I may not be able to travel anywhere right now but I can dream about it. And I have. Perhaps because of the extreme cold snaps Toronto’s been having, I’ve been dreaming of the tropics. Or possibly it’s because it feels like forever since I’ve ambled along a sandy beach caressed by warm, salty ocean breezes.
Like dreams, food can also magically transport us to other places. In this spirit, I have created my Island Dreams Menu. I invite you to turn up the tunes (reggae? calypso? salsa? soca?) and the heat. Not just the heat in your home but spicy heat.
I’ve kept the recipes fairly mild as not everyone is a chili-head like I am. But if you are, now’s the time to shake it up with your favourite hot sauce. I have several. My brother added to my collection by giving me this one as a stocking stuffer: the mango and habanero-based Hotel Oscar Tango Sauce. Get it? HOT sauce. Hotel Oscar Tango spells out HOT in the phonetic alphabet. As airline pilots use the phonetic alphabet extensively, it seemed ideal for this menu inspired by virtual travel. Especially as it is locally made here in Toronto by Damien. As Damien’s website says, “Blandness is cold, cold, treachery. Step out of the cold forever with Damien.”
I started the menu off with a mocktail for those of you joining me in forgoing alcohol this month. Even if you didn’t Ring in the New Year with Dry January, it is never too late to take a trip down sobriety lane and enjoy the benefits of taking a break from alcohol.