Countdown to the New Year!
Happy December to everyone in the Dandelion community! The year has come and gone so quickly, and we are so thankful for all of the support we have received this year! 2021 was truly the year of the Dandelion! We were able to celebrate our first birthday with an exciting cabaret and successful fundraiser, we started a monthly blog (hey, that’s me!), had our second annual In Bloom festival with fantastic playwrights and actors, got into a studio for a beautiful night of opera, and even had our first in-person production! Our 2022 goal is to keep up the momentum, create live in-person theatre, and expand our community to work with as many amazing artists as Toronto has to offer!
This year has connected us with so many wonderful people, artists of all kinds, and we have been so fortunate to have a good team pulling all the strings behind the curtains. Thank you to everyone that has worked with us in any capacity. Our team has changed over the year with new members joining our team, and old members saying goodbye. Though some of our team members were with us for short times, every single one of them has been so helpful and appreciated. We would like to wish a special farewell to Patricia Pham, an original member of Dandelion, who has the biggest heart on the team. Pat, we wish you the best in your future endeavors, and Dandelion Theatre will always be your home to return to. Thank you for all that you have done for us.
What are we up to next? We are in the midst of planning a new year celebration in January to share our plan for the coming year! You will see more details on our social media pages shortly so keep your eyes open because Dandelion is going to have an even more exciting year than the last!
Here you can find recommendations from Dandelion’s team members! Each diary will include a new list of our updated favourites! Have you watched or read something that you think we should know about? Shoot us a message on our facebook, instagram, or twitter with your recommendations!
Winter is Coming
“Russian politics isn’t something you’d think of too often. Putin seems like a tough guy, but he can’t be that bad can he? You’d be surprised. In Winter is Coming by world champion chess legend Garry Kasparov, you get a pretty clear image on how he’s one of the worst world leaders alive today.
The book starts by going back in time to the late 80s. Communism was still the driving force in the country, but it was slowly losing popularity. By the 90s, there was a glimmer of hope with the former President of Russia Boris Yeltsin to bring the country towards Democracy. After his corruption, the country was looking for someone with with power and force to lead the country. Enter Putin.
Putin has been in power since May 7th, 2000. Think about that. A so called democratically elected official has been in power for twenty one years. That doesn’t make sense. The book details how he slowly mislead other countries and leaders into thinking he was a playful yet strict leader. Election after election, leaders around the world ignored the glaring problem that was Vladimir Putin. Fast forward twenty years later and he’s invaded Georgia, annexed Ukraine, and the world has stood by and done nothing. The book is only around three hundred pages, and is extremely interesting to read. Kasparov does an excellent job showing that the Russian people want change, but are forced to stay complacent.” - Joshua Sidlofsky (Associate Artistic Director)
Last Night in Soho
“Did you know Edgar Wright released a new movie? And did you know it’s a horror movie? And did you know it’s set partially in the modern-day and partially in the 60s? well, I’m here to tell you that all of this is true and the perfect storm of wonderfulness!! The aesthetic and style of this movie is nothing less than what you would want from Edgar Wright. Not to mention the costumes are to die for.
I keep saying the movie has the energy of Promising Young Woman meets every 1960s fantasy you’ve ever had and then adds horror. It very much feels like it was made for me to love it… so I guess if you know me and what I like and like my recommendations then you’ll probably like this. If you don’t know me and what I like or my recommendations then you will still probably like this movie because it's gorgeous and dark and spooky and fun and anyways who doesn’t love Anya Taylor-Joy!” - Reid Martin (Outreach Coordinator)
Life in Pieces
“There is nothing like watching a light and airy sitcom in between frantically writing essays, lesson plans, and monthly Dandelion Diaries updates that I have been procrastinating on (woopsies). Life in Pieces gives me short and sweet 20 minute episodes where I can watch an eclectic family’s hectic life while I avoid my own. If you like Modern Family you will probably like this too! Every episode follows four different storylines from different members of the family and what kooky antics they get up to!
I am the kind of person that cycles through the same 2 or 3 sitcoms every year because I find comfort in the shows I have watched before, but I gave this one a shot and now it is added to my list of comfort shows! Highly recommend as a light watch while you tackle the busyness of the holiday season!” - Emily Doucette (Managing Director)
Max’s Chicken Noodle Soup
I will confess this recipe is inspired in many ways by a similar recipe by Chef Nigella Lawson, a chef who’s recipes were a great inspiration for my mother when I was younger, and by virtue of that, for me, now. Like any good cook use these measurements as a guideline, but not as wrote. You will find, as I have, that some alterations need to be made to suit your personal tastes. Like any script, please make this soup your own! This is a fantastic recipe for cold season, and is a brilliant comfort food full of complex, fresh, layered flavours. A great, quick, healthy option for all of your two-show days, all-nighters, and double shifts.
Serves 4-5, prep time 20-30 minutes
⁃4 cups chicken broth (if you do not have enough chicken broth you can top it off with a bit of water although the depth of flavour may suffer)
⁃1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks or strips
⁃3 tablespoons soy sauce
⁃1/4 cup sherry, sake, white wine, or other light cooking wine
⁃1 tablespoon minced ginger
⁃3 cloves garlic, minced (although you and I both know you’re probably going to put in more)
⁃1 shallot, minced
⁃3 scallions, finely sliced into rings
⁃1/2 can baby corn (roughly 1/2 cup)
⁃generous handful of fresh spinach
⁃generous handful of sugar snap peas
⁃16 oz noodles of your choice (I prefer fresh thin german egg noodles)
⁃1 long red chilli (keep the seeds for extra spice, dried chilli flakes work great as well)
Heat the chicken broth in a pot over medium-low heat. Make sure to pick a pot big enough to add lots of veggies and things, your broth should only come up about half way. You are going to assemble your soup concentrate mixture while this heats so it’s okay if it takes a little bit to get hot.
In a non-stick skillet (I use cast-iron) cook your chicken without any oil until it loses its pink colour and turns an opaque white colour. A little browning is totally okay. Remove it from the pan and set to the side.
Add a splash of oil to the pan. Olive oil lends a stronger taste which is fine, but I generally gravitate to coconut or avocado oil, which also have a higher bowling point so it cooks your aromatics a bit quicker. Whatever cooking oil you have should work fine. Add your garlic, ginger, shallot, chilli and scallion. Cook until they take on a hint of colour and become slightly opaque, no longer than a few minutes. Deglaze your pan by adding the soy sauce and cooking wine, allowing the mixture to reduce slightly.
Add the chicken back to the pan, allowing the flavours to emulsify for a few moments more. You still want a fairly saucy liquid, so be sure not to over-cook. Add the whole mixture to the broth.
Increase the heat slightly, bringing the soup to a boil. Add the corn, spinach, peas, and noodles. Simmer mixture until vegetables are cooked and the noodles are tender.
Serve and enjoy!