Monthly Archives: April 2014

Totally biased product review by me — Tasty Bite Bombay Potatoes

The plate, spoon, rice and green stuff are NOT included and are a serving suggestion only

The plate, spoon, rice and green stuff are NOT included and are a serving suggestion only

I love Toronto. I love curry. The two mix well. But one dish I find hard to source is Bombay Potatoes.

So, I jumped in my bright orange 2-litre Ford Capri with go-fast spoiler and racing wheels and roared off (within the legal speed limit) on the hunt for Bombay Potatoes I could cook in the Brits in Toronto office kitchenette.

I chanced upon Tasty Bites Bombay Potatoes so decided to give them a go.

The packet was heavy. It had some substance, which indicated there was a fair-sized portion contained in the yellow packaging. Being a greedy bugger, that’s always a plus point.

I just want to take a personal moment to thank Tasty Bite for their thoughtfulness. Not having a pair of scissors to hand, I was extremely relieved to see they had provided a handy notch cut out of the packet so it was easy to open. Thank you, Tasty Bite.

Thinking ahead, I was reluctant to use the microwave to cook them in the one minute it claims in case it dried them out. So I opted for the boil-in-the bag option which only takes five minutes.

Quick note: once you factor in the extra four minutes to get the water to a boil, and the 45 seconds to get them onto the plate, it actually takes around nine minutes and 45 seconds from start to finish.

Taste test: very good! The sauce was thicker than expected — which was a pleasant surprise — and they were quite filling as a side dish.

The actual pieces of potato were slightly smaller than expected, but still a good mouthful, especially when you combine the “potato to chickpea spoon ratio” as illustrated on the front of the packet.

Spicy? As always … not quite enough. BUT that is a personal choice and not a criticism. They had some bite and I was reaching for the tissue a few times to blow my nose. The flavour was very nice, and will be on my shopping list again.

We give Tasty Bites Bombay Potatoes a respectable Brits in Toronto 3/5 stars.

Totally biased product review by me — Mackie’s of Scotland crispy bacon crisps

Sometimes, there just nothing like a packet of Scottish bacon-flavoured crisps to scratch that itch

Sometimes, there’s just nothing like a maroon packet of Scottish bacon-flavoured crisps to scratch that itch

The Brits in Toronto crew were a bit stumped for a snack the other day, so went wandering to Whole Foods. And what did we find? Scottish bacon-flavoured crisps! Hoots mon!

So before Scotland possibly becomes an independent country based on what happens this coming September 2014, let’s get in there quick and review these crisps …

First impressions were good. The bag had a good heft in our hand. Felt like it could hold its own in a bar fight with other bags of crisps. Good start.

Upon popping open the bag, another plus point: only one fifth of the bag was pure air. We had actually paid for a decent amount of crisps, instead of the half-full bag you sometimes see from other brands.

We dived in.

The crisps were — for want of a better word — crispy! A nice crunch to them. Three out of three so far. But …

Lack of flavour. Noooo! We were expecting a more intense, smokey flavour of bacon, but it left us a bit wanting. Mackie’s = please up the bacon ante.

We have to give them a Brits in Toronto 2/5 stars.

Sidenote: We also have a bag of the Aberdeen Angus steak-flavoured crisps to sample so will review those soon too.

So, what’s your point, Immigration Watch Canada?

Flyer distributed in Brampton by Immigration Watch Canada

Flyer distributed in Brampton by Immigration Watch Canada

CTV News reported the story of anti-immigration flyers being distributed in Brampton by an organization called Immigration Watch Canada.

From their website: “The destruction and senselessness  that naive Canadians (as well as those with sinister intentions) have created has caused many Canadians (especially those in Canada’s larger centres) to become very angry. These Canadians feel that this social engineering project has raised ‘Diversity’ to the level of a national goal. They feel this amounts to the country being ethnically cleansed and re-colonized.”

So, any Canadians reading this: do you feel that immigrants are re-colonizing and ethnically cleansing your country?

Would be interesting to hear the debate from both sides.

Here’s a quick backgrounder from the Government of Canada entitled “Facts in Canada’s Immigration History” for ready reference.

Canadian oath refusers take their battle to court

Not  a happy camper at all

Not a happy camper at all

So, the Brits in Toronto crew were shooting the breeze over some pie and mash on Queen St. West, and we chatted about  how lucky we were to live in a nice country like Canada, with all the benefits and privileges it affords us. Very lucky indeed!

Then we ran across this story of three longtime foreign residents fighting for the right to become Canadian citizens, but without having to swear allegiance to the British Queen. They’ve even gone to bloody court over it.

One 80-year-old-bloke, who came to Canada in 1964, describes himself as “a staunch Republican, adding that the oath would violate his conscience.”

Two others — from Jamaica and Israel — say “their religion forbids them from taking an oath to any personas.”

And the kicker: “The lawyer for the three says it’s not fair to ask new Canadians to make an oath they don’t believe in.”

Not fair? But it’s “fair” and in their “conscience” to choose to come to Canada and enjoy all the benefits it offers? And to be “forbidden by religion?”

Sorry — but when you choose to live in another country, you abide by its rules and legalities that you have chosen to leave behind in your former country. Simple as that.

These people are very misguided.

How to abuse Canadian Citizenship: Blame temporary foreign workers?

Blogger thinks we should be criticizing the system that creates bad working conditions for everyone

Blogger thinks we should be criticizing the system that creates bad working conditions for everyone

How to ABUSE Canadian Citizenship: Blame Temporary Foreign Workers for problems of a global Capitalist Economy

That headline above caught our roving eye today; pretty strong words.

Commenting on a story on CBC News (Saskatchewan) — Waitresses in Saskatchewan lose jobs to foreign workers — the blogger opens up her post by commenting:

“Once again, the media uses the wrong gaze to look at a program that does injustice to migrant workers and abuses their rights for their labour. Sandy Nelson’s story is just use as a place-mark for xenophobia and racism. We should be criticizing the system that creates bad working conditions for everyone – not look at individualized grief and blame all temporary foreign workers.”

Brits in Toronto did a little digging and, according to the Canadian Government’s website explaining the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, “Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $11.0 million over two years and $3.5 million per year ongoing to strengthen the Labour Market Opinion process to ensure Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.”

Will be an interesting issue to watch. Thanks Melissa for the initial blog post that caught our attention.

After 40 years, Immigrant Settlement Program needs an overhaul

Time to change the system?

Time to change the system?

Interesting article in today’s Globe and Mail:

“Would-be immigrants to Canada continue to face a series of bureaucratic impediments that either delay their status or reduce the effectiveness of integration once they arrive here. Fixing these problems is long overdue.

“Last November, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander met with more than 400 people in Ottawa, mostly representatives of non-governmental organizations. These Service Provider Organizations contract with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to deliver settlement services to immigrants. He told them, ‘You tell us what we need to get it right.’

“In this spirit, there are several significant weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed.”

Full story.

St. George’s Day events in the Toronto area

"Take that, dragon!"

“Take that, dragon!”

It’s St. George’s Day on Wednesday, April 23 and the English everywhere will be raising a pint to the homeland. It’s not widely celebrated like St. Paddy’s Day is in Toronto, so here’s a few events we tracked down if you want to go out and do something.

St. George’s Day Pub Night

Organized by the St. George’s Society of Toronto, this event features fish and chips, curried chicken and raffle prizes.

Curries and Casks for Charity

Great-sounding event organized by fans of real ale. And it’s all for charity! Tickets.

St. George’s Day Party

This event is organized by The Franklin House about 30 minutes away in Streetsville. Goes on all day.

So, there you go. If you know of any more related events please add them to the comments section, e-mail or tweet us.