Category Archives: At Home

Who’s afraid of ennui?

My first boyfriend was perfect on paper. He was the quarterback of my high school’s rival (edgy!) He was an all-star point guard. He was the pitcher for the city’s baseball team. He was polite to my parents, when I sanctioned any sort of dialogue between the two. And he drove a motorcycle.

But he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, which I discovered on a date driving into the Big Metropolis of London, Ont. to see a movie. I can’t remember how we got on the topic of dinosaurs, but I do recall him turning to me and saying, “Yeah, but how do we know dinosaurs existed? Like, actually lived?”

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The June 2014 cottage edition

After dinner on a recent Friday night at the cottage playing Trivial Pursuit, drunk:

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Foodie: How does USSR appear on the Soviet flag?

Beast: CCP.

Foodie: Nope.  It’s CCCP.

Beast: Unbelievable.

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Coming home to tuna casserole

There have been times in the past when the messes in our house, from piles of books on the stairs to piles of clothes on the bed, have driven me mad. But lately, I’ve been a free spirit. I don’t care.

Except, that is, for one night last week after work. I got home before the Beast and the mess was all I could see.

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Big thinkers and bigger failures

It was a rough week for home-cooking. The Beast decided to make gnocchi from scratch on Wednesday night. We’ve been watching Italy Unpacked, a BBC  TV series featuring the Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon. They travel around Italy and discuss local dishes and art. (You can watch all three episodes in their entirety on YouTube.)

Locatelli’s cookbook, Made In Italy, came into the store where the Beast works. That’s where he got the idea to make the gnocchi with goat cheese and chives. (I think it may also be the source of inspiration for the Beast’s desire to grow his hair.)

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When I got home from work, he’d nearly finished preparing the gnocchi.

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Post modern croutons and Cassavetes

Because the Beast is trying to gain 10 lb. and I am trying to lose 10 lb., settling on dinner has become a bit trying.

I’ve taken to starving myself during the day: drinking black coffee for breakfast, eating a shitty low-calorie salad or soup for lunch, gorging on whatever I want for dinner and washing it down with half a bottle of wine. I’ve finally started riding my bike again and am running on Saturday and Sundays. So far I’ve lost two-and-a-half pounds.

Meanwhile, the Beast, who never eats breakfast or lunch during the work week–he just drinks black coffee and smokes cigarettes–bought some dark chocolate, bagel chips, cereal and whole milk to increase his calorie intake. He has remained the same weight, despite getting back on track with his weight-lifting because he wants a ripped and toned body come summertime.

The other night I decided on a healthy dinner: an eggplant, tomato and chickpea casserole, using this recipe that my friend Katie passed on to me years ago, and salmon.

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Springtime gnocchi, birthday dreams and road trips

The Beast and I drove to London, Ont. recently to visit with my mom. The two-hour drive there was eventful.

Foodie: We should really do a weekend trip to Buffalo, don’t you think? We could stay at a fancy hotel, which would be like super-cheap because it’s Buffalo, and we could go to the Albright Knox and eat chicken wings at the Anchor Bar and look at Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and that Louis Sullivan building, too. What’s that called again? And that would be just on Friday night and Saturday morning. And then we could stay in Niagara-on-the Lake on Saturday night at some enchanting little inn and just be enchanted and stuff. We could drive back Sunday morning in time to get you to work. What do you think?

Beast: The Guaranty Building.

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Bouillabaisse, followed by bedside banter

On the weekend I decided to make bouillabaisse. The Beast, not being a fan of seafood, was unenthusiastic. I looked at a couple of recipes–one from Julia Child, a good place to start, and another from The New Basics Cookbook, which called for green peppers, which made me ignore that version.

In the end, I just made it up as I went. And it turned out wonderfully.

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Tuna salad sandwiches, chips and rosé

The Beast offered to make dinner the other night. On the menu? Tuna salad on white Wonder bread with a side of Miss Vicky potato chips.

How could I say no?

In the kitchen:

Foodie: What the fuck do you have on your feet?

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The Great Beauty. And steak.

The Beast got hit hard with a cold recently. So on Saturday, I decided he could pick a movie and we’d go see it. It came down to either the new Alan Partridge flick, or an Italian film, The Great Beauty.

He chose the latter. And I’m glad he did.

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The Rose of Parma

“I know we’ve  been fighting a lot and it’s Valentine’s Day,” the Beast said to me, “but let me tell you something.”

“Okay,” I answered. He pulled me close and whispered into my ear, “I bet Beethoven never had to put up with this bull shit.”

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