In the month or so leading up to the holidays, we experienced - along with the rest of the world - a shortage of Maldon salt and sold out in early December. Apparently, there was an unspecified problem somewhere in the production chain and Maldon advised that they would be back on line by the end of January. True to their word, the salt from Maldon is once again flowing (in a manner of speaking - more on that later) and is back on our shelves. (We also have a fine selection of wood and ceramic salt cellars!)
Really, you should have three main kinds of salt on hand in your pantry – an everyday utility salt, a finishing salt and a fine salt. Then there are some luxury salts you can splurge on if you like. Let's go through them one by one...
We moved into the Roncy neighbourhood from College St. - gosh, is it already coming up on eight years ago? Time flies! That move wasn't just a change in location; it was a change in character, a change in mindset and a change in the nature of the business - even though many of our favourite items moved with us. If we had to choose one word to describe that change it would be community. While we had regular customers on College St. in the midst of a very dynamic and rapidly evolving scene, Roncesvalles Village has allowed us to find a real sense of place and establish strong relationships with so many of you....
...we really feel we've earned a place in your hearts and we just wanted to say the feeling is mutual.
Whether you're looking to stock your bar for the holidays in a way that prepares you for every taste and any eventuality or you're looking for the perfect gift for the budding mixologist in your life, may we recommend something from our own well-stocked section of cocktail bitters.
Originally developed as medicines, tonics and digestifs, bitters have found their rightful place behind the bar and come in both alcohol-based and glycerin-based formulas representing a wide variety of flavours to add that certain something to cocktails and even some other kinds of recipes. For example, you can't really claim to have made a proper Manhattan or Toronto cocktail without the inclusion of bitters. Or try this: add a few drops of Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters to a glass of cava or prosecco to add a note of creaminess to the experience!
We've just broadened our offering of flavours from Lee's Ghee in the store and it seemed like a good opportunity to answer some questions about ghee in general and offer some options for how to make use of it at home.
So, first, what is ghee, exactly? Well, when you melt butter and let it boil for a bit, the water in it evaporates and the milk solids settle to the bottom. Strain those away and the butter fat that is left will be solid at room temperature, and since the moisture content is very low and there are no more milk solids left in it, it can be kept for a long time without refrigeration. Lee suggests a shelf life of up to a year with her products.
Of course, what makes her ghee a bit out of the ordinary is a) the organic, grass-fed butter she starts with and b) the infusions and aging she applies to the basic product.