Monthly Archives: July 2013

Panzanella, raspberry galette and five years of FATB

Sunday was this blog’s fifth year anniversary. The Beast and I had talked about marking it by going out for dinner–there are so many places I want to take him, like Patria, and so many places neither of us has been, like Bar Isabel–but the truth is, we’ve grown accustomed to staying in on Sunday nights. The Beast works 10 to 7 and doesn’t get home until 8 and I usually have the day to myself and crave a little time in the kitchen, so it makes sense to stay in. And besides, it’s our time, like the Goonie’s time was down in those grottos looking for treasure so their parents wouldn’t have to sell their houses.

For some inexplicable reason, we both had panzanella–an Italian grilled bread and tomato salad–on our respective minds. And since the corner green grocer had some lovely Ontario basil, field tomatoes and cucumbers available, it was a no-brainer. The protein, on the other hand, was to be debated. Via text the Beast requested a “Tuscan bean salad”. But the only options I gave him were sausage or fish. He texted back “sausage” but I’d already bought the fish, a beautiful piece of halibut and another of steelhead trout.

We’d just come back from a beautiful Saturday visit with my mom, where the cover of her current issue of Chatelaine made me eager to make a fruit galette. So I whipped up the pastry, which marked the first time in a long time I’ve made pastry without having trouble rolling it out.

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This End Up and nothing but net

Saturday was perfect. Before heading out for their East coast vacation, my dad and stepmom left us the Ol’ Girl–a silver 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera–for a couple of weeks. She gets a little shaky at the 105 km mark, but after that, it’s smooth highway sailing, which means we can drive along the Queensway for a Harvey’s and Tom’s Dairy Freeze pitstop, visit my mom in London and maybe even get ourselves to the cottage.

At noon, the Beast and I took Erinn for her birthday lunch at This End Up, a little restaurant on Dundas St. W. We talked about driving but in the end, we walked the two kilometres (UGH!) to get there. I’ve been to This End Up a few times now and keep going back for the Basa fish po’ boy sandwich and what must rank as one of the best side salads in the city.

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The Victorians, Miles Davis and burgers

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I had been waiting for the Beast to finish reading Pride and Prejudice so we could start watching the BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth.

Recently I received a text from him signalling that a) he was finished reading the book and b) he was disappointed by the lack of explicit sex scenes between Darcy and Lizzy and c) that we could begin watching the show, which we did.

On Saturday morning as we ate omelettes on the deck I asked the Beast if he wanted to watch the end of Pride and Prejudice later that night.

Beast: I’m more into the Victorian era now. How about The Age of Innocence?

Foodie: What? How are you “more into the Victorian era” now?

Beast: Well, I watched a documentary about Ludwig II, the mad king of Bavaria, who loved the highly romantic, insane architecture of the Victorian era  where you just grabbed from any historical style and mashed it together. Then I started reading a book about the Astors and great hotels in the U.S., which was also in the Victorian era and had a very similar grab bag-style of free associating historical references. Then I watched Topsy Turvy, which is basically a study of Victorian era pop culture. Then I started reading Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, which is about the extermination of Amercan Indians in the Victorian era: racism, curiosity, ethnography, slaughter and that highly American form of colonial superiority: manifest destiny. Certain romantic ideals about savagery are all highly Victorian conceits, you know. Anyway, what an interesting time! Also, the morals and the manners of that age: Don’t forget that Deadwood was a Victorian era show – that combo of ruthlessness and propriety: the men wearing gloves and women corsets on those streets of mud! It’s just crazy!

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The bi-annual blow-up followed by a perfect summer wedding

About twice a year I pick a fight with the Beast.

The most recent blow-up began over a sweater.

After work on a recent weeknight:

Foodie: What’s in the bag?

Beast: Just a tennis sweater I picked up at a vintage store.

Foodie: Do you know what I almost did today? I almost texted you to say you better not be coming home with a bag. Do you know that you’ve come home with a bag of crap almost every night for the last two weeks?

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Saving baby birds and the Beast–all Before Midnight

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Yesterday afternoon I went on my own to see Before Midnight, the third movie in the Jesse-Celine trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and directed by Richard Linklater.

It’s been a long time since I went to the movies and saw a film devoid of special effects, explosions and superheroes. Instead, Before Midnight was stocked with lingering scenes oozing with well written dialogue that sometimes surged into 40-minute-long fluid–and often charged–conversations between a couple sorting out exactly what their relationship was, is, and should be. It was wonderful.

When I got home the Beast was on the streetcar heading to our place from work. I texted him to see if he wanted to meet at the Sorauren farmers’ market. He texted back, “Sure”.

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