Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tuesday Treasures

Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON

Benjamin Chapman presumably learned the watchmaking and jewellery trade from his father who had established a jewellery business in Dublin, Ireland in 1814. Benjamin worked for 16 years as a jeweller in Belfast before immigrating to Canada in 1864. Ten years later he established his own business at 261 Yonge street in Toronto.

Photo taken May 2021 - not sure what the city plans to do with it.

B. Chapman’s shop offered imported clocks and jewellery from England and Germany. In January, 1890 The Trader & Canadian Jeweller reported that his store had recently installed the “new Edison incandescent electric lighting”, which “shows off their handsome goods to great advantage.”

William James Chapman (1911 – 1999) great grandson of Benjamin, was the last owner of the family business that remained in operation until c, 1983. In 1979 the original building was given heritage status and housed a Tim Horton’s on the main floor until recently.

In the block between Shuter Street and Dundas Square, the George Pears Stores (1891) at 229 Yonge Street , John Northway Company Building (1928) at 236-242 Yonge Street, Art Metropole Building (1911) at 241 Yonge Street, John William Drummond Store (1868) at 253 Yonge Street, Chapman Brothers Jewellery (pre-1910) at 261 Yonge Street, and Childs Restaurant and Offices (1918) at 279-283 Yonge Street are listed on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties. The Pantages Theatre (1920) at 263 Yonge Street is a city-wide landmark that is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. 


Wordless Wednesday Wordless Be There 2day

November 2021 - Toronto ON

Taken at the AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario. Who could resist!

T for Tuesday

 T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

Toronto ON

Some finds around Toronto.

Coffee Dak Lak is located near the corner of College and Spadina.
Dak Lak's main specialty is its Vietnamese Egg Coffee ($4.99), a northern Vietnamese drink originating from around Hanoi. Apparently, this café is the only one in Toronto that serves this regional specialty.
The hot beverage features a fluffy whisked egg froth a top the coffee. It's meant to be consumed straight-up but there's nothing stopping you from stirring the mixture all together. Nope, not for me.
I would try this.
The more traditional Condensed Milk Coffee ($3.99) comes with a Vietnamese coffee filter and is dark and strong with a hint of creamy sweetness from the condensed milk.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

July 2021 - Toronto ON

Random murals found while wandering around Kensington Market.

Phillip Saunders and Luvs

Entrance to a cannabis shop.

Ice cream spot

Off Spadina

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Coffee Break

August 2021 - Construction hoarding mural Front St.

For Sculpture Saturday I had an update to our Plensa collection. I was going through our LA photos looking for something and thought that is a Juame Plensa and according to Google I was right.
Found in Beverly Hills. 

I might be biased but my favourite is still his 2020 work here in Toronto.

That was the same day that we went to the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery to see the outdoor sculptures.

I took this photo Sunday morning when I got up.

I finished my sweater and put it together, but I found the sleeves too long so I decided to undo the sleeves and shorten them, one done one to go.
This is the pattern photo I did it in blue.  Super easy to do and want to do another.

My photo to come once it is assembled (again) and blocked.

I also have an embroidery kit (birthday present) to complete. That will be my third for the set cactus plants.

And it finally felt like November!

We stopped for coffee in Union Station and spotted a new fast food spot, Thai this time, it advertises that its sauces and curries are gluten-free. This will be a good wintery lunch outing. We both love Asian food and recently found a new (to us) Pacific spot Koha where we ate after the Immersive Klimt exhibit.

Bangkok Buri - buri means city and Bangkok has some of the world's most amazing street food. I would go back to Bangkok anytime!

Our financial advisor took us to lunch in Brookfield Place, one of my favourite buildings in the city. One its upper floors you get an amazing view of the old Commerce bank building, speaking of which, I took a photo on Friday when we went to the market.

We will have to come through in the evening to see the sparkling lights.

This is the first time we've got together in the flesh since the start of the pandemic. It is also our first time eating out with anyone since March 2020!
We went to Ki, a modern Japanese restaurant, see the proof of vaccination sign clearly placed.

No photos of our food, as it wasn't the place or time to take them! We shared the following.
Assorted Seasonal Vegetable Tempura - delicious!
Binnaga albacore tuna                      
Ebi tiger shrimp 
Hamachi yellowtail 
Hotate sea scallop 
Maguro bigeye tuna 
Otoro marbled tuna 
Kyoto Maki yellowtail, avocado, crispy rice, takuan + jalapeño-garlic soy  Torched Salmon  avocado, pickled kohlrabi, arugula, crispy leeks + spicy karashi miso

The Kyoto Maki was our least favourite.

The rest of the week was quiet and uneventful. We didn't really go out. John used the golf simulator a few times, he is really enjoying it.
We did sort through a load of old jewelry (cuff links, medals, watches etc) and sorted it for charity and selling.
We have a few bags for charity and will fill another and get rid of them next week.

I had to return a top to Winners and shopped around. I picked these mini cupcake 
holders up at the $ store, I'm so glad they are marked as gluten-free?!?! Like, seriously????????

John bottled his wine on Thursday and since he got almost 31 bottles we had a 2 bottle evening, 1 bottle was not quite full and he overfilled one in the bottling process!

And since it was a cloudy dull day we made it a movie and popcorn afternoon.

We went to St. Lawrence Market on Friday to pick up a tomahawk steak for our anniversary on Saturday.
Our favourite fruit vendor.

The Berczy dog fountain is decorated for Christmas.

I took this photo of the old Commerce building (mentioned above) while walking back to the bus.

A family member who lives in Berlin sent a new baby son announcement, they already have a little girl.

We found a lamp that worked for both of us on Amazon and it came on Friday.
Now that we got rid of the cabinet in this corner I have been rearranging the plants.
This is how it looks at the moment until John puts the lamp together tomorrow.
It replaces the one here now, the bulbs have been flickering in it.

I promise next week will be more interesting!!! I already have tickets for the One of a Kind show on Monday.

I bought our tickets for Immersive Frida in March!!!


The fact that over 50 per cent of the residents of Toronto are not from Canada, that is always a good thing, creatively, and for food especially. That is easily a city's biggest strength, and it is Toronto's unique strength.
Anthony Bourdain

Saturday cauliflower au gratin, cabbage and ham
I made a tomato soup from all the ends of tomatoes we had in the freezer from summer.

Sunday roast beef roast potatoes carrots and cauliflower homemade gravy. The leftovers became beef and barley soup for lunch during the week.

Monday salad ham romaine hard cooked egg tomatoes cheese, I forgot the salad topper.

Tuesday Spanish chicken thighs with chorizo, a great way to incorporate vegetables. I've been making this for years. This time I had Farm Boy chorizo and it was the best. It is already cooked so you can just add it at the end. It doesn't go mushy or break up.

Wednesday Spanish chicken thigh leftovers. I added another chorizo sausage and made mashed potatoes and cauliflower (sour cream to mash) to stretch it out.

Thursday homemade pizza. We used the salami from Eataly and it was quite good.

Friday - WAIT FOR IT....BBQ chicken quarters   YES  not steak as per usual!!! We are saving the tomahawk steak for Saturday, our wedding anniversary. John suggested going out for dinner and I said hell, no, I'd rather buy a tomahawk and eat at home. Served with salad and I made  3 ingredient GF biscuits, new recipe, quick and good.


I was reading an article about a Toronto journalist who lost her jobs in a mass layoff and established herself as a successful Youtuber. I checked out her videos and am now obsessed. Alexandra Gater, check her out!

We watched Clemency 2019 American drama set on death row. Although supposedly a work of fiction it was inspired by the 2011 execution of Troy Davis, a black man convicted of killing a police officer in Georgia, a charge that has been repeatedly disputed, considering there is enough evidence to cast significant doubt on his alleged guilt. This was harrowing to watch and Alfre Woodard's performance as the warden is deserving of an Oscar. 

We started watching a very silly but funny Irish series Frank of Ireland. We needed it after Clemency! I'm not sure if we will stick with it. 
There is a double dose of Gleesons, sons of Brendan,  Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson.

Thursday movie Outlaws or The Laws of the Border (Spanish: Las leyes de la frontera) is a 2021 Spanish film. We really enjoyed this. It is dubbed in English, if you don't mind sub-titles I would suggest watching it in Spanish, as the dubbed voice acting left a little to be desired and distracted (for me) a little. 

We then decided we would watch the series Narcos Mexico
The series explores the early origins of the Mexican drug war, beginning at the time when traffickers were a loose and disorganized confederation of small, independent marijuana growers and dealers. It dramatizes the creation and rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) unifies several plazas, or territories, in order to build an infamous drug empire.
It is definitely an interesting history lesson. It was fun to see El Chapo as he started out in the business. We remember being in Mazatlán the morning in February 2014 when El Chapo was first arrested!

I started watching Prime PBS Exile, a British psychological thriller television series dealing with the topic of Alzheimer's disease against a background of corruption.


Read an incredible article about Toronto replacing air conditioners with deep lake water. This deep water cooling system is the largest of its kind on earth!

Beth reviewed a Pioneer Woman cookbook last week and I realized I had never looked at one or her magazine, so I borrowed a cookbook and a magazine from the library this week. 
Ree Drummond's blog was one of the first blogs I ever read and she certainly has bloomed into a superstar! TV shows, cookbooks and even a line of women's clothing.
The magazine was the Holiday 2021 issue.

Sweet chili shrimp saute sounds good.
Cheddar and sour cream mashed potatoes.

Funny I had just been texting with my BFF and she was prepping all her vegetables and I said what a good idea. Then one of the first chapters in the book is just about doing that! She includes tips on how to store the vegetables as well.
It would be a good book for a beginner cook. 
Salisbury steak I like her take on this and may try it.

I finally finished Shoot Out the Moonlight.

I read Gabriel Bryne's book Walking with Ghosts in an afternoon. His writing is poetic and we revisit the Dublin of his youth. 

I then started The Lost Hours.

Happy Anniversary

 November 27, 2021

YIKES! Can it be 34 years married and 43 years together!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2021

Weekend Roundup

 Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveler

1. Starts with "V"
2. A Favorite
3.VALLEY chosen by Tom

Starts with "V"
Do I get bonus points for a V on the license plate?
The origin of the name Virginville is obscure. Some say it is the English translation of a Native American word, while others believe the community was named for virgin forests in the area. "Virgin" may be an alternate translation of the Indian-named Maiden Creek, which runs through the town.


Hollywood CA

VALLEY of the Queens Egypt

Déjà Brew
A catchall for leftover beer, coffee, food, motels and whatever catches my fancy!

Hawker South Australia we stopped for lunch on our way to Wilpena Pound.