Saturday, May 1, 2021


April 2021 - Toronto ON

April 2021 - Dundas St. W Toronto

Monday Mural was also found last week and is new as well as huge!

Poor DoFo, our premier, his mea culpa smells like a cover-up for a government in disarray.
But to cheer the rest of us up here is our Prime Minister getting his vaccine. 

Our case numbers are trending in the right direction.
Finally Peel Region did something constructive about the virus! They partially closed down two Amazon plants after five or more employees test positive within a two week period. This is what we want done as it is the main contributor to the increased numbers.

We took a quick run for vegetables and fruits to our usual place. I knew they would have their plants out and was hoping to get potting soil. No potting soil. I really wanted herbs and they were a good price at $3, but it just felt like everyone was in the way. A side effect of Covid...

John took a walk in High Park where the cherry blossom are off limits. However he did get some shots and said there were a lot of police about but they weren't stopping people who got behind the barricades (he didn't).

John took a walk along the Humber River.

Double-crested Cormorants are large, black birds that are named for the two small tufts of feathers on either side of their head. They are beautiful birds, with bright emerald green irises, blue, yellow or orange eyelids, and blue interiors of their mouths. In the spring they return to the Humber Bay area to build their nests.

The Oculus, designed by architect Alan Crossley and built at the beginning of the Space Age in 1959, is now covered in graffiti and has deteriorated, according to Stephanie Mah, vice president of the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario, Toronto branch. But now, a national charity called Park People is putting up funds to restore the pavilion — a project Mah will be co-leading.

We tried to get potting soil on Saturday and Monday to no avail. Finally on Tuesday we finally found it on our second stop. First stop didn't have any but I got some herbs, basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, parsley and dill. But the weather has been either cold and/or wet so they remain inside for now.

Wednesday I went along for the ride when John went to bottle his latest batch of wine as I had to pick up a special bourbon order from his Scotch of the Month.
Standing in line at the Post Office.

Bourbon order.

I started decluttering some items in the dining room as we are thinking about getting a bar area built in with a counter and a wine rack. I am getting rid of some items we don't use like old serving dishes, place mats, and tablecloths we brought here from our house back in 2012 that have never seen the light of day. Some clothes were also added.

John wanted some more white pudding so I placed an order at Sanagan's Meat Locker and received it on Thursday.

End of April crossword puzzle stats.


The Sidecar was likely invented around World War I. How the Sidecar got its name is a source of debate: Both a French and English bar claim to have invented the cocktail for a customer who arrived at the location in the sidecar of a motorcycle. That seems plausible enough.
Bar veteran Dale DeGroff, however, says the drink’s name references the mixture that’s left in the shaker after straining and served in a shot glass on the side. This bonus is called, that’s right, a sidecar. You don’t have to serve a little shot alongside your Sidecar, but it’s a sure way to elicit smiles from whomever you’re serving—and it’s a great segue to tell the origin story of the cocktail.
  • 1 1/2 ounces cognac
  • 3/4 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Garnish: orange twist
  • Garnish: sugar rim (optional)


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 John made the General Tao chicken from our virtual cooking class in February.

Sunday lamb shepherd's pie, with carrots. Topping was mashed turnip, cauliflower and potatoes with cheddar cheese. Leftovers were a great lunch.

Monday I planned on making Greek meat pies with store bought pastry. As I was attempting to separate the filo pastry it wouldn't so I just layered the meat between the two sheets and put it in the oven. As I was putting the box in the recycling I realized I had bought PUFF pastry not filo!! It worked but it didn't have the flaky layers. Served with Greek salad and homemade dressing.

Tuesday garlic sauteed shrimp with Caesar salad using Jamie's easy recipe. Once again John said not enough garlic in the shrimp.

Wednesday was chicken divan out of necessity to use the broccolini in the fridge.

Thursday since we received our Sanagan's order we had fries (air fryer) eggs (heritage from Sanagan's) and white and black pudding. So good!

Friday I decided to make the mini coffee and pecan cakes from Pinch of Nom (see below under Books). 
Easy to follow recipe (written in metric). 
Recipe didn't say to grease the mini muffin tins and I think they should have been, or use cupcake liners. 
I didn't quite get 24. IF I made them again I would only make 12. They were too small to split to ice in between. I would increase the amount of cocoa and coffee in the cakes as well.

I used cream cheese and a drop of milk in the icing and only made half for the tops. Icing should be thicker.

VERDICT - NOT A KEEPER too dry and not much flavour if it wasn't for the icing. HOWEVER we did eat them all. I have a few ideas to tweak the flavour that I may try and will report back if I do.

Steak with onions, mushrooms and green peppers.


We started and finished a Stephen King series Mr. Mercedes, interesting.

Tuesday was Movie Double Matinee. Both movies were extremely thought provoking as well as history lessons.

News of the World I'm not normally a western fan but this was really good and it had Tom Hanks! Helena Zengel was amazing.

The United States vs Billie Holiday I knew next to nothing about Billie Holiday and had no idea about her controversial song Strange Fruit.
To think that as of today lynching is still not outlawed in the US. As of March, 2021, no anti-lynching bill has been passed by both houses.


On my phone finished The Pull of the Stars, a very short book that felt like it ended abruptly. 

Dublin, 1918, the world is being ravaged by the Spanish flu, influenza. How strange to see the same directives as we are seeing now as we are in the midst of a global pandemic!! People wearing masks, staying distanced, businesses closed.

I started Power Couple, interesting plot but not really cheering for any of the characters especially the mother. It's less about the kidnapping and more about marriage struggles.

On my laptop finished Pinch of Nom and I found some good recipes. 

NOTE SEE UNDER COOKING - I made a recipe mini coffee and pecan cakes. Not impressed with the instructions or the flavours.

I could see buying this book, I borrowed the e-book from the library and found most of the recipes online.
All these recipes used swapped ingredients to reduce the fat and calories!

This article has a bunch of their recipes from the book including cheesecake stuffed strawberries, gluten free bacon potato scallion frittata, shakshuka, veggie burgers, soy and ginger salmon fishcakes, duck and orange salad, tandoori chicken kababs, vegetable tagine, diet cola chicken, beef ragu fettucine, gluten free apple strudel, and a few desserts.
They also posted a collection of their cakes - amazing!
Mini coffee and pecan cakes is on my radar! Image from this link. There is also a recipe for bakewell tarts using a wrap, bread pudding, creme brulee, 

Interesting thought - use tortilla wraps instead of pastry for a pastie or hand pie?? Brush a beaten egg to seal the tortilla and then brush the top of the tortilla. They also use a wrap for the samosas cutting the wrap in half.
How about as a tart? Cut five rounds from a wrap to line a muffin tin.

Wraps de huevo

Chicken Balti the curry paste mixture looks amazing.
Onion bahjis would go perfectly with the balti! Gluten free. Also like the idea of using a muffin tin.


  1. I hope it will warm up enough there to get your herbs outside soon. I want to go visit a nursery. I've never had flowers except for my azaleas, but I'm in the mood to put them in.

    I'm enjoying reading about your adventures through trying various drinks. You might have the makings for your own book.

    A friend was disappointed in News of the World so I was quite happy to see how much I liked it. The child actor did such a good job. And Tom Hanks.

    So, puff pastry instead of filo? Maybe you have invented something new. I have always intended to find out more about bakewell tarts. That's something I'm not familiar with.

  2. Poor Jussy having a needle stuck in his arm. Even at the height of our 2020 lockdown we could still get a lad to put a bag of potting mix into our boot/trunk.

    1. There was also a photo of Justin holding his wife's hand, getting his shot.
      One place, a large chain, had garden centre outside, curbside shopping. Seems like not a problem. Get soil, pay outside. Nope, no cash outside. Supposed to get the code, PHONE inside give code, give credit card number. Get soil. Couldn't be bothered.
      Went elsewhere, cash register outside in garden centre. Sold.

  3. Are those Roman arches in your main photo of France? - Love the cherry blossom trees. I don't see them in Florida ( we had them in Philadelphia). Stay safe and have a good week.

    1. Yes, Judee, the arches are in France, near Carcassonne.

  4. Love your spring photos! We've been cooped up at home finishing a project before we slowly begin to resume a more normal life. I love a good Perfect Storm -- may have to make one for this evening. I kind of liked The Power Couple as good escape reading. Was it the best book I ever read? No, but I was invested. News of the World is up for us tonight. Hope we like it.

    1. I hope you like NOTW too. You're right, Power Couple is just a good read.

  5. You seem to find so many things to do! We got some herbs in pots but it wasn't very dramatic. They seem to be tolerating our late frosts ok so far.

    be well... mae at

  6. It seems all is coming to life up your way! We had Cormorants on the peninsula in WA, they would ride the currents that the vehicles made when crossing the Columbia river.

  7. We have been meaning to watch News of the World for the longest time!

    Love those cherry blossom pictures!

  8. Jussy is so brave.
    I must be an anniversary of something about Billie Holiday as you are the second blogger who mentioned her in a week. I didn't know abou the loaded Strange Fruit either. I think lynching would be covered by murder laws.
    There was rather a lot learnt during the Spanish Flu that could have been quickly put in place at this outset of what was known as a very contagious virus.

  9. I just opened my new bottle of orgeat to make a cherry drink last night! Jealous of your bar plans and bourbon order!

  10. i had a quick look at that pinch of nom site. oh my! sorry to say but the recipes look just awful - full of fake sweeteners and fake everything. not my idea of food or cooking! i'd much rather eat a wee bit of real food, than a whole heap of fake food. Hope that's not being too aggressive there:) Yes it's fascinating to see those old posters from a hundred years ago about the spanish flu. it all seems so terribly, eerily familiar doesn't it? keep well and have a great May. cheers Sherry

    1. Totally agree with you about the recipes in that book. I never use fake sweeteners or anything fake in my recipes.

  11. I have been to those arches, so amazing that they are still standing. It was quite an accomplishment. I have to ask...what is a white pudding? And thank you for the tip about eggs in the air fryer. I got one for Christmas and need to try that, also the eggs on the tortilla.

    1. The arches are truly amazing.
      I should have mentioned what white pudding is, as it is not commonly found here. White Pudding is an Irish/Scottish/English sausage that consist mainly of fat, grains, flour, leeks, and milk. It is like black pudding and usually served with breakfast.

  12. Beautiful spring blossoms. We are getting a new oven which has an air fryer in it so I will try the eggs.

  13. Oh my goodness High Park looks so beautiful there. I lived in Toronto for 9 months but just missed the cherry blossoms! Travel seems so distant now...


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