Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mark Pis China Gate
So I have to talk about a local place,  well sort of local.  Growing up my mother made a lot of LaChoy chop suey, I hated it. My mother somehow got it in her head that I liked it, and when I would come home from college that would be our Friday evening meal. Finally I had to put a stop to it because I love my mother and I love her cooking but I did not love her chop suey.  
As I got older I absolutely refused to eat Chinese food of any sort. I wasted a lot of years avoiding Chinese restaurants, probably really good Chinese restaurants. Then I lived in St. Louis for a while and we had been invited to go for Chinese after work with some friends however because I didn’t like it, the answer was no thank you.  The friends said why don’t we try family-style and maybe there’s an opportunity to try different kinds of Chinese food. Which we did.  I tried Mongolian beef and loved it. That began my love affair with Chinese food.
However, I have to admit I am not find of some of the little mom-and-pop places ,which is unusual for me, but I feel like the little smorgasbordsy places cook their food in the same fat until you can taste everything that’s been cooked in that restaurant all in one bite.   Just up the street from where I bought my first condo was a restaurant called Mark Pis I went there a lot at that time because lunch was affordable, and over the years it became my main place for Chinese.  I lunched there for years,  about 20 years.  Then one day I went for lunch and there was a “closed for business” sign in the door. I was devastated.  
Thus began a desert of Chinese food for me. I ate at PF Chang, but their food is REALLY not regular Chinese food, I ate at little mom-and-pop places, never really quite happy, and have searched and searched. Then one day a friend of mine who lives in Columbus Indiana told me that there was a PF Changs down there. I was ecstatic, soon after that my friend Laura and I planned a date to go down for dinner, and wouldn’t you know, I had a patient show up late enough that it almost canceled our dinner, but Laura was patient and we ate late that night and I got to taste delicious Mark Pis Chinese once again.  Hot and sour soup, sweet-and-sour chicken. Mongolian beef, garlic chicken, and Crab Rangoon all of these are delicious at Mark Pis. So last night my friend Laura and I drove down to Columbus, and met up with our friend Diane, we had a delicious meal and  fabulous company.  After our bellies were full, we were sitting around just gossiping as we women do, and the chef came out and talked to us.  He is very passionate about cooking,  food talking about how to cook broccoli properly rather than send it out yellow and limp.  About hit you have to be present to the food.  It was very fun to talk to him.  Laura mentioned that we had driven down from Indianapolis, we continued chatted after he left and all of a sudden he came out wheeling a cart with this beautiful desert just a perfectly beautiful little goodie at the end of our meal.  Clearly he had taken and inordinate amount of time pleasing us with this beauty!
We left with full bellies AND full


Saturday, October 21, 2017

WE Wus Here

Breakfast was fun today, fruit again with that same delish peach-mango dollop. And then a "Belgian" pancake with pears, it reminded me of a small Yorkshire pudding.
 IT was a new treat for me!
Then we sent to Ft. George.
Funny how little I know about the War of 1812.  I really didn't know that the US had been an aggressor to Canada, we are lucky to have not only peaceful but friendly good neighbors!  It was rather depressing to look at the rudimentary fort, and hear about warfare then and realize what a set up for death and mayhem it was.  Seriously who decides to send our boys, fathers,brothers sons off to be killed?  1812 or 2017, someone somewhere is being greedy or has to swing the (to quote my old boss)  biggest ____, and we lose our people.  Not the martinet that decides to start the whole thing.  Why does the common man allow this?  I really started wondering this after our last book in book discussion.  Not the futility of war and how man does not seem to learn, but really, why do mothers, wives, daughters put up without people  going off to be killed either by a musket or an AK 47? Either way gone is gone.  
Regardless it was interesting, despite the rudimentary life there were rules and a pecking order.  
The common soldier had to live in barracks,
the guy playing a British soldier said wives with their soldier husbands would have as a couple picked our husband #2, maybe even #3 and or #4.  Often it was the soldiers friend, who was next on the list and usually she was remarried within 48 hours.
Officers had it much better, but these positions were usually purchased by the family, not earned.
This bed was a bed that would fold up on itself to be portable, and a rope "springs" rather than the plank of the common soldier.
Also all soldiers had to pay for their own food, no 3 squares a day for them.
The big wig, had pretty nice digs,

The magazine, (gunpowder storage) is the only original building, and it was mostly stone, and copper, anything that would avoid setting off black gunpowder.
Next we went into Niagara on the Lake and shopped,
lunched  (meatballs for me


bruschetta for Jodi). and shopped some more, followed by a goodie and some coffee

and  more shopping.
There are some well loved dogs here.

There was a store here that made my heart sing, mostly things French &/or Paris.  I could have just stayed there!
Then we went to the park to hang out, knit, photograph and generally relax.

I am not sure why everywhere I go I am witness to weddings, but here was another one,  I bet thier pics were lovely.

Eventually we went for a walk by the water and I tried to create another WEWUS A.K.A. Inuskut.

 IT took a bit with smaller rocks though.  

But it was a lovely evening,
there was one hijabed woman  doing God only knows what on the beach with her phone, she was smiling, twirling and dancing!  I couldn't figure out if it was some sort of prayer or if she was goofing off.
Kids and men were skipping stones or throwing rocks in the water,some skippers were pretty good!

Dinner was pretty good, another turkey burger but this one with Brie and cranberries!
Of course I had a local Pino Grigio and Jodi had a salad.

 Back to the Brass Bell for Blogging, wine and bed.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chilly with a touch of Icewine

Breakfast was yet again another waffle,
at least they were sweet potato waffles, though,
with blueberry syrup.  We started out with fruit with a dollops of some scrumptious sorbet on top,
coffee, juice and berry muffins or butter tarts.
We drove to Hamimlton where Dundurn Castle is located.  Had I been smart we could have gone here on our way to Toronto. I was not so we trecked back almost an hour to see this Castle that the net had said was near Niagara on The Lake. But we did get to see

A little info about the castle:
It was interesting though, Built in 1935 for Allan McNab, it has inhabited by 6 whole people,  18,000 sq feet!  At least 6 family members, there were servants too.  In the foreground here is a dovecote.
The sitting room was huge and lovely, with a picture of the Great, Great, Greatish grandmother of the Duchess Cornwall.

Then the library/office, and card room.

And then the dining room with a table for 20.
This is a sample menu, dosen't really sound all that great.
The butler had his own room and pantry, sure wish I had a butlers, pantry like this!

This is one of the daughters bedroom.
And this is the other 
And thier sitting room
Big Sisters room:

And then Aunt Sophia's bathroom;
And then the sickroom, notice the hip bath and the lovely wash bowl, pitcher and chamber pots!  
Next was Poppas room
And look they have a bidet!
And then there was a smaller more intimate sitting room. How many sitting rooms does one family need?
Then came the basement complete with its own wine room.
Laundry room

And the servants quarters 
Look at the sugar cone, a little different from what what we buy now!
And then came the cooks room, right beside the kitchen.
And then we came to the kitchen.


After we went towards Niagra on the lake my speedig questions were partially answered, as it seems to me that the 100KM/hr signs are only a suggestions,

And on to a couple of Vineyards, Hare,

Caroline Cellars

 and Pondview.

 We had lunch at Caroline Cellars, Jodi had a vegetarian Paninni
and I had a
Turkey burger with goat cheese, pretty good!  

We had agreed to to go the Canadian side of the falls tonight, which we did but it was a bit chilly.