Wednesday, March 01, 2006

5 Food Challenges & 101 Things

Thank you, Meg for tagging me for 5 Food Challenges. I've enjoyed thinking about food and my relationship to it. There are foods I am wild about: raspberries, pineapple, a good Ontario peach in August, a homemade smoothie on a hot day, a cold beer after a long day, a glass of red wine in winter, coffee in the morning, tea at night, ackee & cod, turkey at Christmas, piragi at Easter, milk chocolate, homemade waffles, popcorn, the list goes on and on. And there's food that I'll stay away from: shellfish, pudding, oatmeal, veal, lamb, squid, oysters. Pretty much anything mushy is a no-go with me.

What I most associate with food is celebrations, special occasions and the way food makes moments memorable. I think of long family dinners with lots of conversation. I think about holidays and birthdays and romantic celebrations. I think about my husband cooking me a meal, which was way out of his comfort zone. I think of making waffles with my bridesmaids on the morning of my wedding. I think of the moment I realized it's difficult to eat salad gracefully, even on a first date. I think of picking up sandwiches at St. Patrick's to smuggle into the movies. I think of Pub Night at the Bishop. I think of greasy spoon breakfasts (bacon [crisp], eggs [scrambled], coffee, toast, homefries) at the Coral Reef, People's, KOS and Stem. I think of all the restaurants that have become invested with our memories.

The picture today is of one of our favourite restaurant's in Toronto, Kalendar. This is from the night of our second wedding anniversary. We've also celebrated birthdays here and enjoyed many brunches and outings when we lived around the corner in the wonderful College West neighbourhood of Toronto. They have absolutely the best coffee in the city. Every place we've lived, I can think of the neighbourhood spots we frequented. When we were looking for our first house, we wouldn't buy one unless there was a place to pop out to dinner nearby.

I've really enjoyed thinking about this challenge and have decided to incorporate it into something fun that my sister Shannon and I have decided to participate in: 101 Things in 1001 Days. Check it out and see if you might want to participate too. We'll be launching our adventures on March 5, giving us an end date of December 1, 2008. And here are my challenges:

Jamie's 5 Food Challenges
(a subsection of Jamie's 101 Things in 1001 Days)
  1. Try at least 10 new restaurants.
  2. Invite at least 6 people over for dinner, starting with my Mom.
  3. Go vegetarian for a week.
  4. Make a cheesecake.
  5. Make Latvian piragi. If you don't know what this is, there's great directions (complete with pictures) here.

Tag, you're it...

And I am tagging Suzie Shannon and Dan.


chest of drawers said...

Hi Jamie!
Going vegetarian sounds good to me.Erich and I watched a report last night on meat sold in Europe and where it comes from. It was very depressing to see some of the huge farms that the pork and beef comes from and how badly the cows and pigs are treated. It´s enough to make anyone go vegetarian!

megg said...

Hi there!

That was a great post & I love your list. I also really loved that link, thank you! That's a scary thing to do, but I might just do it too. I can't wait to see the parts of your list that you share. One of mine will also be the vegetarian thing. Mmmm... cheesecake!!

Sacred Suzie said...

Wow, those are very fascinating challenges Jamie. I have yet to successfully make a cheesecake, make sure you look at Anna Olson recipes, she really knows her stuff. I'm proud to say that I have made pirog (sp?) but don't recommend using turkey bacon, doesn't have quite the same flavour.

Thanks for the tag, I will definitely work on some ideas!

la vie en rose said...

i recently made the decision to go vegetarian as well. i have been meat free for almost 1 month. i'm now trying to ease my way into veganism...but man that's animal products AT ALL...that means no cheese and i love me some cheese!

Laini Taylor said...

Ooh, cheesecake, yum. That's a good one. I also want to do more entertaining this year -- it's the time I most enjoy cooking and planning a menu, when there are folks coming over and there will be wine and cocktails and pretty linens, and dessert!

Dan said...

Hey, Jamie:

It was great to hear your food stories. I'm very curious about a piragi! I'll have to ask you about that sometime. Occasion food is a fascinating and delicious thing.

I accept your food challenge! Food is always top of mind, which I've concluded (after a long debate) is a good thing.