Tag Archives: Bobby Flay

From Prom to Ruby Watchco

I never went to my high school prom which was a smart move because all those that went are still being haunted by Facebook taggings.  This is the kind of thing that mortifies me even by proxy.  One boy, who shall remain nameless but let’s call him Moose Knuckles, was somebody’s older brother and mercy date to a girl in a see-through dress who forgot to hone her eating disorder in a pre-Spanx era.  He wore trousers so high-waisted and tight that his junk had nowhere to go but up and sideways.  And forever emblazoned in our memories.  Oh how I love to creep on that profile when I am sad and having a bad hair day.

And here we are today, this is Evangeline and her brother, Freddy, on prom day last Friday.  We had a gaggle of girls (and some parents) over for a pre-prom primping party.  They graduated from Rosedale School of the Arts which is not the usual Abercrombie crowd we’re talking about.   If you’ve ever been on Bloor and Castle Frank when school lets out, you know what I’m talking about.  I am sure some girls wore dresses crafted out of hair grown on their heads.  There are also slim pickins of boys at the school.  Because of lack of male escorts  (IT DOESN’T GET BETTER),  Evangeline and her prom posse all went as one girl power unit.  They took the streetcar!  How cute is that?

So what we saved on limos, some of the elders decided to go out to dinner.  We had a 9:00 reservation for Ruby Watchco in Riverside.  I gave my car key to my neighbour, Ann, and made her drive us there.  So what we saved in cab fare, we made up for in cocktails.  Really?  No, not really, we would have had those anyway.  We got to the restaurant right on time and it was so exciting.  Ruby Watchco is Chef Lynn Crawford’s  popular newish Queen Street East restaurant with a cryptic name.  No, it is not The Rancid song which is actually Ruby Soho but it doesn’t stop me from changing the lyrics and singing incessantly before we arrived.  Ruby Watchco was actually a sign found in one of the restaurants featured in the Food Network show, Restaurant Makeover.  In case you didn’t know, Lynn Crawford (former executive chef at The Four Seasons NYC) is a host on this show AND and was an Iron Chef competitor against Bobby Flay. Again, in case you didn’t know, Bobby Flay makes burgers and stars in my current fantasy, “Would You Like Fries With That?”

“Any dietary restrictions?” was the first question our charming waitress asked.  This is because you have no choice!  This is heaven to me, you eat what you get, homestyle, and you are served all the courses in Le Creuset baking dishes.  Even as a low funtioning cook in my own kitchen, I can tell you, it is a goal of mine to own a Le Creuset pot in every shape, size, and colour.  I would just look at them and dream of bubbling cheese.  I do have a nice sized green one, though, that is the vessel to my famous Chicken Rinaldo every Monday night.  Here is the Ruby Watchco website and you can see what’s on menu of the day.

While I would never admit to having  dietary restrictions, I will confess to having certain dietary malfunctions which are sparked by peaches, ice cream, and seafood.  The first item makes my face bulge, my tongue swell, and my hair follicles super itchy.  The second thing makes me poop immediately.  So what?  I make sure I eat it at home. The third makes my stomach churn first and then poopalooza.  Again, so what?  “Take the pain,” I always say to the weaklings in my Tom Berenger voice.  And on the menu was fish which I love, by the way, but it doesn’t love me back which is the saddest and purest love of all.  The other courses were so delicious, fresh and local.  There was is a salad with baked prosciutto (“Always invite pork to a party,” said a wise host), and the wait staff was fantastic.  They saw us fighting over the last piece of bacon, and they brought us a whole bunch more IN THE CUTEST LE CREUSET DISH OF ALL.  The fish, which was Halibut with shrimp salsa, was phenomenal.  We ended it with “thermalized” cheese and chocolate mousse dessert.  It was awesome and the best restaurant experience I’ve had in Toronto for sure.  Chef Lynn came to our table and chatted us, and we were all completely smitten with girl crushes.  She is a culinary Goddess.  And between you and me, even going to the washroom was magical.  I swear it smelled of lavender in there.


The Boy, The Butcher, The Burger, The Bomb

Last weekend was Freddy”s 15th Birthday.

Me:  What do you want?

Freddy:  Nothing.

Me:  New shoes?

Freddy: No I like my old ones.

Me: What about a bike? A jacket? A day at the spa? A party? A cake?

Freddy:  Nah, no, NO, no, I hate cake.

So pretty much nothing it was!   The evening before was that dreaded Earth Day where you have to turn off your lights for an hour.   Evangeline was at a party so he and I spent the night in the dark, secretly watching television with the volume on low so the neighbours couldn’t hear and judge.  We watched 127 Hours which was the most riveting movie I’ve seen in like, 127 years.  Maybe because the first hour was watched on the down low which made it more compelling.  Anyway, I forced Freddy to watch it even though he didn’t want to but he ended up liking it, so that was my gift to him.  Happy Birthday, Freddy!  Enjoy your right arm!

The next day was his birthday, which by the way, was exactly like the day he was born:  Cold, crisp and sunny with some snow on the ground.  I always remember that morning, looking out the window of St. Mike’s Hospital while I was in labour at the KFC billboard and thinking:  ” Lunch, please be out before lunch.”  And sure enough, as soon as I hunkered down on all fours, out he came like a rocket.  My little Freddy had a bullet shaped head and he didn’t even cry.  And right away, after I manoeuvred myself over the birth goo and umbilical cord, he clamped on to my tit and began his feast.  And the rest is history.  Freddy is off the boob (at least mine) currently a burger aficionado, hence all the burger blogging I have been doing:  The Burger’s Priest, The Burger Shoppe, The Great Burger Kitchen and now my own glorious creation:  The Giant Mother Burger Cake!

Ever since The Righteous Teenage Daughter made the declaration four months ago that she will only eat meat from happy farm animals, I have been hunting butcher shops all over the city.  I found my favourite, The Friendly Butcher, on the Danforth just east of Broadview.  I’ve said this before, butcher men are hotter than oyster shuckers or firemen so make sure your bra is on tight and you don’t have lipstick on your teeth because the testosterone in that shop could cause spontaneous pheromone eruptis, if you know what I mean.  And they are helpful.  So when I decided to make a Giant Mother Burger Cake for Freddy Birthday I went there and got two pounds of ground beef and some Tamshire bacon (and the range of bacon they have from Perth Pork, click here and check it out,  is pretty interesting).   So here is what I did:

Wove all the bacon (Tamshire)  from the package into a square and broiled it until the fire alarm  went off (true….but until it looked done)

Made a giant beef patty out of : 1.5 ground beef, 2 eggs, Italian bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, frozen placenta (haha, kidding, but occurred to me had I the wherewithal back then), then fried it over the stove, salting both sides with coarse sea salt.  Fried up burgers are the best, keep all the juices in, I learned that on The Food Network.  You know, that Bobby Flay could probably take someone’s chopped arm make a burger out of it.  Sigh.

Cut open a sourdough loaf of bread, put the burger on it, the bacon weave on top of the patty , and some grated sharp cheddar!  Finally, I dug some holes in the bread for candles and Happy Birthday to You, Freddy!  Bon Appetit!  It took 4 days to eat that burger!  XOXO