Happy Monday my most favorite people in the world!
This weekend I hit up the Toronto Zoo.
I know, there are a million reasons why zoos are a bad idea – the objectification and confinement of animals, oppression of their natural instincts, cruelty, undue stress.
There are also a lot of reasons why they’re fantastic places – opportunities to study and learn about animals, conservation awareness, enriched habitats, rehabilitation.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about them so this weekend, I went to the zoo. I’ve been to a few zoos in my lifetime and I have to be honest – some of them have been incredible experiences that really reaffirmed for me why we need them. I’ve also been to a couple that hurt my little heart soul. The Toronto Zoo, unfortunately, seemed to be the latter.
Granted it was 30°C (that’s 90°F for my American friends) … plus humidity …. but the animals all looked so sad.
A lot of the enclosures were just that – enclosed. Small, sparse and an awful lot of cement. And I’m no animal expert, but many of the animals were alone – no friends. In Calgary the cages are much bigger, more elaborate and infinitely more integrative with respect to species and habitats.
The worst for me was seeing the lone hippo, laid out in the dust, trying to squeeze itself into the tiny corner of shade it had in it’s pen. No water. No mud. No grass. Just dirt. And it was bloody hot.
Not all the enclosures were like this – the grizzly bears and bison and flamingos seemed to have ample pools, landscapes and space.
But it made me feel icky inside. And again, I’m not a zookeeper – but they all just looked … So. Sad.
Something that doesn’t make me sad? Summer fresh figs. They’re such delicate little treats of sweet, fruity goodness. Chuck ’em in a peppery mix of Farmer’s Market arugula and a few slices of deep, musty bresaola, and you have yourself the makings of a perfect, healthy, no-cook Summer salad supper. Arugula Fig Salad in fact!
For something like this, only the best and freshest will do. Get good arugula – not the weird boxed stuff you buy at the grocery store. And use honey that’s bee-keep’d locally for the most incredible flavor. You want to eat this. It’s like dessert, for dinner. But loaded with just the right amount of savory.
If you’re into really good food cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients, drinks with a little somethin’ somethin’ and enjoying what you put in your mouth, this book is for you.
Julia Child famously commented, "I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food . . . ” Kristy Gardner has taken this idea to the next level in Cooking with Cocktails. Every recipe is touched with alcohol; the result is a punchy visual adventure with roots in Italian and French cuisine that demands enjoying meals with passion, with friends, and with alcohol.
Join the celebration of the very best that life has to offer—good friends, good food, good drink and great stories —with humor, delicious and inventive
recipes, and mouth-watering photographs for each and every dish!
Hey, I'm Kristy. I'm a writer, photographer, actress, and general badass (who goes to bed at 8:30pm) in Vancouver, BC. I've written & photographed with Edible Communities, The Taste Canada Food Writing Awards, and CountryMan Press and have presented at The Food Blogger’s Online Summit. My book, Cooking With Cocktails, is avaiable at all major retailers! When I'm not online, I'm indulging in seasonal cocktails, carbs, bad ’80s films, hiking, camping, bourbon, and pigs.