Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get Poetic About Chicken: CONTEST WINNER!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Remember this contest we launched a few weeks ago in celebration of Mark's Healthy Shotglass Chicken Adobo recipe winning an award from Chicken Farmers of Canada?

Well, we have a WINNER!

Drumroll please... Our contest winner is: Melissa Hastie! Congrats!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Part V of V: Dolce - "The Edible City" Book Review + Upcoming Book Reviews

Sunday, May 16, 2010
And the book comes to a close! To see all chapter reviews of The Edible City, click here.

Bert Archer kicks off the final chapter by talking about food waste. He focuses on retailers (some do a better job than others) who give food that's not suitable for sale a second life through programs like Second Harvest. Food waste is a travesty to me, but thankfully it's something we can, at least at an individual level, control - when I get groceries each week, I go with a list and know what I'm going to make, so I don't buy anything that isn't part of my recipes unless I can freeze it. It's just ridiculous that so many people go hungry, while others overbuy and end up throwing food out.

Sasha Chapman's story is particularly heartwarming, as it chronicles an Egyptian man's attempts (despite all the challenges) to plant a fig tree in his backyard in Toronto. The amount of love and dedication he has to the tree really shows how important food, especially the kind we grew up with, is to us.

In Brendan Cormier's piece, a strategy for Toronto to have "ubiquitous food markets" is laid out. This takes the farmer's market idea a step further (think pop-up food stalls, be it one or one hundred, at key points of intersection in our city like a subway entrance). Aside from requiring the City's commitment, it also would require a cultural change on our part of going from "stock-up" shoppers who grocery shop twice a month to "top-up" shoppers who shop once or twice a week and could conveniently pick up fresh and healthy items as we go about our daily lives.

Wayne Roberts ends the book with a story every Torontonian can be proud of. For all the shortcomings the book (rightly) points out, we have a lot to be proud of about our food scene, and Wayne reminds us of that through a historical look at how Toronto "found its food groove."

And with that, The Edible City concludes on a high note. But stay tuned - I have 3 new books in my possession for review!!!
Yours in food,

Click here to read our reviews of the other sections (antipastiprimosecondo and contorno) of the book!

Part IV: Contorno - "The Edible City" Book Review

And the book review continues! One more part of The Edible City (dessert, to be exact) after this course!

In the second-to-last section, Amanda Miller gives a practical guide for seasonal food planting in Toronto's urban gardens, along with instructions for basic food preservation (drying herbs, making jams, etc.) and some general tips and tricks (i.e. plant mint alone, as their roots tend to choke out other plants). She also names useful Toronto resources for local gardeners.

Wayne Reeves looks at the rise, fall and resurgence of craft beer in Toronto. Like other areas, when Prohibition hit many brewers went out of business or changed their focus (one started producing vinegar, for example). He also includes a helpful "beer style primer" to help the reader understand the differences between pale ales, wheat beer, porters, stout, etc.

Kathryn Borel, Jr.'s strange encounter with a former chef she takes home after an evening out doesn't get very sexy, but at least it yields a good recipe for mussels in cream sauce with green apple and braised fennel!

If you want to know where to find exotic ingredients in Toronto, read Kevin Connolly's piece. He points out the multicultural gems in Toronto, like Danforth Variety and Fruit Market for West-Indian ingredients (think dasheen and Scotch bonnet peppers) to Fu Yao Supermarket on Gerrard for everything Thai, including the infamous Thai basil and tough-to-find Golden Mountain Sauce.

Rea McNamara talks about Caribbean and West Indian food in Toronto with a specific focus on its roti (Hindi word for 'bread') shops. She also touches on the desire of the diaspora to cook such pivotal cultural dishes at home, but sometimes the roti shops (especially in Toronto) do it best ;)

Damian Rogers gives an inside look at the movers and shakers and business exchanges that go down at the Ontario Food Terminal where an average of 5.1 million lbs of foodstuffs PER DAY pass through (if you've ever driven west on the Gardiner Expressway coming from downtown Toronto, you've seen it but, aside from the farmer's market attached to it, it's not open to the public).

Charles Z. Levkoe and Airin Stephens talk about school meal programs that go beyond being just, well, school meal programs. The kids at George Harvey Collegiate Institute (in the diverse Keele-Eglinton area) are part of such a program, where, to quote a student, "in just one day I could be helping write a funding proposal for the food program in an English class, work outside in the [school's] gardens in Leadership, cook the food in Food and Nutrition and then write a speech in my Public Speaking class about food security." The food citizenship these programs instill in students is priceless.

Chris Hardwicke details the ongoing revival of St. Andrew's Market in the King-Spadina neighbourhood.

Chris Ramsaroop and Katie Wolk focus on discrimination and financial/legal issues migrant workers, many of whom harvest Canadians' fruits and veggies, face. Their ultimate ask is "can we achieve racial equality in the food security movement?"

Chris (and can I just note how strange it is that the last three stories in this chapter are all by someone named Chris?) Nuttall-Smith starts by reminiscing about his childhood on his dad's hobby farm, eating fresh eggs tasting deliciously like "cut grass and butter and the sun." He then turns his focus in the story to present-day rebel egg and milk production in Ontario.

That's it for this course - stay tuned for dessert!
Yours in food,

Click here to read our reviews of the other sections (antipastiprimosecondo and dolce) of the book!

Monday, May 10, 2010

CONTEST ALERT: Chicken Poetry!

Monday, May 10, 2010
Listen up, people -- we're having a contest, and it's as simple as commenting on this post with a hilarious poem about chicken! Try a haiku! Do an acrostic poem! It doesn't have to rhyme! As long as it has something to do with chicken and makes us laugh, you have a chance to win!

So why are we having a contest? Well, its all thanks to the Chicken Farmers of Canada, who've told us we have an AWARD-WINNING chicken recipe!

Mark entered his Healthy Shotglass Chicken Adobo recipe into a Chicken Farmers of Canada contest. All submitted recipes were cooked and tasted by a judging panel, and guess what? Mark's recipe won! We won a Cuisinart® Griddler® and we want to pass it onto our lovely readers!

The top 5 most hilarious chicken poems will become finalists, and the final winner will be chosen by random draw. You've got until 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2010 to write your poem, but we urge you to post it right here right now... We're waiting --- make us laugh!!!

Yours in chicken,

Contest closes May 24, 2010. Open to residents of Canada 18 years or older excluding Quebec. Entry: Comment on this post with a poem about chicken. Prize to win: One (1) Cuisinart® Griddler® valued at approximately $100. One entry per person. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered to win. No purchase necessary. Full rules below.

Tasting Toronto Chicken Poem Contest
The Tasting Toronto Chicken Poem Contest (the “Contest”) is open to residents of Canada who are 18 years or older, excluding residents of Quebec.
The Contest Period starts on May 10, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. and ends May 24, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. No purchase necessary. All times are Eastern Times.
HOW TO ENTER – Comment on this specific blog post with a poem about chicken. Only one (1) entry per person.

PRIZE – Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Cuisinart® Griddler® valued at approximately $100.

FINALIST ROUND AND FINAL DRAW – The names of the top five entrants whose poems Mark and Stacey find most hilarious will be entered into a random draw. That random draw by a representative of Tasting Toronto will be made May 24, 2010.
The names of the winner and the four runners-up will be posted May 25, 2010 via a Tasting Toronto blog post. The winning entrant is responsible to verify if he/she has been selected. Selected entrants must make themselves known by 9:00 p.m. on May 28, 2010 draw by contacting tastingtoronto@hotmail.com.

If a selected entrant fails to make him/herself known by 9:00 p.m. on May 28, 2010 or to claim the prize as instructed, incorrectly answers the skill-testing question, declines the prize, fails to sign a Release of Liability as may be specified by Tasting Toronto or fails to present valid ID, entrant will have forfeited the opportunity to claim the prize and Tasting Toronto reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to select another entrant or to cancel the prize.

Prize must be accepted as awarded and are not transferable, redeemable, refundable or exchangeable for cash. Tasting Toronto reserves the right to substitute a prize of at least equal value in the event of the unavailability, for whatever reason, of the advertised prize.

To be declared a winner, selected entrants must first correctly answer, unaided, a time-limited, mathematical skill-testing question at the time of claiming the prize and may need to sign a Release. Contest judges' rulings are final and without appeal in all matters related to the promotion and the awarding of prizes.

By entering this Contest and/or accepting a prize, entrants consent to the use of their entry and name for publicity, advertising or informational purposes carried out by Tasting Toronto in any medium or format without further notice or compensation.

The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations.

Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. All entries that are incomplete, illegible, damaged, irregular, do contain offensive material or inappropriate content, have been submitted through illicit means, using any robotic, automatic programmed method that artificially increases the odds of winning or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of the rules may be disqualified by Tasting Toronto. Tasting Toronto takes no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, misdirected, late or destroyed entries, or for typographical or other production errors. Tasting Toronto is not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising this Contest. All entries become the property of Tasting Toronto.

Tasting Toronto is collecting personal data about entrants for the purpose of administering this Contest. No further informational or marketing communications will be received by entrants.

By entering this Contest, entrants release and hold harmless the Contest Sponsor (the “Releasee”) from any liability in connection with this Contest or, if declared a finalist or a winner, the prize.

This Contest will be run in accordance with these rules, subject to amendment by Tasting Toronto. Entrants must comply with these rules, and will be deemed to have received and understood the rules by participating in the Contest.