Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Alright, so it's not a foodie triumph. But who says this blog can't act like my diary too?! Not that I've ever really kept a diary, but all the same. Ezcema be gone! No real thanks to Dr. I'm an Idiot Genot. But, real huge BIG BIG UPPPPPS to Wanda, at the beauty counter at Shoppers Drug Mart at Broadway and Commercial. She saved my life. Honestly, I haven't felt that truly depressed and despondent, well, maybe ever in my life. I over-applied the prescription-grade hydrocortisone-based cream around my mouth and although it stopped the raw skin from 'weeping' (a polite term for 'gentle oozing'), it made it so dry and red and angry that I could not smile or laugh and barely eat. It was horrific. I felt so ugly and depressed. I will be writing a letter of complaint to Dr. Genot regarding her lack of thorough health care-telling a patient to 'moisturize' is hardly medical advice. What the FUCK am I going to moisturize with, you bitch? Anyways, after coming home from what should have been a wonderful dinner out with my baby, I said fuck this and left and went to Shoppers for some advice. The pharmacist surprisingly led me to Wanda, at the beauty counter, and she took a lot of time purely dedicated to me to show me my saviour-ROC Dermatologic Enydrial Creams-and give me tips on how to apply the creams, etc., etc. That hand cream and lip care, combined with the moisture gloves, has almost completely healed me. The difference is incredible. I am forever devoted. All Vaseline creams, be damned. Besides being an irritant, petroleum-based products (which Vaseline is) are thoroughly non-renewable. And I don't care if the ROC stuff isn't either, it fucking works so well. The French seem to do everything better. The food-related note of this story is that I cannot eat anything spicy or acidic, and I mean anything, or else it literally burns the skin off my mouth. I've done fantastic so far, except for saying 'yes' to the salsa on my fish tacos. But, I am so proud of myself and so thankful. Goddamn, it's been hard. It's been hard. But I'm emerging more beautiful than ever. You should see my hair right now, and my skin of course. Triumph.

Friday, November 20, 2009


It's been almost a week since I posted; it's been a rough one. My ezcema has decided to have a party around my mouth and on my right hand. I vascillate between feeling like a leper, wallowing in gallons of self-pity, self-hatred, and paralyzing self-consciousness, and feeling brave, reminding myself I am beautiful, and it will get better. My boyfriend, wonderful man that he is, assures me I am most certainly not the former, and definitely the latter. And that helps so much. I'm going to a walk-in doctor's appointment tomorrow, early in the morning, to get this under control. I really just want to get rid of the rash around my mouth. It flared up horribly in the last couple of days, but I'm doing everything I can to keep it at a moderate bay: not eating any spicy or acidic foods, drinking everything through a straw, being careful that whatever I eat it won't risk brushing against the affected skin, covering it in Vaseline, smiling as much as possible, and getting fresh air. I also have an eye infection and ezcema behind my right ear as well. Nice eh. But I started eye drops today, so hopefully that will get better within the week, and antiobiotic ointment I have been using for behind my ear is working. I know that this flare-up is an expression of stress, most certainly. And then I get stressed about it, so it gets worse. But, things will be alright. I'm working really hard, being really brave, to do everything I can in my day-to-day actions to eliminate all forms of irritation. And then, hopefully, whatever the doctor prescribes tomorrow will put it into remission. I'm so distrusting of doctors that I'm beginning to work myself into a tizzy over the inevitable fact that they will know nothing and prescribe me a useless product. But, it will be fine. It just sucks to deal with. However, things could be worse. 95% of my skin is in great, dewey shape, my hair is thick and long, and I have a man that loves me. I'm in the process of choosing which community garden I want to become a part of: MOBY, Strathcona, and Cedar Cottage are the finalists. They all have their pros and cons. I'm excited; this time next year I will hopefully have harvested delicious varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, and Swiss chard from healthy well-loved soil and eaten it in the comforts of our own home. From my field to my table. I'm thinking I will keep to self-seeding crops to start, as they are easier to grow with the assurance they will turn out more or less how I expect. Plus, I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to take a "Food is a Political Act" month-long course at VCC in January. And, of course, as always I am looking to forward to working at the market on Saturday, seeing Patrick and Michael and Lisa and all my other favourite vendors selling their delicious products. Ahh Bonchaz buns.
Here's to personal bravery, hopes for the future, and welcome healing.
Na mas te.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Promises, Chickens, Pigs, and Bees

Ahh McDonald's. There is nothing like a double cheeseburger meal. I debated over an hour and half, while doing laundry at the laundromat, whether I would cave and get McDick's or go home and eat some thing healthy. Well, I caved. And didn't feel so great about it. I'm thinking of starting a record of sorts on my blog of foods/bad eating habits I have given up and good foods/cooking practices that I have taken on. A couple weeks ago I made a promise to myself that I will no longer eat chicken, unless I know for sure that the chicken was unmedicated and happy. Truly, free-range happy. So far, I've kept it, with one hiccup. I was baking a chicken breast for my boyfriend the other day and I had a teensy bite, simply to double-check that it was done. Taking all of this back to McDick's, all I could think about while eating the burger was how unhappy, unhealthy, lethargic, and tortured the cow was that gave me this beef. Thus, second promise: I will no longer eat beef, unless I know, I mean really know that the cow was unmedicated, on all-vegetarian feed, and was happy, truly happy. How I can possibly feel good about myself if the animals that died for me to eat and survive didn't feel good during their life? All I want is to have chickens in my backyard, own a pot-bellied pig, and raise bees. Seriously. I don't want to be a farmer, but I want to raise happy and healthy bees, pigs, and chickens. I wouldn't kill the pigs or chickens either. The chickens would provide me some eggs and I would just play with the pigs.
So, anyone who possibly reads this blog, keep me to my promises: no chicken or beef, unless I KNOW, I mean really really know, that they were unmedicated, really happy, free-range, raised on all vegetarian feed, and were raised well and ethically.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quintessentially Quiche

Greetings and Saluations Fellow Food Lovers,
Another chanterelle mushroom recipe down and another success! The recipe is actually entitled "Chanterelle & Porcini Mushroom Tart", which it certainly is; however, really it is quintessentially a quiche. Of course I did not make my own pie crust-frozen Tenderflake thank you again-and all the ingredients are outside of the crust are mushrooms, roasted garlic, cream, gruyere cheese, salt, and thyme. I didn't have any thyme-I have to cut costs somewhere-and I just used chanterelle mushrooms. It was super easy and it did turn out great. I was feeling a bit bloated when I ate it, so I probably will enjoy it better when I eat it when I'm really hungry. I think 1.5 times the amount of cheese and mushrooms would be better, and bit more salt. Also, I'd like to try it with the porcini mushrooms. I know that Chanterelles are supposed to be the goddess of mushrooms, but I'm not wholly convinced. Their strength is their delicate, almost sweet texture and taste, and their bright orange colour. But, they lack a pungence (I mean this in a good way) of flavour, a real mushroomy impact. I like my 'shrooms to taste like 'shrooms. I think I'd try this recipe again, but with some shitake and porcini mushrooms instead. Live and let learn right. Especially in the kitchen. If all else fails, I've always got my mushroom risotto, which is reliably fucking awesome every single time. Only if I use OXO 25% less salt chicken stock. That's my chef's secret. Another thing, it may be different if I made my own pie crust, but warming up the defrosted pie crust (in provided tinfoil pan of course) for 10 minutes in the oven is questionable. The bottom of the pastry was puffing up a lot, so I took it out after 3 or so minutes warming up and just left it on top of the heated oven.
So, what shall I do with the rest of the mushrooms I have left. An Asparagus and Mushroom Puff Pastry Pie is calling me. No eggs. And hollandaise sauce. And asparagus. Perfect.
On the future food docit: Parmesan Scones, Cranberry Scones, and Chocolate Oil Cake. Ahhh yeaaa.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

I've gained a few pounds over the last few weeks. Too much bacon? Is it the polenta? Not enough veggies? I actually first noticed it when getting ready for work last week, and my button-down white shirt well, tugged a bit around my stomach. And then, I noticed a bit of extra pudge in an "intimate" situation. And otherwise. Fuck. It's so annoying because I have made huge efforts to be healthier in my life, I cook frequently and healthily, I'm more invested in learning about food security, re-use of food products, farming, organics, you name it. I've been looking and feeling much healthier over the last five months; I lost about half the weight I gained back in summer 2008; and I've been developing a great waistline over the last couple of months. Was it the bacon? Probably. Not enough veggies? Most likely. But it has happened quite quickly. Anyways, I have found a fantastic $5 dance class on Thursdays really close to where I live that I hope to start going to next week. And I'm considering getting a used treadmill. I am hopelessly inactive. I walk everywhere, but walking up one flight of stairs at the Skytrain station winds me. Not good.
Anyways, today was a pretty good day for food. I had a perfect egg and multigrain toast and Americano at Epicurean this morning. Wonderfully healthy and hearty Red Snapper Soup from The Stock Market. I made a delicious salad this afternoon: cubed Gruyere cheese, sliced strawberries, chopped red peppers, sprinkle of radish sprouts, one avocado, and a spurt of blue cheese dressing. Delicious and colourful. I made another chanterelle mushroom recipe: Mushroom and Watercress Soup. I replaced the watercress with the radish sprouts though. It wasn't that great. I had to add a lot of salt, and lemon juice and pepper, to make it tasty enough. I think the creamy recipes of mushroom and watercress soup would have worked better. But I don't have a blender. It's on the Christmas wish list. Anyways, as all creators know, every success has a mistake to go along with it. Hopefully the mushroom tart will work on Friday. And, if there's any chanterelles left over, I will be making a delicious goat cheese and mushroom pizza. Mmmm good.
Oh, new favourite coffee drink: Espresso con panna. Espresso with whipped cream. Hot damn.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chanterelles Coming Out The Ying-Yang

Well, the last five days have been crazy busy: working three different jobs, actually four if you include my editing "business". Worked at the Chan Centre on Thursday, Taboo on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, editing for a client on Friday and Saturday, and then the Winter Market on Saturday. Phewwww.
Anyways, the first winter market was awesome. Pretty crazy. Irate neighbour, double-booked facility, pissing rain, the usual. But our team is awesome and I adore the vendors. They are like my second family, especially certain special ones. Sequoia Lesosky, owner of Wild Products Network, gave the staff a flat of chanterelle mushrooms! Incredible. So I of course came home with literally pounds of fresh chanterelle mushrooms, not really knowing what the hell to do with them beyond mushroom risotto. Well the risotto was delicious. The one thing though is that the chanterelle mushrooms produce a lot of liquid when they are cooked. So I have to strain that liquid somehow. I wonder if that always happens. I fried some up with polenta today and it was okay, but too soggy because of the mushroom liquid. I imagine if I strained the liquid, then fried the polenta separately, throw the mushrooms back in, add some extra butter, it would be better. I have a few more recipes lined up for the chanterelles: chanterelle and watercress soup, and chanterelle mushroom tart. Should be awesome, but I have get rid of that liquid, especially with the chanterelle mushroom tart.
It's kind of great having this one plant that I have to cook with all week or else it will go bad because it forces me to be creative and more involved and interested in food and cooking and the origins and qualities and characteristics of plants, fungi, fruit, veggies, you name it.
I seem to still be disappointed by salads eaten out. Why do they have to absolutely douse and drown the salad in dressing every single freaking time? Gah! I had a $20 gift card, generously given to me by my mum, to use at Milestones today, so I took my boyfriend out for lunch with it. I got the soup, salad, and sandwich combo, and while it was good, it wasn't great, and really should have been better. The soup was Butternut Squash which was great, but not hot enough, the caesar salad was drowned in dressing, and the sandwich was okay. Regardless, I always enjoy sharing food with my baby, whether I or someone else made it.
One last Chanterelle note: looks like I'm hosting a chanterelle mushroom-themed dinner party on Friday with my fellow market rock stars. Looking forward to it. I think I'll make the mushroom tart for it. yeaaa.
P.S: I got $30 Rampage rain boots from Army & Navy today! Fucking score! Take that all you folks going and spending $100-plus on rain boots from GumDrops. Woot!

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Sucks, or Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Home alone. Boyfriend working the night shift. Doing what he needs to do. But it still sucks. My gums are sore and my inner ear is inflamed. My gums are sore. My spine is curved. I have excema on my thumb that looks like flesh-eating disease.

Home alone. Boyfriend working the night shift. Doing what he needs to do. But it still sucks. I love him. I am so lucky. My gums are sore, but I made my delicious, very healthy "I've got nothing in the fridge" guacamole and it was a good snack with the organic local black corn Que Pasa tortilla chips. The guac could've possibly used more salt. I worked two different jobs today: setting up for Discreet Pleasures at the Taboo Sex show and working Ibsen's Master Builder at the Chan Centre. Very different is more like it. Both good. Looking forward to Sunday night. Busy next few days, including today. I hate work. I'm not meant for most kinds. My excema is looking better. Gotta keep at it. My spine is curved, but I had a well-deserved therapeutic massage yesterday. I'm doing my stretches more often. I'm going to start going to yoga regularly. I'm making a point of sitting and standing straight as much as possible. I love my boyfriend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My quest for a solidly good, problem-free restaurant salad continues. I have been continuously disappointed, either extremely or slightly, with almost every restaurant salad I have ever had. I mean, how hard is it really to make a salad with fresh, WASHED (wow, what a concept!), tasty, NOT WILTED lettuce or salad greens. Honestly. Also, I need to get back into the smart and healthy habit of ordering dressing on the side. Restaurants reliably drown an otherwise potentially good salad with dressing. And, alternatively, when I put the dressing on myself at a restaurant, I put about half to three-quarters of the amount they give me. There is one salad that has never really disappointed me, often impressed me actually: the Point Grey Cobb Salad from Point Grey Golf & Country Club. Crunchy iceberg lettuce (something restaurants do not use enough...or ever),sliced tomatoes, chunks of blue cheese, shrimp, egg, avocado, and crunchy bacon. With a unique buttermilk something or other dressing. Nice stuff. I had a salad at Earl's the other day which was very unique and healthy, and enjoyable, but again, there were a couple pieces of lettuce that tasted "dirty" and as usual, the last pieces of salad greens were kind of soppy and gross. But the unique ingredients were: strawberries, feta, and quinoa. The latter is a revelation, but is so expensive at the grocery store. I guess I have to go all the way to Peru to get a decent price for it. It is a labour-intensive crop, so to an extent I understand the price. Then, today, at St. Augustine's on the Drive, I got the Chop Chop Salad, which was supposed to have bacon in it, but I'm pretty sure it didn't. Anyways, it was great at first, but then again as usual, the greens were soppy and over-dressed. Blue cheese, craisins, and candied pecans are a lovely dance on the palate. The sliced grape tomatoes were too cold though; they hurt my teeth! Plus, after munching on heirloom tomatoes during the late summer from Klipper's Organics, I realized that the majority of tomatoes served at restaurants and from places like Safeway, are well, the worst.
The search for a good restaurant salad continues.
P.S: Apparently eating yogurt is a good option for those who are lactose-intolerant. Thus, I have bought and have been eating Activia Fibre yogurt since yesterday. Here's to getting regular again! TMI? Deal with it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Promises, Problems, and Curiosities

Promise: I will not eat chicken unless I know for sure that it is non-medicated and the chicken was happy and raised either free-run or free-range.
Problem: I might be allergic to corn. Ahhh. No polenta for me.
Curiosity: I'm lactose-intolerant, but can I eat Activia yogurt? Investigation pending.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Remarkable Day

"Remarkable". That's a good word. A strong good word. Not used enough. I know I have taken it for granted. That's how I feel right now. Remarkable. Today has been a remarkably wonderful day for food for me. I went grocery shopping! Yay! The first day I have done a full muti-faceted grocery shop in ages, bought wonderful things to cook and eat and enjoy, and not eat oatmeal and weird "i have nothing in the fridge" pastas all day long. When I have money to spend, even if it just $100 in my account, I celebrate by going grocery shopping. Today's extra-special goodies: naturally smoked thick-cut bacon, organic polenta, turkey pastrami, chai masala tea. The basement still smells of delicious smoked bacon. That should be the next goal of some soy candle maker out there: smoked bacon fragranced candle. Made with bacon fat. Oh baby. What's for dinner: fresh salad (chopped granny smith apples; sliced red seedless grapes; chopped celery; cubed soy cheese; chopped red peppers) and maybe a mushroom risotto later on. "Remarkable".