It has been a very busy week. I took a few vacation days off so I could re-charge my batteries. For the first time in years I took a staycation in and around Toronto. Most of my recent vacations have been to Europe or another North American city but this time I explored my own city.
My days were filled with cycling, walking, watching Euro 2012 in outdoor cafes, driving to the beach and just exploring my city. It has been wonderful for me to experience Toronto like a tourist this summer and to rekindle my feelings for my home town.
We forget that we have so much to see right at our front door as we spend our days going to and from our place of work. I have driven past the parks and the beaches a hundred times and all that was on my mind was what I needed to get done at home or at work that day. What did I forget to pick up or why is the traffic so slow? What problems will I need to deal with at the office? Have I met all of my deadlines? Have I organized my life enough to make the daily routine work?
This summer I am learning to see it all differently. Riding trails on my bicycle I am noticing my surroundings and the people on the trails. Walking across the city I wander through Toronto’s neighbourhoods finding unique and exciting treasures in each. Strolling through the parks, surrounded by nature, I find a sense of peace that stays with me for hours.
I even took a day trip to Wasaga Beach. After hours of playing and catching the waves on Georgian Bay I realized that I had not been there in years. I felt the energy of the waves as they crashed on the shore and I listened to the laughter of the children playing in the water. I strolled along the sand and enjoyed the heat under my toes. I felt like a kid again.
I highly recommend taking some time to re-connect with your city or town this summer. It has been a wonderful learning experience for me.
This Spicy Mango Salsa is a great addition to any grilled fish or pork dish. It adds a little sizzle to your meal that makes it taste like a tropical delight.
Spicy Mango Salsa
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 mangos (about 1-1/2 lbs.), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 habanero (or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded, and very finely diced (about 1 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Heat the oil in a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and red pepper; sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables just start to brown and soften a bit, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a large plate to cool. Once cool, transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the mangos, cilantro, habanero, and 1 tbsp. lime juice. Season the salsa with the remaining tbsp. of lime juice and salt if needed, and serve.
Recipe from the Best of Fine Cooking Magazine Appetizers