The Hell-Fired Pizza.

I want to establish from the outset that I am not a wimp when it comes to spicy food. Indian, Asian, Mexican… I love it all.

For lunch today, my husband ordered a meat lover’s pizza with chilli. It was delicious – until I bit into the hottest fuelled-by-all-the-power-of-hell piece of chilli I have ever experienced.

What I experienced at that point in time was way beyond taste, pleasure, or delicacy. It was excruciating.

My mouth was on fire.
I lost sensation in my lips, then almost passed out.
My eyes were streaming.
I was using bad words, but slurring my words.
My dear man thought I was just being funny. I wasn’t. This was one of the rare moments in my life where being a comic genius was not something I had in mind.

That supercharged little sucker burned my mouth, throat, oesophagus and stomach for at least an hour, only moderately assuaged by milk. I have had a persistent stomach ache for 9 hours, and my mouth and throats are still sore.

And now, the assault continues as the nugget of hellfire works its way through my system.
N e v e r  in my life have I experienced anything like this.

Suffice to say that while the volcano is not erupting hot lava,  it is definitely shooting out dangerous levels of sulphur and brimstone.  It’s probably worthy of an official health and safety warning.

At least there is one thing of which I can be certain: this, too, shall pass.
And that, my friends, is going to hurt.

pizza

Edit: On reading this, a friend sent me an article about two guys in New Zealand making someone eat a Fijian Bongo Chilli, which had exactly these after effects. He was suing them for assault.
I don’t blame him. 

Racking up the laughs.

This morning, my man made bacon, eggs and grilled tomatoes for an Easter Sunday breakfast. 

One of our guests dropped a little on her white skirt and commented that it was going to be hard to get the mark out.

“Make-up wipes will get it out,” I said helpfully.

“Oh, thank you! Great tip!” she said. 

Just as she was putting more food in her mouth, I leaned over to my husband and whispered quite loudly, “She said I’ve got great tits!”

Just as I had hoped,  my friend nearly spat her food out again as she laughed. 

And then, as diplomatic as ever, my husband said,”I don’t think that’s what she said.”

“As if she didn’t,” I said, indicating the general area, “Check ’em out!” 
And then nobody knew what to say.

Good times. 

Pulling cheese.

Okay. This is a new one on me. I’ve just had my first string cheese experience.

  

Apart from the very “American cheese” colour, it looks just like the Kraft cheese sticks that we have in Australia, but it’s a lot more fun because you can pull strings of cheese off and torture your cheese as you eat it.

  

 You can even have competitions to see who can pull the thinnest string.

Food and entertainment in one hit.
Aces.

Thanksgiving.

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada today. It’s nice to be here for it and to share in such a nice tradition.  

I’m looking forward to sharing a special meal with some friends who are very dear to me, although I confess to being slightly nervous about meeting some new people at the same time. 

Thanksgiving Day is clearly a Notth American thing, but I have been surprised at how many people here think the whole world does it. My hosts were quite shocked this morning when I told them we don’t have it in Australia.

Maybe we should. Giving thanks for our freedom and blessings cannot be a bad thing, and it might make some people less selfish and xenophobic.  

The Irish Harp.

The Irish Harp is a wonderful Irish pub in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. 

 

The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and right from the start, the service is outstanding. 

  
 

The food is good: there is an extensive menu of traditional Irish pub fare and more standard pub-style food with a slightly Irish twist.  

The Magner’s cider is cold and delicious, and the house beer is pretty good, according to Sean.  It’s fair to say that he knows and appreciates beer a great deal more than I do, so I’m happy to go with his opinion.
 

We really enjoyed our visit to the Itish Harp. I’d definitely make this my regular pub if I lived nearby.  

 

Shopping list…

Sean was making a shopping list for groceries. Then this conversation happened: 

Me: “You wanted yoghurt. Is that on your list?”

Sean: “Yes.”

Jenn: “Do you have enough granola for your yoghurt?”

Sean: “We have that coming out of our wazoo…”

Me: “Is that what that was?”

Jenn: “Wazoo flavoured granola…”

Me: “What other flavour could you want?”

Port Dalhousie

Port Dalhousie sits on Lake Ontario near St Catherine’s, Ontario. It’s a gorgeous place with a beautiful beach, marina and waterfront area that boasts not one, but two, lighthouses. It also has a carousel with a calliope!

  

We visited fairly late in the afternoon, so the carousel was closed, but we walked along the pier in golden autumn sunshine and watched the sailboats, fishermen in small boats, and windsurfers enjoying the beautiful weather. 

   
 
My first impression walking along the pier was that the waterway and marina reminded me a lot of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia, not far from Warrnambool, where I work. It’s another very pretty spot with a marina on the moth of the Moyne River that I have blogged about before

After walking along the pier, we sat on the beach and had the most Canadian of sandwiches: crusty white bread, old cheddar and Montreal smoked beef with mustard. Those sandwiches were incredibly good.

 
Our picnic was also attended by a lone seagull and a very attentive wasp. Thankfully, we did not provide any food for either one of them. 

Having just finished winter in south-eastern Australia, this was my first opportunity to enjoy time on a beach. It felt so good to get my bare feet in the warm sand and squidge it between my toes.  That’s one of the things I love about summer afternoons, even though I don’t really like hot weather. Yesterday’s 23C was just perfect for a beach picnic. 

Driving out, we passed some lovely pubs and shops that I would love to go and visit sometime. A very old brick building serves as a coffee house that looked incredibly inviting. 

I am already thinking that I’m going to have to make another trip to Canada. 

Damn. That’s just heartbreaking. 

Loaded fries. 

Yesterday’s lunch was loaded fries: fries topped with chili con carne, cheese, sour cream, and shallots.

  
These were totally worth the $10 I paid for them. The fries were fresh and hot, the chili was just spicy enough, the cheese got all melty, and it was frickin’ delicious. I also didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day. 

 

Blue raspberry.

Yesterday, I encountered yet another food item that I had never seen before. 

Of course, it’s entirely possible that I may lead something of a sheltered life when it comes to frozen drinks, but the blue raspberry slushie was entirely new to me.

It’s vivid blue. It tastes like raspberry cordial. It’s semi-frozen. As weird as it looks and sounds, it’s delicious and refreshing. I was so surprised, I forgot to take a picture for Instagram. 

I don’t know if I could drink a whole one, given that it’s ridiculously sweet, but another warm day could easily induce me to try.  

 
This is not my photograph. I borrowed it via Google from the wonderful folk at slush world.co.uk and have acknowledged it here in the sincere hope that they do not sue me. Thanks in advance!

Niagara Falls: Canada v America. 

When. I posted some of my pictures from the Clifton Hill entertainment area near Niagara Falls, Ontario, one of my American relatives posted a response saying that he really appreciated the American decision to make the area surrounding the falls a national park so that the area would not become commercialised, as the Canadian side of the falls had done. 

I agreed with him. It’s lovely that there is parkland surrounding the falls area, and that people are encouraged to enjoy the natural beauty of the falls. There is a small wooded area where one cat watch the squirrels and chipmunks play, and monuments to various historical events and figures that are significant to the area. It’s really very nice indeed. 

On reflection, though, the two sides are not so different. On both sides, people can enjoy the scenery without directly encountering any kind of commercialism. There is parkland for sitting, having a picnic, or just taking some time out. On both sides, without walking too far, people can find a gift shop, a casino, and various other opportunities for dining and retail therapy. Both casinos and their advertising are quite visible from the falls. Both sides have a Hard Rock Cafe, and I have visited and eaten in each of them. Both are excellent. Both sides run a cruise on the river that takes people right up close to the falls to witness their power and grandeur face to face. Both sides are fantastic, and I encourage everyone to visit both so that their experience of Niagara Falls is complete. 

 Clifton Hill is actually several blocks’ walk from the falls themselves, and doesn’t overwhelm one’s perception of Niagara Falls as one of the world’s natural wonders at all. You can visit Niagara Falls, CA, without going anywhere near there. There is lots of fun to be had at Clifton Hill if one is so inclined, and it’s also possible to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area without spending any extra money. Yes, it’s commercialised to a greater degree than the area surrounding the falls in New York State, but there is commercialism on both sides. 

When it all boils down about which “side” is better, my decision isn’t based on opportunities for dining, gambling or any other entertainment. It’s quite simple, really. The view from the American side is impressive, but nowhere near as stunning as it is on the Canadian side. Even the American side of the falls looks better from Canada.  

 

  

I declare Canada the winner, eh.