A TED Video: Jennifer 8. Lee : Who was General Tso? and other mysteries of American Chinese food. Chinese food as Linux. via HN
Archives For Food and Drink
I finished my major project (that had me going crazy hours for two months) around 1pm on Saturday. Twenty minutes later I received an email from my client telling me that the three minute overview piece (finished the day before and uploaded as an HD file to an ftp site) had just received a "rousing ovation" from 200 people. Kinda made my day.
If any of you happen to be at NAB, wander by the Harris booth. (It’s one of the biggest ones.) You’ll see our work playing on the overhead monitors, the four Kiosk screens and the 4 screen plasma display in the Café area of the Harris booth. As tired as I still am (more on that in a moment), I was working with a great client who knows how to get the best out of his people and his suppliers. (Would that many church leaders have his gifts!)
Saturday night, Rylan drove Imbi and I to the airport to begin the trip to our eventual destination of Lisbon, Portugal. We boarded an Air Canada flight for Heathrow that left at 11:30pm. At the airport, we discovered, because of bad traveling plans on the part of the people we are here with, we couldn’t check our bags through. They had to be picked up @ Heathrow T3 and schlepped by us to T2. This meant us clearing customs. And we only had a two hour window. The Air Canada agent at check-in did everything she could to help but was unable to. What she did do was put priority stickers on our bags which meant we were able to pick them up in plenty of time for the flight. (Kudos to this AC employee for the great help. I wish I’d gotten her name.) Although it must have been amusing to see Imbi and I motoring through the tunnels between T3 and T2. (We probably should have taken a bus, right Christopher?)
After a nice and uneventful flight to Lisbon we got to our hotel (about twenty minutes outside of the city) around 5pm, Sunday evening in clear, sunny and warm Portugal. Neither of us had slept since Friday evening. We were both slightly zombie-like, but did manage after unpacking and crashing for about an hour to head out for a meal. After a fine omelette each at a local fish place (don’t ask), we wandered dazed back to the hotel. Promptly falling asleep at 8:20pm. (Or three in the afternoon, Toronto time.) Imbi woke up first, around 7. She told me it was 8, when I
razed raised my lazy head. Breakfast was served ’til 10:30ish so we weren’t in a particular hurry.
It was 10am, so Imbi said, when I finally left for the hotel restaurant (it’s on the 8th floor). I was going to get us a table. It was pretty empty when I got there – and I found it strange that there was a dessert table for breakfast. What was even stranger was that the buffet featured salads, soup, spaghetti bolognese and veal cutlets. I’d never been to Portugal, so I thought, "perhaps this is breakfast in this country. I mean, I did have an omelette for dinner, after all."
The waiter approached me to ask if I was looking for something in particular. He looked rather puzzled when I said, "Breakfast." "Oh, I’m sorry sir, we stopped serving breakfast @ 10." By my calculations, it was only shortly after 10. "We were told breakfast was served until 10:30," I replied somewhat indignantly. "Well sir, that is correct. But, since it is now 2:15pm, we are serving lunch. And we close lunch service at 2:30." I looked at my new cheap analogue style watch (bought on the plane from duty free.) I had it on upside down. It was upside down when Imbi woke up and saw it across the room.
Turns out we went to bed at 8 the previous night and woke up between 12:30 and 1:00pm the next afternoon.
I went back to the room to get Imbi who didn’t believe me at first. And then we both had a very good laugh.
Lunch was tasty (and expensive) and we headed out to wander the beach from about 3 ’til just after six. Imbi is out on our balcony catching the last rays of the day, as we await Al and Jane Roxburgh’s arrival at 8:30pm. I think I’ll have a nap before they get here.
Oh. And if you’re interested. This is why we are in Portugal.
I’ll do my best to return to serious blogging over the course of the next couple of weeks.
My blog list is filled with people I enjoy reading. Some make me angry, some sad and others inform with wit and wisdom. Two bloggers stand out amongst the crowd. One who regularly makes me laugh while skewering me with his insight. The other massages my oft-times hardened heart and brings tears to my eyes (as he did again this morning).
And, on an unrelated note, my eldest offered me some wise blogging advice. (I do look forward to Liam regularly blogging again – but only after all his work is done, of course.)
UPDATE: I thought about this as I laid in bed before drifting off to a fitful night’s sleep – and was then reminded of it this morning by my friend, John. Twould seem that some folk might not get the “my church is licensed” line. In Canada, establishments need to be “licensed” to sell beer, wine and spirits.
Ry came back up to the loft this morning after walking Dani the Wonderdog with the news, "someone smashed in the car window, Dad." Kind of set the town for the day. Reflected in the comments on the TEC post. Don’t have much to blog about. Have to cancel a trip I’ve been looking forward to for months. But may head off on a road trip with my bride, instead. I think I need to drink my last coffee porter and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.
UPDATED: Don’t know the caffeine content in the Coffee Porter. Am having a McAuslan St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout in its place. Thinking of changing the name of this blog to Achievable Beers. Perhaps an easier goal to aspire to.
UPDATE 2: My friend, Dave Harms notes that this blog is now #2 @ Google if you search achievable beer – maybe there’s something to this.
This drink is made with coffee beans from the Distillery District’s Balzac’s Coffee – but it’s like no other coffee I’ve ever tasted. My eldest had tried it some months ago and hated it. I love it. My dear wife got it for my birthday…and I’m very appreciative. It’s a Mill Street Coffee Porter and it is delicious. Almost the best of both worlds. Great coffee and great beer.
Kaili and I were discussing the recurring sleep issues for certain members of the Kinnon clan, yesterday.. (Kaili’s name is pronounced Ki – lee – accent on the first sylable.) We all seem to be night owls – and truly hate mornings. Unfortunately for Kai, where we live requires that she get up most mornings at 6am in order to get to the French school she attends. But she can’t get to sleep until midnight most nights. What to do?
Apparently there are a number of great foods to help one become sleepy. They include the great old standby, warm milk, as well as Chamomile tea, bananas, a little honey in the warm milk, a small baked potato, oatmeal, almonds, flaxseed, turkey and whole wheat muffins. (The whole wheat is out in our house as three of the five of us have wheat allergies.) Read this post on the Top 10 Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep discovered on the wonderful Reddit. (I hate Digg, but love Reddit. Go figure.)
And no I’m not feeling any better…yet.
This is not a thanksgiving post…well, actually it is. But not American Thanksgiving. Just thankfulness for the company of good friends and the enjoyment of good food.
I just enjoyed (another) lunch at ViVetha this week with the incomparable and incredibly gracious, Darryl Dash. It’s taken us about two months to make this happen, but it was worth the wait (and perhaps the weight..after the meal and dessert.) ViVetha would not be the cheapest place in town for evening meals (which are fabulous – if Imbi’s and my last two experiences are any indication) but it is very reasonable for lunch. My three cheese omelot was excellent and Darryl seemed to enjoy his mushroom sandwich. We both went for desserts. I actually savoured my Key Lime pie, it was so good. And Darryl had no complaints about his pecan pie (which I’ve enjoyed before).
We found the time to talk for more than two hours – about life in general and the state of the church in Toronto. It was a good conversation. One we hope to continue on a more regular basis.
Here’s a shot of ViVetha – nestled between a laundromat and a church jumble shop. I enjoyed lunch here a couple of days ago with Dan MacDonald, another gifted Toronto pastor. It’s becoming a regular haunt of mine. And perhaps, next time, Darryl and Dan will join me. (I guess I could just email them, rather than do it through the blog…or perhaps even call them. Nah!)
I wandered down to the Beach after our meal. Enjoying the sunshine that has been the norm since my sunshine complaint on Monday. (The sunshine is supposed to disappear for the weekend, of course.) The shot below looks towards the RC Harris water treatment plant at the far Eastern end of the Beach (The Beaches to non-Beach folk.). In the distance you can almost see some dredging going on (if you look really closely).
‘Twas a great meal on a glorious fall day in the Centre of the Universe, Toronto.
This weekend has been a treat for us. Our friend, Christopher, has been here from England for the weekend (after attending a legal conference in Toronto) and we’ve had a fabulous time of conversation and city wandering. Last night, part of that wandering led us to ViVetha Bistro – a short walk from where we are living (however briefly) in Toronto’s Beach area.
Vi Vetha is not particularly a large restaurant – perhaps seating thirty guests. And it is not a restaurant that you can easily expect to find a table as a walk-in customer. We attempted that last week and were unsuccessful. Reservations are a must. The restaurant was opened by the former chef at Nevada – a previous Beach favourite of ours – and he is one of the reasons Vi vVetha has become as popular as it has.
We arrived last evening a few minutes before our reservation and were promptly seated at one of two window tables. Service was smooth and efficient. Christopher chose a fabulous bottle of Italian wine, Cesari Amarone, that we thoroughly enjoyed. (Imbi is not a wine imbiber, but thought the wine smelt wonderful – and liked the small sip she took.) Christopher and I both had soup – his a wonderful mushroom with asiago, and mine, cream of asparagus with asiago and bacon – both fabulous. Imbi had a good caesar salad. We all enjoyed our entrees. Christopher loved his Teriyaki Salmon (encrusted with sesame seeds), Imbi, her Veal Scaloppine and I, my steak Filet special. The food was fabulous, the service excellent and the evening, a great success.
One of the great pleasures of living in a small city (the Greater Toronto Area is only about 6 million people) is running into old friends. Last night was particularly fun.
As we briefly waited for our table, an old friend of ours joined the queue right behind us – her husband joining her as soon as he’d parked the car. Mark and Lynne have been friends for years – but we haven’t seen them as often as we would have liked. (I did do lunch with Mark earlier this year at another Toronto favourite, Via Oliveto.)
Mark and I have worked together often in the past 25 years. He is a gifted sound-man, who has also worked as a producer. We travelled the country together in 1984 when we did the Pope Tour for CBC. He and Lynne ended up being seated at the other window table – right behind me – as the picture that Christopher took with my Sony Ericsson phone camera shows. (Mark wanted the picture deleted. I told him it would end up on my blog.) Mark was off for a week’s production work north of the city, after their meal. But we did manage to book a meal together at ViVetha in a couple of weeks. I do love Toronto!