Trinidad Moruga Scoropion Chilli Embellished

My darling wife Carol grew this Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, the world’s hottest species, from a seed.  Then she drew a lovely background for it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.Scorpion with claws and legs

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WOW Navarra

On October 13, 14 and 15, Toronto will be treated to a celebration of the wines from the northern Spanish region of Navarra.  Over the three days a series of events and a wine tasting-seminar will show Navarra’s vinous bounty partnered with tapas and other delicious Spanish foods. You’re cordially invited to attend.  To register or for further information you can email Barry Brown at info@spanvino.com or call him at 416 927-9464.

My cherished friend Barry, President of the Spanish Wine Society, spent months planning this mini-festival. Principals and winemaking staff from an impressive range of Navarra’s wine producers will be on hand to answer questions.  Sr. Jordi Vidal, director of the Navarra DO Consejo Regulador (regulatory council) will be on hand for many of the events.  Barry has gone to great lengths to bring some 100 cases of wine to Ontario from Navarra.

On Monday October 13 and Tuesday October 14 from 5:30 pm, Barry Chaim’s EDO Japanese Restaurant, 484 Eglinton Ave. West, will be presenting Navarra wines with Kozara (Japanese tapas) created by EDO chef Ryo Ozawa.  The cost is a bargain-basement $25.  For further info or to make your reservation call 416 322-3033.

Also on Monday October 13, 2014, Tinto Bar de Tapas, 1581 Bayview Ave., will present Iberian specialties and highly creative “Spanish Inspired Tapas” accompanied by six quality wines from Navarra. Winery representatives will be in attendance to pour their products and to answer your questions. For more information or to book your spot call 416 485-158. There are two seatings of only 29 people each, 5:00 pm and 7:45 pm. The cost is $85 plus tax and gratuity.

On Tuesday October 14, 2014 Chris McDonald will present an early evening wine and tapas matching at CAVA Restaurant, 1560 Yonge St., 4:30pm to 6:30 pm. Winery reps will be there to pour and parlay.  The cost is $25.

Also on Tuesday October 14, 2013, proprietor and informal Italian ambassador Roberto Martella and his wife Lucia Ruggiero will open the doors of their restaurant Grano, 2035 Yonge St. to present a tasty Italian meal with wines from Navarra. Winery reps will be there.  Call 416 440 1986 for further information or to make your reservation to attend this Navarra wine dinner. Time: 6:30 Reception, 7:00 Dinner. Cost per person: $85 plus tax and gratuity.

On Wednesday the 15th, in the morning—“The Wines of Navarra: WOW!” will present a seminar to the trade at Patria restaurant—journalists, educators, restaurateurs, members from the LCBO and wine merchants—to further share Navarra with those keen to learn.  Call Barry.  He’s very flexible on what constitutes “the trade.”  It can even include civilian enthusiasts.

What Barry calls “The Big Event” takes place on Wednesday October 15, 2014 at Patria Restaurant, 478 King St. West, just west of Spadina. Forty wines including whites, reds, rosés and a late harvest Moscatel from eight bodegas will be poured by winery representatives.  This will be the biggest ever presentation of Navarra wines in Canada.  The wines will be paired with  more than two dozen different Tapas. The cost is a very fair $42.  Contact Barry Brown for info and to register.

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Wolkoff Tastes World’s Hottest Pepper

My wife buys seeds on line and germinates them on a grow table in our basement starting in March.  This year our stock included Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers, the world’s hottest chilli.  Last year’s hotness champ, the Ghost Chilli, rated 1,000,000 Scoville heat units–way more than Jalapenos at 5,ooo to 7,ooo SCUs and more than Habaneros at around 350,000 SCUs.  The Scorpion scores a hair-raising 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 SCUs!

Watch me taste the first ripe Scorpion of the season on my Facebook page.  (WordPress won’t accommodate the file type.)

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Success so far

We’ve had our aerial defense perimeter netting up for a week now and it actually seems to be working!  Here are the results:Mixed varieties

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Raccoon palisade: Over the Top

After the most recent attack on our tomato patch (likely by one small animal) the Queen of Cuisine has added a new layer to our aerial defence perimeter–black nylon netting that was once the protective screen around our kids’ trampoline.  So far, it’s held.  We think it would confound the ‘coons and tangle them up if they tried to climb on it.  I hope it works, in no small measure because if it doesn’t, I fear Her Majesty will start knocking steel balls together in the palm of her hand while muttering about strawberries and “Old Yellowstain.”Netting tops raccoon palisade

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New Raccoon Palisade Air Defences

Last night a raccoon penetrated our defences.  It took a small bite out of a ripening Arkansas Marvel and knocked a Green Cherokee off its plant.  We think juveniles are small enough to clamber up our chicken wire and drop into the tomato patch, and climb out later.  The Queen of Cuisine spent much of the afternoon adding layers of “confounding string” to our superior perimeter in hopes of deterring small varmints from “plopping down” into the tomato plants.  The whole patch now looks like a giant cat’s cradle.  When asked what she’d do if the new defences don’t work, Her Majesty replied “I’ll just get more string!”

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Another Incursion and Extension of the Raccoon Palisade

The night after my last posting our raccoons made an aerial incursion (over the top of the chicken wire and through the confounding string) into our tomato patch.  There were casualties–the ripe and near-ripe tomatoes from all varieties.  In response, we intensified our aerial string defences and added a ring of light plastic chicken wire which extends a metre above the top of the metal chicken wire.  So far, the enemy has not penetrated the new superior perimeter.  We’ll get a ripe tomato yet, by gar!Tomato palisade with plastic chicken wire

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