Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dear Reader

Thanks for posting comments but be forewarned unless it's posted in english it will be rejected. I'm not multilingual... sorry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shmokey Rob N Sons Southern Eatery

Years ago, I read the ultimate American road trip book for foodies , Eat your way across the USA by noted food guru's Michael and Jane Stern.
Through this book I was introduced to the southern specialty,Barbeque. I spent hours analyzing the techniques to produce the best smoked ribs, how to use a dry rub to marinade and how to make a better coleslaw. Southern BBQ was a specialty food not available in South western Ontario ... and would have to wait until a road trip south.
Flip forward to 2010 and BBQ is now an option in London Ontario.
Shmokey Rob N Sons is located in the London Mall at the corner of Oxford St and Wonderland Rd right across from the old price chopper location.
It's an unassuming place , a small restaurant that has been reincarnated a few times - this times a keeper.
I ordered the beef Brisket with a side of coleslaw, my partner ordered the Philly Cheese with a side of freshly cut fries. If you go , you must try the cassava fries, a healthy alternative to the usual.
It did not disappoint - the result was heaven.
Chef brought out a delectable dessert to share - a deep dark chocolate truffle terrine (tasted like a semi freddo) with vanilla creme and garnished with a drizzled cranberry/blackberry sauce. It was simply to die for.
Down south BBQ can be replicated and enjoyed in London Ontario. It's not pretentious and very affordable, just what roadside BBQ should be.
A perfect alternative to commercial Mcfood- a must visit for everybody.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer time

and the living is easy .... I wish.
I caught my managers cold and am quite miserable. How do you chastise your boss over coming into the office when he was ill and should have been home in bed ? I just found out his birthday was yesterday and he has finally reached the age of maturity ...77.
Do I get him a birthday card or a get well soon card or give him shit for giving me this cold ?
We have a new mystery in the hood. Someone on three occasions have left us with a lovely doggy poop bag. Twice at the curb and once beside our back gate. The offensive package was left between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m and I'm assuming it belongs to a pooch in the neighbourhood.
The question is why ?
Many people in the neighbourhood have been quite supportive of our massive effort at transforming this derelict white elephant into something special. Who the f$%k is so passive agressive that they project their disassociative screwed up attitude at us ?
Reno man and I have been profiling the dogwalkers since the first incident and have whittled it down to a couple of people. The cameras are now up and if caught on tape, the fur will start to fly. Not a threat ... just a warning ...
The place is slowly starting to come together, the nasty old pine tree has been lugged away, the pool pump is fixed and the front of the house is being transformed into something special. Reno is installing potlights under the eves and is finishing cedar shaking the exterior. It feels good when life flows the way it should... dog shit aside.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's worth the drive to the border ...

When the Canadian dollar was a dismal looney to Uncle Sams strong dollar , it was understandable that goods and services on the Canuck side of the border cost too many peso's. Automobiles, food, clothing, electronics , books and just about everything cost about 30-40 percent more in Canada than south of the border. Mulroney's Conservatives swore that ditching the manufacturers tax in favour of the G.S.T. would reduce the price of goods and give Canadian manufacturers the edge needed to be competitive with the yanks post free trade.
Twenty years later and now at or above par with the Americans, our goods are still more expensive. I'm not going to blame free trade or swallow the line of marlarky that it took more dollars to manufacture the goods when our dollar wasn't as strong.
Our dollar has been creeping up to the greenback for the last year and most of the goods we buy are imported from China or India.
The blame must be pointed inward at the consumer.If we don't protest the high price of consumer goods , business will continue to charge exorbitant prices for goods and services.
After the reccession hit in 2008 , Walmart in anticipation of huge drop in consumer confidence made strategic cuts in retail pricing. I'm sure they found it was a wise move. Canadians want fair prices not more bullshit.
I'm going to venture out on a limb and suggest Retailers take a page out of Walmarts evil bag of tricks and jump into the unknown as a shrewd retailer move.
Cut prices to reflect the value of our dollar. We want American prices on our consumer goods. Canadians are sick and tired of the excuses from retailers.
Think of the marketing angle. It's no longer worth the drive to the border. At par prices for the stuff you need and the items you want in Canada...
The options are endless and the opportunity to claim a greater share of the Canadian retail market is just waiting for a clever company to make the jump.
If you're a retailer reading this , please feel free to use my suggestion to make money and Canadians even happier. As a thank you, send me an i-pad, link to me or follow me on twitter. Dare you.

TWITTER - Unconvmummy

Friday, April 2, 2010

Food Tampering is a Terrorist Act

I sometimes think I'm Cassandra.
The daughter of Hecuba and Priam dallied around with Apollo who granted her the gift of prophecy. Legend has it when she spurned him, he twisted his gift so that she would continue to foresee the future except no one would pay attention to her.
Last year, I blogged about Mastoora Qezil, a Muslim woman who laced pork sausages with needles. Her case took over a year and we still have no idea about why she did the deed.She plead guilty and was slapped on the hand with 18 months house arrest to be followed by six months on parole.
Under Canadian law, her sentence could not extend beyond two years as our legislation labels food tampering as mischief.
Now, if some poor child bit into a laced hot dog and died from such an act, the charge would have escalated into a murder charge.
In Canada,the law seems to be based on the result of the criminal act, not the intent or the act itself.
In the United States and other countries around the world, food tampering is labelled for what it is, terrorism.
It's happened again, this time in Calgary.
Another woman has been charged and the other so called " Copy Cat" food tampering incidents have occured in the city. Many people have forgotten after Qezil was charged, there was another " copycat" food tampering incident in Guelph. The term "copycat" downplays the heinous intent of each incident, and very few copycat terrorists ever get caught.
I do find it interesting that the two most publicized recently charged criminals are women in their early forties. People forget that the first widescale media event surrounding food tampering rose to prominance in the mid 1970's - does anyone remember Tylenol tampering ?
These young budding criminal minds may have noted the widespread fear various incidents caused through out a continent and it must have made an impact.
Since the original Calgary incident, eight other incidents have occurred throughout the city.
It's time for the government to tighten up our food tampering law before someone gets killed. Don't support it and then bury it in a budget or omnibus bill to use it for political spin.
Introduce new legislation this term, don't bring it in as a private members bill,just get it passed - it's your responsibility to protect the citizens of Canada... before it's too late.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Feed a kid breakfast or teach that kid to crack an egg?

I just finished Alice Waters "Edible Schoolyard" and was completely blown away.
Waters is best known for her influential revolutionary transformation of the modern restaurant, her own restaurant and the tome " The Chez Panisse".
Alice Water's new book "The Edible Schoolyard" does not disappoint her supporters and causes one to consider if society has responded incorrectly to the "kids can't think because they didn't have breakfast" phenomena.
Waters founded and inspired the edible schoolyard to grow from one school to thousands of schools across America.Waters worked with an inner city middle school teaching students to grow their own food and eventually learn how to prepare and cook it. She discovered many children do not know how food is grown,prepared or cooked.Students learned the satisfaction in growing their own food and later,preparing their own repast. The Edible Schoolyard transformed schools and students,edible schools grow fresh nutritious food. No cereal bars or pre packaged food at these schools.
The whole "Breakfast for Learning" myth is based in the idea that children who live at the poverty level skip breakfast because their parents can't afford food or are too damn lazy to put down the crack pipe to ensure their kid gets enough sugar smacks to achieve 10 minutes of brain time from 9-9.10 in the morning.
Well intentioned parents and volunteers across Canada grouped together to ensure school children were fed nutritious breakfasts supplied through corporate sponsorships,foundation money and the generosity of the community.The breakfast program grew and expanded into big business. and have multimillion dollar budgets and big staff to administer their respective programs and appear as if they are meeting their mandate to feed children's bodies and brains. What is missing ?
In the long run, are Breakfast programs simply society band aids designed for few children in poor neighbourhood that exploded into every level of society for some altruistic reason? What is the lesson learned through Breakfast for Learning ?
Is it (a) it's possible for society to feel good through meeting a need based in myth?
(b)big write offs for food companies who make the big bucks selling refined foods to kids.
(c) you can make money at a non-profit
(d) you don't need to ever learn to forage and cook for yourself, someone will always feed you.
(e) you don't have to eat the breakfast your parents serve, you can get it at school.
(f) all of the above.
The Edible Schoolyard transformed how children think about food.
Children built gardens,planted,nurtured,harvested and learned to prepare and cook their own food. Water's schoolyard edible experiment revealed children get excited about agriculture and learn valuable life lessons.
It's obvious we need to do a re-think about breakfast and lunch programs across Canada.
We need to incorporate the Edible Schoolyard into our schools.Children need to learn about the entire food cycle and how it all eventually ends ,in the kitchen.
Just think ,grow,nurture,harvest,prepare, cook and serve.
Empowering stuff... how about it?