…At The Grindstones











A mid-afternoon smile for you..

More HERE.

KQ

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The other day…

..and some related music:

hee hee!

KQ




A follow up to the “Sentimental” blog, enjoy 🙂

KQ



{May 28, 2010}   Foodie Fare Two



For those of you curious about all the shizzle that I eat these days.. bear in mind this is over the last while and only at restaurants, and I’ve been traveling – I don’t eat out that much! 🙂

Pork and Green Onion Dumplings at the Dumpling House in Toronto

Rice that I forget the name of, but it was steamed with chicken, peppers and peanuts and it was mighty fine..

Can you tell that I am starting to learn Chinese….and that the service was slow that day?

Pizza from the same place, maybe called the Plum Tomato, Toronto, at Bathurst and Bloor- tasty, but the service is always sloowwww, even when you are the only ones there. This was, I think.. proscuitto and something…

A Ninja Slice..

A few weeks ago I had a hankering for Moussaka.. with potatoes- I wish they were lemon potatoes though.. Hands down one of my favorite foods…

This will be one of the next things that I tackle at home I think..

The other day I went to the Pickle Barrel (a Chain) and got sweet potato fries… and…

And a BLT & A.. Plus turkey…

I went out for a drink with my friend in Montreal and the menu had grape juice so I had to get it..

I went back to the same place the next day for Brunch, my favorite breakfast place in Montreal, Bistro Fruits Folie, with a good crew.. I had an amazing fresh Grapefruit juice..

One person got this AMAZING fruit place with fresh cream..

I had french toast with fruit and maple syrup… pretty good but… I wouldn’t get it again I don’t think because I wasn’t a big fan of the bread…

I usually get the Special Folie which someone else got:

I had visited my friend at a bakery that morning for my.. er.. first breakfast.. and had a Montreal Bagel with cream cheese and I took two enormous croissants for the road…

On the drive, once I got on the road to go further east, I stopped at Hotel Madrid ( video en route) and had some italian soup…

it was suuuper salty and the bun came in a baggie which freaked me out somewhat since I’d prefer homemade.. or crackers..

And a Bacon-Tomato sandwich which was awesome.

Once I made it to the east coast, after lots of not sleeping and major consumption of junk food in the car (blog about that coming soon), my first “meal” was the classic truck stop/ big stop breakfast which was AMAZING. It came out so fast- the waitress was super friendly and awesome as are most east coasters.. and though I almost fell asleep in it- I felt like my journey had finally ended, or rather, was about to begin.

Shortly after I went to my local tea house for a catch up with close friends- a great mix of people you’d never see out together otherwise…

And tried the soup. I think it’s called Ma’s Kitchen? In Dartmouth,NS. Used to be called the Queen of Cups and I guess they inherited the cups and saucers when they bought the place.. I think it was a Turkey soup- it was delicious.

Then I headed across to it’s sister city Halifax and grabbed some delicious nachos at the Wooden Monkey. Never a let down there.. but didn’t think to take a picture until I was almost finished eating them..

The next morning I went to the Halifax Farmers Market and got my market breakfast of Saturday Noodles from the Cheelin Restaurant, and 10 Pork Dumplings- SO amazing… I look forward to that EVERY time I visit Halifax. Ate them on the waterfront overlooking the harbour with an awesome group of people..

Then I went to Susies Shortbreads in Halifax and got a wicked Red Velvet cupcake which kicked the ass of the red velvet cupcake that I had at Wanda’s in Toronto in Kensignton Market.. This one was moist and amazing and rich and had a cream cheese icing and hit the spot like nobodies business.

I picked up a half dozen to deliver to a friend of mine at her weekend work… carried around a bright pink box – around town before the drop off and eeeveryone was jealous. It’s sad but true but so many LOCAL people to that city or it’s sister city do not know that there is a cupcake store- they don’t know what they are missing!!

Then I got the WORST italian soda ever from Perks coffee on the waterfront- no proper cups left, which means already the measurements are going to be off.. No ventilation in the hot coffee shop and a 7 minute wait.. seriously? I asked for half syrup and the guy pumps about 6 or 7 times into the tiny coffee cup. I felt like my teeth were going to rot out of my face.

Then I went to Porters in Dartmouth, NS. WHAT A DISASTER. 3 tables and terrible service. Water does not come for 10 minutes, and they wait till our other drinks are ready before bringing it. They bring me my tea- no hot water- and run away before I can say- “hey I need…” Took forever for the food to come, in which time my mother had emptied her water glass, my dad his beer, and I still have nothing. Hadn’t seen the waiter anywhere. I ended up with something with mashed potatos and watered down horseradish, and the potato peel had mould on it. AWESOME.

It was so terrible.

Usually I try to be thankful of all food put in front of me and how it’s prepared, thankful that I can afford to have someone else cook for me or had the time to make a nice meal.. and appreciative of what servers have to offer, because I’ve worked in service before. They all hung out in the kitchen and I could hear their TV. FAIL.

Anyway, for the most part the food I’ve had out recently has been AMAZING and really added to my trip. I have a few more items that didn’t make this blog because it’s getting so long, but I’ll post more soon! What was your favorite food that you had this week?

KQ




I finally finished off reading ME by Katharine Hepburn, and came across so many amazing quotes but this one really stood out to me so I have to share it before the others:


“It seems to me that I discovered what “I love you” really means.

It means I put you and your interests and your comfort ahead of my own interests and my comfort because I love you.

What does this mean?

I love you. What does this mean?

Think.

We use this expression very carelessly.

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get- only with what you are expecting to give- which is everything.

What you get in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and you cannot help giving. If you are very lucky, you may be loved back. That is delicious but it does not necessarily happen.

It really implies total devotion. And total is all emcompassing-

the good of you, the bad of you…”



-Katharine Hepburn on Love.. and Spencer Tracy

There’s a reason why we feel like slaves to love. There’s a reason why – and of course with my background this comes up- that LOVE in history did imply a submissiveness and surrender to another- that will be a different post…Love, romance, passion, surrender..leading by the heart, love crazed…Surrendering our hearts up to someone else and just hoping, praying that they don’t devour them.. A wonderful and frightening feeling all at once..

A little reading music…

KQ

PS. She also said..

“I have no idea how (he) felt about me. I can only say I think that if he hadn’t liked me he wouldn’t have hung around. As simple as that. He wouldn’t talk about it and I didn’t talk about it, We just passed twenty-seven years together in what to me was absolute bliss.

It is called LOVE.”



{May 27, 2010}   Frogs and Flowers


I went to the Montreal Botanical Garden’s recently. I LOVE it there, so much. I didn’t have much time but I wanted to show you a bit of my experience there, go go go if you every get the chance, take a day, bring some snacks..

Official Website Here!

I LOVE this flower. I can’t remember the exact variety though…

The approach…


There is so so much to see there. I still haven’t been to the furthest sections of the gardens, I really need a day or two there.. I’m hoping to treat myself to that some time soon actually, as when I was there this time I was recovering from illness and did not have the strength to trek all over the place as usual.

My favorite bits I did see though, the Chinese gardens:

Wiki Guardian Lions– Read more about them HERE!

I’m certainly not showing all of that section of gardens, but it’s a bit of an idea of a place where you can be taken away…. The greenhouses are AMAZING and are also my favorite but I skipped those this time.. to make it to the Alpine Garden, which in it’s rockiness reminds me of lots of places that I visited as a youngin’… though I missed out on the Japanese gardens which are also amazing…

If you have a look at their website you’ll see just how huge it is. The First Nations Garden is also phenomenal and reminds me of home so when I can I absolutely spend some time there and enjoy the scent of the trees.

Just wanted to share a bit of that with you tonight, I was away on somewhat of a vacation, and have so much to share it’s overwhelming!

KQ



{May 15, 2010}   For Their Delectation…


Was reading more of the final volume of the Chinese classic today and came across this passage, further reminding me of the passion for food that so many people have- and even in simple things one can find this feeling that takes them somewhere else. As a foodie I take this to be something absolutely related to the joy I find in eating, the preparation of food, like Italian cooking- the love and care that goes into preparing meals or snacks, and the joy I find in things like a pear that I can sit and enjoy – of course I am thinking of Xinjian pears as I write this, but it’s the little things I find that a lot of people write off because it’s too much work. Too much work to eat a pear, easier to eat fruit snacks.

Personally I love the fact that something complicated to eat forces me to slow down and savor it. Food I shop for outdoors, in smaller markets, so I can enjoy picking out the item in the sun and thinking about what it is going to go into, how I am going to enjoy it..

“Who could have anticipated that at this juncture Yueh-niang, back at home, should have sent Ch’i-t’ung and an orderly to deliver four partitioned boxes of mouth-watering sweetmeats and fancy fruits for their delectation. There were:

Blazing yellow kumquats
Fragrant red Pomegranates
Delectable bittersweet olives,
Verdant green apples, and
Redolently fragrant pears.

And there were also:

Honeysweet candied persimmons,
Sugar-soaked giant dates,
Butterfat pine nut pastries,
Elephant eye-shaped sesame candy,
Domino-like deep-fried sweetmeats, and
Honey-basted chain-shaped crullers.

In addition there were:

Willow-leaf candy, and
Ox-hide taffy.

Truly they were things:

Rarely found in this world,
Seldom seen in the universe.”

Is this stuff really so rare or do we just buy in bulk and let stuff go to waste and therefore only get it on it’s way out? Is it because of the way that we eat and prepare things- or purchase them fully prepared for that matter – that we don’t get excited about it or- is it cool to be this bored?

KQ

Ps. Yes, that is a reference to this song:



{May 13, 2010}   Glitch Mob


Last summer, at Burning Man.. I heard some new music… and I really liked it. It’s hard to explain.. not always something you can dance to, not always something you would just relax to… but ..something I liked enough to pay for and of all the things I am a fan of- live music is generally not one of them.

The first song that I heard by them or one of them (Edit) was from a giant elephant art car behind me called Ganesh, during the build up before the man burned so – without getting into too many details here, it was a time where people were energized, thinking of new beginnings and sacrifices, everyone was out to witness this event… so it was packed… This enormous thing on fire made for quite a crowd (since we encircled it and we didn’t all have front row seats or even 3rd row..

Anyway it was this track:

Followed by this track remixed by Nero, that got this music in my head:

But back to the show. They were great to watch live, still obviously enjoying their own music and mixing it up.. the crowd was small, but obviously all knew this group well, and all from different circles..

Lots of movement, lights and projections, and new instruments I had never seen. I tried to get up to discuss their set up with them but the line was so long for that that I missed it by a hair. Sad because I wont get that chance again and they were every much into meeting the people who came out to see them in this small space. I’m glad I went though. Here’s one of their most popular tracks :

A little epi of them playing some live park and sidewalk shows..

And another well known track for you to enjoy:

It was one of those events for me where it was hard to capture in photo or video what it really meant to me, because for me I associate it with well- a different place… I’ll post about that later. Here are two little “snippets” of the show that I saw. Would have filmed more but I was too busy enjoying it.

A little bit of one of their more popular tunes 🙂 and yes I was dancing and trying to film haha.

Time to get out in the world today,

KQ



{May 11, 2010}   Hot and Sour Soup

Success, A for Awesome. I made Hot and Sour Soup from scratch and it turned out pretty great! The only things I would change would be the heat that I cooked it with (less).. which I think would have helped with the color and adding the egg.. and not burning myself as much hehe.

I took the recipe mainly from Hiu of Expert Village:

He posted small videos breaking down step by step the preparation of Chinese hot and sour soup – the only video I had seen – or series of videos I guess- that really broke it down for newbies. So I gave it a whirl..

I went to my favorite place to shop for ingredients and take in the sights…

I’m not used to using so many kinds of sauce!

Black vinegar, Dark and Light Soy Sauce, Chili Bean Sauce, Cooking Wine, Olive oil, Salt, Sichuan Pepper, Turbinado Sugar, Cornstarch..

Then I chopped like a madwoman..

Blanched what needed blanching…including the super amazing bamboo A..

Blanching..

And then set it up to put everything all together. My main mistake was that the wok was way too hot when I started. Caused some problems with the ginger, egg, chili bean sauce and colour of soup.. And er.. I burned myself some..

And added all of the ingredients for the big finish!!!

And it wasn’t spicy enough for me so I added some chili-garlic sauce to serve and chopped green onions.. et.. VOILA!

I’m just heating up the last of it now..saved the A till until the end… Hope you enjoyed my food-venture!

KQ

Ps. Reminded me of Hot and Sour Peasant Soup (F the Shrimp!) Skip to :50 or so if you don’t know what I’m talking about from the Birdcage 🙂



“He has uttered but a handful of disconsolate words,
Which cause my tears to fall in incessant cascades.
I cannot control the monkey of my mind and the horse of my will.
I am no more than a delicate Lo-yang flower,
In danger of becoming a target of romantic gossip.
These words may sound like a joke, but they’re not a joke;
This allegation may seem to be false, but it isn’t false.
That one is trying to pull up the trees
to investigate the roots,
While this one is pointing to a deer
and calling it a horse.”

Chin P’ing Mei- Volume Three- The Aphrodisiac (Chapter Fourty- One)




et cetera