At the 519…

IMG_1067We were very fortunate to have been invited to the annual 519 Gala tonight. The 519 is a fantastic community centre on Church St. in Toronto – and tonight k.d. lang gave a special performance in the centre’s ballroom. Great performance and a very nice dinner as well – and as a bonus we met some great people.

Love those scotch bonnets

Over the years we’ve developed a taste for spicy foods, and at a certain point we found those dried red chiles to be way too bland. It happens I have a dehydrator I use for drying wild mushrooms, and it turns out it’s great for chiles as well.

IMG_2413I put on a pair of latex gloves and slice up a batch of good hot chiles. Currently I’m using a mix of mostly scotch bonnets with a few cayennes thrown in to give the mix a redder colour.  They dry in the dehydrator in 24-30 hours.

IMG_2415I grind up the dried chile mix in a coffee grinder. We keep a batch in a little clay pot in a cupboard by the stove (with a back-up batch stored in a plastic container), and we sprinkle it on all kinds of foods.

If you try something like this at home, be sure you don’t touch the chiles then touch your eyes because it will burn. Also, be sure you grind the chiles in something that doesn’t let much fine power out as you grind or you will find yourself coughing from the strength of the chiles in the air.

Winter – bring it on, we’re ready

IMG_2410I brought in some wood today, and filled up the shelf units on either side of the woodstove. I’ve also staged a couple months worth of wood outside the deck doors, some in a deck box and the rest on top, with covered with a tarp. The stove is in the Great Room, which is above the old garage. At one time the garage was a free-standing structure beside this house, but in the early 90s, the garage was joined to the house with this marvellous upstairs room. The original side door of the house now leads to a stairway up to the Great Room or down to a bathroom. One of the first things we did after moving to 27th Street was install the woodstove.  Our furnace doesn’t do a great job of heating that room, but the woodstove toasts everything up beautifully.

I think the picture of the dancers is going to have to be lowered. It’s been in place there since spring, but I think it’s a little close to the stove-pipe.

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