Eating Our Way Through Winter

A few weeks ago a cardboard box full of food appeared on our front doorstep. Had the neighbours seen my husband Peter buying produce at Sunnyland’s bargain prices and decided we were hungry?

Actually it was Goodfood! delivery service, a Christmas gift from our son Daniel and his wife Jenny. They said it was a thank-you for all the meals they have eaten at our house. We were hesitant at first, not knowing what we were getting into. But then we checked out the menu choices and began to salivate over Seared Scallops with Brown Butter Tomatoes over Home-made Pasta. We feasted our eyes on the picture of Spice-Crusted Haddock with Toasted Pepitas and Sweet Potatoes. The coming weeks were going to be a never-ending banquet!

On the first Monday morning at 8:00 am we collected our box from the front door. Like little kids on their birthdays, we tore open the box and examined all the fresh vegetables, the little packages of spices, the tiny bottles of sauce, and the trays of meat and fish. Then we found the first recipe, two full pages of pictures and instructions.The enormity of our task began to dawn on us. Should I start cooking right away? Or maybe we should just put the box back on the porch and hope somebody else would take it.

I held off until late afternoon. Then I began to chop, zest, blanche, trim, sauté, and look for an oven-proof pan. Oops! A slight modification required. Finally, after about an hour of frantic activity, we sat down to Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Golden Potatoes and Tomato Kale Hash. Delicious! We eagerly scanned the recipe for the next night.

And so the weeks passed. Some recipes required more work than others, some had new ingredients like motto costo (even Peter the Italian had not heard of that), some needed extra utensils such as chop sticks or special knives. There was a lot of packaging to recycle. But, all in all, we enjoyed every creation. I did have one worry, though. How could we ever invite Daniel for dinner again and serve plain old spaghetti? At the very least I’d have to toast some pine nuts to sprinkle on top.

After our Goodfood adventure was over, we began to look elsewhere for another culinary experience. We discovered Winterlicious! We found over 200 restaurants offering this dining opportunity during two weeks in the city. The trick was to narrow down the choices using the filters provided on the website: area of the city, kind of food, lunch or dinner, price. After all, how many restaurant meals can you eat in two weeks?

For our outing Peter and I decided to combine our meal with another adventure – the Ice Fest in Yorkville. We anticipated a few small, half-melted sculptures. Instead we found a park full of very professional pieces of ice art. The 80’s theme was represented by 80’s technology: a cassette tape, boombox, pacman game, robots and ET. Some 80’s heroes stood nearby: Terry Fox tall and strong on his wooden leg, Elton John and Madonna not far away. All the pieces were etched in fine detail.

In among the ice sculptures were a few food options, such as maple syrup taffy, kettle corn, soft crepes. But we moved on to Sassafraz, an upscale restaurant well-known for attracting celebrities. Our three-course lunch was outstanding; tasty and beautifully presented. We didn’t spot any movie stars but the service was excellent. Every time we looked up, a waiter was replacing our “used” cutlery and glasses with clean ones.

When we got home, we settled back into our usual food routines: scouring through grocery store flyers for bargains, cooking up leftovers into batches of minestrone soup, and sneaking in the occasional trip to COSTCO for a hot dog. It’s OK though, because soon it will be time to uncover the BBQ and plant the zucchini.


3 thoughts on “Eating Our Way Through Winter

  1. Good morning Susan. We are on our way to Mexico have fun this afternoon you and peter are doing more things than us and we have been here 12 years!!


  2. Thanks Sue for another interesting post. You two certainly lead an interesting and varied life enjoying a lot of what Toronto has to offer. You make me feel so lazy. You’ll miss those meals arriving on your doorstep!! It was a great and fun gift idea. I’ll look forward to next Tue as always to read of your ‘this week’s adventures’. Trust you enjoyed the Oscars and all they have to offer😀! Luv M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. You two do a great job of embracing the winter season. Think that you should think of enrolling in some ethnic culinary classes. Food for thought!


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