Tag Archives: Food

Bloody hell, I just miss home.

I’ve been in Ireland for a month for university.

It’s been grand. It’s been so grand.

There have been great ups and downs, but for the love of god, it’s thanksgiving at home and I’m fecking sick of explaining to Americans that yes, we have ours in October.

Join me while I wallow in self-pity and wade through corny Canadiana while I further ignore my uni work.

 

The original Wayne’s World:

 

And the voices that were a constant in my childhood home many winter evenings:

I just want some goddamn poutine and no one in this country knows what cheese curds are.

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Grown-ups drink wine, right?

I have forced myself to be a wine person over the past year.

My parents are not wine people. My turned-out-to-be-batshit-insane step-aunt was the only wine person in our family, until, well she left the family via batshit-insane methods.

For some reason,  I associated wine with people who are grown up and successful. How am I going to hang out with my fancy educated friends and go to fancy educated dinner parties if I don’t like wine? What will I bring? Rum? It is delicious.

After stopping at the little kiosk at the front end of Loblaws a few times, one of the few non-LCBO ways to buy liquor in this over-regulated province, I finally decided I was a red wine person. Yes. White wine is gross. It stains less, but it’s gross.

It’s been a long journey of cringe-worthy beverages, but I think I’ve finally developed an actual taste for it. Yes! A small, useless success in a world of unfairness.

To be fair, I’m still at the point where my measure of taste is “does it make me gag or not?” but I’m getting there.

Simply a little window into the neurosis that invades my life.

Cheers.

A Vegetarian’s Rant

So, I’m a vegetarian. A pescetarian, really, but since all I get is confused looks when I say that, I’m a “vegetarian who eats fish.” I didn’t for a while, but a few trips to PEI (hellllllo fresh seafood!) and living a stone’s throw away the best fish and chips place on the east side turned me over to the dark side. Whoops.

I’ve been this way for, what, 6 years now? It’s just something that I’ve been doing for so long, it doesn’t seem “different” or “special.” I rarely talk about it, people usually only find out about my eating habits when we go out somewhere and I wind up asking for a caesar salad with no bacon. The proceeding conversation is a little predictable, so I’ll offer some advice for those of you who have never met one of us.

Top ten worst things people say when I reveal my eating habits:

1. “Oh, that’s cool. Would you mind if I order a steak? That wouldn’t bother you, right?” The person who’s asking isn’t really at fault, who’s at fault is either whatever crazy judgemental vegetarian they have come across in the past, or the stereotypes they’ve seen. I hate using the goddamn word “vegetarian” because it conjures up images of some crazy, unshaven, ratty-haired hippy who talks about rainbows and throws red paint on people. Thanks, Hollywood. General rule: Don’t judge my food choices, and I won’t judge yours. Unless you’re eating babies, then, well, I’ll say something.

2. “Why did you become a vegetarian?” I usually just brush this off, sorry. I was 14 when I made the decision, I can’t even remember. Fluffy cute animals are too cute to eat? Probably. Let’s not get into an ethics conversation that inevitably catches the attention of some meat-head at the next table who decides to tell me how delicious his steak is. Charming.

I imagine this is how it went.

3. “Do you eat eggs?” DID I SAY VEGAN?

4. “I’ll make you some tofu when you come over.” Yes, because that is the only non-meat product in existence. Thanks. I’m perfectly fine with some salad and potatoes for dinner, and hey, guess what, they’re vegetarian!

5. “I could never be a vegetarian! I love meat too much!” Is this supposed to compliment my self-control, or what? It’s really not all that hard, trust me.

None of you mean any harm, I realize. There are definitely worse things you could say! I’m quite the quiet vegetarian. I bring my own veggie burgers to barbecues, I don’t request any special meals to be made for me, and I don’t care what you eat in front of me. I even find Epic Meal Time hilarious, despite that they cover everything in mounds of bacon.

I would like to include a public service announcement: Thinking of cutting meat out of your diet? Great! Shut up about it! There is a time and a place for talking about your dietary choices, and spitting at uncle Joe for eating turkey on Thanksgiving is not one of them. You’re just making life harder for the non-confrontational vegetarians that have to battle your stereotypes daily. Thank you.

The Worst Condiment

I have never liked it on anything except fries, and even that is a stretch.

Ketchup. Ugh. There is nothing better to ruin a good hot dog or hamburger (or veggie dog/burger, pour moi) than an overzealous friend who puts ketchup on it for you while you save them a seat. It’s like someone handed you the original Mona Lisa, in all its glory, and you decided to silk-screen Kim Kardashian’s face overtop.

The crazy Heinz green and purple ketchup almost got me to come around as a child, but the discontinued it before I could make a second trip to the hot dog stand outside Canadian Tire

Pretty impressive ketchup-applying skills, kid.

My distaste of ketchup solidified when I started dating a guy who loved it, and was a horrible house keeper. He also didn’t know how much ketchup he’d need, and always overestimated. This resulted in, you guessed it, dirty plates with little puddles of ketchup on them sitting around. Have you ever smelt ketchup in that context? Say goodbye to your appetite.

I am a mustard supporter. Mustard 4 eva. Dijon, honey, whatever. As long as it’s got that nice bite to it and it’s not red, I’m down.

"Beautiful mustard" according to Google Images

There is this restaurant in Summerside, PEI that serves the most delicious chipotle mayo-type sauce (I have no idea) with its beautiful, crispy fries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. With so many delicious alternatives, why ketchup?!

"You know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?" "What?" "Mayonnaise." "Yuck!"

Pulp Fiction may mock it but I’m just waiting for IcelandAir to offer me a good deal. TTYL, Ketchup-fiends!

At the Top of my “Pro UK” List

The Cadbury Flake Bar

It all started when I stumbled upon a rogue box of Flake bars at the local Mac’s Milk and fell in love.
Sometimes, you can find these chocolate bars at random convenience stores. Otherwise you have to pick through the novelty royal-themed mugs and t-shirts at the British shops, and they are always at least 2 dollars each.

Walking into any local grocery and being able to indulge in however many Flake bars I want? Gold. Pure gold.

Chalk one up for the “go to the UK” side!

In all seriousness, I’m currently filling out my travel applications. Oh my god. 

I swear I won't be a tacky tourist.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Spent…Wait…

Saving. I am surprisingly good at saving. I do not touch my savings account, and it’s not even accessible via my debit card. Still, I’m looking for ways to cut my spending even more.

Main goal: Do not leave school drowning in debt. A little water-around-the-ankles? Okay. Maybe even waist-level. But drowning? Oh, hell no. I remember our 40 year old guidance teacher telling us how she was still paying off her university debt. My first thought: Holy crap, do teachers really make that little?
Trying to plan for that plus trying to plan a trip to the UK is making my head spin. How do I save more?

I don’t get my hair done, aside from a bi-annual cut. I don’t get manicures or pedicures, I do my eyebrows myself (as you can probably tell). I don’t buy make-up aside from the yearly replacement of my Clinique powder and MAC concealer. For the amount I use them both, spending 50 bucks every year isn’t so bad.

There really isn’t that much left to cut. Unfortunately, I live in a climate that has extreme hot and colds. Winter is freezing! It can get down to -25 Celsius multiple times. This is the year I’ve decided to buy quality winter gear in lieu of $40 “coats” from Bluenotes and $50 “boots” from Spring (I never knew feet could literally turn into blocks of ice).

So, here is my dilemma. I have no winter coat at the moment, and I have my sights set on this one:

TNA Parka from Aritzia

It’s classic, super warm, good quality…and it’s going to cost me $300. I tried one on at the store and it was so warm. I can imagine waiting for the streetcar in the wonderful hail/rain/snow that likes to roll around in January, the kind that hurts your skin and stings your eyes. The hood would keep me all nice and warm and the long, waterproof body if it would keep me dry.

I’ve already picked up a pair of leather riding boots on sale for $130 to keep my feet somewhat dry. Thanks, Soft Moc!

At least they look expensive.

But can I justify $300?!? Three hundred dollars. That’s almost 30 hours of work for the minimum wage worker.
That’s $300 less than what will go in my savings for my trip. I can buy 30 pizzas. THIRTY PIZZAS.

I suppose if I use it for 3 winters, it’s better than buying three $100 coats that don’t keep me as warm. (As if I ever buy $100 coats).

Maybe I’ll have to cut my food budget this month. Oh, god.

Oh, glorious food. Glorious, glorious food. Ever since I discovered the Domino’s around the corner and programmed the number into my phone (mistake #1), they’ve seen me at least once a week for a large pineapple pizza. I don’t get it delivered, and it only comes to $10.16 per pizza, but I suppose it’s an extravagance.

There’s also my favourite Greek restaurant, which I have to admit I’m heading down to tomorrow. Again, not expensive at all, but that gives me a reason to justify my quantity of visits. It’s going to cost me 6 bucks for the subway and 10 for the meal, give or take.

It’s not like I’m spending a ton at the pub every week. I almost never spend over $30!
$30 x 3 visits a month (I don’t get weekends off much, boo) = $90
Yikes.

Every meal of tofu pad thai + a coke at the mall? 9 bucks. A bagel and an iced capp at Tim’s? 6.
A subway sandwich on my short lunch breaks? 5 bucks a pop.

I suppose it’s all about balance. I’ve yet to figure out exactly how much it will cost me to go to Edinburgh, and I’ll admit I’m kind of scared to know the total.

Next plan of action: Keep a moleskin notebook and record every single thing I buy. If anyone sees me posting about pad thai from the mall again, feel free to tell me off. Thank you.