Rainy Sunday

The carnage left at ‘Holy Chuck’

I have the cold that wouldn’t die. So does Mama S, who is now on her third week of coughing. My 9:00 am sleep in was much appreciated this morning, and my plan is to remain in my pajamas until I have to leave the house for production meetings and rehearsal later. In fact, if I’m really clever, I’ll figure out a pajama-like outfit to spend the rest of the evening in.

Holy Chuck was quite the experience last night. I found most of the menu actually impossible to eat – six layers of beef patties sandwiched by layers of grilled cheese for example. I got their jr burger with bacon, cheese, and caramelized onions because I couldn’t imagine eating more beef than that. They grind their meet on site, and it’s all locally raised and never frozen. I could taste the difference. We paired our burgers with a pile of poutine (hand cut French fries of course) and hand cut sweet potato chips with chipotle mayo. Yum. The burger was perfectly cooked, and kind of melt-in-my-mouth amazing. N got a few more toppings than I would have liked, so if we go back I think I’ll try it a bit more paired down. After our meal I was totally satisfied, and didn’t feel disgusting. The shakes there were ridiculous. Made with locally produced ice cream, our Strawberry Cheesecake shake was about 90% ice cream and had chunks of cheesecake and graham crust within. Johnny, the owner, recognized N immediately and was very gracious and warm. He even let us sample a complimentary dessert soon to be added to the menu – cookie dough wrapped in bacon and deep fried, served over vanilla ice cream drizzled with pure maple syrup and dusted with Belgian chocolate shavings. After that, I needed to crawl to the car. Glad to have lycra clothing for that visit. There’s a great debate about whether Holy Chuck can stand up to The Burger’s Priest, and since we’ve never been to the Priest, it will be a destination for a future Free Day. Consider it a research project.

I’m looking forward to this evening, though it means having to tear myself away from our cozy home. Some of you know that I’m the Artistic Director of Les Coquettes Cabaret, which is a theatre company I co-founded seven years ago. We’re working on our December 11th Holiday show which we’re performing at our Toronto home, Revival. I really love show prep, and we’re working on some exciting plans for the coming year. We’re also rehearsing our New Year’s Eve show for the Sanderson Centre which will be the largest theatre we’ve performed at to date. Exciting times all around. I’m mostly really grateful to finally find myself in a place where I really enjoy going to work.

The fam is presently piled on the sofa with N’s mum watching the BBC series ‘Life’. The kids are enthralled, and it’s conjuring such great memories of how much I used to love watching nature shows with my dad. The girls are presently caught up in the drama of the giant octopus, who lays 100,000 eggs and holes herself up for six months to nurture and protect them, not eating a thing. As they hatch, the mother dies of starvation, and her final sacrifice is the baby octopus first meal – their mom becomes a feast. The girls take it all in stride – A is explaining it all to us as the story unfolds. She’s seen it before, and it’s stuck with her, but she is nonplussed by the drama.

The week ahead is busy. In fact all are, leading up to the holidays. Our home business is hectic at this time of year, the school is filled with activity, and Les Coquettes doesn’t stop until the spring, as far as I can tell. I need to find a kick ass mac and cheese recipe that I can make in massive quantity for the kids’s Winter Fair cafe. Suggestions are most welcome.




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