Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Up!


This house located just a couple of doors from ours was listed today for a staggering $ 1,279,900.00. Like our house it is an old worker's cottage row house. It is 15 feet wide with a narrow 100 foot lot without a garage, the price they are asking speaks to the crazy prices at play in Toronto. It is a three bedroom with a 4 piece bath with a basement granny/nanny suite that has another 4 piece bath. While the interiors are beautiful the price reflects the demand for a house in the downtown core, where no new houses can be built. 
















Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yum!


Because it was another hot day I wanted something light for dinner. I had some mushrooms that needed to be used and at first I thought of a mushroom antipasto served on top of a baguette, but then looking in the fridge I decided on a mushroom and spinach quiche. I had some pie dough in the freezer which I defrosted and I combined this with a cashew based filling using some pan-fried mushrooms, onions, garlic and spinach. It turned out really nice and the perfect meal for a hot summer-like fall night. 

Adapted Quiche Recipe
I replaced the tofu with soaked cashews and left out the cornstarch. 

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Ounces Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 2 Cups Spinach, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Pound Extra-Firm Tofu
  • ¼ Cup Nutrional Yeast flakes
  • ¼ Cup Cornstarch
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Dijion Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Turmeric
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Pie Crust
1.Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add onions and mushrooms. 
2.Cook over medium heat until mushrooms have release most of their liquid, about 10 minutes.
Add spinach and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
Set aside. 
3.Combine all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Add tofu mixture to sautéed vegetables, stir to combine and spoon mixture into the pie crust. Using a spatula, spread the mixture around so it’s even on top. 
4.Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center is firm (not mushy).
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing (serving at room temperature is best).

Make ahead: You can make and store the mixture in an airtight container until you’re ready to bake, or bake the quiche a day or two ahead of time and gently reheat in your oven on warm for 10 to 20 minutes.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Endless Summer


The heat, humidity and general sticky muggy weather of this summer just won't end. Today I decided to go for a bike ride before it was too unbearable. I biked across Wellesley to Bay Street, then Gerard Street to Parliament where I was able to catch the north side of the bike trail to where it met up with the eastern trail. I followed this east to Leslie Street then biked back via Cherry Beach, Parliament, Gerard, Elizabeth, College, Borden, Ulster and finally home. 

Because it was still so hot and muggy we needed something light for dinner, so I decided to make some couscous. I dressed it with olive oil, lemon zest, some cubed lemons and to this added some chopped cucumber, cubed mango and pan-fried almonds, sunflower & pumpkin seeds and raisins making for a light North African inspired dinner. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Another Humid Day


Because today was promising to be yet another hot, humid and muggy day, Mr.T and I walked north through side streets to Christie on our way to Wychwood Barns just south of St.Clair Street. They were holding their Annual Garlic Festival and we wanted to avoid, not only the heat and the humidity but also the crowds. We picked up a couple of stalks of garlic for planting this fall, then walked east to Bathurst then south to Davenport Road. 



We then walked east to Walmer and Spadina crossing under the train tracks and back to Walmer Street to Bloor Street. Bloor was closed to traffic and while we walked along it a little bit, by noon it was just too hot to be outside for any length of time. We spent the rest of the afternoon hiding away inside, deciding only to head out for dinner to Greens Vegetarian for their light and yummy avocado salads, the perfect food for a hot, humid day. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Muggy Saturday


After picking up our dry goods and vegetables from Kensington Market Mr.T and I decided to go for a short walk. Heading south on Spadina we stopped at the Winners at Queen and Portland before heading east on Richmond to the Home Sense on Spadina. As we walked we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible because it was just so hot, humid and really muggy. We then decided to make our way home walking north on Spadina to Dundas then west to Kensington Market where we passed by the Kensington Jazz festival before finally heading back home because it was just too humid to be outside. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Finished


Our second floor deck that was damaged way back in May by our neighbour's falling tree was finally finished today. Our handyman came to sand down the railings and to install a support under the long span of railing facing the garden. I am really happy with the way he integrated the fence boards into notches in the top and bottom railings making it a little lighter visually than a traditional fence. Now all we need to do now is stain it to match the rest of the second floor and main floor decks. 

The view from the garden. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Dangerous Turn



The political battle between the conservative leader of the province of Ontario (Doug Ford) and the city council of the city of Toronto, the urban engine of the province and the fifth largest government by population and budget, not only highlights divisions between urban and suburban ideas of politics but also how earlier forms and ideas of governance are becoming woefully outdated. 

The idea that cities are the products of provinces or states, which has allowed Ford and his conservatives to ram through legislation to "break" a city that he was never able to control, is outdated and needs to be revised. In the last fifty years societies across the globe have urbanized, shifting the political vote but not the levers of government. 

Those on the right know how to control these levers (indeed conservative think tanks both in Canada and the United States study them in order to learn how to control them) and when in power they gerrymander the system from within to ensure their own political success. They have a blatant disregard for the rights of voters, that they ironically cloak in the rhetoric of ensuring voter rights. It is a depressing situation because these machinations (which are complicated and difficult to map) are often hidden from public view and never enacted through public consultation. 

Because those on the right believe that they hold a political mandate, similar to the moralistic beliefs of fundamental Christians, they believe that they can enact whatever they please, no matter the affect on society. Indeed, we have seen a dangerous turn in the last five years, as narcissistic rulers with weak egos take over the reigns of government operating the state as their own personal kingdom, bullying and threatening anyone who stands in their way. Gone is the idea that political leaders are public servants. One only need look at the rise of 45 south of the border as a template for Ford. 

Politics in the 21st-century needs to catch up with the change from rural to urban populations and reflect these changes. As urban centres become the engines of economies, outstripping the states in which they live we need a new political system that doesn't allow the petty politics of a disgruntled ego the power to interfere with urban affairs.