Sunday, December 19, 2010
Margin Notes: Mulled Wine, Birds, Joe Canadian
Proud Bavarian Matthias Oschinski poured rum on the sugar cone as part of the process of making mulled wine at his apartment in Toronto, Ontario on 17-December-2010
TORONTO, ONTARIO - One of the highlights of my visit to the Toronto Christmas Market (covered previously) was the mulled wine, which was a really nice (and warm) treat in the cold weather. When my friends Karimah Hudda and Matthias Oschinski invited me over to actually make their own mulled wine, there was no way I was going to turn that down. Friday night, I was treated to how it is actually done in Germany, prominently using bags of spices, a cone of sugar, a special copper pot, and of course red wine, amongst other details. A native Bavarian, Matthias had expressed minor dissatisfaction with the offering at the market, and after drinking his version, I understood why--the spices were much more nicely accented, leading to a taste that isn't quite like anything else I've ever had. I can understand why Matthias and Karimah make mulled wine an annual tradition.
The blue, alcohol-based flame surrounded the sugar cone as mulled wine was prepared on 17-December-2010
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An annual tradition for most North Americans around this time of year is shopping, and malls know that. It surprised me when visiting the Eaton Centre here in Toronto this fall that it looked like their construction project involving flooring and railings wasn't going to be complete in time for the peak holiday season. Sure enough, when I went to shop there on Friday night, the crowds were having to work their way around the construction. What in the world were they thinking when they scheduled that work?
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I'd also like to know what the CBC was thinking when it named the new co-host of the flagship As It Happens show on Radio One. When the CBC fired Barbara Budd as co-host earlier this year, it claimed it wanted to replace presenters with journalists. So who did they hire? Jeff Douglas, best known as the actor that portrayed "Joe Canadian" in the famous Molson Beer "I am Canadian" commercial. Granted, Douglas has done significant documentary work, promises to push social media for the show, and I rather like him, but it sure doesn't look like the point of replacing Budd was to find a journalist. It makes the whole process look rather cold.
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A small bird braved the elements at Toronto's Lambton Park on 19-December-2010
The weather has been cold in Toronto for the past week, and it has looked like a winter wonderland for about the past week. I went out in the elements today and spotted a Cardinal, but as is usually my luck when male Cardinals are around, I didn't manage to get a decent picture. I had to settle for a LBB ("little brown bird") instead, shown above at Lambton Park.