I trekked back to Hamilton in the back of my parent's speeding sedan. With riotous tales of early morning robberies as my auditory accompaniment I watched the world of Hamilton whip by. Four years ago I left it behind, even when we returned it wasn't with the same intention, even when we hadn't actually left I was out the door. Sometime around Locke and Stanley, but definitely by the time I started stealing the mini-van for trips to the back of your warehouse. I was already gone.
After a brief stop at the Rockingham Hotel (now affectionately known as "the scene of the crime") we made our way down to Il Fiasco to celebrate a number of family happinesses - Emily and her acceptance into Trinity One, Mom's promotion, Father's Day, Anne Marie's Birthday, Matthew's 90, and my new job. I selected Il Fiasco tonight for a couple of reasons.
1) I am all about self-deprecation and I had some of my WORST dates ever in this now expanded eatery (read: Spinach in teeth)
2) I absolutely hate the owner and was looking for a fight
3) I wanted to check out their new dinner menu
4) I wanted/needed to go back to the scene of my own crime.
Emily and I hit Goodness Me, while mom and Rick grabbed our reservation (though, upon walking in at 7 pm, we realized that when dining on a deserted island one hardly needs to make reservations). Goodness Me was a bit disapointing, although I did grab some organic nanners and 2 for 5 rice milks.
The waiter appeared to have done a few lines of coke in the back room before making his way to our table. His discomfort was tangible at first, but, after what I assume was a few more tokes off the prep table, he loosened right up.
The menu hadn't changed much in the four years since I had started (for a brief period of about 6 months) haunting this bistro 'ish' hole in the wall - which now that they have dug further into the back of the building and without the assistance of any additional windows, one could very well confuse the back tables with a grotto of sorts. They chef/owner was still clinging to the pasta/pizza/seafood fare, adding dishes rather than categories to the offerings.
Having forgone my FAVOURITE HAMILTON yummy house for this I was sad to see that they had resisted my vegan needs and had yet to have even ONE item on the menu that didn't include at least one of the following: meat, cheese, milk or cream. Sorry, so sorry - the organic greens salad with the same blueberry dressing (although the dressing is less satisfying than it was 4 years ago) seems to pass as vegan.
I listened to my family, watched them enjoy their butternut squash stuffed ravilio, pad thai and baked brie and realized that tonight wasn't about the food, or the atmosphere created by a pair of self-important 'let's make west-hamilton special' boobs. Nope - this was about spending time with my family and being a part of something really amazing.
My pizza (special ordered - sans feta and plus onions) was alright...and everyone seemed to really dig the food - although the rice dish was too spicy for mom, and Anne Marie looked like she needed a medic to cool her down when she finished her Pad Thai.
I love my family and I love all of our stories.
Here's to families that can pull it together and still love each other at the end of it all.
Tofu to that!
I dedicate the next recipe to a certain little baby 'a'. Momma Mercat will have to make it for you, but I think you would really 'dig' it (get it angelique, dig it! hah)
A's Raisins and Nanners
1 organic banana (sliced into banana coins as the fancy tv chefs say)
1/2 package of soft tofu
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cocoa
2 tablespoons of organic oats
a handful of raisins
Throw the vanilla, tofu, banana and cocoa into a bowl and fire up your hand blender.
When everything is nice and smooth ladle into a serving dish and through your oats and raisins right on top. Enjoy! Yum.