Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Dinner

For dinner tonight, Mr.T and I decided to head over to Sushi Club on Charles Street because I was craving oshitashi and no one around here serves it. Walking over we tried to stay in the shade as much as we could because it was just so hot and humid out. Sadly, when we arrived at Sushi Club we discovered that they no longer had oshitashi on the menu and while it had been a couple of years for us, the place looked the same but the staff which consisted of a guy behind the counter and young kid who was trying to serve was different from the attentive girls that were there for years. While the service wasn't really that attentive the food was still as good as it was before. After dinner, we walked back along Bloor Street, walking underground as much as we could, stopping in at Winners before finally arriving home. 

Memento Mori

A sign for a barber/surgeon, carved & painted wood with images of death and time and a scene of blood letting. 1630-1830
The Wellcome Collection


When I was a kid and we used to visit Walt Disney World on vacation I always craved the Dole Pineapple Soft Serve that was served from a stand in Adventureland. Sadly, I was never able to try it as a kid, and when I returned to Disney on a yearly basis as an adult I never got around to trying it (there was always so much else to do, and I forgot about it). 

But a couple of years ago a Mexican inspired shop in Kensington Market, Seven Lives Paleteria began selling a version of the Disney Dole Treat and I was hooked. Copying the Disney treat they took soft serve frozen pineapple, bathed that in pineapple juice and served it all in a tall glass making my favourite summer treat. Unfortunately, as soon as the Mexican place opened, it closed and this summer I have been had to face hot, humid, muggy days without any pineapple treat. 

Yesterday at the market, our favourite fruit and veggie place had pineapples that were really ripe on sale for $ 1.00, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make myself my favourite frozen pineapple treat. Looking online I found a really simple recipe using frozen pineapple and coconut milk. You grind it all together and magically, it becomes a really good imitation of the original Dole treat and the perfect frozen dessert for a hot, humid, muggy day. 

An Incredible Film

Last night Mr.T went for a walk over to Ms.L's and with some time on my own I decided to see if there was anything I wanted to watch on Netflix, Prime, Kanopy or Hoopla. I have wish lists on all of the platforms and in the end decided to watch a black and white film from 1977, by Wolfgang Peterson called The Consequence (Die Konsequenz). A German film it is a story of intergenerational queer love between an actor named Martin, played by Jurgen Prochnow and a younger man named Thomas, played by Ernst Hannawald. 

Watching it I was amazed not only at the portrayal of intergenerational love but also by the fact that I had never heard about the film before. I consider myself fairly well informed about queer cinema, especially queer cinema that transgresses boundaries and The Consequence has to be one of the most important queer films I have ever seen. I am surprised that it is not recognized for its beautiful and sensitive portrayal of intergenerational sexuality at such an early time in representations of queer love in any cinema. The film shows beautifully how those who love outside of representative norms battle societies expectations and values and never treads into moralistic eulogizing about transgressive desire. 

Watching the film made me think that someone needs to develop a course on representations of queer desire, specifically desires that sit at the margins of the queer community, and how these representations change over time. A course like this would not only be a joy to teach but would introduce films like this to generations who didn't know that such sensitive representations of desire existed. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Gray Saturday

This morning after making our way to Kensington Market to pick up our dry goods and veggies for the week, Mr.T and I met up with Ms.R and Mr.J from Regina for lunch at Greens Vegetarian on Denison Street. We haven't seen them for almost a year and it was nice to catch up over a light lunch. After lunch we walked them to the Spadina streetcar so they could head back up to Mr.J's mother's home where their three daughters where waiting for them to come home. 
Mr.T and I then walked through a light drizzle to the Best Buy on Dundas at the Eaton Centre to buy a smart plug for my new DIY fountain in the mudroom. There are a lot of different smart plugs on the market, but we opted for the cheapest one, a TP-Link HS 100 Plug that cost $ 19.95. Mr.T had $ 10.00 in Best Buy dollars which made it even cheaper. We then caught the subway to Wellesley and then a bus home. 

Hooking up the smart plug was relatively simple, you downloaded the app, Kasa, created an account, linked it to your home wifi and then connected it to the Google Home. We were then able to voice activate the plug turning the fountain on and off with voice commands, making a home a little bit smarter. 

Fete de Bastille

Surfaces, darling, surfaces

I love the clean, minimalist lines in this house located in Vedbaek, Denmark. Designed by Norm Architectes the 1970s redesigned home features clean lines that emphasize the materials used in a sleek Scandinavian style. via Leibal

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Muggy Friday

This morning Mr.T joined me for yoga and then to try and help Mr.D out with a computer issue. We were hungry after yoga and decided to stop at the A&W on Yonge Street so I could try out their new vegan burger. Everyone has been raving about it on one of the vegan FB groups I belong to and I just wanted to try it myself. While I'm not a fan of meat-tasting vegan or veggie burgers it was good, but nothing I would go out of my way for in the future. 

After our quick lunch we made our way home finding ourselves tired from the heat, humidity and general muggy air. The rest of the afternoon we hid away from the heat and the sun, until I had to cross the city for a doctor's appointment to check my blood pressure. It has for sometime been higher than my doctor would like and a month ago he put me on a diuretic to try and lower it, so today was to check and see if the new medication was working. He was happy that it had dropped back into a safer area. 

After biking back across town through rush hour traffic, Mr.T and I decided to walk to Kensington Market for dinner. We were going to try an Italian sandwich shop, Mare Pizzeria that we had spotted a couple of weeks ago, but when we entered we were turned off not only by the place but by the lack of attention by the staff. The young woman who was serving pizza from an oven placed directly behind the counter was unable to pay attention to our questions about if they had an eggplant sandwich and how it was made. In the end we decided to leave and cross the street and try the poke place. 

Located on the south side of Baldwin Street, North Poke had a couple of chairs located along the windows that looked north. There is a giant U-shaped counter with a cash, a poke prep area and an area for ice desserts. We opted for a medium sized bowl of their Hawaiian poke, which featured Ahi tuna, sesame shoyu marinade, nori, cucumber, green onion, fried shallots and toasted sesame seeds. The service was polite and quick and while the preparation was not as nice as our favourite poke place on Bloor Street (that has sadly since closed) the food was delicious. It was the perfect light meal for a muggy, July night. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Mixer Deux

So the craziness with my KitchenAid mixer order from Amazon continues. After arguing with them yesterday, when my delivery hadn't arrived but showed it had online, they ordered at replacement at their cost. When the mixer finally arrived last night I cancelled the replacement online, but imagine my surprise today, when another mixer arrived at my door this afternoon. I had read online that I could refuse the delivery, avoiding having to return it, so that's what I did. The delivery guy didn't seem that surprised, he just wanted to know if I had let them know, to which I chuckled, "Yes". I guess in the end I have to be happy at the quality of their service. 

My Mudroom Fountain

Finally, the mudroom fountain I have been working on for the better part of week is finally finished. I had originally planned to use a clay pot from the garden, but Mr.T insisted I use one of our found ceramic blue & white Asian inspired pots that didn't have a drainage hole in the bottom. This made everything so much easier allowing me skip having to waterproof the pot. 

Next I placed the fountain pump I bought last week at Canadian Tire in the bottom of the pot and covered this with a smaller plastic garden pot. I cut away most of the bottom of the plastic pot (giving me the space to put my hand through it) and then threaded some plastic tubing through it leaving it longer than I wanted (I would cut it down to size later). Then I placed a plastic saucer turned over on top of this pot and threaded the plastic tubing through it. The plastic pot and saucer were then placed over the fountain pump ensuring that I would always have relatively easy access to the pump. 

I then filled the remaining space with a half bag of river rocks Mr.T and I bought last night at Fiesta Gardens, and topped these with another bag of nice river rocks that had been tumbled, that I bought on the weekend. Once I knew the height of the rocks I was then able to cut down the plastic tubing arranging it in the centre of the rocks before turning on the fountain. 

While the flow was a little stronger than I expected, the displacement of the rocks must have made the water pressure stronger than when I tried it all without any rocks in the pot, it achieved the effect I wanted, in effect creating a nice bubbling rock fountain for the mudroom. Hopefully, it will provide some much needed humidity for the ground floor in the winter. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Delivery Daze

For awhile now Mr.T and I have been talking about signing up for Amazon Prime. So often when searching for something online it shows up on Amazon, but the delivery costs always discouraged us from buying. With their yearly membership of $ 79.00 split between us the cost wasn't that prohibitive and had the added benefit of giving us access to Prime Video. On Monday night we decided to go ahead and order it, while I ordered at the same time a KitchenAid mixer I have had my eye on for some time, that was available for a hugely discounted price.

While I never really wanted or needed a mixer before the revolution in vegan baking with the introduction of aquafaba, the liquid leftover after cooking chickpeas and beans, made me realize it might be a good investment. I have also, with the intense hot and humid days been craving all sorts of frozen treats, so it seemed a mixer might be a good idea. The mixer is needed for aquafaba in order to beat it so that it changes from a liquid to a foam, becoming in essence a really good egg replacement. I have tried to do it by hand, but it just didn't work. 

With our new Prime membership we also qualified for two day shipping, but that meant with a delivery window promising delivery sometime today before 8pm that I would have to be around for the delivery. Sadly, the Amazon tracking is not as detailed as that offered by other delivery companies meaning I would have to wait around for the mixer to arrive. The joy is that you can never do too much because if you do, that's when they arrive. I guess the new normal is the ability to order online and then wait around all day for things to arrive. 

Delivery Update: While waiting around this morning I decided to check online the tracking information offered by Amazon. Imagine my surprise, to discover that the package had been delivered at 8:51 am, when I check at 9:50. I hadn't moved from our living room in anticipation only to learn it was either delivered somewhere else or not delivered at all. Contacting Amazon via their chat option and while they didn't at all seem surprised that the package was delivered but I had not received it, which made me think this is a far too regular occurrence for them, they offered to reorder it for me and have it delivered tomorrow, which means another day waiting around. Not only does this experience make me think that their Prime accounts can't keep up with their orders but the business practice makes me wonder about how they make any money at all. 

Another Update: While making dinner I was surprised to see a delivery van on the street outside of our house. And yes, the mixer did finally arrive at 4:00 a whole 7 hours after it was posted as delivered. So in the end I did receive it and had to cancel the replacement order, but the whole ordeal still makes me wonder about Amazon's business practices. 


Monday, July 09, 2018

Says it All!

Capturing perfectly the greed, avarice and selfishness 
that defines American politics today.  

Another Warm Week?

Because today was promising to be another hot day I went for an early bike ride across Harbord Street to Sherbourne Street then south the lake where I caught the Martin Goodman/Pan Am Trail. I then biked east following the trail all the way out to the Beach, where it ended at Balmy Beach Park. I then turned around biking west to Leslie Street following the trail as it wound south to Cherry Beach before heading back home via Parliament and Richmond Streets. 

Arriving home I had a pineapple I picked up on the weekend and decided to make a sweet and sour inspired poke dish for dinner. Roasting the pineapple and some salmon on the BBQ, I let them cool down. I then made a sweet and sour sauce, combining a couple of small onions, some fresh ginger, some of the pineapple, some roasted red peppers I had in the fridge, a green pepper from the garden, some chopped carrot, some tamari sauce, sesame oil, and molasses which I ground up together. It tasted really fresh, but it needed to be cooked down a bit to bring the flavours together so I let it boil down a bit. 

Later to assemble the dish, serve a couple of bowls of rice with some of the roasted pineapple, the salmon, some red & green peppers (a little mango I had in the fridge) and the sauce. Dress this with some chopped green onions and roasted cashews & sesame seeds for a Chinese inspired poke dish. 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

A Saturday Walk

The Hotel Waverly being demolished at Spadina & College. 

This morning after picking up our dry goods and vegetables from Kensington Market, Mr.T and I decided to go for a walk to the Winners at Portland and Queen. Earlier in the week I had bought a pair of shorts that I didn't fit quite right and so I needed to return them. 

Stephen Hayes, 
Connectivity, 2009

We then walked along Richmond Street to Spadina to check out the Home Sense. After checking it out we continued east to Duncan Street then walked north to Queen Street and east again to check out the annual Toronto Outdoor Art Fair held in front of City Hall. Because it was a beautiful and sunny day it was filled with lots of others checking out the artwork offered by local artists. While it is always nice to see the work of young artists I found that most of the work was flat without any real energy, except for a couple booths, including the assemblage work of Stephen Hayes, which had an intense energy. After exploring the booths we walked back home via Dundas Street then through Kensington Market, stopping for some soft serve from Bunners on Augusta. 

After hanging out at home during the hottest part of the afternoon I was craving a hot dog for dinner, not sure why, so Mr.T and I walked down to Fancy Franks on College Street for dinner. I had their veggie corn dog, and Mr.T their turkey sausage and a milkshake and we split an order of onion rings. We also noticed for the first time that they also offer hamburgers and I was hoping a veggie burger, (sadly, no) and since we have yet to find a decent burger joint in the neighbourhood that offers a good veggie and meat burger we hoped it could be them. For whatever reason it hit the spot with us eating like teenagers whose parents were away for the night.