These Quick-Pickled Cucumbers Finally Sold Me on Pickles


Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.

When I was little, I believed with all of my heart that cucumbers and pickles were two separate things entirely. Some kids believed in the Tooth Fairy. Some kids believed in Slenderman. I believed that pickles and cukes were completely biologically distinct. (Kids say the darndest things, am I right?) After all, how could one of my favorite vegetables ever be reduced to the hyper-salted, bloated blobs I watched float in plastic tubs at my brother’s sweltering track meets? Did I eat the occasional pickle chip on a sandwich or a burger? Sure, I guess. But I was never going to seek out one of those rubbery, vinegar-y, seemingly-radioactive monstrosities. I wasn’t a pickle person. Or so I thought.

Brad Makes Crunchy, Half-Sour Pickles

To my seven-year-old mind, cucumbers were nature’s crisp and refreshing response to literally anything bad in the universe. Looking for something that will make you feel more hydrated than the woman constantly getting splashed in a Neutrogena commercial? Overwhelmed by the state of the world? Snack on some cucumber slices and think calming thoughts. The same could not be said for pickles.

Fast forward to last December, when Andy Baraghani’s recipe for spicy lightly pickled cucumbers came into my life. These juicy spears of cukes merged my love for the fresh snap of raw cucumbers with the bright pungence of pickling (without the rubbery texture I’d encountered at those concession stands), and I’m a better person for it. The keys to this recipe are its nuance and simplicity. You could probably find almost all of these ingredients chilling in your fridge on any given night. But if you don’t already have them, you’ll be sure to stock up after giving this recipe a go.

smashed cucumbers

Photo by Alex Lau

Smashed or sliced, pickled or raw, cucumbers are nature’s perfect food. But these quick-pickled cucumbers are a definite improvement on nature’s finest.

Just cut your cucumbers—ideally the cute little Persian guys—into spears and toss them into a large bowl with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Then leave them alone for anywhere between one and six hours. Right before serving, toss them with a bit of chopped dill and lemon juice and you’re good to go. That’s it. That’s all it takes to create these quick-pickled cucumbers, an appetizer that’s going to elicit compliments all night long. They’ve been my go-to bring-along snack for any kind of gathering I’m attending, whether it’s movie night, a housewarmings, or even the potluck I hosted for my birthday.

The sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes combine to form a holy trinity of sweet, salty, and spicy, all three in perfect balance. Red pepper flakes add a light warming touch while a subtle sweetness and salinity keep you reaching for another spear almost as soon as you’ve finished the one you’re chomping on. In my book, that counts as a win.

Get the recipe:



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Health Canada warns of heavy-metal toxins in products sold by A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic


Health Canada is warning that products sold by ayurvedic clinics in B.C. and Ontario may pose serious health risks, after some were found to contain lead and mercury.

An advisory issued Monday said inspectors had seized products, ingredients and equipment from A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic Ltd. in Surrey, B.C., and from an affiliated clinic in Brampton, Ont.

« The seizures came after the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control informed Health Canada of a case of heavy metal toxicity involving a patient who was using products from the Surrey clinic, » Health Canada said.

« Laboratory testing identified lead and mercury in the products. »

Lead and mercury are heavy metals that may pose serious health risks when consumed in excessive amounts. Children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms of lead poisoning include:

  • Anemia
  • Headaches/irritability/ slowed thinking
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Miscarriages/stillbirth

None of the seized health products are authorized for sale by the federal regulator. Selling unauthorized health products is illegal in Canada.

Health Canada is warning against using all products by A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic.

The BCCDC advises discarding all products by the clinic, and seeing a physician if you have used any of the products and are concerned about your health.

Ayurvedic products are used in traditional Indian healing practice and are often imported from India.

While many products can be used safely, improper manufacturing processes may result in dangerously high levels of heavy metals in the final product, health officials say.


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Unclaimed lottery ticket sold in Hamilton worth $10K – Hamilton


Check your wallet, your purse and your dresser drawers: someone in Hamilton has an old lottery ticket worth about $10,000.

But here’s the catch: you only have two more weeks left to claim it.

Meet Hamilton’s newest lottery millionaires

According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the winning LOTTARIO ticket was sold in the city nearly a year ago on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

The winning numbers were 10 – 15 – 23 – 30 – 39 – 42 with bonus number 32.

Players have one year from the original draw date to claim their prize.

Hamilton grandmother of nine celebrating lottery win

That means the owner(s) of this ticket should fill in the back portion, sign it and contact the OLG Prize Centre at 20 Dundas St. W. in Toronto before 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 to claim their prize.

Information about this and other unclaimed tickets is available by visiting the Unclaimed Tickets page on

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Winning $60M Lotto Max ticket sold in Edmonton – Edmonton


If you bought a Lotto Max ticket in Edmonton for this week’s draw, check your ticket.

The winning $60-million ticket for Friday’s draw was sold somewhere in Alberta’s capital city, according to the Western Canadian Lottery Corporation.

There was just one ticket that matched all seven numbers.

The unofficial winning numbers for the draw on Friday, Oct. 27 were: 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 20, 30 and bonus 45.

Mega Millions $1.6-billion winning lottery ticket sold in South Carolina

A whopping 27 Max Millions prizes were also won this week.

Three tickets with six matching numbers and the bonus were sold across Canada — one each in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Each ticket is worth just over $500,000.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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First legal weed sold in Canada at Newfoundland shops


The first legal recreational cannabis has officially been sold in Canada.

In Newfoundland and parts of Labrador, which has a separate timezone from the rest of Canada, midnight comes earlier, and people were ready and waiting for marijuana to be sold to them over the counter.

The first sales went to Ian Power and Nikki Rose, who lined up outside awaiting the opening of the Tweed retail location on Water Street in downtown St. John’s.

The lineup at the Tweed store started at around 8 p.m. NT, and steadily grew as the time ticked down to 12 a.m.

Ian Power lined up at 8 p.m. so he could « make history. »

« It’s been my dream to be the first person to buy the first legal gram of cannabis in Canada, and here I finally am, » Power said.

Ian Power says he hopes the stereotype of a ‘stupid stoner’ is gone in the near future, following the legalization of cannabis in Canada. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

« I’m elated. I’m so excited, I can’t stop smiling. I’m not cold. It’s freezing cold out, but I’m not cold. »

Tweed opened its doors just before midnight so customers could start filing in, amid a crowd of media, to line up to buy their first legal bud.

« When’s the last time you bought a gram and got a receipt for it? Never happened, » said Canopy CEO Bruce Linton to his first customers, Power and Rose, as they stood in the front of the line for sales to officially start.

« For me it just proves that Canadians are open to this, they’re ready for this. It’s not like, ‘Oh my God look at that sketchy character,' » Linton told CBC News after ringing in the first sale.

Linton added that at the company’s headquarters in Smith’s Falls, Ont., he was approached by a 102-year-old woman who was curious about cannabis products.

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton says people just want to know about marijuana, and now they don’t need to be afraid to ask. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

« Everybody wants to understand it, » Linton said. « They don’t like ignoring it. »

Scrapping the stigma

Meanwhile, Power, who said he has advocated for cannabis users and patients for years, said he’s hopeful legalization will help eliminate what he calls stigma around the substance.

« I think the social stigma of the ‘stupid stoner’ or the criminal element for using cannabis, a benign substance, as my choice of medicine or recreation, I think that’s gonna change, » Power said.

« Cannabis is in all walks of life. People who are unemployed, to the lawyers and judges in the country, so why not? »

The line of people outside Tweed in downtown St. John’s grew leading up to midnight, when N.L. started legally selling recreational marijuana. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

Last week, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced that as of 12:01 a.m., marijuana would be able to be sold.

The NLC, the Crown regulatory agency, then said retailers would be allowed to operate from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m., meaning there’s a two-hour window at the very start of Oct. 17 when marijuana can be purchased.

Canopy Growth, one Canada’s largest cannabis companies, officially opened its Tweed store at 11:30 p.m.

Linton nearly missed the first legal sale due to high winds Tuesday that delayed his flight, but he was able to land to be on hand to sell the country’s first legal weed.

There are a number of other retailers, like THC Distribution in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, just outside of St. John’s, where owners are also opening for midnight sales.

Owner Thomas H. Clarke says he’s « living the dream » opening a pot store at home, but worries that he might be out of product by Friday.

Thomas H. Clarke, right, sells his shop’s first legal marijuana to his father, Don. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

His first customer was his father, Don, while a crowd of about 100 people waited outside in line on a chilly and windy night to make their first legal purchases.

While the supply may be limited when sales start up, Clarke said there will be a wider selection available as time passes and more items hit the market.

Other shops also had lines outside their doors once midnight hit, with people scurrying to get in and make their legal purchases of marijuana before the mandatory closure at 2 a.m.

Each province sets its own marijuana regulations, including at what age people can purchase it, locations, quantity limits and smoking locations.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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‘Our government sold us out’: Critics at Ontario agricultural fair fearful of USMCA


With major concessions from Canada on dairy, some Ontario critics say they’re concerned about what NAFTA’s proposed replacement means for the industry.

The provisional deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has plunged some dairy farmers into uncertainty, with some now concerned that they might not be able to survive.

The new deal would give U.S. farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy industry, worth about 3.6 per cent of Canada’s current dairy market, according to the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Dairy farmer Vicki Cork has heard from Dairy Farmers of Ontario that the number could even be as high as 3.9 per cent and says the higher figure gets her worried.

« The bigger the number, the worse it’s going to be, so we’re just sort of [bracing] for the worst, » she told CBC News Saturday at the Norfolk County Fair in Simcoe, Ont. — one of the largest agricultural fairs in the province.

« We’re a sixth-generation dairy farm, and we’re probably not going to survive this, so I guess it just sucks to be us. »

Dairy farmer Vicki Cork speaks to CBC about the impact of the USMCA trade deal. 1:36

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday that farmers will receive compensation from the federal government, but details weren’t immediately available.

Cork claims that she hasn’t received any communication on what compensation may look like outside of a « pretty vague » email she got from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

« I look after the books for the farm, so I’m terrified, » she said. « Until they actually say something official, we really have no idea what the compensation will look like. »

Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture Ernie Hardeman told CBC News that consultations will be made with the province’s agriculture community to determine the cost associated with the new deal. He said he plans to ensure the federal government foots the bill.

Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture Ernie Hardeman says consultations will be made with the province’s agriculture community to determine the cost associated with the new deal. (Keith Burgess/CBC)

« It is quite obvious that opening up the market to the American market is going to hurt our producers, » he said at the Norfolk County Fair. « They made the deal, they should pay for the penalty that is caused by the deal. »

Some critics say the deal also erodes the supply management system, which puts quotas on the amount of milk farmers are allowed to produce. The quotos prevent overproduction that would otherwise hurt prices and farm incomes.

The system also put high tariffs on foreign producers trying to sell in the Canadian market, limiting foreign products on Canadian shelves.

Cork says Canada’s supply management system has been successful and the envy of countries around the world.

« The quota system was put in place because the government told us to manage our own system and we did and we were successful. We were too successful, » she added. « Other countries wanted into that. They wanted access to it, and our government sold us out. »

Cork says she has no animosity toward other dairy farmers or American dairy farmers, but rather the government.

The new USMCA deal would give U.S. farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy industry. (CBC)

« [Americans] envy our supply management and they want the government to help them implement supply management in the United States, » she said. « So why not help them do that instead of taking away from us because we had something successful? »

The deal would also eliminate Class 7, which essentially created a discounted price on Canadian-produced milk ingredients, so they could compete with similar products exported into Canada from the United States. The pricing system was introduced in March last year, which made the American equivalents uncompetitive.

Now with the new trade deal in motion, Cork is asking that Canadians specifically look for products that are made in Canada to help farmers at home.

« I would really hope that the general public would just really support your Canadian farmers, » she said. « You might pay a few cents more, but it was grown here. It was grown ethically and safely, and you’re supporting your neighbour. »


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TREB says it’s complying with the publication of sold prices, but privacy concerns remain


The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has no plans to give consumers an opt-out clause so that the selling price of their homes won’t be published online. Nor is it resisting a Competition Tribunal order that says it must allow its members to publish sold data with real-estate listings.

But fewer than 1,000 of the Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) 7,000 online brokerage members have requested a new data feed that includes sold prices, said real-estate board CEO John DiMichele on Monday.

CEO John DiMichele, seen at a Toronto Real Estate Board presentation in Toronto in July 2017, said some anxious consumers worried about their information becoming public have been calling and emailing TREB.
CEO John DiMichele, seen at a Toronto Real Estate Board presentation in Toronto in July 2017, said some anxious consumers worried about their information becoming public have been calling and emailing TREB.  (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Consumers have been so anxious to see the selling prices of homes and, in some cases, so worried their own information will become public that they have been calling and emailing TREB, he said.

Pending sold data — the agreed-upon price of a home sale that is still not final — is of particular concern, said DiMichele, in one of the first media interviews the board has granted since the Supreme Court of Canada ended TREB’s seven-year fight against seeing the information posted on password protected websites.

“If you’re looking at pending solds and that deal falls through, a seller may feel they have been compromised because the sales price has been out there,” he said.

On Aug. 23, the Supreme Court refused to hear TREB’s appeal of a 2016 Competition Tribunal order that said the board must allow its members with online brokerages — known in the real-estate industry as virtual office websites (VOWs) — to post selling prices on their websites as long as site users had to register with a password.

Read more:

Realtors allowed to post sold prices — finally

Toronto Real Estate Board to make GTA home sales data available

Torontonians want more housing, but many don’t want development too close to home, polls shows

TREB began flowing that information to VOWs last week. But only 9 per cent or 620 of the board’s 6,846 online brokers are receiving the feed. Another 316 requests are pending. Some VOWs don’t want to interrupt their current systems and others are waiting to see if the new system is operating smoothly, said DiMichele.

Toronto broker John Pasalis, whose Realosophy site is displaying the sold information, says that’s not entirely surprising because there are some technical modifications required to display the sold data. It’s also possible that some of the 6,846 VOWs that existed prior to the competition dispute may not be active.

DiMichele defended the weeks it has taken TREB to put the new data feed in motion. The board had to incorporate new rules for using sold data into its documents, agreements, education materials and the rules around the use of the board’s Multiple Listings Service (MLS).

DiMichele said there are still privacy implications that will need to be understood. “Our position is simple: we are following the order the way we understand it today. If consumers have complaints about these matters then there are other authorities not unlike the privacy commissioner they can go get guidance from, even the Competition Bureau itself,” he said

DiMichele stressed that sensitive listing information meant only for realtors — when children might be in a home alone or when elderly people are involved — will not be posted.

It is a misconception that TREB fought the publication of sold data because it was resisting competition and innovation, said DiMichele.

“This is supposed to help a member innovate on how they provide a client with their service,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re looking forward to seeing some of the innovative approaches,” said DiMichele.

Tess Kalinowski is a Toronto-based reporter covering real estate. Follow her on Twitter: @tesskalinowski


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