These people are generally past retirement age who have to take jobs at Amazon, running campsites or picking beets for less than minimum wage. Their average income is $600 in Social Security. No pensions or savings, all lost in mortages and/or divorces.

At one point she is discussing all the blogs that popped up in the early 2000s "promoting" this lifestyle and I realized I knew George and had even met him several times. The George she describes is not the sad person she writes about.
She only ever points out the bad/sad side of their lives. 
I discussed this with a friend who also owns an RV and follows a lot of these people online they love this life. She was also a close friend of George, who passed away in 2019. They had known him since 2011. She thought George would not have liked being referred to in this way as it made him sound like a loony toon. Any time we met with George he was happy go lucky, loved to dance and loved Mexico with a passion.

I won't even begin to talk about the big companies like Amazon who suck the blood out of these people....
And this book is written before the pandemic so I can only imagine what the numbers are like now.
It so happened that for Weekend Roundup it was the letter Q and I went with Quartzsite which features in the book.

On my phone - Park Avenue Summer based on a blogger's recommendation. A piece of fluff that I needed after Nomadland. Still interesting as it is set in the mid-60s and is full of fascinating insights into those times. Remember Carnation faBreakfast, runs in your stockings, smokers everywhere, Dippity-do.


  1. Never heard of Reference library. We have a reference department in our library.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

    1. The Toronto Reference Library is a huge standalone building that I love to visit.
      It also contains some special displays such as the largest Sherlock Holmes collection.

  2. Ford sounds like a nutter and a dangerous one at that.
    I like watching on Youtube people who RV. I know they paint a good and bright picture, but it can't be all plain sailing. What I should look for ones where it all goes terribly wrong.

  3. Hi Jackie! So lovely to be reading your blog again! Lately I've been getting tired of the "quick bite" nature of social media, and so have been using my Feedly account again. I love all your photos and recipes, and that tea towel! Glad you and John and holding up during the plague. Take care!

    1. So great to hear from you, Katherine!!! I am also so tired of Twitter and rarely go there anymore. It just gets me so annoyed!!!
      I used Bloglovin to keep up with people's blogs. My Facebook has also turned into a place to follow a lot of cooking blogs.
      I hope you pop by more often and drop a line.
      We are good and you take care of yourself!!!

  4. I so agree with you about the loss of the middle class. It's shameful that here in the US those who make a zillion dollars pay less in taxes than those who work their butts off just to tread water. I'm hoping things will begin to change now. So many social injustices to address. Love the Paris tea towel and the one about the smoothies. Always love your street art / mural finds. We're hoping to get out an about (even if just in the car) more now that the weather may be finally turning the corner. Sorry I've been so absent these days.

  5. Hi Jackie,
    What a great amount of interesting information in this blog post! I love the idea of an anti-fatigue mat, love the cherry blessing photos, and all the interesting links. Have a great week!!

  6. We would love to browse that vinyl record store! I’ll have to look for Park Avenue Summer, still haven’t gotten to Nomadland yet. The book or tv series.

    You mentioned borrowing magazines at the library- I used to do that but they have stopped ordering them and are going to digital. Not everyone can access digital so that’s a drag.

    Damn! The snow!

    1. I should have clarified that I borrowed the electronic version. I imagine ours has also stopped using hard copies of magazines as I have heard they no longer carry newspapers.

  7. Nice slice of life post! Our trees should be blooming soon, but blooming will by earlier than usual for my area.

  8. No to snow! We have had the back of our snow here and it’s actually be warm!

  9. We got 6plus inches last week too, fortunately it melted about as fast as it fell! So many wonderful, bright photos, I really enjoy coming to have a look. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  10. Duffys Tavern is a familiar sight.

  11. I love that tea towel!!

    I hear you about the GABO hosts. It doesn't matter which version of Bake Off I watch, there is always some silliness on the part of the hosts. Maggie Beer is a national treasure though.

  12. Restricting outdoor activities is a terrible idea. I've seen article after article that shows the virus is rarely transmitted outdoors. So frustrating.

    I love the murals you posted. I especially love the one inside the bakery.

    No idea there was a Great Australian Bake Off. I just discovered the Great American Bake Off, and I really like the American judge on this one. I'll look and see if we can find the Australian show.

    You are right, Jackie. It's the loss of middle-class life that is terribly sad. I could name fifty people my age who I think will never be able to retire. Thanks for sharing another point of view about people who travel and work.

  13. Deb, there is also a NZ version called Great Kiwi and a Canadian version. I watch them on YouTube or DailyMotion. There is a season of the Canadian series hosted by Dan Levy!

  14. Man, every food you make sounds delicious as does the latest drink.


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