Sunday, April 18, 2010

Toronto Street Meat

Where I am from originally the climate is too cold to have street meat. I mean sure in the middle of July there is a hot dog stand in from of Mountain Equipment Co-Op but other than that the real street meat venders of shawarmas,hot dogs and chineses trucks are mystical and usually only in far away lands. While in Europe I would often get a street dog or a shawarma from a sketchy,yet somewhat sanitary looking, stand. Let’s just say I like living on the edge. The only time I got deathly ill( I mean I almost died) was in Thailand when I decided to have giant prawns from a beach hut. You would think the prawns would have been fresh-they didn’t have to travel far. I got what I deserved I got too comfortable traveling and tried to eat like a local without the knowledge of a local. Rookie mistake.

Street- University & College

Cusine- Middle Eastern

After a long morning of planning for another big event at the University I decided to grab a quick lunch. Street vendors are one of my favorite quick lunch. Tasty, fast, and usually cheap.

I decided to go for the chicken shawarma. I highly recommend this! It is delicious and filled with a marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, hummus and a little bit of hot sauce. The pita is grillled so when you get the wrap in your hands it is warm and ready to eat.

Try it! Do it! 5...4...3...2... Do it!

For 5 dollars you get a delicious lunch and a beverage!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Paska- Ukrainian Easter Bread

Paska 2 of 2

Here is the best Paska recipe in existence. No joke, the best. I am a little afraid of sharing it. Knowledge is power!

My baba, on my mothers side, gave it to my mother and now my mother to me.
This was my first attempt without my mother directing me from the kitchen table. I miss home terribly but the smell of Paska baking in my apartment baked away the homesickness.

Паска -Saffron Paska – Baba Yaremenko recipe

3 cups milk

1 package saffron (3/4 to 1 ounce)

¼ cup boiling water

2 pachages of dry yeast

3 tblsp. Sugar

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1 cup butter

2/3 cup sugar

6 eggs, separated

1 ½ teaspoon salt

10 cups sifted flour

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tsp. vanilla

Scald the mil and let cool to lukewarm. Pour ¼ cup boiling water over saffron; let steep till cool, then strain.

Steeping safron

Dissolve dry yeast and sugar in lukewarm water; cover and place in a warm place for 10 minutes

Cream butter with remaining sugar; add 6 egg yolks, one at a time, blending each in until thoroughly mixed. Add salt, lemon juice and grated rind, and cooled saffron water to creamed mixture.

lemon grind

Add yeast mixture and lukewarm milk to creamed mixture, mixing well. Add 5 cups sifted flour to liquid mixture, mixing well.

Beat the 6 egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks; fold into the dough mixture. Cover bowl and let dough rise in warm place until doubled in bulk.

Add remaining sifted flour to make a soft dough that can be kneaded. Knead until smooth and elastic on a floured board. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean dishtowel and a bath towel, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough to release the air. Reserve 1/8 to ¼ of dough for decorating, and shape remaining dough into 2 or 3 loaves. Place in well greased round bread pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Decorate as desired with reserved dough before baking. Bake in a preheated 325Foven for 30 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 275F and bake an additional 35 minutes longer. Brush tops with egg beaten with a little milk and return to oven to bake 5 more minutes or until golden and shiny.

MAMA’S NOTE: I do the egg wash BEFORE baking, and also find that the paska bakes in total 40-45min.

Done- Paska 1 of 2

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nice one Toronto (1)!

Everyone told me how Toronto is the "big bad city"- large, impersonal with no sense of community. Well I will be honest and tell you that there have been several times were everyone walks along with their ipod with not a care in the world. People pay lees attention to one another and in a crowd of people you feel alone. Technology, such as ipods, blackberries have given people permission to disconnect from reality and to go through a day without having to interact with one another. I will not go into kinship, right of passages or the new species just discovered in africa, this anthropological dissertation will be saved for my Masters degree.

With my ramble coming to an end I will say this- there is always a glimmer of goodness and care in people. Especially in Toronto.
Toronto is friendly, nice even!

Story 1:
Today my fiance got off the subway and when he looked back he saw his cell phone on the seat. As the subway doors slammed shut a man signaled to him that he will have his phone waiting at the next stop.
My love got his phone back with no problems. You can imagine what life would have been if you lost your phone.
He didn't! Because Toronto is nice, thoughtful and not as cold as everyone told me it was.

Happy thought indeed!

This is one of many feel good stories. There is a lot of them. Not such a big bad city after all.