Things I love Thursday on Friday – Edmonton Edition. Earths General Store, The River Valley, Yoga, Food.

There are so many things I love, and so many things I could be talking about, but this week, I’m relishing my time in Edmonton. It’s been a little under a year since my last visit, and at some point last month I realized I missed my family & friends, and it was time for a visit. So there has been food, and fun, and lots of catching up. I’ve really enjoyed it. Everything is novel, and I’m a tourist in my hometown. I’m comparing notes, I’m remembering old haunts, and realizing they are completely gone. I’m discovering new and interesting places, and old and interesting places, and exploring the city through a whole new lens.

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Things I Love Thursday – Edible City, Defiant Daughters. Coffee. The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Oh look, another long TILT post. Bon Jour! I’m in the process of developing a morning routine that involves going to the gym and reading (on the elliptical trainer or stair climber.) I find it strange to read at home (vs. in a cafe) or in places other than a streetcar, subway, or bus on my way to some other destination since somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at reading as a get away, and more of a time filler when for some reason or another it wasn’t feasible to be doing something else. Lately I’ve been attempting to shift my thinking away from reading as a waste of time (and I know it isn’t), and more towards reading for the pleasure of reading or learning something new (that’s not on the internet). Curling up with some new (usually-non fiction) book still doesn’t really happen, when I’m at home, but reading at the gym has already helped me polish off several books in a short span of time, and I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. Today’s TILT: The Edible City Defiant Daughters Book Club Ghosts in Our Machine Coffee

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Things I love Thursday – Co-ops. SNL Veganville. Pomdeter. Artisinal vegan cheese.

You know those times when you have a great idea as you’re falling asleep and think – whoa, I should really write this down so I don’t forget it… but then you wake up the next morning not having written it down, remembering only that you had a great idea, but not the idea itself? That’s me most of the time. This morning, I remembered this magical idea, and actually started the process towards making it happen. So at the top of the Things I love on Thursday, it’s that. I’m sitting in Tori’s Bakeshop, writing today’s TILT. It’s one of the dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free bakeries in the city, and I think that’s pretty swell. I was here the day they opened just over a year ago (they celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Saturday), and I’m happy to say that they appear to be thriving. Sure I had to take a streetcar for 45 minutes to get out of my nice cozy Trinity-Niagara/Parkdale neighbourhood cocoon, but that’s not so bad. Especially since reading on the streetcar is just another one of those things I love to do anyway (in theory – but rarely in practice.) Try reading on the Queen streetcar at rush hour and tell me how it goes. From experience – it’s not so great actually. I had one of the Bakeshop’s now famous Coconut-Lettuce-Tomato sandwiches, again, and every time I eat it, I’m transformed back in time to the first time I ate the vegan “B”LT…

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Things I love Thursday – Books, Vegtoons, Veg-friendly kids events

Books – An Everlasting Meal – Tamar Adler I read a lot of books, usually non-fiction, sometimes (okay – often) about food. A fellow TYFPC council member recommended An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. When she recommended it, I immediately got it on my Kobo so I wouldn’t forget, and I’m glad I did. As someone that loves the process of food, finding out where it comes from, and how it was produced, to chopping vegetables, baking, boiling, everything, this book was a lovely tribute to that. It’s part guide, part romantic mindfulness exercise, part experiment, and I haven’t read it all. I skipped some chapters and pages entirely in this book, since I care very little about romanticizing the boiling eggs or cooking chicken (friends, not food.) But I’ve also found myself highlighting entire passages that resonate with me. Making meals from empty cupboards is something I’ve had experience with, and incorporating someone else’s philosophy on developing instinctive cooking. The chapters on vegetables and the making the most of everything you buy – including scraps and leftovers – is something that I can really get behind. I can already feel the books influence on me, and I haven’t yet finished it. But I am completely enjoying reading through it. Another book that has had an impact, albeit a while ago was the Elements of Cooking by Mark Ruhlman, I was raised in a house where salt wasn’t celebrated, it wasn’t added in the process of cooking, it was added after…

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Things I Love Thursday – Recipe for Change, New York Vegetarian Food Festival, and so many things.

Thursdays are giving me a lot of fodder for TILT lately. Tonight is Recipe for Change, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to eat great vegan food, drink my fill of coffee and lemonade (and maybe some wine…), all while supporting a great cause. As usual, I’m also really looking forward to taking pictures of everything. It’s a great opportunity to talk to chefs and other food people interested in food literacy, who in many cases, are also interested in ethical food procurement and production. As if Recipe for Change wasn’t an exciting enough addition for the week, earlier this week I received an email from JC. It said – “Do you want to go to New York for the Vegetarian Food Festival?” As if that’s even a question – of course! So, we’re heading over for the weekend, to eat and visit the festival and hopefully check out some of the sights around Chelsea while we’re there.

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Things I love Friday – Foster Cats and Kimchi in Toronto

I’ve had a great week, full of good news, and challenging projects, Valentine’s Day was lovely, and it’s a “short week” because this Monday was Family Day. I started writing this yesterday, but didn’t get around to doing anything with it until today. 1. Happy Toronto Cat Rescue Successful Adoption Story! This weekend we said our goodbyes to Corwin – the kitten we’d been fostering from Toronto Cat Rescue since mid January. He went to a lovely home, with two people and two new cat friends to play with. The last adoption didn’t feel as positive, and I promised JC that this one would be better, both from the feeling I got from the potential adopter over the phone, and because I planned to go out of my way to making it feel as positive as possible.

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Things I Love Thursday – Mise En Place, Urban Farming, Foster cats, Vine

Things I love Thursday is here again, and there are lots of things and places and ideas I love, but I’m trying to contain myself. Mise En Place I’ve only recently started employing the Mise-en-place style of baking, and I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long. Baking is basically chemistry, and when I’ve been in the lab (for science), we’d organize most of our supplies, reagents, and tools together in advance, so why not do it in the kitchen as well. Mise En Place is a french phrase pronounced “meez on plaS” meaning everything in place. Or in other words – get your stuff together in advance, and make cooking a whole lot more fun and organized. The Stone Soup blog has a nice list of other benefits of employing the Mise En Place idea to make weekly menus (something I haven’t done), plus there are also delicious mouthwatering pictures of butternut squash related foods (and recipes.) Urban Farming. Urban farming/agriculture is something I’ve been vaguely involved with for years. My mom instilled a love of growing in my from and early age, and while I didn’t really consider it “urban agriculture” when I was out in the horticulture fields in university, it still was. Even though I didn’t consider the city I was living in at the time to be “urban.” Now Toronto is about as urban as it gets, so growing food in the city, with our minimal space, seems (at least superficially) impossible. But once…

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Things I Love Thursday – Food, Love, Cats, and Vegan Pledge #TILT

There are lots of things I love this year so far, it started off in a lovely fashion, I’ve started knocking things off of my 101 in 1001 list, and we started fostering kittens with Toronto Cat Rescue again. Meet Corwin. He’s about 12 weeks old, and a shy, but cuddly purrfactory. I haven’t really gotten to know him very well yet, so I can’t really write anything other than he’s a sweetheart already with a bit of frost bite on his nose. He’s recovering from being neutered, he’s got a bit of a quarantine, and then he’ll be ready for adoption. People don’t appreciate how hard it is to take a non-blurry picture of a kitten. They’re always in motion, always seeing something that they want to play with, or nuzzle, or chew or hey look over there…. The Goathouse Refuge in North Carolina I saw a post about Siglinda Scarpa‘s (mostly) cat rescue called The Goathouse Refuge in the New York Times today and it made me smile. Siglinda Scarpa is an Italian-American potter and artist with an affinity for animals, she started the no-kill cat rescue in 2007, and has been the primary benefactor of the organization ever since. There is a full time staff, and volunteers, but it relies on donations and funds from the sale of Scarpa’s art work. Here’s a video: (connect with The Goathouse Refuge on Facebook)

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Things I Love Thursday – Surprise Birthday Trips to San Francisco

Bright and early yesterday morning we were on our way to the airport, since JC gave me an incredible birthday surprise – a trip to the sunny southern part of the USA. It was my birthday yesterday, and despite spending 5 hours of it on an airplane, it was amazing. We had dinner at Millennium, with a 5 course tasting menu, wine pairing, and finally, a custom made cake for the occasion. By far the best and most absurdly wonderful birthday surprise I could have ever imagined. I’ve been to Millennium before, so I had some idea of what to expect, but I’ll have to write up a full review eventually. Overall it was a great experience, and the food was wonderful (though I will say the hostess was the worst.) Considering Toronto was blanketed by an inconvenient layer of snow yesterday, I’m glad we’re in the slightly (okay, a lot) warmer sunny beautiful San Francisco, replenishing our Vitamin D stores, and walking more outside than we’ve walked in a long time.

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Things I Love Thursday – A Few Local Toronto Vegan Gift Ideas

I’ve been thinking about vegan gift ideas for the last few weeks, and there have already been lots of great ideas put out there by the Toronto Vegetarian Association and the Torontoist‘s Toronto Themed Gift List. Toronto has this great community of creators and crafters, bakers and makers, and ingenuity. There are good organizations to support this time of year, as well as food and products to buy, made right here in the GTA. Here are my totally biased choices for local/Toronto/vegan gift ideas.

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