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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 2 - Restaurant Reviews/Chicken Soup Book

1 Jan 2005

Volume 2                                                      By Katherine Kiang                                         January 1, 2005




I trust all of you have savoured the holiday season and enjoyed spending time with family, friends or perhaps, even met new friends.   May we all have a productive, healthy and prosperous 2005!

Katherine (aka K or Kat)

Christmas in T.O. – All Wrapped Up

I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas.  In T.O, we got a white Christmas alright!  One of my shoveling hands was hurting, so, thank God for my sister and brother-in-law who came to shovel the snow and chunks of ice from our driveway.

We partied; we ate; we shopped (my “plastic” gets the most workout this time of year); we wrapped; and we bagged gifts.  So, year after year, we do this.  I hope it has been enjoyable and meaningful.  I’d like to share a “Christmas version” of 1 Corinthians 13 – I did not see this until just before Christmas, so I did not have a chance to include it in the previous newsletter.  Just something to think about even though Christmas has now passed.  It is an enduring lesson for all occasions. 

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of
twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my
family, I'm just another decorator. If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do
not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give
all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted
snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the
choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs
will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.
                                                          .........Author Unknown

If you would like to read 1 Corinthians 13, here’s a version on the internet: http://www.homestead.com/biblestudiesnet/files/1colsn12.htm

Love is the greatest gift of all!!!

For The Love of Food

Well, another year of Afternoon Tea at Le Meridien King Edward Hotel has gone by.  My friends and I had a great time exchanging Christmas gifts, chatting, eating, drinking lots of tea, and reminiscing about all our previous teas.  I assure you, there will be more Afternoon Teas in the horizon.  My friend, Marleen, suggested that we check out the Windsor Arms – oh wow – sure, why not?

For The Love of Buffet

Now that Christmas has passed and we have felt more stuffed than the “bird” on the table, probably the last thing you want to read about is buffets!  Well, I enjoyed some buffets in the past six months, and they were lovely.  No need to overstuff – I like variety once in awhile.

Mina (my friend) had never been to Mandarin Chinese Buffet (http://www.mandarinbuffet.com/) , so, there we were, trying this and that.  I just like trying new things because after all, it is Chinese food and I’ve certainly had lots of it in my lifetime!  Don’t know about you, but, oftentimes, I think the service at Chinese restaurants is not too courteous.  But, at the Mandarin we went to, it was overwhelmingly friendly.  The service was excellent.  I had one small disappointment which has never happened to me before - the fortune in my cookie made no sense – it was ripped in half and I could not read it – boohoo! Oh well, I doubt the fortune had anything to do with a dark, handsome stranger coming into my horizon anyway – double boohoo!  (T.O’s “Now” paper, Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2004 issue, named Mandarin as best Chinese restaurant.)

Last summer, mom and I went to Jerusalem Restaurant (http://www.jerusalemrestaurant.ca/) for a Middle Eastern buffet.  Try the kebobs, salads, lamb, falafels, shawarma, grilled fish & lots more to choose from.  The nearest Jerusalem Restaurant to my house (N.W. corner of Finch & Leslie, North York).  The other location is 955 Eglinton Av. W.  For me, it’s a nice change from Chinese food! (“Now” paper, Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2004 issue, named Jerusalem Restaurant as best Middle Eastern food in T.O. )

Recently, Nick & Vicky (my friends) introduced me to York’s Kitchen at the lower level of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel (on Front Street, across from Union Station) for a Sunday buffet brunch.  If you’re downtown (either on a weekday or weekend), you might want to drop by and have an all-you-can eat meal of scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, breakfast pizza, mini Belgian waffles, French toast, oatmeal, an assortment of pastries, seasonal fruit, and I actually overdid it with the juices (yes, I’m so “wild”!). (See http://www.fairmont.com/.)

Try Thai!

I was introduced to Green Papaya (2401 Yonge Street, about 3 blocks north of Eglinton) by my friend, Terry.  It serves Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.  I tried a house specialty - delicious Atlantic salmon which came with green salad laced with thin slices of mango, and pad thai (noodles).  It’s a nice Asian restaurant to have a relaxing dinner in the popular Yonge-Eglinton (aka Young & Eligible) neighbourhood.  Another friend (Irene) has raved over similar type of cuisine at Lime on Eglinton Av. E.  So, I’ll let you all know what I think when I try it out!

Just to continue my buffet theme above, I would also recommend another well-known Thai restaurant in Toronto called Bangkok Garden (18 Elm Street, north of Bay and Dundas Streets).  There is a noodle bar downstairs, where lunches are quite reasonably priced.  In the upstairs dining room, I have gone for the buffet. Their lunch and dinner menus can be found on their website at http://www.bangkokgarden.ca/.  One of my friends went to Bangkok Garden during a Thai New Year celebration (April 13-15).  I heard it was lots of fun - just bring extra clothing because they sprayed water on guests & everywhere in the restaurant.  So, for you “fishes”, you’ll love it!  I’m not sure if they will do it again – if I find out, I’ll let you know.

Where am I?

Heigh ho….heigh ho….it’s off to Fredricton, New Brunswick, I go!  Yes, my virtual trek across Canada continues – the cold, snowy weather is making things tough a bit….brrrrr…..it’s almost as hard as “walking across water”! J 

I remember when my friend, Tracy, and I drove to the East coast in 1999 and I came back to T.O. by bus.  What a great road trip!

I can’t wait until I head out west on my virtual journey and I will reminisce about when Tracy and I drove out to B.C. at the end of March to early April in 2003. 

As I have mentioned in my previous newsletter, at www.c2cfit.com you can join up, for a cost, to walk, run, swim or row.  The cost is for  keeping track of the mileage online.  You can choose to either travel across Canada or the U.S. You can also join the discussion board and get to know fellow virtual travelers!

If virtual journeys are not adventurous enough for you (and your family and friends), and I can understand that, then, I encourage you to travel across Canada – yes, ROAD TRIP!!!  Woohoo!!!  I’m so glad I went along with Tracy.  Road trips are lots of fun, and much more enjoyable, if you are with company you enjoy being with.  And, in my experience, they’ve been soul-searching trips which have given me the strength to take the “roads not taken” that became life changing.  Then again, when you’ve got two psychology majors (Tracy and me) travelling across the country – well, it’s like an Oprah or Dr. Phil show…..sob, sob. 

If you do take a road trip, get proper sleep, don’t just live on Gatorade (but, thank God for Gatorade), and have a good sense of humour.  Make sure you are well-prepared for possible flat tire(s) (ohh…déjà vu), and cash (or credit card) for food, possible car repairs, gas and accommodations.  Check the weather reports and road conditions.  I liked how Tracy made small talk with people at the gas stations or convenience stores, about the weather & road conditions.  Local residents can give you tips for travel, in case you need to take a detour.  If you can find a good co-pilot who can read a map, direct the driver (who may not be able to see during a snowstorm – another déjà vu!) to not run into a ditch, change the tape/CD/radio station – hmmm… then, you have a potentially successful and fun road trip.  Hallelujah!

For all you seasoned drivers, experience is a great teacher and something called common sense is a great lifesaver in any situation.

Here’s to your great and safe adventures! 

Reading For Your Soul…

Take a sip…yes…I said….sip.  It’s time for more Chicken Soup For The Soul – and there’s lots to come, it seems.

How many years have we been drinking real homemade chicken soup? I know when I get a cold (or I’m about to get one), there’s nothing more I look forward to than mom’s chicken soup.  So, when I discovered Chicken Soup For the Soul, I loved it!  I love inspiring stories (I am such a sap!) – to read, to watch in a movie or t.v., or even to listen to.  So, you can imagine how I grew to love the series which has become a huge phenomena.

The stories are compiled by the editors/writers.  These relatively short stories are submitted by people (i.e. can be done online now), or were contributed by sources previously published in other books, magazines or newspapers.

This past Christmas, my friend, Marleen, gave me Chicken Soup For the Girlfriend’s Soul.  What a perfect book for the female sap in me!  By story #3, I was sobbing.  I guess Marleen got me back from when I gave her Chicken Soup For the Mother’s Soul

There’s a Chicken Soup For the Soul book for just about anyone.  Hey, I discovered on the website, www.chickensoup.com that there’s even a book for the Celtic Soul in the works for the Irish girl in me…of course.  Well, from the Adopted Soul to the Young Horse Lover’s Soul, as I’ve said, there’s a book for almost anyone.  If you, or someone you know, do not have too much time to read lengthy novels, these short stories are fabulous!

I’m not only fond of chicken soup, I also love turkey soup.  Wonder if the authors would consider Turkey Soup for the Soul – you know, for Christmas and Thanksgiving???

Upcoming Events at the MTCC

I have attended a number of great events throughout the years at MTCC including Christian evangelistic services, “Signatures” Craft show, Women’s Health Matters Forum, and the Prospectors & Developers Assoc. of Can. (PDAC) Annual Trade Show and Conference.  There are still lots I haven’t seen. 

In January, 2005, events include Womens Health Matters Forum & Expo, Metro Home Show, Financial Forum, & Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair – just to name a few events.  And, there’s much more to see the rest of the year such as the Canadian Auto Show in February; Toronto Art Expo and “Signatures” Craft Show in March.  There are Trade Shows and shows open to the Public.  

So, if you are seeking fun and/or educational stuff to do, don’t forget about the MTCC.  Check out their website at http://www.mtccc.com/ and search “Events” to see what’s happening from month to month.

K’s Recommended Websites for January

All Recipes (Food & Cooking resource for home cooks):

iDrink (Mixed drinks recipes):

BestBuys.ca (Shopping guide to warehouse sales in Ont.):

Menupalace (Toronto – Over 8000 restaurants, hotels, clubs, etc.):

Toronto Restaurants (including “Toronto Life” restaurant reviews):

LifeByte.net Restaurant Guide (Restaurant listing across Canada):

Coming Up in February’s Issue….

Story of St. Valentine

Best truffles in town & other chocolate goodies

Chinese New Year:  Year of the Rooster

  . . . and more