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Eats | Ruth Tshin | Page 2


My first Thanksgiving in Canada in 5 years.  The holiday may have passed, click but my heart remains thankful for:

My parents, brothers and sister-in-law.  Aunty Susanna, Lisa and Michael.

Friends nearby (BC, Markham, Mississauga,Milton, downtown) and in far-flung corners of the globe (Ethiopia, NZ, US, Thailand…)

New family at Rexdale Alliance Church.  Wow, it’s been an answer to prayer.

Lisa showcasing her egg-white based coffee and orange loaf. Ahh...the product of working in product development at Loblaws.

Aunty Kie slicing up the beef. 4 kgs of it. I set aside my incredulity at excessive North American meat consumption and ate 2 slices smothered in gravy.

Apple galette a la Chez Panisse by way of The first pastry dessert I've made in YEARS. And it was scrumptious.

Michael, my dad, Uncle Wilkin, Uncle Don. This is what "candid" looks like with them.

Pretty purple flowers at Erindale Park

Lovely Lisa eating the tree

We walked around in the cemetery of St Peter's Church and I saw this lovely tree.

Food, glorious food

I met up with friends who recently re-located from Toronto and moved into a neighbourhood not far from my parents’ home and where I grew up in west-end Mississauga.   Husband and wife both being Toronto-ites (childhood in St. Jamestown, food twenties in Village on the Grange, abortion compromising on Islington/Lakeshore area when they had a kid) a move to the suburbs is, allergist well, a move downwards in some eyes.

But we started talking places to get good food, and I ended up emailing them a rather long paragraph of my favourite spots in the ‘Saug.  It was encouraging to realize that as much as I find the suburbs incredibly soul-sucking and bland, there are little gems that have helped to ease the pain on adapting to a place where the car rules and people look at me strangely if I try to initiate conversation out of the blue.  Another step towards accepting that yes, Mississauga is an indelible part of me.

Carrot Fest at Everdale Farm

Attended Carrot Fest at Everdale Farm last weekend.  Did you know that Heifer International is one of Everdale’s partners, cheap based on the premise that Canadians need to learn about sustainable food production because Canada is so dependent on imported food and would only survive for 3 days if our borders were shut?  That’s food for thought.

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I’ve been sick all week with a second bout of sinus congestion + headache and all over body aches.  I’m just thankful this didn’t turn out to be sinusitis, read more where I’m usually out cold for at least 2 weeks.

But this brings me to vitamins, website like this and how the average American may consume their daily fix of vitamins and minerals.  Yes…look very closely…Diet Coke Plus contains vitamins and minerals.  Not sure to what amount of the daily recommended dose though.  I took this photo at a Publix in Fort Myers, Florida.  I haven’t come across this type of Coke in the GTA (yet).

On closer look (and a quick and dirty google search), Wall Street Journal wrote back in 2001 about how multinationals have been dispensing vitamins and minerals by fortifying popular drink products sold in developing countries – benefiting the local population and “extending [their] relationships” – or does that mean boosting sales?  What about the big picture about good nutrition with basic foods?  I’ve noticed in Thailand, many mothers feed their kids under 5 years fortified milk products by Nestle, for example, but allow amazing amounts of sugar products in their diets too.


I spent a beautiful Saturday last weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake with three girlfriends.  We felt like ladies who lunched (I mean, side effects we’re not that old and only a few years ago I would have derided the idea of strolling the town…haha).  It was terrific to catch up with S, information pills S and K – and to enjoy grape platz (yum!), healing a matinee showing of The Doctor’s Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw (witty, sparkling writing) and then finish off with a delicious meal at Niagara College’s Culinary School restaurant.

The food at Niagara College's restaurant was simple but done well.  YUM.

American food

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There’s something so comforting about American food.  Everything is deep fried, visit web smothered in sausage gravy, served with a side of grits or given the option to super-size.  At places like Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel, the cheery waitresses call you “honey”, “love”, “dearie” or “ma’am” (with an authentic drawl) and are sincerely concerned that you enjoy the dining experience.

Maybe because this food is unpretentious and WYSIWYG (if cheese is listed, the dish arrives with a mountain of cheese) or because I have good memories of the lovely folks I’ve eaten lunch with at these places, but I love visiting every time I’m in the US.

Good eats

Reunions are great, visit especially when you can make a meal together and enjoy in the company of others.

Brandon lived with me at UHDP in 2008/2009 and we had memorable times making chili paste, viagra morning glory and salsa (on separate occasions!) in my little kitchen that always got so hot and smokey.

He’s been an intern at ECHO for 9 months.  Today, view we cooked for the interns a menu inspired by the good eats at UHDP – curried pumpkin and egg, Burmese-style eggplant, Massaman curried beef and potatoes and spicy pork skin chili paste.  The meal was washed down with tasty starfruit from ECHO’s trees.

Back in Canada!

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

I’m back! (…until about September, drugstore that is)

What I didn’t realize I missed about Canada while in Thailand (and have spared no time making up for it):

  • Boston cream donuts from Tim Horton’s
  • powdered sugar donuts
  • Golden Graham cereal eaten out of the box, here no milk
  • Ace Bakery french bread
  • blueberry cheese danishes
  • chocolate chip and apple granola bars
  • curried goat roti from Roti Roti in Rexdale
  • South Indian food from Saravana Bhavan in Mississauga
  • steak sandwich from Biermans in Chesley
  • Rueben sandwich from Three Friend’s Cafe in Wiarton
  • fish and chips from Chips Ahoy in Southampton
  • local micro-brewery beer (Ontario: MacLean’s Ale, Steam Whistle; Nova Scotia: Alexander Keith’s)
  • European bakeries
  • strolling in downtown Toronto
  • watching games at a sports bar
  • evening walks without 90% humidity
  • rolling countryside and gorgeous sunsets in Grey/Bruce county
  • free concerts at the Harbourfront Stage
  • the public library

Coffee science

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Courtesy of has a great article about the effects of caffeine on our brains.  The illustration above is an concise explanation of how caffeine binds with adenosine receptors in our brains, sickness
which leads to a less sluggish feeling in the mornings.  Science is so cool!!