The Daily EO: February 6th, 2016

I received a response from a very old friend to our Christmas letter email just yesterday. Jason is not very old I suppose, and I suspect I’m not very old either at 41, (though feeling it right about now), but he is a 20 year friend.  That’s 1/2 my life – and unless I end this friendship officially because of some “event”, it’s just going to be more and more of a percentage of my life.   So “very old” seems appropriate.

One of the things that Jason updated me on is that his Dad died just before Christmas.  Jason shared with me that although their relationship had been tumultuous, over the last number of years they had repaired it and he greatly missed his dad now.

I used to live with Jason for a while and so I knew first hand that his relationship with his dad was somewhat strained, and I am glad they had been able to put aside past problems to become close again.

Jason really liked rice krispie squares, and 20 years ago, Mars Bars Rice Krispie Squares were all the thing.   People! – this was before pinterest, food blogging, and food porn being recognized as real thing that was acceptable in polite company.

(An aside here – can anyone else not say pinterest correctly?  My brother just spent 1/2 hour making fun of my inability to say this right.  I say “Pin-interest” because my brain just does not seem to think there is a word that rhymes with interest and starts with a P.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.)

Back on point . . . Jason wanted to share the joy of a Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square with me – and so therefore he WROTE down the RECIPE and GAVE it to me.   Yes, he used a PEN and a SCRAP PIECE OF PAPER and everything.

Through the years, I kept the recipe and many others that were near and dear to me – especially the ones hand written, particularly good and with stains on them.  I had actually organized my recipe collection during my last bout of unemployment – so they were all in good condition and easily located.

Many times, I looked at this passé recipe (one that was not shaped into cute caterpillars to try to one-up the mommy next door or made “healthy” with puffed quinoa) and considered throwing it out.  But it was nostalgic for me – hand-written and a throw back to another time and place.  One in which a bunch of university students procrastinated studying to either clean their houses (“I can’t possibly study in this mess.”), call home (“I don’t want to disappoint mom.”), or cook something (“I have to eat to be able to concentrate.”)  It reminded me of my relationship with a good and kind man that I only have fond thoughts of now.  And it was a small piece of paper that took up little space despite my multiple moves.  And who knows – perhaps it would be the perfect potluck item one day – everything comes back they say.

And so it stayed through 21 moves with me.  So, I have it so I can pass it back to my friend.

February 6, 2016 Extra-ordinary:  On the back of the Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square recipe was a letter that started with “Dear Jason” and ended with:

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And for those of you who want this recipe (complete with margarine and microwaves and PAM cooking spray, here it is – I will not vouch for it – afterall, I kept the recipe, I didn’t say I’ve ever made it).

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The Daily EO: May 2nd, 2012

In my kitchen growing up, there were three main food preparation areas.  One is to the left of the kitchen sink that is covered by a wooden cutting board.  This area – even now – is by far the busiest area.  Food is chopped on the cutting board, dirty dishes sit here awaiting the dishwasher unload (which was my chore growing up, so some times there was a bit of a wait), and quick meals are eaten from it.  It is constantly wiped and cleaned.  Over the dishwasher is the second area where the electric frying pan is plugged in when it is time for grilled cheese and the toaster and coffee maker.  I distinctly remember making Easter Nests and Baklava with my mother at this spot.  Who makes baklava with their non-greek mother?  I did.  I called the layers dirt, paper and glue (the nuts, the phyllo and the butter/honey mixture).

The other space that is not really there any more, is to the left of the fridge.  It’s there obviously, but now is taken up by the microwave.  It is where I remember my dad kneading bread, rolling pastry and for some reason I remember clearly – making Tomato Pinwheels from the Fleischman’s Bread Baking Cookbook.  I remember so well because he was so frustrated rolling out the dough.  You needed to roll it to certain dimensions, cut it, and then create the pinwheels.  But it kept shrinking.  And he was getting upset.  I don’t remember if they tasted good or not, I just remember thinking “How is it possible that my dad can’t do something?”

Today I thought of home and these memories and wanted to bake.  But baking does not really fit with the lifestyle changes we have made.  So, I took to the internet and found myself a low-carb and low-calorie recipe for Pumpkin Coconut Muffins.  The flour used was coconut flour – what the heck is that? – apparently it’s made from ground coconut meat and is also defatted to remove much of the coconut oil and milk.  I wonder if the Bulk Barn carries it?  And my lucky day – in the huge gluten-free section – they did.   It smelled pleasingly like suntan lotion and it was cream coloured.  Not too expensive either.

May 2nd, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Mini yummy muffins that only have 31 calories each with 1 grams of fibre and 2 grams of protein in each.  Though, I would not recommend using rock salt instead of kosher salt – makes for a some unexpected saltiness at times.  I like this coconut flour stuff.

Maintenance May Day 2:
$25 Micro-loan via Kiva to Folly Loko in Togo, Africa to purchase a washing machine and iron for his laundry business.  Emile’s choice. (Soul)
$25 Micro-loan via Kiva to Adama in Mali to purchase scrap metal to support his metal working business.   He is a married father of two in his thirties – like my dad was when he died.  (Family)
Supported Hariyo Chowk via kickstarter.com with $25 to help create an urban green space in Katmandu.  Reward is my Dad’s name on a hand painted mural in the park once completed. (Family)
Supported Flyover Farm via kickstarter.com with $10 to help create a rooftop garden in Mumbai, India to help provide organic produce in a low-income area.  Reward is my Dad’s name on their facebook page as a donor. (Connection)