Sunday, February 27, 2011

Take the Good with the Bad

Toronto in February is only slightly more hideous than Toronto in January. Glass half full people talk about the imminent bloom of spring. Those more pessimistic remind the glass half full idiots that we've been suffering in grey mediocrity for that much longer. And, who are we kidding, we have another month of this shit before anything starts to shift.

It's murder on the shoes. Nothing can withstand the days that go from freezing at 6 am, to snowy at 9, and then to melt by noon. The streets are filthy. The geography is ugly. There is not a hint of the rebirth of green. Bone-chilling cold/damp is the utter inverse of hot/humidity. Don't get sick. Don't get cold. Because coming back from it is epic.

But wait. Before you kill yourself, think of the reasons you live here. Like late-April to mid-November. Street patios. Kensington Market under a cloudless sky. Drinks at the Park Hyatt rooftop. The best, and most diverse, food you'll come across anywhere - and that includes NYC. The food here is best in class. OMG - is the only thing I care about food??

To wit, gotta love a town that offers up handmade cupcakes and unpasteurized cheese of the highest calibre, within a city block.

Red Velvet and Dulce de Leche... These are so moist, I almost wrecked them taking them out of the box. And, not an icing lover by nature, caramel and cream cheese totally flip my switch.

Brillat Savarin is like St. Andre but "not crappy" (says the decidedly snobby fromageriste) Honestly though, if your fromageriste can't be the ultimate snob, then what hope is there for your organic butcher?? And the cheddar isn't English applewood, it's Kintyre. Seriously, this stuff is the shit.

Of course, this little indiscretion tiramisu cost me $40.00. Wanna guess how long it's going to last, what with my tween who eats everything in sight and then says she's still hungry? (The one whose legs have outgrown the size 12 pants I bought her last month.)

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Update: Scott kindly volunteered to walk up to the liquor store in the wretched damp, to get me a few bottles of wine. Alas, on his return, I reviewed my Visa slip to note that he'd spent $52.00 on one of them. Says he was talking to the cashier so he didn't note the bill - the one he signed off on using my card. Intriguingly, this is the bottle I was about to open 10 minutes ago, but something told me it was really cher. I don't know if it was the label (which I might have recognized subconsciously) or the fact that it simply seemed extra fine, but can you imagine?? That would have been one expensive Sunday afternoon snack.

Now begins the argument over who will return said bottle...


  1. We San Franciscans might argue over food bragging rights. But, you know, in a kinda laid back, leftist sort of way. Before we worked out:).

  2. OMG I want one of those cupcakes! Weather sounds awful but plenty to look forward to!

  3. Please tell us where you bought those cupcakes?

  4. That was a very accurate, if a little depressing, portrayal of Toronto in February. Uggh. I am glad to be going south for a few weeks next week, and hoping that when i return the worst of the weather blah's will be over. And to anyone who is reading this who has not experienced Toronto, she is not exaggerating. The food really is that good. I think that is the main reason i would never think of leaving this city.

  5. LPC: I just had a conversation with my mother about how terrific Californian food is. So I'm not going to argue back too hard :-)

    Fab: It's as bad as it sounds. So we eat!


    Farah: Thank you for backing my play!! And I'm so jealous you're getting out of here till the weather turns.

  6. I grew mostly on Long Island and lived in Albany New York for 14 years before moving to California so I feel your pain when it comes to the winter blues.

    I second LPC's comment about San Francisco bragging rights when it comes to food :-).

    I'm not a cupcake nut but I do love cheese, and miss it, since we're doing the vegan thing at home. (By the way, Martin dropped the uric acid level from 12 to 7.5 with the diet changes alone -- no meds! -- just needs to get it under 6 and he's in good shape.)

    Those cheese wedges look very, very tempting.

  7. Would it make you feel any better to know that we have the mushy remnants of a weekend snowfall under the dull grey rainy Vancouver sky right now -- it's back above freezing, yes, but just a degree or two, so the whole sloppy mess threatens to ice up. But there is good food here in Vancouver as well, and although the hill to the wine store was too slippery to hike yesterday, there's always a bottle of Scotch in the cupboard. Amazing how much better I feel sipping Balvenie . . .

  8. February is the most awful month. Technically it is not as hideous as January, but it is worse because you are so sick of it already.

    We used to Travel in February. Even San Francisco which is rainy and dreary that month is an improvement over NY State.

    I probably would have drunk the wine, damn the bill, just because it is February.

  9. I am not sad to leave February behind. Now, I'm headed over to crack that bottle with you (or we'll buy another to celebrate). Please have those cupcakes on hand ;-)

  10. Cupcakes and cheese? I'm definitely coming to visit!!

  11. Susan: I don't know that I could bring myself to forgo cheese. I feel for Martin...

    Mater: Strangely, I do feel better hearing that! But today it's pissing with rain here. Something I'm sure you can relate to :-)

    Mardel: Newsflash - I kept the wine and I'm drinking it today!

    Stacey: I can have both wine and cupcakes on hand, but you'll have to arrive within 2 hours of their purchase or they'll all be gone :-)

    Stacy: You have to! But wait until the weather is slightly better.