Archive for October, 2014

Purple pancakes and raw energy

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I just finished eating a purple pancake.  I don’t know why it was purple, nor do I know what it was made of.  But I loved it.  It was topped with fresh banana slices, blackberries and blueberries along with a violet hued substance I took to be nut butter and a generous serving of maple syrup.  With such adornment I don’t think I would have minded if the pancake was made from wood chips and styrofoam.  For all I know, it was.

The Mystery of The Purple Pancake (a title that sounds like one of Nancy Drew’s less successful efforts) was initiated in response to the latest trend in my eating habits:  to consume anything and everything within arms reach.  I was recently in Pittsburgh for a long weekend where I seemed determined to “eat myself American” by consuming untold amounts of calories in a variety of salt, sugar and fat packets.  Once I crossed the border all bets were off, so much so that a roadside lunch consisting of two kinds of fudge and fresh kettle corn seemed not only reasonable but downright necessary.

Early in the trip a stop at Primenti Brothers (a local chain) yielded a hot sausage sandwich on 1″ thick snow white bread about the size of a paddle head with coleslaw and french fries right in the bun.  Also enough sodium to turn Lake Superior in to the Dead Sea, as evidenced by the profound thirst that overcame me minutes after consumption that was not to be slaked.

I generally eat well – I love vegetables and fresh fruit, generally limit my proteins to legumes and fish and eschew processed foods.  I have a great fondness for things that taste like dirt (spinach, beets etc).  I suspect I would have made an excellent candidate for geophagia.*  Inevitably, however,  I take a tumble off the harvest wagon and start stuffing myself with creatively presented non food items.

In order to combat this latest gustatory atrocity I am experimenting with a raw food vegan “boot camp” that I found through a popular deal-of-the-day service.  I have embarked on many cleanses over the years and every time I do so I steel myself for the worst as I read the list of forbidden ingredients and ready myself for food martyrdom, all the while completely ignoring the fact that the offensive foods rarely make an appearance on my plate to begin with.

I also manage to ignore at the commencement the fact the that the cleansing food is, more often than not, absolutely delicious.  I recall some years ago pulling up to the table muttering “woe is me!” between humming verses of “Swing Low”, only to tuck in to a prescribed dinner of seared tuna with soy, garlic and ginger, steamed veg and quinoa.  I would happily have slapped plastic down for this meal in any restaurant and raved about it later.

Lunch on the new menu is a fabulous salad with pecans, dates and cranberries.  Dinner last night was raw Pad Thai with nut sauce.  Tonight is a raw burger with guacamole and a date square for dessert.  After last night’s pancake I was not only full but palate pleased and I anticipate the same result tonight.

Bring on the purple pancakes I say!  I shall eat healthily and feel like I can conquer the world!  Right up until I sample a corner of salted caramel fudge and another launch in to another “swing low” refrain.


*Geophagia is defined as deliberate consumption of earth, soil, or clay.

Love song to a soft seat theatre

Monday, October 6th, 2014

It has been a delightful and active summer, and one that is drawing to a close. The weather has turned, the trees are losing their leaves, the kayaks are put away and I have returned to the first Doc Soup of the season at the Bloor Hot Docs theatre.

I am a documentary addict and the fact that this city is host to the only dedicated doc theatre in the world makes me happy and proud.  During the cooler months when the seductive lure of the sunshine has skulked away I can be found here once a week and often more.  The Doc Soup series features a new release film and is followed by a Q&A with the producers, directors and often subjects.  I have been enthralled by topics I never knew I would find interesting and it is always a fascinating experience.

The Doc Soups are often sold out and as such  I get to the theatre early to score my favourite seat. I eschew the renovated plush recliners on the ground level and instead head for the second balcony where I tuck myself in to a place I call the “nose cone”.  There are two such areas that flank the upper entrance to the balconies and consist of four seats that descend in single file to the frontmost, which has an unobstructed view and has no neighbours save the one seat directly behind.  The only drawback is that the seat is tight to the plaster wall of the front balcony and offers considerable less leg room than one would find in economy class on a cheap charter airline.  If you are taller than about 5’2″ or do not possess rather truncated limbs like my own I wouldn’t recommend it.  If at all slouched down my knees are jammed against the wall, but I love the fact that I can take possession of my own little theatrical fiefdom and cast off to a world of my own with popcorn and liquor if you want it!

I settled back this past evening and felt like I was being wrapped in a warm blanket,  welcomed back by an old friend.  This particular documentary was less than perfect but I am looking forward to another season in my happy little haven.  Come get me when spring arrives.