Toronto, August 2nd, 2015
So today I re-started my blog which I had inadvertently abandoned in favour of starting a Twitter business, moving, and getting a new job. Okay, so the “move” was a 30-minute walk away from my other place, which I stayed at for about one night a month, but still. I moved.
I got an e-mail that people liked my last post, so I’m gonna post another. Just like that, you get more reading material. I can see this becoming cyclic….. and I’m okay with that.
One category I forgot about was my “Things Toronto Taught Me” segment, mostly providing an outlet for my frustrations of society in the biggest city/metropolis/megasuperexpansivethingy in Canada. Yes, Spell Check, I realize that isn’t a word, but thanks for providing it some colour. Gahh, I’m in Canada, Spell Check — colour is supposed to be spelled with a “u”! I digress.
Today’s submission of factoids and junk I learned in the big T.O.:
- Winter doesn’t really start until the snow sticks to the ground….. and that surprisingly won’t happen until the end of December (if then). In Niagara where I grew up, we’d have snow right at the beginning, and a few weeks full of lake effect winter before Christmas arrived.
- The sickest people in the city will always ride the TTC.
- The ones hacking up a lung will always choose the seat next to you.
- Some people are immune to winter. This becomes especially evident on Friday and Saturday nights, particularly in front of clubs with long lineups.
- This will always make me giggle to myself, and snuggle deeper into my sensible coat, double-mittens, and an awesomely fuzzy hat (if I can ever find one).
- Uggs were not invented by Canadians. At least I doubt it. If they were, well I’m stumped.
- Scarves better not go out of style.
- What few animals there are in the city get dumber as it gets colder. Today we almost ran over a squirrel who stopped in front of us and pretty much could have written the tunes for his own funeral by the time he realized he should turn back around.
- It may not be winter, but it’s pretty flippin’ cold to me.
- Swans must be pretty smug in the bird world at this time of year. Okay Toronto didn’t teach me that, I just thought about it now. But they’re probably all like, “I’m a swan, I’m white, nobody can see me, squawk squawk squaaaaaaaawk.” Of course their honk is annoying as heck, so they’re probably just as much of a target as usual, just, you know, smug-er.
Um, so that’s all I have to say about that.
Stupid smug swans.
Hallo there friends 🙂
Today’s post is a recipe for a change. Well, not even for a full meal, but for a pierogi (or perogi, or pirogi, if you prefer) topping.
I first tried this at the amazing Cafe Polonez on Roncesvalles in Toronto, but honestly wished I got a little more than the small cup, because it was so good! Now, I’m making perogies and want that flavour (or at least, how I remember it), so I’m experimenting and so far, without having made the actual perogies yet, it tastes really good.
Mix crushed pecans with equal amount of (real) bacon bits, and splash in a modest amount of real maple syrup. I thought about buying real bacon to cook, but honestly, this is quicker and drier (no grease left over), and easy to mix up. I used a package of Oscar Meyer real bacon bits, so they’re a little chewy, which is what I was hoping for. I’m sure it would work just as nicely with real bacon pieces, but make sure they’re small enough to spoon onto your perogies. If you find your mixture is sweet enough but needs more liquidity, you can add a dash of water (I did), or a dash of oil (I did that also). Or you can keep it as a dry topping to add to your sour cream….. if that’s your style 😉
I’ll let you know how the final product fairs. I’ve thrown the mix into the fridge to hopefully meld the flavours even more. Plus, I’d like to see if this is okay to prepare beforehand, so less to think about when making the actual perogies. Oh, and I totally plan on frying onions as well, and may or may not actually add them to this mix. Probably not, cuz then I’d have to cut them small and I like fried onions long and skinny 🙂 Anyway, I’ll update this when it’s been eaten!
*Update: I have since made at least 3 batches of this topping, it was THAT AMAZING. The first couple of times were using the crushed pecans I’d picked up in the bulk section (pecans are flippin’ EXPENSIVE!), but not being able to find anything less than like $10 without going back to the grocery store, I picked up some salted sunflower seeds from Shoppers Drug Mart for under $3. Honestly, it’s the crunch that matters. The taste is slightly different, but I wouldn’t say it’s worse, because it’s still flippin’ AWESOME. And incredibly quick. Real bacon bits and sunflower seeds (approx. same amount), mix with real maple syrup and a little water to loosen up the syrup, and suddenly pierogies are incredibly more delicious. I don’t think I’d eat them without this topping anymore. So as for the update: 5 FLIPPIN’ STARS. Wait, lemme find a picture for that. Screw it, I don’t want to give someone credit for a picture of stars. I can make one. Here: 5 flippin’ stars.
I’m taking a break from the Ideal Vacation series to bring you a new challenge: I’d like to create a series of entries that’ll serve as a resource to find awesome home-cooking restaurants in Toronto, Ontario. To start off, I’ll pick an area of the GTA, and let you know where my favourite place to eat is, and why. You can tell me if I’m nuts, or if you know of a better place.
Toronto sometimes gets a reputation for being a bit uptight, and it’s not hard to understand why: costs are sky-high for real estate in this busy city, so you gotta be good to make it.
However, you don’t have to be expensive, posh, or even that great of an atmosphere to have really good home-cooked food. Although it’s sometimes nice to have a fancy meal out, with so many of us 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd-generation Canadians living here, there’s something to be said for having a meal that reminds us of chowing down at the family dining table growing up.
I have explored some areas more than others, so if your fave spot doesn’t make it here, I might not even know about it! If you have a suggestion of a place, tell me here and I’ll make sure to try it in the next few weeks. Also be sure to include your favourite dish, so I can know what to order!
You know when someone is visiting Toronto if they will look you in the eye.