Family and feasting

The mother-in-law has arrived, bringing with her sufficient quantities of tea and crumpets to start a small business – not to mention the Malteasers and extremely chocolatey Marks & Spencer biscuits that we had begun to crave after over two months here. She’s joined us in particular for Harriet’s birthday, which we celebrated on (Good) Friday with a trip to Vegetarian Haven on Baldwin Street. From an all-vegan menu of delicious Asian cuisine, we sampled crunchy garden rolls, spicy eggplant, purple rice and even tofu ice-cream, topped with chocolate sauce and a birthday candle.

The whole Easter weekend has a strong family ethos in Canada, with many of our colleagues hosting or visiting relatives. We were invited to a delicious brunch on Easter Day by the mother-in-law of Harriet’s second cousin once removed (or something like that), who by chance lives only a few streets away. Plates overflowing with salmon, ham – my colleagues tell me that turkey and ham are the meats of choice for a Canadian Easter, with lamb in third place by a distance – vegetables and broccoli salad were followed by a mouth-watering array of desserts, from trifle (made especially for us Brits) to Maltese biscuits. And of course, chocolate eggs are a hallmark of the season. We didn’t partake in the massive hunts that children here can enjoy, but (even from thousands of miles away) my parents treated us to chocolate pods from SOMA, a beautiful chocolatier in the Distillery District.

When not eating, we also found time to visit a few different churches in Holy Week, and the amazing weather gave us opportunities to explore some of Toronto’s beauty spots. But since we’re feeling somewhat lethargic after our chocolate feast, we shall leave those for another time!


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