Day 98. Salad Freak

I’m the first to admit it’s bizarre.  When it comes to cravings, most people want chocolate.  Or hot fudge sundaes.  Pizza.  Or Chinese food.  But how many people do you know, who crave salads?

Now you do.  Me.  Yep, I have cravings for lettuce.  I kid you not. I like it so much, I’m happy to eat a hunk of head lettuce, or a pile of romaine leaves with no dressing.  Nothing on it at all.  I can just snack on it, as it is.  Au natural.

Yes.  I know.  I am strange.

Several years ago we had a very severe black-out in Toronto.  It lasted a couple of days.  Most people were lining up at gas stations to make sure their cars had a full tank.  And they were also heading for bank machines, getting cash before there was none left. Continue reading

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Day 92. Delicious Distraction

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know that today is election day in the U.S.?  I seriously doubt it.  And, as I’ve said many times before, even though it’s not my election, I am involved.  Engaged.  And worried.  There’s a lot at stake, not just for Americans, but for the whole world.

And regardless of who wins, there will be an impact on Canada.  There always is.  After all, we’re not only neighbours, we’re trading partners.  We depend on each other, although sometimes I think politicians forget that.  Another story, for another time.

Anyway, I’ve decided I need a distraction.  It is going to be a long wait, I think, until we know who’ll be in the White House for the next four years.  We’ll probably be up quite late tonight, biting our nails.  A trip to the grocery store, yesterday, inspired me.

I’m going to distract myself with food.  Figs, in particular.  Fresh figs.

There’s a relatively short season for them.  In fact, I’m surprised I managed to find some.  Not that I was looking, mind you.  But there they were.  One more little package of four, Continue reading

Day 61. Give Thanks

Here, in Canada, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend.  Sometimes I think we get so caught up in all the food we’ll be serving, the menu, the recipes, the shopping and cooking (myself included), we forget what this celebration is really all about:

A time to take stock of our lives and give thanks.

The world is in such turmoil now. Politically, socially, culturally, religiously, economically, environmentally, every which way.  So there’s probably never been a better time to remember how grateful we are (or should be) for all our blessings, whatever they might be.  It’s different for everyone.  Some are small and might be considered Continue reading

Day 41. Changing Seasons

We’ve had one of the hottest summers I can remember.  Hardly any rain.  Temperatures most days in the mid 30s (mid 90s Farenheit).  And with the humidity it felt more like the mid forties.  Day after day after day.  I am not a fan of cold weather, but even I found the heat almost unbearable.

I was thirsty, more than hungry.  And when I did want food, all I really wanted was fruit.  Berries, of every description alone, or with yoghurt, cereal or tossed in a salad.  Peaches, nectarines and plums that were ripe, juicy and not too sweet.  Grapefruit and orange segments, mixed with lime juice and a drop of honey.  Honey dew, cantaloup and watermelon, enjoyed by themselves or added to other ingredients to become lovely, light and refreshing meals.  Cubes of watermelon, feta, kalamata olives, lime juice and fresh mint, for example.  I was eating it by the bowlful.

And then there were the frozen pink lemonade bars I found at Whole foods, that quickly became an addiction.  Very low in calories, they’re tart, cold and the perfect antidote to blazing hot temperatures.  I couldn’t get enough Continue reading

Day 12. Fall’s Coming

Much as I hate to acknowledge that summer’s coming to a close, I know it is; and it has nothing to do with the fact that the days are starting to get shorter.  It has nothing to do with all the back-to-school advertising.  Or the fact that Toronto’s CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) opened yesterday.

It’s because yesterday, my cleaning lady brought me a paper bag filled with beautiful, sun-ripened tomatoes from her garden.  She does it every year at this time.  It is an end of summer ritual.  And end of summer, means beginning of fall.  I love the tomatoes.  I love the fall.  It’s winter I’m not crazy about, but I’m getting way ahead of myself here.  So let’s get back to the food most people call a vegetable but is, in fact, a fruit:  The tomato.

I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes.  I don’t like most of the tomatoes available in grocery stores — even high end ‘epicure’ shops.  They look beautiful.  It’s nice to see all the different varieties, colours, shapes and sizes.  But you get them home and they’re tasteless.

So disappointing, because when a tomato’s at its peak there’s nothing more delicious.  Which is why I love when my cleaning lady brings me samples from her Continue reading