Monthly Archives: January 2012

Porchetta, Freud and the Citizenship Award

The Beast and I decided to walk to the movie theatre this past sunny Saturday and along the way, we passed a shop called The Chief Salvage Co. that was filled with wonderfully odd and beautiful curiosities.

It’s the kind of store where you have to do a bit of hunting in order to find a treasure. And I did find one, in the form of a little gold crest pin with the word “citizenship” stamped across it. It was only $2 but I didn’t have any cash and the Beast was already outside. So, after holding the object in my hand and turning it over and over a few times, I gently set it back into a sea of a hundred other old pins, and joined the Beast out front and continued on our way.

Foodie: That was a fun store. (pause) I can’t stop thinking about this little citizenship pin I saw in there.

Beast: Was it like the Attendance and Punctuality pins in Rushmore?

Foodie: Just like those! (pause) Did I ever tell you about the time I won the Citizenship Award in grade three? It was a very important award; only one girl and one boy received it every year at Mary Bucke Public School.

Beast: How many people went to Mark Bucke Public School?

Foodie: Maybe 60 or 70? It was a little four room primary school. Still though, the competition was fierce. I remember sitting on the tiled floor with the rest of the school for the award ceremony and I had no idea I was going home with one of those felt crests that day. I was over the moon.  And I was absolutely in love with the boy who won, too. David Lepischak. I thought it was a sign; you know, that we both won, so we were meant to be together.

Beast: Silence

Foodie: I’ll never forget; after we accepted our awards, we both sat back down and David turned around and said, “Congratulations,” and he extended his hand for me to shake and oh my lord did I want to take it–I probably wanted to kiss him right then and there–but instead, well, I’m ashamed to say that I shook it and then made a funny face like I was grossed out because I’d just touched a boy’s hand and wiped it on the hem of my dress.

Beast: Why in the hell did you do that?

Foodie: Because all my friends were around, man! What would they say? Girls didn’t go around shaking boys’ hands in grade three. Oh no they did not! Anyway, I think I’ve regretted my pour behaviour ever since.

Beast: Do you want the pin? I have $2 right here.

Foodie: Oh, I didn’t know you had cash on you. Oh gosh, no. It’s okay. Really? You wouldn’t mind? I’ll just scoot back and grab it.

The Beast and I decided on a matinee showing of A Dangerous Method, which we both enjoyed quite a bit.  With our minds saturated and our stomachs growling, we walked to Porchetta & Co. for a couple of  sandwiches.

Foodie: I can’t believe I haven’t been here before.

Beast: Neither can I. Do you like your sandwich?

Foodie: It’s so good. I really like this bun. And the rapini. A really nice touch. Except it’s hard to chew in some bites.

Beat: That’s my only complaint. If they’d just chop it up a bit more.

Foodie: I’m shocked you liked the movie, to be honest. It seemed like something you’d hate.

Beast: I thought it was great.

Foodie: Even Keira Knightly?

Beast: She was a bit too visceral at the beginning and that was hard to watch, but she was good.

Foodie: Yeah, visceral. That’s what I thought, too. Well, that’s just great. Maybe you understood more parts of it than I did.

Beast: Why would you say that?

Foodie: You were laughing when the the rest of the audience was quiet during a few scenes.

Beast: Well, some of the characters reactions were so Freudian I just assumed it was deliberate.

Foodie: You used to read all about this shit, remember? When we first met? Did Jung really get into all that mystical sort of stuff?

Beast: He sure did. Some really whacky shit.

Foodie: Do you think Freud was right?

Beast: I don’t know if “right” is the right word.  I’m not sure he’s the kind of man who’d want everything he said to be taken as dogma anyway. But when it comes down to it–and science, as far as we can tell backs it up–is that we’re hard-wired to do one thing and one thing only. We have one basic drive.

Foodie: God, I’m hungry.

Beast: And even after 100 years, that’s still a very jarring fact and it’s incredibly difficult to take at face value because we’re distracted with so many other things in our modern lives.

Foodie: Do you want these fatty bits?

Beast: Sure. Freud called it sublimation; you take a desire and then channel it into something different.

Foodie: What do you think Freud would say about me buying that citizenship pin today?

Beast: I bet he would probably say something about you knowing that I had that money in my pocket so you kept hemming and hawing about the pin until I offered you the money.

Foodie: I didn’t know you had money in your pocket!

Beast: You know what else Freud says? That when we’re accused of something and then we deny it, it’s pretty much a sure-fire sign that you did, in fact, do it.

Foodie: Is this all we’re having for dinner? Or is this, like, an appetizer? Because I’m not full.

Foodie: ** 1/2

Beast: **1/2

The Ace, and penultimate FATB my ass!

Saturday morning, with newspapers and coffee.

Beast: What’s up with this new lounge wear you’ve been sporting?

Foodie (looking down): What, this?

Foodie: It’s my new home-time uniform. This sweatshirt is so soft!

Beast: It’s really nice, don’t get me wrong. But do you know what you kind of look like, sitting there with your wet hair and cut-off sweat top?

Foodie: What?

Beast: You look a bit like white trash.

Foodie: I do! Don’t I!

Beast: “Billy Bob! Don’t you go fishing in that there crick no more, now! Go on! Get out of that there crick!”

Foodie (laughing hysterically): I do look like that! I do! I do!!! Oh boy. That was a good one.

Beast: You look like Danny McBride’s trashy sister.

Foodie (more laughing): Holy shit! That’s totally true! (Pause)  Can we go for brunch now?

And there sure is no shortage of places for us to choose from in our west-end neighbourhood. There are old classics, like Aris and Mitzi’s, plus a whole whack of new places, including the Ace, the Westerly and Barque. Many people, including the media, have come to affectionately refer to Roncesvalles Street, the main thoroughfare in the area, as “Roncy”. And the term “Roncy” really bothers the Beast.

Foodie (walking along “Roncy”):  Look it this! What a beautiful day and every one is out and about enjoying it. Fuck man, you just gotta love Roncy! You know what I mean?

Beast: You know what? We should start using it as a verb, like, “We’re having such a great ronce today, just roncing along the avenue.”

Foodie: Yeah! Roncing! To ronce! Like, “Hey man, you wanna ronce tonight, or what?” Totally. That’s totally hilarious.  Hey man, do you want to try out the Ace for brunch? Erinn and I had such a nice dinner there last week.

Beast (rolling his eyes and sighing): I guess so.

The Ace used to be the Ace Chinese Restaurant but it’s been boarded up for over 20 years! When the new co-owners (one of whom is that cute Maggie of Dakota Tavern fame) came on board, they found a nearly perfectly preserved 1950s style diner covered in several inches of dust. Not only did they manage to do a beautiful job at bringing the place back to life, but they also serve really tasty comfort food that’s classed and sassed up a bit, and the servers are really friendly. The Beast, however, isn’t as enchanted with the place.

Foodie: Isn’t it just lovely? And listen! They’re playing old timey music. You love old music! Who is this? Louis Armstrong?

Beast: No. And it’s okay, I guess.

Foodie: What are being so cynical about this place, man?

Beast: Well, for starters, I just feel like it’s another place that caters to a cynical type of phony hipsterism. It creates an aura of false authenticity by hinting at this throwback to the 50s–an era that’s already tinged with irony.

Foodie: Oh. (Pause)  But aren’t you over-thinking it just a bit? If you dissected everything that much you would never be able to just enjoy anything ever again?

Beast: Silence

Foodie: Oh! Everything looks so good on the menu. I should probably have the oatmeal but I’m going to go with the huevos rancheros. Oh! Did you see that they have cheese biscuits with scrambled eggs topped with white pork gravy? Isn’t that that the kind of gravy you like? Like they serve at Cracker Barrels in the US?

Beast: Yes it is. And I’m getting it.

We drank our delicious drip coffee from nice white porcelain diner cups and before we knew it, brunch arrived, on vintage mismatched dishware.

Foodie: Maybe I’ll just take a photo of this.

Beast: For FATB?

Foodie: Oh, I don’t know.

Beast: Hey listen. You know you don’t have to end it, right?

Foodie: I know.

Beast: Are you having second thoughts?

Foodie: I don’t know.

Beast: You don’t have to listen to me, you know that, right? Keep doing it!

Foodie: I know. I don’t know.

Beast: It makes you happy, right?

Foodie: Ever since I said it was going to end, I’ve just felt like maybe it doesn’t have to. I’m just nervous about starting a new job and not having time to dedicate to doing FATB properly, or with any sort of regularity. Maybe there could just be special editions?

Beast: Listen, you’ve done an amazing thing; you stuck with doing something creative, that you didn’t get paid for, for nearly four years, which is more than a lot of people manage to do. And you’ve built yourself an audience. (Pause) You might not realize this, but you owe a little bit to FATB for landing you your new job.

Foodie: You think so?

Beast: Of course! It made you write regularly! That means you were always practicing and improving.  Listen, maybe you just hit a rut because we were never going out to eat. We basically spent a year at home, eating the same things and fighting a lot. What if you tried to limit FATB to the sort of experience that we’re having right now? We’re eating out and we’re talking.

Foodie: That’s a good idea. But will people think I was just trying to get attention by saying it was all over? Do you know how many nice things people said about FATB?

Beast: Don’t worry, the people that know you, will know that although you do love attention, this was not a ploy to receive it.

Foodie: How’s the white gravy?

Beast: A bit thin. How’s yours?

Foodie: It’s so good! Just the perfect size. (Pause) Thanks for talking to me about all this. You’ve been really supportive and it means a lot.

Beast: You’re welcome.

Foodie (pointing to her head): Io non ricordo.

Beast: I don’t get it.

Foodie: From the Godfather Part II? You know, when young Vito Corleone has to leave the grocery store job because the Don’s shitty little nephew needs that job and he wants his boss, who looked after him since he got off the boat, to know that he won’t forget his kindness. That’s what I’m saying to you.  (Pause)  You know what the best part of today is?

Beast: What?

Foodie: We can burn off brunch by roncing our asses off!

Foodie: ***

Beast: *1/2

Footnote: More details about the new job will follow. And if you’re wondering where we were going to go for the last FATB dinner, when it was decided that FATB was ready to be retired, you’ll have to wait because it’ll make for a nice bookend to this thing, someday.

Breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, hash browns and biscuits, with a side of camel toe

The Foodie, back from a morning Sunday run, is in the kitchen making tea biscuits.

Beast: What are you doing?

Foodie: Silence

Beast: Why are you doing that?

Foodie: I’m trying to get a photo of my running pants with the flour hand prints all over them.

Beast: Do you want help?

Foodie: No, I got it.

Beast: But why are you doing that?

Foodie: To illustrate that I run not to keep fit but only to facilitate some of my poor dietary habits. And to illustrate that the first thing I always do after a run is eat like a pig. I couldn’t even shower before making the New Year’s Day biscuits. I had to make the biscuits.

Beast: You know that you have a bit of a camel toe right now.

Foodie: Do I?

At least I got the shot.  With the tea biscuit made and breakfast prepped, I took a shower while the Beast played the piano. Then, I began to assemble a breakfast fit for royalty.

Beast (in the kitchen): What did you put in your hair (frowning).

Foodie: Some sort of curl enhancer product.

Beast: It smells. (Pause) Remember when I had long hair? Do you remember how awesome it looked?

Foodie: I remember, yes.

Beast: Do you remember that photo shoot we did at the cottage so long ago, when you took pictures of me playing my instruments in the woods?

Foodie: I would kill to see those right now. That’s some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen.

Foodie: Can I put those photos in my blog?

Beast: I thought you were finished with the blog.

Foodie:  I believe I am, but I have to find a way to end it, preferably on a high note. And the readers really seem to enjoy fashion photos of you so I think that would be nice.

Beast: Better those photos than your camel toe, I suppose. Why not end it with the cabbage rolls we made TOGETHER on New Year’s Eve, and the cocktails that I made for us while we cooked?

Foodie: I wasn’t even going to mention those cabbage rolls, or the nice cozy night in we had watching Downton Abbey with the fire going.

Beast: Why not?

Foodie: Because I’ve posted about cabbage rolls twice before! It would make cabbage rolls a three-peat! I’m a one trick pony. I cook the same ten things, day after day.

Beast: That is true. But what about the fancy appetizers we made?

Foodie: You make a good point, but we really should have made some sort of dipping sauce for them.

Beast (sitting down in dining room with our breakfast): Can I just tell you that this is the one of the best things you’ve ever made for me?

Foodie: Look at these tea biscuits, though!

Foodie: This is one of my no-fail recipes from my mom and look at them! They look like hockey pucks. Don’t you remember how they normally turn out? All airy and fluffy and perfect for tearing open and smearing with butter and jam?

Beast: They taste like shit. What did you do?

Foodie: I don’t know. I just don’t know. Maybe the flaccid tea biscuits symbolize that the end of FATB is in sight.

Beast: So, how are you going to end it? You’ve got a lot of unfinished business and you owe your readers an explanation, at the very least.

Foodie: I realize that. There will be questions. There are things I have to say. It’s got to be a good final post, with no answers left unturned.

Beast: No stones left unturned, I think you mean. You don’t have to stop FATB, just because I’m always telling you to. You don’t have to listen to me.  You know that, right?

Foodie: I know. It’s just time.

Beast: What will you cook for the last post?

Foodie: I won’t be cooking anything. We’ll be eating out.

Beast: But where?

Foodie: It’s obvious, isn’t it?

Breakfast: Foodie **1/2  Beast ***

New Year’s Eve dinner: Foodie ** Beast ***