Christmas in TO.

Again this year the bird was brined in apple cider and herbs. The smoking was courtesy of apple wood and lacquered with smoked bacon. The cast iron stuffing was upped with duck confit. All the veggies roasted lovingly by Ms. Vicky.

A hardy and filling dinner for all with the host hitting the sheets hard after all had reached their capacity of  L-tryptophan and baked treats for dessert.

I hope all had a great Christmas and wish you a wonderful New Year.

Be well world.

First in a long time. Picanha is my friend!

Working as a meat manager I have been introduced to cap steaks, or in other words, Picanha.

I thought, until last night that it was a cheap, tough cut that was a last resort on the sparse shelf of the store or that it was just a way to get rid of the sirloin cap of fat. I was extremely mistaken.

This was one of the most succulent and flavourful cuts I have ever had.

The trick I found through talking with the Brazilian gentleman that buys it once a week from me was to go hard and fast on it over fire and keep it medium rare so it doesn’t toughen up.

This has to be my best steak of the year. Just salted (heavily) and let to rest for about an hour at room temperature before introducing it to the flames it was a send from the carnivore gods. Served with a chimichurri sauce and some quick pickled scotch bonnets it was a hit.

It just goes to show you that there are no bad cuts. It’s just how you treat them. Kind of like people.

If food is life….

(no discussion there), then this is how we started the New Year.

Drooling aloud and expected…

Cast iron seared sirloins (rare for my mine), broiled lobster with garlic and parsley butter, seared scallops with a vermouth butter drizzle, potatoes au gratin and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

It’s going to be a glorious year.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.“ Henry David Thoreau

Another year, another Turkey Shoot. If your counting that makes 27 in a row.

As a family we value Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Ours is a weekend long festival of togetherness and love. Souls and loved ones have passed and new blood has joined in to keep us passionate about life and resilient to the scars that the years can create.

My children have never known a year without this gathering and hopefully never will. Time spent in front of the fire talking about what has transpired in our separate worlds and gathering strength from sharing thoughts and stories.

This year a new soul graced us with his presence. Asa, the happiest baby in the world brought his smiles and laughter to the table while Alex and Nicole shared their engagement news with the family. Love reigned abundant as always.

Thanksgiving is always a gift we treasure. Thank you everybody for standing against the tides of time in which we could have lost this experience. Be well for 365 days till the next one.

 

Papa Tait

 

 

Not about food. This is about ankle hair?

Where did all my ankle hair go?

As you grow, um, older, you find that there is hair where you never had hair and hair missing in places where it used to be abundant. The top of the head seems to fall short of its required allotment and there is a crop growing, unfortunately from your nostrils, ear lobes, and that one rampant six incher that sprouted up overnight from your eyebrow.

But for me, I seemed to lose a crop that I had never really noticed, until now.

For the past, I don’t know how long, I’ve worn socks. You dress for work, living in Canada most of the time it’s for warmth, or you just have the routine drilled into you from your parents that you need to wear socks. Civilized people wear socks!

Then one day in your fifties you look down and realize that you have these bizarrely naked ankles. Your leg hair stops at the spot where your socks begin. What happened to my ankle hair? Was it the rubbing of the tight fitting socks? Was it the absence of oxygen getting to the area, or was I born with a natural barren area of hair follicles? I have a little hair on my toes (not in the sasquatch sense) but nothing for a six-inch area above my ankle.

But that has changed.

I’ve been out of the corporate world for some time now and my suits are collecting dust in the closet as well as my excessive assortment of business wear. My sock collection has reduced into a few and far between assortment of mismatched and one offs.

Since socks are not a mainstay of my daily existence anymore a curious thing has happened to my ankles. I’m growing hair back there! This has turned out to be an exciting experience for me. Daily now I check the progress of the filament development. Is there more than yesterday? Is there less? Is the once barren patch now a developing thatch? Will it grow in thicker and resemble hamsters mounting my legs in a questionable embrace? What will become of this?

Why am I so focused on my ankle hair?

Being of Scottish heritage, for me tanning is not an option. It’s not that I don’t want to or like to, it just doesn’t happen. My leg hair is the only thing that gives the illusion that I have any melanin in my body. The absence of ankle hair makes it appear that I have never exposed my feet to sunlight let alone been wearing wellingtons all my life. I’m not vain, it just looks funny.

So I welcome the new crop and hope it fills in faster than it took to disappear. Growing new ankle hair in your fifties is, well, exciting. The ear hair I can do without.

Be well and eat (and grow ankle hair) well.

Scott