What happened to February

So I looked up and realized I didn’t blog once in February.  Now, not a ton happened in February, but it’s a month I hate less than most people do, and it certainly deserves better from me.

In case you were wondering – oh, and I know you were – here’s what happened at Northbrook in February…

What we did:

Some people in my household did things like this:DSC_0883

Yes, that’s right – full winter-gear trampolining.  Others of us (okay, me) looked at the thermometer, put the kettle on and added a quilt to the day bed.DSC_0884

Also, my birthday happened, and I got these two amazing books, plus I’m hooked on this series of books by Justin Cronin.  (See daybed activity above).DSC_0902

What we ate:

When we signed up for our CSA we also opted for a monthly meat box, which brings all kinds of interesting goodies each month.  Many of them have been finding their way into my various attempts at cassoulet, which the WorkHorse loves.  I’ve been blending multiple recipes based on what I have, but early learnings are that some kind of tomato addition (paste, canned) is essential for the flavour of the beans.  My cassoulet is er, a work in progress, but nothing bad every came from a plate of hot white beans with duck and sausage.DSC_0901

We had a banner month of city eating.  Very atypically we wound up with two fun tasting dinners.  These days, fine dining involves a burger at the local joint – so our Veuve Cliquot dinner at Nota Bene was a real treat. But for the cool factor, our long-awaited dinner at Charlie’s Burgers couldn’t be beat.  We found out about Charlie from some new friends we met at Eigensinn Farm last year.  Want to find out where to eat?  Ask a foodie.  Charlie’s Burgers is a private dinner club that hosts 5-10 pop up dinners in Toronto each year.  For each dinner a hot chef is brought in and a totally new menu is on offer.  To gain entry you have to fill out a questionnaire on the web site and then hope that you will eventually get an invitation.  (Apparently once you’re in, you’re in – you get all of invitations from then on.)  It took about six months for us to receive an invite.   When the invitation comes you have to be very, very fast.  There are a limited number of spots and tickets go fast.  You are given the date and the general location but no specifics as to where.

In our case we were instructed to go to an alley downtown and find a man standing on a wine barrel.  We did, and he handed us a sardine tin which we opened to find a vial of a very strong cocktail and directions to dinner (fortunately for us, a historic building next door).  We spent the next 4 and half hours drinking and eating with other adventurous foodies. It was a blast.  The wait staff, host, sommelier and chef are fabulous and friendly.  And, in case you get thirsty, there are buckets of beer in the restrooms.  It was overall a very good meal, but it was a hell of a party.  I would absolutely recommend trying out Charlie if you live in the area.  It’s spency, but it’s a terrific night out.

The rest:

I spent the rest of February as I usually do – obsessing about my training and waiting for spring to come so I can start my garden.  A girl can only sort, then resort, then sort again her pile of seed packets so many times.  The good news?  It’s March now – I can see the outlines of the raised beds peeking through the softening snow and I’ll be starting my peppers from seed this week.  Goodbye February and Hello Sunshine!

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