I am a big fan of Stuart Mclean and The Vinyl Cafe. I love Stuart’s gift for storytelling, the way he uses his natural folksiness and love of the small moment to tell a story that we feel we have already lived ourselves. His appreciation of Canada, of small towns, and most importantly humour. In some of my blogs you can hear my tone mimic his – but Stuart’s voice is uniquely his own.
I’ve been putting off this post for 3 weeks now, because I’ve been trying to get to the end of April before my lead is completely eaten way by my husband’s miraculous biological predisposition to fluctuate his weight.
For Christmas, Emile gave me a 1 kg Dairy Milk Chocolate bar.
I know – that is not real chocolate to chocolate connoisseurs, is it? Real chocolate has to have limited sugar, no milk, etc. I don’t particularly like “real chocolate”, in fact, often when I spend more money on expensive milk chocolate, I am disappointed in the lack of creaminess. But, too cheap of chocolate – especially that stuff that turns white – makes my teeth ache. (Actually, a lot makes my teeth ache these days, but that is more about an unconscious decision to delay my trip to the dentist due to dental anxiety).
Anyways, Emile and I – as always it seems we are – are trying to be more healthy. We are heading to Costa Rica in March and would rather look fit and free of 1 kg chocolate in our belly (and other areas).
Nonetheless, this large chocolate bar remains in constant sight, but unopened. But it is touched a lot, looked at and last night discovered to have a small opening where the chocolate can be smelled. I – suffering from the last remnants of a cold – do not enjoy this as much as Emile does, but it nice to know in a couple of days time, it will be as wonderous as he seems to think it is.
But Emile and I both know the truth – the minute this chocolate bar is cracked, there is no turning back. Neither of us are people who take one small piece, savour, then come back later to enjoy another small piece. Well, I guess we are that kind of people, but the spaces between “come back later” are greatly diminished. In our house, 1 kg of chocolate will last 48 hours – and that would working days where we are out of the house for a large portion of the day.
January 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary: Anticipation is killing us.
There are moments that are perfect. I sleepily made my way to the table after a summertime afternoon nap. Dinner was tacos with fresh salsa.
Dessert was blackberry and apple crisp. Not just any crisp, but one made from wild tart blackberries and tree fresh transparent apples. The crust was made by an Oma who no longer needs a recipe. It was warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top.
August 3rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:
Can you believe there was any left?
I love exploring food despite my long list of dislikes. Though annoyingly trendy, I like reading food blogs and see all the things that people are experimenting with. If you wanted to bake a cake 25 years ago, you had sugar, flour, milk, eggs, vanilla and you were done with it. Now people are using different flours, beans, sweet potatoes, plantains, almond milk, beets, etc, etc and making everything more interesting.
Emile went to a party last night and that left me at home to try to catch up on all the work I had to do – plus spend some time reading JK Rowling’s recently outed book (though I didn’t really want to be so trendy again like the rest of the world clamouring after a book because we now know who Robert Galbraith is), and read some of my favorite food blogs. I told you about Emile’s quest for the perfect pancake and while looking at pancake recipes, I stumbled upon one that made no sense to me. Where is the bulk? How could this work?
The longer I looked at it, the more I wanted to try it. And so we did this morning. (we pan fried it, because we have a mini oven and it seemed like it would be a pain to bake them up. Plus, we don’t normally bake pancakes, so not a fair comparison).
And it was bizarrely good. Like I was expecting something to taste totally different, but this just tasted like pancakes. Maybe not as authentic, but pancakes.
Weird, I guess Almond butter is just one step past Almond flour, so. . . but. . . still. . . weird. . .
July 20th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Boggling my mind at breakfast.
I’m having a falafel thing of late. I don’t know why. The first falafel I ever had was so awful – it was home-made by my then boyfriend, with whom I broke up with for making such a terrible mush roll. Well, perhaps the break up was based upon things less trivial than falafel making skills, but I am sure it was a factor.
There are a couple of places near our house and I bounce between them. I know that snow-white pita bread should probably be outlawed, and I wish there were alternatives, but well. . . it is pretty damn good. And head lettuce? Not exactly brimming with nutrients. Chick peas and fava beans don’t taste that great when on their own, but mash them up, spice them, deep fry and cover with tzatziki, hummus and hot sauce? Now you’re talking.
I’m distracted now. . . stopping writing this to decide if I am hungry for a falafel and if it is worth the journey.
No, not right now. Plus I should vary my diet. Maybe I should have garbanzo beans instead.
July 19th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Falafel July
My husband thinks I should stop putting cheese in the toaster.
I say “how else would you make a quesadilla?”
July 18th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Lunch.
One of my most favorite things in the world is popcorn. It is the best snack in the world, its cheap and so bloody good. And not that microwave stuff. The real stuff in a pop with real topping. I remember reading something about Madonna that when she was first trying to make it in the music business and was so totally broke, she basically lived on popcorn.
My dad had a popcorn popping pot (that was only used for such a thing) and I have a now faint scar on my wrist from burning myself on a hot pot of popcorn at my grandparent’s house. (I was trying to pull back grandpa’s arm because I thought he was being a little too piggy with the popcorn and I wanted some left for me.)
I went to Chill Winston’s a while back and they had adult popcorn on the menu – a small bowl for the $6, but it was served with Grand Padano cheese (parmesan) and pepper. I could not NOT order this.
It was good, but I knew Emile could do better.
And he did – a few nights later I got popcorn smothered I butter, pepper, salt and freshly grated parmesan. But a bit much for regular day.
July 16th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Standard popcorn fare at our house: butter, salt, sugar and pepper. Every time. Oh Yeah. Is it normal to have popcorn for dinner?
Tonight Emile and I attended an underground dinner party. As you’ll recall, the one we signed up for was a social one, meaning nobody there (aside from if you signed up with a friend) knew each other. There were nine attendees in total:
- Emile & I
- Amanda, a Yoga instructor who used to own a fashion boutique and use also be in film
- Daniela, One of the co-owners of “We are Local“
- Stephanie, a federal government employee who moved here after falling in love with Vancouver working on the Olympics
- Chance, her husband and working for Health Canada who told many stories of their travel adventures
- Daniel, a young and quiet man from Columbia who could not decide his favorite Canadian city between Montreal and Vancouver
- Dusank (misspelled I think), a mechanic on multi million dollar yachts who had a varied stories from broken bones to bear hunting
- Eddie, a former mormon, current interior designer, from Argentina
All people from varied and different backgrounds that shared a common goal – to meet new people and experience something a little different.
A couple days before the event, we were emailed the location details – which until then were just known as “Gastown”. It was held in an apartment featuring art from local artists and where the host lived.
Dinner was fantastic – pulled pork & guacamole appies and then followed by corn & bacon chowder, lemongrass chicken, roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese, smashed potatoes, walnut sweet beet salad, and ribboned spicy carrots. I think I covered everything. Dessert was sweet buttermilk cream with rhubarb strawberry topping. It was family style so it really felt like a group of friends together for a meal. Everyone brought wine to have with dinner.
Kristen, the host, was quietly in the background taking care of all the details, cooking in her personal kitchen, and serving us. Helping the conversation roll when there was quiet moments – though there were very few.
What I liked about the evening is how I felt – inside the pulse of Vancouver, trying something different. Someone who knows the hip spots, the places to the be.
So try it, you’ll be happy you did.
May 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: In the heart of it all, in Vancouver.