The perfect pair

I don't want to get into breakfast overkill here, but I had to tell you guys about my secondary discovery. Eating banana bread with your grapefruit.  This takes the grapefruit to a whole 'nother level.  Totally abolishes the memories of Grandma's Serrated Spoon Grapefruit.  Trust me.

Banana bread plus (maple syrup drizzled) grapefruit is a great match.  One is sweet, the other tart.  One cool, one warm.  One juicy, one crumby.  They are nice on their own but together they are better.
To top it off, this banana bread recipe is ridiculous.  I mean, a whole block of cream cheese?  Obviously this will be decadent and wonderful.  The recipe is from Bette Hagman's book, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods.  Oh yeah.  I forgot to mention that I can't eat gluten, didn't I?  Well, I can't.  Its not a big deal.  There are so many great recipes and products out there now (so many more than when I first found out about all of my intolerances).

Anyway, even your gluten-happy friends will like this one.  I swear it.  I opted to make this in eight mini-loaves, but it also makes two regular sized loaves.  Mini-loaves are great because you can eat a whole one because they are so... mini.
Slather it with butter.  Its the right thing to do.


Morning Routine

I like to keep things regular in the morning.  I wash my face, make a pot of tea and then sit down to eat breakfast while watching the news (if you can call Breakfast Television news...).

But I have to admit that recently my routine has gotten a little bit boring.  Mainly just the food part.  You see, I have a laundry list of food allergies that make a typical breakfast nearly impossible.  Gluten, yeast, eggs, dairy, sugar cane and almonds.  Those are all of the things that I have to avoid.

So breakfast usually consists of a fruit smoothie made with rice milk (and yogurt, since I can digest that just fine).  Or toast with natural peanut butter and homemade jam.  Or occasionally - when I am feeling ambitious - homemade muffins.  But lately I have been craving something different.  Something easy and delicious and light and lovely.

Enter the grapefruit.  If your childhood was anything like mine, grapefruit is one of those foods that your Grandma, though well-intentioned, forced you to eat (sorry Grandma, if you're reading this!).  She would serve my cousin and I each a half a grapefruit with one of those serrated spoons and a sprinkle of sugar and I hated it.

Since then I have basically spent the last 20 years or so avoiding grapefruit like the plague, so I am not 100 percent sure what possessed me to recently buy one.  Maybe it was the lovely colour or nostalgia for the old days or a moment of temporary insanity, but I am certainly glad that I did.  Because you know what?  I loved it.

And the reason I loved it so much?  Maple syrup.  Guys, have you ever drizzled maple syrup into a cut grapefruit?  No?  Well go out and get yourself a grapefruit right now because its amazing.  This is grapefruit for adults, and its awesome.
I've had it every day for the last two weeks.


The End of an Era

Thesis perspective - walking along the market promenade.
Yesterday was my last thesis post.  It was a fun couple of years, working on my thesis and doing my thing but I want to do something new.  When I started this blog I wasn't really sure what would happen here after the thesis was over, but I figured it out.

You see the reason I wrote my Masters Thesis about food (and architecture and urbanism) is because I love everything about food.  I love eating, I love cooking and I especially love sharing with others.  I come from a family of food-lovers and I married into a family of food-lovers... and I certainly make use of 70 sqft kitchen as best I can!

So over the next few weeks I will start writing about new things here at Slow Food.  I hope you continue reading.


The Final Thesis Design

So you're probably wondering what the final iteration of my thesis looks like, right?  To be honest, I  don't really want to give everything away but I have decided to share a few images.  First, here is a brief design introduction.

If you want to see the rest, let me know.  I would be thrilled to share my book!

This thesis examines what does and does not work within the existing conditions of the Ontario Food Terminal and the food economy in Toronto.  It strives to create a new model for food distribution that includes wholesale and retail entities by filling a void in the system.  In the new scenario the Ontario Food Terminal is conceived of as an interconnected node for the distribution of food, working at a variety of scales simultaneously (wholesale-retail, global-local, and fresh-stored).  As the city encroaches on this once peripheral site, how does its role change?  To become a more lucrative entity, the experience and relationships existing on the site must become reconfigured, emphasizing the importance of local farmers and buyers within the economy.  No longer overlooked as viable producers of food for the city, the local agricultural industry becomes an important economic generator. 

The ultimate goal of this thesis is to extend the reach of locally grown food.  By constructing a hybrid food distribution centre that allows local food to leverage itself through the extensive international system it is able to compete with the larger and better-funded global import network.  It attempts to respond to the growing desires of the public for locally sourced food products and fill a void that is currently missing: that of a reliable network to support local agricultural products. Toronto needs a civic building, one that can relate the history and future of the local food economy and connect its urban population to the agricultural lands that have traditionally fed it.  In this vision, the footprint of the Ontario Food Terminal is an interconnected network of markets, restaurants and circulation: a hybridized market complex that benefits the city physically and psychologically.
The new design utilizes the space encircling the main exchange building of the Ontario Food Terminal, re-routing circulation patterns to flow from east to west and separate public and private functions on the site.
Existing programme (in grey) is supplemented by proposed additional programme (in orange) to complete the 24-hour cycle.

The thesis proposal takes advantage of multi-modal programmes as operational landscapes, creating multiple inhabitable planes.  The market roof garden is one such plane, an agricultural landscape that links the site to green space in the east/west.
The re-designed terminal engages the previously neglected Queensway street front with the addition of a public market building, a business development centre for local food programmes, small-scale farmers and OFT services, restaurants, cafes, and compost pick-up facilities.
Mapping the circulation routes of specific site users.  The site's efficiency is dependent upon the flow of goods and vehicles.
Disclaimer:  All of the above images and text are the creation of Sacha Ferro-Townsend.  Reuse of these materials is illegal.  If you would like permission to use one of my images for whatever reason, please contact me.


Guys, I'm done.

It's been a big year for my name.  Not only did I add a new title (Mrs) but I now have another set of letters attached to it.  Yes, that is correct.  I am now Mrs. Sacha Lee (nee Ferro-Townsend), H.BAS M.Arch. 

Unfortunately, in all of the excitement, this blog has been seriously neglected for some long months while I was busy finishing my thesis, planning my wedding and then getting married.  I'm so sorry!  But I am happy to report that I defended successfully and my thesis now seems like a distant (sometimes ugly, sometimes happy) memory.


Sorry kids...

I've been in production mode, so I haven't been posting anything on the blog recently.  Maybe I will try to get something out to you by the end of the week... if there is anyone reading anymore!


Something pretty to look at

A diagram showing how food moves from truck, through the Ontario Food Terminal, and out to the city.  One of many being produced for my masters thesis.