Tag Archives: The Bay

Christmas obsessions

I first had the idea to make Christmas cake over a year ago. The Beast and I had visited  George Washington’s Mount Vernon in November, 2012. There was a special food exhibit detailing what the Washingtons would’ve eaten in the late 18th century. There were even recipe cards. One was for Martha Washington’s Great Cake, which was likely served as part of their grand Christmas dinner.

I had this in the back of my mind when we visited the duty free shop in Las Vegas a year later. I decided to buy a giant bottle of rum to facilitate my Christmas cake making, but not without quite a bit of deliberation.

Beast: Come on. We have to go.

Foodie: What kind of alcohol are you getting?

Beast: Scotch.

Foodie: Should I get this eight-year-old Bacardi rum? It’s such a good deal! And it’s “reserve”!

Beast: How much rum have we gone through in the last 10 years?

Foodie: Not much, I suppose. But I could sure use it to make Christmas cakes come Christmas time!

Beast: Do you even like Christmas cake?

Foodie: [Pause] I don’t think so. Do you?

Beast: No.

Despite neither of us liking Christmas cake, I bought the rum and then several weeks later I began Googling and going through my cookbooks to look for recipes for a cake that I do not like. I found a recipe for Joey Smallwood’s wife’s 100-year-old Christmas cake. I found another in my Canadian Living cookbook. And another one from popular British cook Delia Smith.

I decided to take the best elements of them all, including Martha Washington’s, to create a perfect Christmas cake.

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Brando boners and Hungarian pancakes

I worry that 2013 will mark the year that the Beast and I morph into some crazy Grey Gardens-like couple, who hoard stuff and forget how to communicate with the outside world. We’ve both exhibited an unhealthy obsession with material things–of the fashionable sort–as of late. I’m only now becoming acutely aware of it.


On a recent Sunday night, we had 15 minutes to kill before visiting my new nephew Ben so we decided to pop into The Bay at Queen and Yonge. We got separated in the store, where everything was 40 per cent off the last sale price, and were forced to rendezvous out front. In that 15 minutes, the Beast bought a green and white striped Polo shirt and I bought three pairs of shoes. We showed each other are wares like we were common criminals. “Whatchoo get?”

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