Out for dinner with friends….

We enjoyed dinner out tonight with friends at Anatolia, a Turkish restaurant in the former Etobicoke, just a 10 minute drive north of where we live. It turned out to be an early birthday celebration for Tuffy P, whose birthday is actually this coming Sunday.

A big thank you goes out to our friends tonight. We had a great time, with great food, conversation, a brief history lesson, a touch of trivia and even some (sort of) fortune telling action.

IMG_2927We started dinner with a table full of appetizers. I can’t begin to tell you the names of them all – just that they were all super-tasty. For a main course, I had a mixed grill – a crazy amount of delicious food, especially after all the appetizers. It came with beef Kofte, chicken kebab, spicy Adana kebab as well as lamb kebabs, all beautifully grilled and served with rice, bulgur, yogurt and yufka, a thin unlevened bread.

I recommend Anatolia if you’re in Etobicoke (it’s located in a strip mall on Dundas near Kipling) and you’re looking for terrific food at moderate prices. It’s a great place to go with friends. We’ve dined there a number of times over the years and it has never disappointed.



Caption this…

IMG_1734Great to see Candy and Stagg tonight! Great dinner at 850 Degrees  here in Long Branch. The photo in this post is Stagg with Tuffy P in our kitchen….making coffee….but other captions are possible.

Paska Wars

As we were busy making paska today, friends in Mississauga texted to say they were making it too….and the paska wars were on. Long Branch vs Mississauga. Tuffy P drove our entry west out of Long Branch to the exchange, a parking lot at Southdown Rd and Lakeshore.

IMG_0940Here are the entries….

…..and then Mississauga throws us a curve ball by including a container of super-delicious ravioli….paska + pasta!


IMG_0954Looks pretty good, that Mississauga paska…

IMG_0948And tastes damn fine too!

The judges have deliberated and declare it……a tie!


Hot Hot Hot

My friend Arno came by today with a basket of beautiful habaneros from his garden. I’ll be slicing these in half and drying them in the handy dehydrator I also use for drying wild mushrooms. Then I’ll grind them up in a coffee grinder. Arno brought over a big enough batch to supply our household and his with all the super-hot goodness we’ll need for the winter.  I’m interested to see if habaneros grown here have the same level of heat as the ones grown in the tropics. Not long ago I dried a batch of scotch bonnets from the grocery store that were very hot indeed.

I think Arno likes hot food more than anyone else I know. We periodically meet up someplace or another for lunch, and Arno has been known to pull a jar of ground habaneros from his pocket to spice things up a little!

Goodies from Edmonton

I arrived home from work today to find a package had arrived in today’s mail from Edmonton, a day early.  You see I won a little raffle. I sponsored my friend Karen on the Run for the Cure, and she decided to hold a draw for her sponsors for a pair of fantastic home-made mittens – and I won!

It gets even better. The box contained other goodies as well…

I reached in and came up with a bag of cookies…..and then an M&Ms toy fan, with M&Ms inside….and that’s not all. I dug really deep and found a Bar of Lindt dark chocolate infused with red chili!  Wow, what a treat! Thanks so much Karen.

Chagall today

Off to the Marc Chagall exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario today. The show closes on the 15th, so I’m meeting up with my old friend Tim today to catch the show and catch up. Tim and I know one another going back to both high school and university. That’s back when dinosaurs roamed the earth for those who were wondering. More later….

In the Woods

I took Friday off work and headed up to the secret enchanted mushroom forests to do some foraging. I didn’t have high expectations because the rain we received mid-week wasn’t nearly enough to encourage a good flush of tasty edibles. However, wandering around a forest always makes for a good day, with or without lots of mushrooms to pick.

I went to my most reliable chanterelle spot first and found nothing at all. It was a mushroom-free zone of the worst order. I wandered down the trail thinking I should give the whole area at least a quick look before abandoning ship. I almost stepped on the chanterelles in the picture below, as they were on the edge of the trail I was walking.

Look how well hidden they are in the leaves on the floor of the forest. Encouraged by this find, I examined this chunk of forest carefully. I found just 8 chanterelles in total. I also found two bug-eaten examples of hypomyces lactifluorum. Aha, I thought. The lobsters have started. I high-tailed it over to a nearby forest that always has loads of lobsters, but nada. So I drove to another productive lobster spot, a boggy hemlock forest. Again nada. At this spot, I was reminded that there are many inconsiderate idiots roaming this planet. See the photo below:

Who did they think was going to clean up after them?

Off I went to yet another forest. This is one I’ve only recently learned about. However, today there were no mushrooms around. It was a beautiful forest to walk through though.

Later on Friday, our pals Candy and Stagg came over, and also Behzad, another friend we’ve known for many years. We enjoyed some bbq and a couple excellent games of scrabble. It was great to see Candy and Stagg, who have been on an incredible roadtrip and recently arrived in Toronto.