Toronto Garlic Festival at the Evergreen Brickworks

Toronto Garlic Festival, Kiku Corner

For the third year in a row, I sampled the garlic at the Toronto Garlic Festival at the Evergreen Brickworks. There are several Ontario farms that grow garlic, but it is pretty much impossible to find in Toronto grocery stores. Started in 2011, the Toronto Garlic Festival celebrates this precious Ontario-grown garlic. About ten varietal groups of garlic exist, and the most common are the hardneck varieties of Porcelain, Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, and Rocambole. The most common type of garlic grown in Ontario is “Music,” a type of Porcelain garlic (with white, papery skins), but it is the Rocambole variety that is the spiciest.

I love bicycling down to the Evergreen Brickworks, and this year the Toronto Garlic Festival was much busier than in years past! There were many more garlic and food vendors, and the crowds were insane. I didn’t see the garlic fudge that Rafael bought last year, and the chocolate garlic ice cream on offer was almost sold out. After Rafael got some garlic salsa and a tangy garlic mustard, we perused the beer on tap, Ontario wines, garlic pickles and garlic-infused chocolate.

I bought a sampling of bulbs from Little Trickle Farm. Heather, the grower, said that the Reliable variety was rather mild, and the Rosewood and Hungarian were stronger and more spicy. I’ve already cooked with some of the cloves, and they are delightfully juicy and crisp – not like the dry or soggy garlic you might find in big grocery stores.

Of course Rafael and I had to have a bite to eat! He had a skewer of the Gushi chicken and a black garlic butter tart from Smoked and Cracked, while I had a taste of Indonesia with my Tahu Goreng from Babi&Co. This veggie-stuffed fried tofu was served with a peanut sauce and Indonesian salsa, and it was sublime. Babi&Co was actually founded by a couple of Tomiko’s classmates from the University of Guelph!

If you would also like to buy some Ontario garlic, you can find locations on the Ontario Garlic Map. It is more pricey than the ubiquitous Chinese garlic, but you get what you pay for. Being the garlic-lover that I am, the cost is totally justified.

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Cozy Armchairs

Cozy Armchairs, Kiku Corner

1. Polo Wingback Armchair, Structube; 2. Claire Armchair, Structube; 3. Strandmon Wingback Armchair, IKEA; 4. Stick Around White/Grey Armchair, CB2; 5. Elise Chair, EQ3; 6. Kanji Armchair, Structube; 7. Study Wheatgrass Wingback Chair, CB2; 8. Elliot Wingback Armchair, Structube; 9. Parlour Atomic Orange Chair, CB2

Now that we’ve moved into autumn, the evenings are getting cooler and I find myself wanting to curl up on a cozy armchair and crochet while watching TV and eating cookies and milk. So I’ve decided it’s time to get myself an armchair. I have a lovely, comfy Solo loveseat from EQ3, but now I’ve got my eye on some armchairs.

I am leaning more towards a wingback chair, and as always, something that will fit in my budget. Tomiko and I were obsessing over the Strandmon chair from IKEA since it graced the cover of the 2013 catalogue. As you may have noticed from my first day of autumn post, I went with the Strandmon. Oh, Strandmon!

Meinhilde's Signature, Kiku Corner

Zucchini Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Zucchini Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, Kiku Corner

This recipe is great for using overripe bananas and leftover summer zucchinis. The little flecks of green might seem strange at first but after one bite of this mini bundt, you’ll want to gobble it all up!


Zucchini Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Recipe type: Quick bread
Serves: 12 mini bundts
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cups brown sugar
  • ⅔ cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer. Add brown sugar, white sugar, oil, vanilla extract, grated zucchini and mashed banana. Stir until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients one third at a time, mixing lightly with a wooden spoon. Stir only until combined, be careful to not over mix to avoid rock-like cakes. Add chocolate chips and mix once more.
  5. Grease a mini bundt pan with cooking spray. Fill each mini bundt three quarters full. There will be batter left over, and should be enough for another batch of bundts.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and rotate the pan around to ensure even heating. Bake for another 30 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  8. Once cool, remove from bundt pan.

Tomiko's Signature, Kiku Corner

Evening Wanderings in Quebec City

Quebec City, Kiku Corner

On our drive to visit friends in New Brunswick, Rafael, Sami and I stopped for a night in Quebec City. Quebec City, founded in 1608, is one of the oldest cities in North America. After checking into our hotel out by the highway, we parked downtown and leisurely walked to the old city, aiming for the Chateau Frontenac – after stopping for a stupendously delectable dinner at Le Billig.

I love the Quebec houses with sloped metal roofs and gabled windows. The Quebec countryside is speckled with these pretty houses with wraparound porches, and I was glad to see them in the city as well. As the sun set, the old city was illuminated and luckily we were blessed with good walking weather. We ogled the glitzy lobby of the Chateau Frontenac, which was built in 1893 as a hotel for the Canadian Pacific Railway and is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. The chateau is built near the Citadelle, the old city fortifications from the 17th century, and there is a glass window in the cobblestones where you can see the old fort walls.

We only had one night in this magical city, but hopefully I will be back again soon to appreciate the amazing food and awesome history.

Quebec City, Kiku Corner


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Aberfoyle Antique Market

Aberfoyle Antique Market, Kiku Corner

The Aberfoyle Antique Market is Canada’s oldest antique market and is situated just a few kilometres from Guelph, where Tomiko and I went to university. Whenever we would catch the bus to visit Toronto, we would drive by the Aberfoyle Antique Market grounds and always plan to visit. It’s been ten years now, and we finally made it! Tomiko, Donatello, and I wandered the stalls, browsing historical Canadian artifacts. We found intricately decorated Singer sewing machines, railway chamberpots,  floral teacups and grandfather clocks.

Tomiko and Donatello even scored a great deal on an extendable maple dining table!

After browsing all the stalls at this large market, we had worked up quite a large appetite. Luckily, we snagged a table at the Boathouse Tea Room in Guelph for lunch and afternoon tea.

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