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Grilled fish – The Comfort Food Diner


There was some very good looking sea bream at our local fish place today, so for dinner I grilled up two of them along with some broccoli spears. Yum.

I use a charcoal bbq  (Big Green Egg) with a cast iron grill. For fish, brush some oil on the grill, and let it get very hot before laying the fish on the grill to avoid any issues with sticking. Before grilling, I sprinkled on some bbq rub an a little salt, including inside the fish, squeezed a lime over it and drizzled it with a little oil.

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One Scotch One Bourbon, One Beer

Here are Donny Broussard and the Louisiana Stars….

Many visitors to this blog might be more familiar with a version that goes like this…

Ry Cooder did a wonderful take-off on the tune as part of his My Name is Buddy recording..

How about Brushy One String….



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Our Kind of Traitor

We watched Our Kind of Traitor yesterday at our local Cineplex. It’s about a couple who are drawn into some international intrigue – a Russian money launderer seeking protection from the British secret service in exchange for names and account numbers which highlight the involvement of prominent citizens and politicians.

I confess I like spy movies, the kind with plenty of character and plot and atmosphere, rather than the kind with fancy stunts and effects. This was the right sort of spy movie, just what the Dr ordered. John le Carré did the screenplay on this one, based on the novel by Hossein Amini. To digress for a moment, when I was a kid, my father read those John le Carré novels and when I tried to read them at the time, I found them to be dense and boring. Many years later, I enjoyed the various film adaptations a great deal and went back and read some of the novels as well. They were still pretty dense, but I appreciated that peculiar atmosphere.

Ewan McGregor played Perry in Our Kind of Traitor, a college professor and Naomi Harris his lovely lawyer wife Gail. I thought Stellan Skarsgård carried the day though, with a terrific performance as Dima, the charismatic money launderer.

The tension between the characters was nicely played. The story seemed pretty much straight-ahead, but there was enough of a plot twist to keep it interesting. Our Kind of Traitor is by no means “best picture” material, but it’s a strong genre film well worth watching.

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One sad bolete

This has been a tough year for mushroom hounds in the Toronto area. There simply has not been enough rain to fruit quantities of mushrooms. Recently we have had a couple rains, and though they haven’t been the kind of two-day soakers I was hoping for, there was enough to get me wondering if there was enough for mushrooms. My brother Salvelinas Fontinalis had the same idea and suggested we meet up and check out the Enchanted Mushroom Forest.

We arranged to meet at the nearest Tim Horton’s to the forest. I was early; brother was late (I’m usually early; he’s usually late). I parked in the shady part of the Timmy’s parking lot and unloaded the partners. If you stand in a Tim Horton’s parking lot with two Newfoundland dogs for long enough, you’re going to meet some interesting people.

First there were the two women with their dogs in crates in their car. They were on their way to a training facility to do dock diving and other doggy activities. Then there was the chainsaw carver. He saw a so-called reality tv show about chainsaw carvers and decided on the spot that he could do that. He showed me pics on his phone and I have to say his work was beautiful.

With coffee and breakfast sandwiches in our bellies (and yes the partners shared a plain donut) we headed for the forest. Now this is a reliable forest. I never find huge amounts of mushrooms there, but if they are fruiting anywhere around, I always find enough for a couple dinners. As well, within this good sized forest, there are specific places where we find most of our mushrooms, and we usually know very quickly if we are going to find some.

Today the Enchanted Mushroom Forest offered up no tasty edibles, and almost no mushrooms at all. I say almost because I found one single, sad, bolete, which unfortunately was not one of the edible species.

However, it was good to see Salvalinas, and I always enjoy taking the dogs to the forest – of course they don’t much care if we find mushrooms or not. Any day that includes a car ride, a donut and a romp in the forest is a good day as far as the partners are concerned.

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Seeking painting storage

We use various parts of our home as art studio space. This includes what was once a garage but which at some point well before we moved in was converted to studio. Our challenge is that a significant chunk of that space is currently being used to house some older large paintings. We need to recover that space for art activities so we’re looking for some dry, safe storage space which won’t cost us an arm and a leg.

There are all kinds of storage facilities around, both locally and further away, but before we go that route, I thought it was worth posting here to see if any readers know of the perfect situation, just waiting for us. Open for suggestions.

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Polka King strikes it rich

Every now and then good things happen to polka accordion players. I heard on the radio this morning that 81 year old Walter Ostanek, known as Canada’s Polka King, has won a million Canadianos in the London Dream Lottery, a hospital fundraiser. He’s still playing gigs every day of the week with no plans to slow down. I wonder if there is a new accordion on the horizon? Way to go, polka-man.

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Banjo at Sam Smith Park Farmer’s Market

This Saturday, July 16, I’ll be playing some old time clawhammer banjo at the Sam Smith Park Farmer’s Market between 10:00 AM and noon. The market is located by the skating trail in the park. If you’re driving, enter the park by going south from Kipling and Lakeshore. You can’t miss it. Parking is available in the park.

If you’re out at the market Saturday morning, stop by and say hi.