Olive to Eat http://olivetoeat.com Unearthing Global Flavors Locally in the Peel-Halton region and beyond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:38:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 Middle Eastern in Mississauga: Syrian Cuisine at Roman Zaman http://olivetoeat.com/2017/02/5049/ http://olivetoeat.com/2017/02/5049/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:35:21 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=5049 Finally, a middle eastern restaurant in Mississauga that matches the quality of middle eastern food we are accustomed to eating in our favourite Montreal restaurants. It’s been a long time coming, baby! Roman Zaman serves delicious Syrian food, in a pleasant atmosphere, with lovely staff. If you like middle eastern, I urge you to try Syrian cuisine: a more refined approach to an already delicious and healthy way of cooking.

When they serve the tea like this you know you are in for an experience #damascenetea #syriancuisine

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Holiday Cheer: Copper Kettle http://olivetoeat.com/2016/12/holiday-cheer-copper-kettle/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/12/holiday-cheer-copper-kettle/#comments Sun, 18 Dec 2016 16:51:30 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=5027 Baby, it’s cold outside! Cozy up next to the Copper Kettle’s crackling fire and toast the holidays in this charming pub, decked in festive greenery.

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Photo thanks to Grace Cutmore https://www.instagram.com/thesylvanpath/

The authentically renovated Copper Kettle is situated in a historical building, nestled in the quaint, wee village of Glen Williams. In warmer months, sit on the outdoor patio. If it gets nippy, there’s a large, outdoor fireplace to warm you up.

untitled1What’s even better? The Copper Kettle’s new ownership is serious about serving well-prepared, fresh food, using locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. They even make their own honey and maple syrup on their farm. There are plenty of healthy or indulgent, classic pub food options to choose from on their menu, as well as daily specials. I’ve heard everything on the menu is delicious.

 Margo, our lovely server, and my father.

Margo, our lovely server, and my father.

My dad and I enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Copper Kettle in the fall. His choice: Steak and Egg daily special with really flavourful, tender steak and grilled tomatoes.

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The open-faced Black Bean & Chickpea Burger is sumptuous: sliced baguette, layered with grilled vegetables and marinated tomatoes, slathered with mashed avocado, adorned with a generous pillow of black beans and chickpeas, topped with soft chèvre (fresh goat cheese), garnished with baby greens, and drizzled with balsamic reduction. Oh, happy Olive!

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Be sure to order a house made tart if there is one on the dessert menu: the crust is fantastic. The French Apple Tart has an almond filling and is garnished with a fan of thinly sliced apples and a light dusting of sugar that caramelizes into a very thin crust, a little like the crust on a crème brûlée. Oh…là…là!

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Come for a glass of local craft beer, cider or wine and a plate to share. The Charcuterie Board looked perfect for sharing: cured meats, daily cheese, honey roasted pecans, walnuts and house made pickled garnish with warm bread. If you are vegetarian, try the Bread Board with toasted breads, house made hummus, olive tapenade, and baba ghanoush.

Sunday night specials include Roast Dinner. There is live music on Saturdays from 9:00pm to 11:30pm and Sunday evenings from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

I gathered up some friends one Sunday night in December and returned. The duo who were performing were delightfully entertaining. The Mushrooms platter is healthy yet heavenly: a warm salad of oven roasted mixed mushrooms and tomatoes, decadent dollops of soft chèvre, wilted spinach and basil, and balsamic drizzle. I asked for some grilled baguette on the side and called it dinner.

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My friends loved the Black Bean & Chickpea Burger and a daily special wrap sandwich.

It was such a cheerful night amongst the Christmas greenery, twinkling lights, and rich, spicy fragrance of the fire. When we opened the door to leave, big, white snowflakes danced down from the dark night sky – the first snowfall of the season. Fade in Charlie Brown Christmas music…♪♫♪♫.

Photo thanks to

Photo thanks to Grace Cutmore https://www.instagram.com/thesylvanpath/

Have yourself a merry little Christmas! Love, Olive xx.

Copper Kettle
517 Main Street
Glen Williams, Ontario
L7G 3S9
905-877-5551

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Spice up Your Holiday Potluck: Mississauga’s White Gold http://olivetoeat.com/2016/10/spice-up-your-holiday-potluck-mississaugas-white-gold/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/10/spice-up-your-holiday-potluck-mississaugas-white-gold/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:30:08 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=5015 Spice up your holiday potluck party with exotic and inexpensive finger food that will please the palates of adventurous eaters and vegetarians. Easy peasy; no cooking required. Pick up an assortment of restaurant-quality, sweet and savory, vegetarian Indian baking from Mississauga’s White Gold Food.

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Dhokla is a moist, savory cake made from chickpea flour and yogurt – a healthy dose of fibre and protein. The regular “non-spicy” version has a garnish of tempered black mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hot green chiles, and fresh coriander leaves: gentle heat and fresh green flavour against the mellow nuttiness of the chickpeas and tang of the yogurt, all in one deeply satisfying bite. The “spicy” version is made with ginger and green chiles and is dusted with chile powder – take a walk on the wild side, this baby is hot. Serve with very spicy, hot green chutney (coriander, green chiles, and yogurt) but lovely just solo.

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Of course, samosas are always a big hit at a party and White Gold’s samosas are delicious. Choose regular; the spice level is just enough to give a golden warmth. Apparently, the spicy version is not for the faint of heart. Serve with tangy-sweet tamarind chutney….mmm!

pakora

I’ve never been a pakora fan (those often greasy, tasteless globs of fried batter with a hint of vegetables). But White Gold has awoken the inner pakora lover in me. Their pakoras are not greasy and are packed with a flavourful combination of potatoes, onion, spinach, carrots, eggplant, and cauliflower in chickpea batter, fried to perfection.

Some Indian desserts are almost sickly sweet but there are a few that I like in small doses and White Gold makes them mouth-watering.

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Burfi means fudge. I adore White Gold’s mango burfi (middle right): tangy, pure mango pulp balances the rich sweetness of the fudgy evaporated milk. Anjeer burfi (top) is made with figs and almonds while Khajoor burfi (bottom) is made with dates and almonds. Elaichi peda (middle left) is like a cross between shortbread and fudge: sweetened evaporated milk dumplings made with the very best cardamom.

Owned and operated by a local family who use only top quality ingredients and prepare their authentic products with the utmost care. White Gold supplies their quality baking to restaurants and markets but thankfully, they have a storefront take-out counter, filled with all sorts of goodies, open to the general public. Google maps has pinned the address incorrectly on Laird. It is at the back of 3176 Ridgeway in unit #48.

At this time of year, I love seeing the Diwali lights and fireworks across our city. Happy Diwali!

White Gold Food
3176 Ridgeway Drive,
Unit 48, Mississauga,
ON L5L 5S6
Telephone: 906-607-6776

 

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The (third) Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Streetsville United Church Harvest of Crafts Sale http://olivetoeat.com/2016/10/the-third-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-streetsville-united-church-harvest-of-crafts-sale/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/10/the-third-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-streetsville-united-church-harvest-of-crafts-sale/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:00:56 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=5009 Why do I love the Streetsville United Church Harvest of Crafts Sale so much? It’s the most wonderful time of the year, third to Christmas and the Bread & Honey Festival of course! After everyone’s out-of-town summer vacations and busy falls, it is so nice to gather the village of Streetsville under one roof and reconnect. The spirit of community weaves around the Streetsville United Church Women and their wonderful cooking, baking, and crafting and the villagers who attend, and binds us all together. It’s the old-fashioned Streetsville I have always known and loved.

What a great time to get some Christmas shopping done. I always find something unique and well-priced at every show, like handcrafted felt Christmas ornaments. Last year, I bought these Christmas pudding caps for the holiday table (to stick a chocolate in and put at each place setting). Aren’t they adorable?

I always make my first stop the baking table and stock my freezer with homemade shortbread and bars to pull out at Christmas.

There is usually some really fun Hallowe’en baking too but do be sure to get there first thing.

Read more about why I love the Harvest of Crafts Sale here. It is a lot of work for the church ladies and I am grateful they continue to pull it off year after year. It always falls on the last Saturday of October.

Here are this year’s details:
Date: Saturday Oct 29, 2016.
Time: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Events: cafe, bake sale, craft sale, outside vendors with a large variety of crafts, face painting, book sale, Attic Treasures.
NO ADMISSION CHARGE

Streetsville United Church is located at 274 Queen Street South in Streetsville (Mississauga), Ontario. Click here for map.

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Olive Collingwood Farmers Market http://olivetoeat.com/2016/09/olive-collingwood-farmers-market/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/09/olive-collingwood-farmers-market/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:16:35 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=5002 What a lovely morning Olive had on Saturday, visiting Collingwood Farmers’ Market with my Dad, sister, and her adorable grandchildren.

This vibrant market is brimming with fresh local produce,

flowers, and well-crafted, small batch, gourmet foods.


The organic produce from Mansfield Heritage Farm is gorgeous! We will be enjoying radishes and purslane salads all week.

I didn’t know that purslane is one of the most nutritious greens and because it is a succulent, it keeps well in your fridge. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard it is delicious: a bit crunchy with notes of lemon.


Look at the flavourful, superfood combinations in these heart-healthy salads, from My Little Chickpea Gourmet. If you can’t make it to Collingwood, My Little Chickpea products (hummus, falafels, salads, and dressings made with fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients) are available in many fine stores across Ontario (click here to find one).


I swear they ate the whole thing themselves without any sacrifices like “Oh honey, it might be really hot. Let me try if first so you don’t burn yourself”. Cabin Bistro, you sure make good corn dogs.


Who doesn’t love dipping a chunk of freshly baked, artisanal bread into a steaming bowl of homemade soup on a crisp fall day? What a great menu from SoupHerb Soup. Darn, I wish I had brought my cooler.


Ooh, la la! My hubby’s favourite childhood treat, freshly baked pain au chocolat: buttery, flaky pastry hand-rolled around a big chunk of fine dark chocolate. You can find French-trained Executive Chef Patrick Bourachot’s delicious hand-rolled croissants (including butter and almond) at the market and a wide variety of his gourmet frozen foods on his website: Chef Patrick’s Gourmet Foods.


But the star of the market has to be Oliver. Be sure to visit his old-fashioned lemonade stand for a pucker-up-perfect glass of lemonade. This charming entrepreneur is raising money for The Hospital for Sick Children. Thank you, Oliver; you are a Sick Kids hero!

Summer may be over but our farmers’ markets are still going strong. Not for long though, most finish up in early October.

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Staycation: Summer in the City http://olivetoeat.com/2016/08/a-roundup-of-olives-week-on-instagram/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/08/a-roundup-of-olives-week-on-instagram/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2016 15:00:28 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=4983 Olive loves traveling around the GTA west, unearthing fine global flavours, and sharing her finds with you. Being the #snaphappy girl that she is, Olive loves the instantaneous power of instagram. But those of you who aren’t on instagram are missing out, so here’s a snapshot of her finds from this past week.

As much as she cherishes the time she is lucky enough to spend with family in Muskoka and Montreal, a staycation in the city is pretty nice too.  These boots are made for walking, so that’s just what Olive did this week…from one end of the GTA west to the other.

Georgetown Farmers’ Market with one of my besties on Saturday morning. Read why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market here: http://olivetoeat.com/2014/07/georgetown-farmers-market-olive-it/

Thiessen Farms #georgetownfarmersmarket #olivetoeat #unearthingglobalflavours #gtawest #iloveartichokes

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And then Jerkfest in Etobicoke with our families Saturday night. What a great night that was!

#isthislovethatimfeeling

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And a celebration lunch at Jamie’s Italian at Square One with my husband and son. How do you celebrate summer?

Guess where I am? #Sauga #jamielove

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Sharing the Love: Saucy in Streetsville’s Small Plates http://olivetoeat.com/2016/08/sharing-the-love-saucy-in-streetsvilles-small-plates/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/08/sharing-the-love-saucy-in-streetsvilles-small-plates/#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2016 02:49:16 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=4967 How did date night with hubby turn into such a bountiful feast? #hungerpains #hubbylove #saucylove. Saucy, you make the best appetizers! It’s hard to choose from the many delicious options, so we ordered a few (a lot) to share and called it dinner. Thank goodness I did most of the talking while hubby did most of the eating. Each bite was worth every calorie.

Top left clockwise:

Braised Beef Poutine: chunks of gooey Quebec cheese curds and tender braised beef in a rich jus over Yukon frites

Pernod Prawns: so decadent and my all time fave. I have raved about before here http://olivetoeat.com/2014/10/brilliant-flavour-streetsvilles-saucy/

Caesar Salad: fresh garlic dressing over crisp romaine. Garnished with big chunks of warm bacon, crunchy croutons, and shaved parmesan

Mussels: poached in a garlic, white wine, and tomato broth and served with grilled bread to mop it all up

Spiducci: skewers of tiny cubes of succulent lamb marinated in Indian tandoori spices and grilled to perfection. Served with mint coriander sauce.

Saucy in Streetsville111 Queen St. S
Streetsville, ON
L5M 1K7
905-542-9600

 

 

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Postcard from Montreal: Restaurant Damas http://olivetoeat.com/2016/07/postcard-from-montreal-restaurant-damas/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/07/postcard-from-montreal-restaurant-damas/#comments Sun, 17 Jul 2016 21:42:55 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=4949 Need ideas for a trip to Montreal this summer? Feasting at Van Horne Avenue’s Damas is like a magical night in a sultan’s tent. You’ll be charmed by this Syrian restaurant’s opulent but modern décor, attentive staff, and lively ambiance but it’s the food that will blow your mind. Damas serves the best middle eastern food that we have ever tasted – and that’s coming from my husband’s family (who have Syrian roots and have eaten middle eastern across the globe).

You come to Damas to eat, so come hungry. Order the tasting menu, a traditional Syrian mezze of small plates; Damas makes it an outstanding gastronomical experience. The chef will surprise you with his choice of course after course of little works of art: refined, traditional recipes with creative touches that will leave you swooning.  Here are a few instagram photos of the tasting menu we enjoyed recently with our brother and sister-in-law. Sorry the photos don’t do the food justice – I was too busy enjoying the food and conversation to focus.

Cold mezzes started with fattouch salad, finely chopped so that every bite was a medley of flavour: romaine lettuce, radish, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, and mint, topped with grilled pita and crimson pomegranate seeds, in traditional lemon vinaigrette spiked with Aleppo pepper and sumac. Isn’t beet mutabbal (a puree of roasted beets and nutty tahina paste) so pretty? Mouhammara is seductive dip of roasted sweet red peppers, nuts, tomato, lemon, pomegranate molasses, and Aleppo pepper. I have a recipe for mouhammara on my blog but I wish I knew how Damas makes theirs divine. The hummus is silky smooth and dead-on delicious, the best hummus I have ever tasted. With house-baked pita, served warm and puffy. I should note that this photo shows the portions I put on my plate and not how the chef plated them.

The Arabs have an even better version of steak tartar, called kibbé nayyé: finely minced, top-quality raw beef with bulgur and seven spices. Damas stuffs theirs with mouhammara, mint, and pine nuts, and garnishes with shaved onions and house-made chili puree. A real delicacy.

Kibbeh nayeh… phenomenal

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But we are just getting started. Next in line are succulent proteins grilled over an open charcoal fire.

#youcametodamasyouareheretoeat #syriancuisine #montreal #chargrilled #tastingmenu

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I’ve never been a fan of octopus but Damas chargrills it and serves it with a chickpea salad. My son will be happy to know I now love octopus.

Grilled octopus salad with cilantro puree

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Chargrilled sea bass on a pool of tarator (a sauce made from ground sesame paste, garlic, lemon, and cumin) is already my favourite fish meal but Damas blows it out of the water. Tarator sauce is easy to make at home and pairs especially well with grilled fish but also chicken or beef. I have a recipe for it on my blog (my husband’s family calls it tahina).

The totally unexpected fillet mignon of veal was fabulous: deglazed with lemon, garlic, and Aleppo pepper. Served with confit tomatoes and tiny cubes of crisp potatoes.

Filet mignon of veal. Fabulous

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Lamb chops were dusted with seven spices and chargrilled to sheer perfection, as soft as butter. Served on a drizzle of baba ghannouj (smoky, grilled eggplant mashed with ground sesame paste, lemon, and garlic).

Dessert is not included in the tasting menu but don’t miss the orange blossom baklava ice cream: rich vanilla ice cream perfumed with orange blossom water and spiked with chunks of sticky sweet baklava….heavenly.  And the fresh mint tea is so fresh and minty.

Mint tea how it is mint to be

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Gorgeous glass lanterns are strung across the ceilings. Click the link to the Damas website to see photos of their beautiful interior.

Beautiful ambiance

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There is an outdoor terrace, two rooms, and a bar beside the charcoal grill (which is entertaining in cooler weather but a bit too toasty in the summer). Make reservations well in advance; this place has earned its popularity. The tasting menu is available for entire table only. It’s expensive but so worth it. Make Damas your special night out.

Restaurant Damas
1201 Ave. Van Horne
Montreal, QC   H2V 1K4

Telephone: 514-439-5435
http://www.restaurant-damas.com/

 

 

 

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The 2nd Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Bread & Honey Festival http://olivetoeat.com/2016/06/the-2nd-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-bread-honey-festival/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/06/the-2nd-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-bread-honey-festival/#comments Sun, 05 Jun 2016 15:48:25 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=4926 Just thought I’d share a few pics while I am waiting to take my crew of sleepy teenagers to the Rotary Pancake Breakfast. Our clan has made the Streetsville Founder’s Bread & Honey Festival a tradition since year one – that’s a lot of Hazel-led parades and pancake breakfasts. The Bread & Honey started when I was a kid; all of our Chatham cousins would come down for the weekend for one giant sleepover. We’ve carried on the tradition with my siblings’ children. We spend the whole weekend at the festival or wandering the streets of our happy village and we love it! It’s like a huge Streetsville reunion.

My brother used to start our B&H weekend with the phrase “Lock your windows, the carnies are in town!” and the kids love it when I continue his tradition (all in jest of course because the ‘carnies’ are kind and decent people). Missing a few faces and pay no mind to the lad on the right – he hates it when mom takes his photo…suck it up buttercup.

#menofsteel2016 #breadnhoney #breadandhoneyfestival2016

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The kids enjoy the carnival and every once in a while, Uncle Nagui tries to put on a brave face to join them on the rides. They would like to see the return of the Zipper, the Boat, and the Fireball….especially the Fireball, right Uncle Nagui?

Oh so pretty! #breadnhoney #iloveaparade #streetsvilleliving

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I thought the kids weren’t into the parade this year so we ate our breakfast in the garden, listening to the music from band after band marching along the street. It sounded like the best parade ever; we ran out and caught the tail end and vowed to never miss it again (sorry Hazel, it was a late night).

There are some great food trucks at the festival this year. These tacos were fantastic.

Saturday’s weather was perfect! Hopefully today will clear up but we are going down anyways. Happy Bread & Honey Festival Streetsville! Hope to see you down there today.

 

 

 

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Spirit Tree: Exquisite Wood Fired Pizza http://olivetoeat.com/2016/04/spirit-tree-exquisite-wood-fired-pizza/ http://olivetoeat.com/2016/04/spirit-tree-exquisite-wood-fired-pizza/#comments Sat, 16 Apr 2016 16:20:41 +0000 http://olivetoeat.com/?p=4920 Sneaking in a little instapost about a lovely evening I had last night with a friend at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, in Caledon. I didn’t plan on doing a post and only took two instagram photos but the food was so good, I have to share.

Friday and Saturday nights (between 4pm and 8pm) are pizza nights at Spirit Tree. Laura and I made plans late last fall to go to Spirit Tree on the first warm Friday evening in spring for their hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza. A drive out in the country and exquisite pizza shared with a friend was the perfect way to celebrate warm spring weather.

#Anticipation #woodfiredpizza @spirittreecider #springdatewithagoodfriend

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We chose the Ciderhouse Blues: a wonderfully chewy, thin crust spread with caramelized onion purée and gooey mozzarella, and topped with paper-thin shaved apples and shaved roasted potatoes (I love potatoes on pizza), and hits of crunchy toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese, and sweet honey. The flavours worked beautifully together. After a long winter of anticipation, it was so worth the splurge.

I wish I could have taken photos of all of the gorgeous pizzas being served. Click here for the pizza menu.

Reservations are a good idea; the bistro was busy but there is an outdoor patio and picnic tables on the lawn. Spirit Tree’s Ciderhouse Bistro is also open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm when it serves cheese boards, salads, soups, quiches, and a changing daily menu. Here’s an example of the menu one day this winter when I lunched there with my Dad.

You can read more about why I love Spirit Tree here: Spirit Tree Estate Cidery: Savour the Quality

FYI, I published another post about Hamilton last week but the program glitched and didn’t e-mail to my followers. Sorry! Please click here if you would like to read about it: The Hammer: Catch You on the Hip Side of Hamilton

Happy Spring everyone!

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