Saturday, December 1, 2012

How Many Meaningful Foodie Gifts Can You Give?

Where did November go? I barely bid Adieu to Halloween Week madness and started off November with the final two ghost walks on All Saints' Day and All Souls Day. I don't know what's scarier: the spine-chilling ghost tales told along those ghost walks or the clipping pace of November!  For a brief moment we're pausing to reflect on our cherished freedom in the middle of the hosted dim sum along the Remembrance Day Second Chinatown Foodies tour, and then we're stopping by a Chinese BBQ shop to sample the items used as offerings for beloved dead ancestors.  The following Sunday, we find downtown Toronto's traffic  held up as Santa sweeps into town with the popular annual Toronto Santa Claus parade, and bringing along with him, the festive holiday spirit!

Are you in the holiday mood yet?   As a Culinary Historian I love this time of the year, as Toronto lives up to its First Nation namesake, and becomes The Meeting Place of diverse Festivals of Lights. Like our ancestors from all four corners, we hunker down when it get dark and cold out there.  Nothing unites us more than the warmth of a roaring fire or glowing candles and holiday lights  as we prepare for our first snow fall and the holiday season. 

As a local Canadian-born Chinese, born and raised in Toronto, I've noticed over the last 10 years or so, inclusiveness in celebrating the various Festivals of Lights is a growing tradition.  I have a confession: I love celebrating ALL the holidays as each involves not only lighting up, but breaking bread or more a case of sharing decadent treats! Anyway,  the holidays kicks off with Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, then it's Chanukkah, Winter Solstice, followed by Christmas, and ending with Kwanzaa. Since 2000, I would host my annual multicultural holiday home party, and my humble living quarters would glow with all the candles used for the various Festivals of Lights. Food of various cultures would be shared with guests.  How more inclusive can you get? 

Well, guests along the Kensington Foodies Roots tours started requesting for a chance to participate, and that's how Kensington Festive Foodies Roots tours came to be. Yes, the December food tours give us a chance to celebrate, embrace and share the rich cultural diversity Toronto has to offer long-time residents, newcomers and travellers.  Over the years, I've witness folks give the gift of quality time, as they treat their beloved foodies to a shared food tour experience filled with equal portions of food for thought, the palate and all the other senses.  I always feel honoured to be sharing those precious moments with folks on these food tours as we bring the year to a close. 

Have a happy and safe holiday season and don't forget to treat yourself and your friend or a family member with one of the following food tours this holiday season!  

Kensington Festive Foodies Roots Tours 

Dates:  Saturday December 1, 8, 15, 2012
Check-in Time:  9:20 am
Tour Duration:  9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Meet: Red Pole with Black Cat in front of 350 Spadina Ave/St Andrew St (1 Bl N of Dundas St W)
Fees ($CAD; includes pre-ordered holiday food & drinks):
    Adult $45.00 SR(65+)/ST (ID) $40.00 Child (3-12) $30.00
    Note: Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour, nor book luncheon afterwards as you nosh from beginning to the end! 
Pre-register:  Call A Taste of the World (416) 923-6813

Second Chinatown Foodies Tour

Date:  Sunday December 9th, 2012
Check-in:  9:50 am
Tour Duration: 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Meet: Lucky Moose Statue by Lucky Moose Mart, 393 Dundas St W (near Beverley St)
Fees ($CAD; includes pre-ordered holiday food & drinks): 
    Adult $45.00 SR(65+)/ST (ID) $40.00 Child (3-12) $30.00
    Note: Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour for full enjoyment! 
Pre-register:  Call A Taste of the World (416) 923-6813

Have a fun & safe holiday!

Don't forget to treat yourself & loved ones
to meaningful foodie gifts!