It’s No Hassle to Make a Tassel
Vegetarian Party Food : Three Quick Crostini Toppings

Bird Watching in Toronto (Swipe and click)

    A Little Sparrow Up Close
    Tweety Bird was in our Twee
    Urban Wildlife : Birds of Spring 2018

    A Summerlicious Lunch at Northern Maverick

    northern maverick brewing company sign toronto restaurant and micro brewery

    Toronto "Summerlicious" is a food festival organized by the city, which encourages people to try out different restaurants by offering special three course fixed-price menus. Now in its 16th year, this year it runs for 2 1/2 weeks, from July 5th to 21, with over 200 restaurants participating, many offering both a lunch and dinner "Summerlicious" menu. There's an application and vetting process, with the city selecting which places may participate, to make sure that people get to enjoy only the best food.

    I believe that Simmerlicious menus are to include three or more choices of an appetizer, a main course and a dessert, and at least one dish in each category must be a vegetarian option. Restaurant offer their 3-course meals at three price-points : $23, 28 or 33 for lunch and $33, 43 or 53 for dinner.

    While Nick and I make a point of getting to at least one new-to-us restaurant during the festival, I find that there's an added ongoing benefit, in that it gives me a chance to easily check out a whole bunch of tantalizing menus, for a wide variety of restaurants in and around our neighbourhood, on their site, giving us lots of ideas for places to try in the future.

    This year, we chose to have lunch at a relatively new restaurant -- it opened in the fall of 2017 -- called Northern Maverick, located at the corner of Bathurst and Adelaide Street West.

    Artistic Photography at The Ryerson Image Centre

    meryl mcmaster photo on the edge of this immesity self portrait series on display at ryerson image centre toronto

    Back in May, I posted a few stories about exhibitions I'd seen, that were part of The Contact Photography Festival. I really enjoyed that month-long event, which featured artistic photography shows in galleries, large and small, located all over the city. (My previous posts on the subject are here, here, and here.)

    While the actual festival ended on May 31st, there were some shows that extended beyond that. Today, I'd like to talk about a couple of those, both conveniently located in the same building, and both quite wonderful.

    The venue is "The Ryerson Image Centre", which is home to the School of Image Arts, on the campus of Ryerson University, located in the heart of Toronto, near the corner of Yonge and Dundas. (That's a popular area that most anyone coming to Toronto would go, so, with The Image Centre being a very short walk from there, it would be the perfect place for visitors to find a quiet spot and a free injection of curated art, amoungst shopping and sight seeing.)

    A Field Trip for Grown Ups at Black Creek Pioneer Village – Park II

    us taken by a friendly passer by

    Hi! Here is Part Two of the story about the fun evening we had at Black Creek Pioneer Village, at the "Field Trip for Grown Ups" hosted by Peter and Paul's Hospitality and Entertainment Group.

    If you'd like to know more about this interesting immersive museum located to the northwest of downtown Toronto, and the very nice party they had there, please check out Part I first.

    So, we left off at one of the food stations. From there we went to the "Making Music" activity, where we met a friendly music historian who was a talented fiddle player. She told us about the type of music the early settlers to the area enjoyed. (In Part I, there's also a short video we made about the evening, which features a tune performed by her, if you'd like a listen.)

    A Field Trip for Grown Ups at Black Creek Pioneer Village – Part I

    field trip for grown ups at black creek pioneer village toronto hosted by peter and pauls hospitality and entertainment group

    Black Creek Pioneer Village holds an enduring spot on my "Places to Go" list -- while I've been there before, it's somewhere that I'll always be interested in going again. So, it took me about a nanosecond to accept the invitation from Peter and Paul's Hospitality and Entertainment Group, to a "Field Trip for Grown Ups" that they were hosting there.

    The event was organized to showcase all the ways that adults can enjoy themselves at a place that is generally thought to be geared toward the education and entertainment of children. It is a popular destination for grade-school field trips, but on this special evening, it was adults only.

    Nick and I had such a good time and were very happy to be included.

    ↑ Here's a short video we made of the event. The song is called "Cheer Up Old Hag" and was performed by the music historian we met there. (This is the first video like this that we've attempted and it doesn't nearly include all that we got up to, but being new to video making, we forgot to film things. Anyway, it's short and sweet like the song and I hope you enjoy it.) ↑

    A Canada Day and Birthday Celebration Combined

    me a and l

    Hello! I hope that Canadian readers had a great holiday weekend, and that American friends are enjoying July 4th.

    We had a little "double-duty" get-together on Monday afternoon, to celebrate our much loved longtime friend Leslie, whose birthday falls this week, and also to commemorate Canada Day. The birthday part was a complete surprise to Leslie, which made it more fun. She's such a caring and lovely person, who deserved to be fêted.

    The group was Leslie and her man Niall, our buddy Andrea (who has also become friends with Leslie) and her boyfriend G, and me and Nick.

    Some of my favourite stories and photos to see online are ones featuring get-togethers and parties, so, if are are like minded, here are some photos of our gathering.

    Nick rolled his eyes when I told him all the serving pieces had to be red and white, to stick to the Canadiana theme, but he's such a good guy who understands how I feel about things looking a certain way.

    We used a combination of thrifted (detailed in this post, this one and this one), vintage and new things.

    The solid white Corelle plates are our everyday ones. They're the first dishes I got for my own home just after finishing university, filled in with thrifted replacements along the way. So, it seems I've always collected Corelle. I still pick up the white ones when I find them, but the real thrifted treasures are the printed ones from the 60s and 70s, such as the "Butterfly Gold" side plates we used on Monday.

    While all of our more recently acquired tablecloths are from the thrift-store, I just had to have the round cotton red and black buffalo plaid one I spotted on Amazon, so I used some gift money to get it. I'm very happy with it and can envision using it at Christmas and Valentine's Day, as well, so it's a new textile that will get a lot of use.

    Another new item on the table was the large ceramic soup mug that looks like it has an enamelware finish. It came with a lid and I found it amoungst the regular dishes at Marshalls.

    The third new item was the Canada flag tea towel, which I got in Kensington Market, at Eurolins on Baldwin Street. When Leslie saw it she proclaimed her state of "tea-towel envy"!

    I also got Leslie's gift there (seen below) and my maple leaf bandanna, which was an impulse purchase at the register.

    So, with the addition of a handmade decoration (made following the how-to in this post), a vintage (Made in Canada!) jar filled with wild flowers and maple leaves from our garden, and some pine-cones I found scattered on the ground under a massive tree the other day, I think we nicely pulled off the Canada Day theme.