Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ok ... now I'm impressed. Ants, ants, glorious ants

Who needs mutant ants when we have reality:

Call me when they manage to create real mutant ants

Someone posted this Toronto Star article on their Facebook page today:

Headline from Toronto Star Sept 7 2016 abt giant ants

Many were a bit freaked out by it but I thought "phhttt call me when they manage to do this":

Image still of mutant ant from movie Them 1954 Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc

Yup ... spent far too much of my childhood watching awesomely paranoid B monster movies.

A beetle, some Black Bear espresso & everything is right with the world

Woke up this morning knowing everything would be ok with the world today.  I have my beloved Black Bear beans back. Whoa ... aliteration before a second espresso! I experimented with another brand of espresso and well ... I'm a creature of habit.  The other espresso was good, but lacked the boldness and low acidity of my favourite bean. I love Muskoka Roastery.  I should hit the company up for a sponsorship ... I could babble all day about their beans. If they ship me a case of Black Bear I'd dedicate Memoirs to them.

Product label from Muskoka RoasteryThat's their label up there. For awhile I couldn't find it in any stores and was forced to try different brands. Just not the same. I almost did a happy dance when I spotted it back on the shelf yesterday.

AND a bonus day on top of having my Black Bear back, I found this sauntering along the livingroom floor:

Photo of a beetle wandering around my apartmentLovely, isn't he? I may be a complete and utter coward when it comes to spiders, but I have no fear when it comes to the rest of the bug kingdom. And he is gorgeous. Photo isn't that great, but you can see some of his colouring. He even has a little fuzzy butt. The white hairs stick out a bit, which amazed me. I didn't know beetles could have hairy bottoms.  Unfortunately, I suspect he's the one who's been munching on my morning glory, making it look like a wholey mess.

For the record, he's a Japanese beetle.  I'll have to do a bit of research and figure out a way to send them off to join the aphids.  Given the aphid devastation my plants endured, I'll take a wild guess and say Japanese beetles have zero interest in eating them. Why couldn't I attract lady bugs?

 

 

Little Portugal, French cooking & a lazy Monday afternoon in Toronto

Went for lunch with a friend this afternoon. She wanted to try Le Baratin, a French restaurant down on Dundas in Little Portugal (Toronto). We shared the Tartiflette (Emmental/Brie/Asiago potato tart, caramelized onions, eggs, cream) and Farçous, a spinach pancake (mushrooms, red pepper, goat cheese).... it was the kind of meal that makes your eyes roll into the back of your head. No, really, you take a bite and your heart stops for a second as you process the flavours. Then you take a second bite, your eyes sink into the back of your head and your brain screams "oh yes, oh oh YES".  Next time I go, I'll ask if the meal comes with gastronimic heart paddles, just in case my heart doesn't restart.

I didn't take any photos of the food - I was too busy eating and talking. What's a meal without good conversation, right? I'm not big on photographing while indulging my taste buds anyway.  Seems like a waste of time, the food comes at just the right temperature and it feels like an insult to the chef to piss around with a camera instead of eating.

It's a small place so you might want to go during off times or book a table.  Here's Le Baratin's website: http://www.lebaratin.ca/ Go .. now ... eat....

Afterwards I sauntered along east, enjoying what was a picture perfect afternoon. I also popped into Brazil Bakery to bring some goodies home. Just the aroma alone, when you walk along the banks of fresh bread, is enough to drive anyone off the into fantasy land. It's been a long time since I wandered along Little Portugal. I grabbed quite a few photos that I'll post over in the Photo Log section eventually. I have posted one shot that amused me - the greatest statement on politics I've ever seen. I usually rush through the neigbourhood going from point a to point b, which is a shame. I'll have to go back on a regular basis, especially for the bakeries.  Well, more work to do so ... later.

Le Baratin on Dundas, Little Portugal, Toronto

 

We'll always have the chili peppers

The best I can say is my balcony garden is green.  My tomatoes don't seem to want to tomato. They just sit there teasing us, taunting me with potential.  I don't think they like me.  My herbs are doing well, although I think I crowded my basil a bit too much, they aren't as big and bushy as I like. But they taste great. The orgegano is awesome, thank you for asking. 

Most of my peppers are ... sad ... bad ... and apathetic. They just didn't want to grow. If the weather holds out, I may get some late peppers in the fall.  However, one pepper is doing reasonably well:

photo of pepper plant I looked out earlier in the week and saw the red peaking through the green and almost did a happy dance.  The wind blew the little identifier marker away a long time ago so I don't have a clue which one it is. Couple day or two and I should have the first one to try. Lovely colour on it. Can't wait to see how hot they are.

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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