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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Get Lost

If my past blogs haven’t made it obvious enough, I’m the type of person who finds myself most completely when I am nowhere to be found. I like to lose myself in my surroundings, whether they be scenery, literature, magazines, a conversation, or a movie. You’ll often find me ignoring my less-interesting guests at work in favour of a juicy conversation (usually about travel) with some of our regulars. As a moody Cancer, it’s not too unpredictable that my source of distraction changes quickly and often. I find I think most clearly when my mind is fuelled with interesting topics and captivating visions. Today I’m dedicating my blog to my favourite way to pass the time--playing hide and seek (with secret hopes of never being found)

Here’s a sneak peak to this week’s top-secret hiding spots:

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: who ever said whimsical could only be found in the Fantasy section at Chapters? I’m not quite through this one yet, as I’m indulging slowly to savour the imagination-provoking text about mystery, fairy tales and knowing your true self. The constant change of scenery and time period keep you on your toes and keep my easily-distracted mind entertained thoroughly. The book takes place in the early 1900s, the 1970s and some-what present day (2005) following three different characters travelling between England and Australia in hopes of self-discovery. As a reader, I anxiously read to discover with them, all the while trying to unravel the mysteries of their pasts that slowly reveal themselves throughout the text. A book that never quite gives you all the answers but is always provoking questions--need I say more?

Food & Wine-May 2010: Nothing like a good gourmet food magazine to make you hungry. But for anyone whose been tempted enough to look past the salivating cover knows there’s much more to magazines like this one than just luxurious and strenuous recipes. Two articles in particular struck my attention in this month’s issue:

Red Wine & Vegetables: Friends or Foes, by Ray Isle, profiles Californian vineyard owner and restaurateur Randall Grahm and his chef Charlie Parker and their tendency for (successful) odd wine pairings. Anyone who knows me, or has at least caught sight of me even once in a school cafeteria or work back-room knows I should be part-rabbit for how much I love fruits and veggies. Needless to say, I obviously took pleasure in reading how well his “spicy 2007 Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah [one of my favourite varietals] matches beautifully with Parker’s warm-main course salad of young turnips with greens, black olives and hazelnuts”. The success is credited to the earthy properties of root veggies. How relieving it is to know I can have my cake and drink my red, too.

Soup Nazis have more than just a bubbly big-haired Elaine to worry about nowadays. In Where Chefs go to see the Future, Anya von Bremzen talks about international chef congresses that are putting the concept of “secret ingredients” in the past by showcasing master chef’s creating complex dishes right before your (and the media’s) eyes. This article brought in stark contrast for me just how accessible cooking techniques have become for us--from the internet to the Food Network, it seems anyone can become an insta-Cordon Bleu graduate. This is something I defintely have taken granted of (with my search bar). But at second thought it kind of saddens me--will showing too much to too many take the magic out of cooking, discredit the talent in the creators?

Don’t forget to check out a tribute to the Great North (that means us, of course) in the travel secton (A Superselective Guide to Canada’s Best Wine and Food). Planning a back-packing venture any time soon? Let the go list be your guide when it comes to dinner restaurant choices and perfect wine pairings: 100 Best New Food and Drink Experiences. Renovating? (or just planning your future dream kitchen as I often do), Ted Allen offers some expert tips for creating a space fit for a culinary king (or even the top chef master of your castle) in Ted Allen’s Renovation Challenge.

The Young Victoria -The beautiful backdrops of traditional English gardens and castles made this the perfect Sunday afternoon film for someone who plans to travel to London in the near future. The movie profiles the life of the legendary Queen Victoria and her successful reign despite a somewhat premature possession of the crown. An essential love story kept me glossy eyed and was made all the more delicious with some seriously wise casting choices. Her self-assured personality and determination for success made me thinking girl-power thoughts for the whole 105 minutes of the film, all the while making me re-think a second degree in English history.

Toronto Life- June 2010
This month’s feature article, 50 Reasons to Love Toronto Now, covers what we love most about our city--from educational reformers like Chris Spence, to restaurants dedicated solely to a comfort food fave, Grilled Cheese, offered up in ten tantalizing versions in Kensington Market. My favourite of the list was number 9, though--The Toronto Temperance Society. An ode to all the cliques, high-society and the no-boys/girls-allowed treehouse mentality, this members-only club located above Sidecar on College is a drinking club for the wealthy. For an annual fee just shy of $300 dollars, members sip on only-the-best cocktails while abiding by strange clubhouse rules (the most entertaining being a strict no-cosmo policy that, if broken results in immediate removal from the premises). Definitely tickles my Gossip Girl fancy.

Here’s what’s next on my list of indulgences:
Rumors by Anna Godbersen…Part 2 of The Luxe teen series
The Sweet Life in Paris by pastry chef David Lebovitz
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass the classic by Lewis Carroll (a must-read before London)
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (Forgotten Garden)
The latest issue of FASHION that just arrived in my mail box today

And of course next month issues of my faves from the stands

Any suggestions??



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