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Posts from — October 2012

THE TRUTH FAIRY

My nearly nine year old son asked me to join him in private conversation the other day. He needed to speak to me about life, friends, his homework and…the tooth fairy. Yes, he still believed. Despite many queries and doubts, my children were staunch believers in the magic of the tooth fairy. My Man and I swore blindly (fingers crossed) that of course we weren’t the tooth fairy. How could that be? And while other kids in other houses may get cash, books, prizes and even jewelry (I know, crazy, right?), chez nous the tooth fairy always left a toonie. And always left a note.

It was the note that sealed the deal. Written in spidery ink, in a tiny envelope, it was the proof that the TF was the real deal. No parent could possibly print like that, my boy reasoned, not even his own. And so it went. Until last night.

My son told me the other kids in his grade 4 class were non-believers. He turned to me, desperate for guidance. He admitted that he wasn’t 100% sure of the TF’s validity, and yet, those notes! He challenged me: why was I smiling? I countered: why was he? And then, another tack: why was I trying NOT to smile? Again, right back atcha, son. He resorted to threats: the next time he lost a tooth, he’d be keeping the news to himself. He’d place the tooth under his pillow and wait. If the tooth fairy showed up – without his having told us the toothless news – then she was real. And if not? He’d know, for sure, the jig was up. He looked pretty proud of himself. Finally, he confessed: he really, really wanted her to be real, even though a part of him had a feeling she was not. “Please” he begged, “just tell me: Are you the tooth fairy?”

I took a deep breath and stared at him in all his beautiful innocence. Of course, this was the moment for me to come clean and fess up. I looked him squarely in the eye and replied: “No. I’m not the tooth fairy” and scurried out of his room.

When I recounted to my Man he was shocked: our son still bought in? How could I not tell him? Ditto our dear friend. He was nearly 9. He swore like a trooper, went to sleepover camp, taught her son dirty songs and still believed in the tooth fairy? Crazy! I had to tell him. The more I thought about it, the more I realized they were probably right. I didn’t want some nasty-ass kid making fun of him for his belief. I’d already had The Sex Talk with him so he’d hear the real version instead of some twisted one. The tooth fairy expose had nothing on where babies come from.

And so I told him. I admitted that yes, I was the tooth fairy. And the look on his face nearly felled me on the spot. Instead of a jubilant “a-ha!” or a triumphant fist pump, his entire demeanor changed. He slumped, utterly defeated, muttering something about having had a feeling but… And at that moment, once it was out there, I wished I’d kept shtum. He could’ve enjoyed a few more weeks of believing. At least until a couple more teeth fell out. But at the rate we were going, with nary a wiggler in sight, it may have been months. Instead, I just robbed him. With the unmasking of the tooth fairy came the end of his childhood as he knew it. The end of the innocence. Slaughtered, by his mother the TF imposter.

Luckily we never had to deal with Santa. Instead we’ve got b-lister Eliyahu at Passover. He still buys into that. Phew.

Daydream believer…..

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October 12, 2012   8 Comments

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TUM, TA TUM, TUM YUM!

Yesterday my pal – and faux business partner – Vern and I hit the one-year anniversary of TUM – the Toronto Underground Market. It’s not a farmer’s market, not a food expo, it’s more a place where budding chefs/official gourmands/people cooking in their home kitchens all meet to showcase and sell their wares. Some are restauranteurs. Some are food truckers. Some are caterers. And some are phenomenally talented cooks who want to shill their shit and have nowhere else to do so. Toronto by-laws are such that to make and sell food you need to jump through a lot of hoops. Which is why certain people who cook and sell homemade goodies out of their homes Do. Not. Exist. Anyhoo, whichever way you…um…slice it, TUM is a festival of food. We ate our way through it and here are our greatest hits…

To begin, we each wolfed down a “Cannele”.

Cannele. Not Canelle. No cinnamon here….

Originally hailing from Bordeaux these little custard treats came in orange and vanilla. I liked. Vern loved. And we were off.

Next stop: Caramels. Vanilla and sea salt. Sadly, the evidence has been ingested and there’s no photographic proof that I ever had any. So maybe I’ll pretend it wasn’t me that sucked back 5 in about 5 minutes. But I will tell you that real deal caramels (again, made the “French” way) don’t stick to your dental work!

Tucked away between an outer wall and storage units was a line up. A couple of guys cooking, a lot of yelling…Who were these people?

Fidel Gastro. Rebel without a kitchen.

Fidel Gastro. Brilliant. Hilarious. Cute. They were the rock stars of the entire event. People were lined up to sample their wares. Including us. We skipped the “Phad Thai fries” (WTF?! Next time!!) and went for the Gorgeous Jorge (peanut butter pulled pork, bacon jam and crackling. Grilled.) Saltiest and tastiest $5 I’ve ever spent. Our version became the “High Maintenance Jorge”. Because they cut in half. A good thing, ‘cuz we may have come to blows over this sandwich. So good we had to go back (and line up) twice. To bring home the bacon for our men.

And speaking of bacon…..That was definitely the theme of the day.

Cayenne-candied bacon. SPECTACULAR!

Leonard Pig Candy were flogging candied cayenne bacon ($5 for 2 pieces!) as well as chocolate-dipped bacon and bacon jam. We tried the milk-chocolate dipped strips. Yuck.

Not everything tastes better with chocolate.

Bacon-jam however, was $8 well-spent. Divine! Not to be confused with President’s Choice “Bacon Marmalade” (which is revolting). I don’t know what I’ll be doing with it, aside from sneaking a spoonful every once in a while. I just know it was incredible.

Ideas for Bacon Jam. I’m not the only one who needs it but doesn’t know why.

The accompanying bacon-mouth necessitated we bypass the line-ups for butter-chicken and waffles, Rock Lobster Company lobby-rolls and the carvery offering up “Canadian-Canadian Food” like roast beef and turkey.

Theeeeeere’s the beef.

Until we saw yet another line-up at “Hot Bunzz”. Korean Short Ribs with egg bun?! Three mushroom with cheese bun?! How could we resist?

Resistance was futile….

These were a bit herb-y but still….great texture! Needless to say, it was time for the sweets. Donuts from Dough by Rachelle (maple bacon, double chocolate, sprinkles). Cinnamon Buns by Little Tomato Catering (PB&J, maple bacon – again with the bacon!) and brownies, brownies and more brownies.

Not as good as kitchen co-op….

The most beautiful sweet things were the baked goods by Sullivan & Bleeker Baking Co. .

Taste as good as they look.

We split a “dirty dozen” mini-cupcakes. Flavours included mint chocolate, cookie dough, red velvet, ‘smores and more. Deeeelish.

Samosas filled with fresh veg and butter chicken. Cairo street food. Philippino BBQ. Thai curry boxes. Indonesian shrimp sticks. Backyard kitchens. Random tacos. On and on and on it went.

And that was just the daytime market! Apparently the night market is even better with booze, tunes, concerts and more vendors. Maybe by next month – turns out TUM is on monthly. So are weight watcher weigh-ins….. But until then….bring on the bacon!

October 1, 2012   No Comments

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