My head is feeling approximately one million times better. This is good.

I was going to weigh in on the parole office debate going on in my neighbourhood, but Megan says it better that I ever could. I agree ten million times over.

It's really easy to get hysterical about these kinds of issues, but it's sometimes better to take a breath and look at the facts. The facts are not nearly as scary as the television drama-version of the issue. What can I say? We live in a television drama-seeking world. This is the kind of issue where people let their imaginations run wild: parole office = dangerous offenders in the area = CERTAIN DEATH. I assure you, I have a vivid imagination, but I don't think moving the parole office nearby will magically make my neighbourhood seedy. Many of the parolees live in and around Centretown as it is. They are my neighbours; your neighbours. There will be no magical influx, no sudden transformation, no night and day difference. There will simply be a parole office... Moved. For chrissakes, the current parole office isn't even that far away - I can walk there in ten minutes.

Huh. I guess I weighed in after all.

This has got me thinking about my neighbourhood more generally, and what makes me so attached to it. I only moved here last August, but I am far more crazy about these streets than I was in my much quieter neighbourhood of Old Ottawa South. As charming as that area was, it was also rich and tame (I am neither of those things, as several of you can attest to). I like the sights and sounds down here. I like that I may one day be able to afford a house in the area, whereas my chances of owning anything past the Glebe would be limited to a large fruit crate. I like, nay, love my neighbours and my community.

It's all good.

Finding a community like this is why I love Ottawa. It's why I'd like to stay here, why I suffer through the harsh winters and bake in the heat all summer. It's not perfect, but at the same time, it's perfect for me.

If you need a cheer-up today, I encourage you to visit this site and let yourself giggle. There is profanity, but who the fuck am I kidding, you wouldn't be coming here if you cared.

I am not feeling so fresh this morning.

I'm not sure whether to blame it on alcohol consumption, bad sleep or excessive furniture rearranging. Perhaps it was all three that did me in. Either way, I will be very glad when this day is over. My head feels like a cinder block.

The delightful JonnyB has described the Disney experience much better than I can. Please enjoy his rendition of meeting the main Mouse. He must be relieved his mother-in-law was not there to make him sit on Mickey's lap!

Unrelated: May I describe one of my pet peeves?

I watch a lot of TV news, and I do not understand this aggravating trend of reporting extremely stupid studies. Here are some simplified examples of recent studies I've been subjected to:

Too many vitamins are bad for you.
Vitamins are great - take them all the time.
Smoking can shorten your life.
Being extremely fat is unhealthy.
Getting lots of sleep can make you feel rested.
Showering makes you clean.

WHAT THE FUCKING HELL. Are these things not common sense? Who in their right mind would pay for a study that tells us being morbidly obese is unhealthy? It makes me twitchy!

That is all for today - I must now focus my mind away from the overwhelming craving for Ethiopian food that just took over my brain.

March 28, 2009

Mickey's Lap


XUP actually managed to guess where I went last night, so I may as well spill the beans. I went to Disney on Ice. No, seriously. Me. There.

First, a disclaimer that I know some of you out there really love Disney, and that's cool with me. It's just that since I outgrew the Little Mermaid, I haven't been able to stomach Disney-style cheese and I now avoid it like the plague.

So how did I end up losing two hours of my life in a hockey arena surrounded by thousands of screaming children in a sea of fluorescent pink cotton candy?

My mum-in-law loves Disney. So does my dad-in-law. So does their youngest son. And there was an extra ticket. When I was asked, I couldn't think of an excuse not to go, and I honestly didn't expect it to make my brain bleed the way it did.

The experience was... Interesting. Mostly humiliating. A lot of the kids were my height, and while I know I'm short, it was a bit of a jarring reminder. Also, my MIL made all of us sit on Mickey's lap and take a picture. I'M NOT EVEN JOKING. There is photographic evidence that I was at Disney on Ice, and it involves me sitting on Mickey Mouse's lap with a look of frozen horror on my face. I assure you, if I wasn't surrounded by family and a bunch of snotty children, I could have done much funnier things with that situation.

Perhaps you think I'm spineless for tagging along and even posing for the photo.... But honestly, that woman is so good to me. The least I can do is spend some time doing the things she likes to do. After all, she once showed up to a lesbian music festival I was playing at to say hi before my set. She's cool like that.

I woke up this morning with a crazy migraine, and so did my dad-in-law, so we're guessing that the Disney pyrotechnics show does bad things to a person's brain.

I personally think the migraine was caused by getting the Mickey theme song in my head and humming it as I went to sleep. That's enough to cause brain damage. Let's be honest.

Today is the kind of beautiful I've been dreaming about all winter. My BH and I are going to a BBQ for the first time since the fall. Best of all? I peeled the plastic off my windows!! It doesn't get much better than that.

March 27, 2009

On Knitting



After posting about how I'm worried my friends will lose their jobs, I get a few messages that yes, indeed, they are losing their jobs. So, fuck. Seriously. Media Cull of 2009? FUCK YOU.

My BH passed out last night before the knitting book launch (I hear ya XUP, he's a sleepy boy), and I was getting seriously worried that he wouldn't wake up in time to go to the event. I'm a fairly light sleeper, but my BH sleeps with the heaviness of a dump truck and he's impossible to wake.

Thankfully, Milan stopped by to give me an awesome bulldog comic strip, and the visit was enough to rouse my sleepy BH. Thanks Milan! I owe you one knitted item (please make it something simple, for your own sake).

So we made it to the book launch, which was probably even more fun than we were expecting. Have you guys been to Workshop on Dalhousie? It was held there, and man, I love that store. They had food, a live jazz band, shopping, and of course, my hot knitting teacher. She signed our books ("To my favourite knitting students EVER") and she even remembered how to spell my BH's name. It's been two years since we took classes, so that's pretty admirable.

Her book is so great that I'm inspired to start knitting again. Even though I can't really remember anything past casting on. Booo. I'd also like to stock up on cotton yarn, because wool makes me itch more and more every year. Does anyone know a good store that carries nice cotton yarns? I know there are some knitters out there...

Tonight I'm going to *mumblemumblemumble* and this weekend will be a laundry marathon.

Bring on the 15 degree sunshine!!

March 26, 2009

Talk Amongst Yourselves


My hot knitting teacher wrote a book with her very famous knitting author mom.* They are having their book launch tonight. My BH and I are going and I am nerdily excited about it. I never know what to wear around my knitting teacher. She always looks like a million dollars. It's kind of intimidating. I usually look like I rolled out of bed into a puddle of mud.

Perhaps I shall wear lipstick to fool the masses.

My BH had a fancy presentation to make today, so this morning he got dressed up in a suit with a pink dress shirt and tie. I think I've mentioned how I feel about men in pink shirts. Naturally, he had to pry me off him when I woke up and had a look at his fine self.

This weekend, I'm hoping to do more spring cleaning. With my BH's help, we're going to do a bit of a drastic rearranging of the apartment. This is partly because we just feel like a change, but also because we have just inherited a giant workout bench and weight set. I'm not sure any amount of rearranging will make a workout bench look good, so it may have to live in the basement with the ghouls.

A few of you know that I studied journalism and worked in radio for a while. Several years ago, I turned down an offer to help produce a show for CBC in Toronto. It was the kind of job I'd always dreamed about, but I had just taken my current job and was tied to Ottawa in a million other ways. I said no, and have occasionally regretted it. But considering the state of the media these days, not to mention the 800 positions being cut from CBC, I wonder what sort of divine intervention led me to stay in what is arguably a fairly tame office job. I'm also quite worried for my friends who are probably losing their jobs right now.

I could go on about this issue ad nauseam, but you didn't sign up to read a novel.

I've agreed to go on an outing with my mother-in-law tomorrow. She's lovely and it's fun to spend time with her, but our tastes, uh, differ. Which is why I'm a bit embarrassed to tell you where we're going.

Nevermind. I'm not telling.

Talk amongst yourselves.

*This may seem like a silly thing to say, but she has sold more knitting books than I would have ever thought possible. I think her first book is still considered the highest-selling craft book EVER.

March 24, 2009

One Year Left

I have bumped into several bloggers in my neighbourhood recently, and the consensus over Morty's ass explosion seems to be "sucks for you, but damn it was funny to read."

I can live with that. I will write about my pain if it amuses you. But luckily for me, the pills seem to be working and Morty is no longer leaking every time he sits down.

What? I'm just sayin'...

Remember yesterday when I alluded to both Morty and my BH being sleep-talkers? Sure enough, when I went to tell my BH that I was heading to bed, he sleepily shouted "PANCAKES!" and resumed snoring into the couch cushion. He has no recollection of this, but does remember Morty growling at something in his dreams.

I went to bed at 8pm last night. That means I got 11 hours of sleep. That means I feel like a fairy princess today. I wonder what life would be like if I was always this cheerful?

My BH got even more sleep than me, probably for the first time in about a year. This morning he was singing songs and cracking jokes, and I realized how drastically low sleep affects his moods. It was like I had a brand new partner standing next to me, but with the same hot bod as the one before! So excited for his degree to be done. So excited.

Only one year left.

March 23, 2009

End of Monday


I am wearing my favourite post-work uniform: ragged boyfriend sweater, ratty pink pj pants and t-shirt that says I am a "fantastic father." I'm not looking smoking hot per se, but holy hell am I comfortable.

My BH is asleep face-down on the couch, and Morty has taken this opportunity to curl up on his ass. It's the cutest. It'll be even better when they both start muttering in their sleep.

Today was rough... Lack of sleep, lack of lunch, general annoyances that come with office work. I am so happy to be home.

All I've got left on my slate is feeding Morty his pill, cleaning the kitchen, and going to bed. I'd love to be asleep by 7:30 tonight.

I'll tuck in before the sun.

Happy end of Monday.

March 22, 2009

And Then My Wallet Cried


Things have improved! It's amazing what a $250 emergency vet visit can do (besides cause me to panic and grab my credit card).

Morty quickly got worse after the initial, uh, explosion, and we decided not to chance it. Turns out he caught some sort of exciting bug out and about that was wrecking havock on his guts. The vet was sweet and was very kind to my nervous pup. Even when she did that weird anal probe thingy.

Now my baby is feeling much better:

Thank you antibiotics. Not so much the anal probe.

Morty got to meet two Newfoundlanders in the waiting room, and judging by the look of pure joy on his face, he was thinking "OMG, A BEAR! Where is the bum end? Can I smell it?"

Other than the vet visit, I had a great weekend. I got to hang out with other people's babies - holy cute! Meet little Maggie:

Yes, she smiles like that pretty much all the time.

I also cleaned out my basement, which until today was about as messy as we left it when we first moved in. I even opened a window and used the clothesline. What a feeling! I even had a talk with Andi this morning about growing lettuce, and dude, that makes me some happy. Lettuce! Imagine!

My BH finishes classes soon, and I think I'm almost as excited as he is. One more year and we're home free. He went to the barber today and got his hair cut and his beard shaved off. He looks about five years younger. I never worry much about changes in his facial hair - he pretty much just needs to concentrate and VOILA! Beard. The smooth face is pretty nice though.

Hope you all had a lovely spring weekend. Open a window and celebrate!

March 20, 2009

Disclaimer: I talk about poo


It has not been the best 24 hours.

I found out that my awesome manager is leaving. He's the reason I've been turning down other jobs. So now I have some thinking to do.

Even worse: Morty's ass exploded (on our bed) at 3:15 am this morning. I heard *SPLAT* and looked south to see a horrified puppy and a destroyed duvet. None of us saw that one coming... Not even the dog.

I said, "Oh no! Diarrhea!"

My BH said, "My life sucks."

I was up until 7am cleaning. Morty sat in the hallway looking depressed. My BH passed out on the couch. At least now I know that my washing machine can fit a duvet if you stuff it in reeeeally carefully.

I have hope that things will stop sucking eventually. I also have hope that the smell of Morty's ass will eventually leave my bedroom. Until these things happen, I'll be doing laundry and trying to catch up on sleep.

March 18, 2009

Brain Chatter

I am so damn happy I decided not to get a bus pass after the strike. Not only has the service to my work gone terribly wrong, but every time I hear the union send out some idiotic comment into the press, I see red. They have honestly made the term 'public transit' sound bad to me. I am a poster girl for public transit! How dare they fuck up my love for the bus? Better that I'm walking than pay for that bullshit. I'd rather not bookend every day with a bitter ride on the OC.

The garbage house on my street caught fire last night. My BH woke me up at 5am to tell me about it. I don't know why he was still awake, but I guess the commotion eventually woke up the whole block. Several fire trucks and cop cars. This house has a never ending stream of garbage coming out of it; every week something new pops up on the lawn. There is still an organ on the porch from sometime in December. When I walked by this morning, the house looked like it had puked a bonfire. Melted recycling bins and everything. Slumlords and terrible tenants - what a bad combination.

I am interested in getting a Mac, but I am not interested in getting an iPod. My MP3 player of choice does not work on a Mac. This is causing me to stick with the old computer and old MP3 player until I reach a solution. I get the feeling that this standoff may never end, however, which makes me panic every time something new breaks. I don't even have a terribly rational reason for not wanting an iPod... I just happen to hate them. Weird.

Well! That was enlightening. Remind me to do something wild before posting here again, lest I kill you all with boredom.

March 16, 2009

Just a couple of tarts


Yesterday was the weirdest day. I felt foggy and out of it, and wandered around in my favourite ratty sweatshirt and jeans in a daze. I noticed at about 11pm last night that I had also been sporting the blonde equivalent of an afro all day. HOT.

It didn't help that I only had three hours of sleep. Although I was good and tired, my brain wouldn't shut up. Chatty chatty chatty. Eventually I gave up on the idea of sleep and baked stuff.

First I made a soup with every green leafy thing I could find in my fridge. Chard, kale and spinach, creamed together in a nice broth.

Then I made a fruit cobbler even though I had almost no fruit. We're talking one apple and some very tart plums. I added some cranberries and mangos from the freezer and VOILA! Super tart cobbler. My BH and I made jokes about being tarty. It was a good time.

Then I noticed that y'all were sticking up for my tofu-loving, tarty, gambling behind. Thanks! I'm sure Zoom's video will blow you all out of the water. I'm happy to convert the rest of you tofu-haters, should you need it.

My BH's birthday is coming up and I'm getting really excited about his gifts. He's dangerously easy to buy for. He and Heather are the two folks in my life who I can always spoil rotten - they like so much fun stuff! DANGEROUS.

I'm also thinking of booking off a week in May to do nothing. I'm saving up for Japan, so any vacation I take until then will be of the do-nothing variety. That way I can blow my cash on bento supplies and drinks for M-A so she won't make me do karaoke. I have a plan, folks. It involves vodka.

1. The funeral went as well as a funeral could go. It was very very long, but I got to see a lot of family that I haven't seen since... The last funeral. I also got to visit my Zeidi's grave, which I haven't done in about ten years.

It was nice to hear so many people talking about the sweet side of Uncle Maury, since most of my encounters with him involved an argument or two. I brought my BH, and when it came out that we had been together for nearly nine years without being married, my third cousin (or something to that effect) asked when we were going to get hitched. My BH yelled across the room at me, jokingly, and said, "Hey honey, when are we getting hitched?" Another third cousin (or something to that effect) stared at him wided eyed and said, "OMIGAWD, did you just propose right NOW???"

Funny. But no.

2. I saw the Watchmen last night. While it wasn't an atrocious movie, my favourite part was probably the Harry Potter preview before the film started. That, and the few scenes where beefy muscular men are featured with little or no clothing on. Because beefy muscular men are totally my thing. Who knew geeky Nite Owl II was so dang HOT under all that clothing? Holy shit.

3. I won the tofu challenge, but there is some discussion as to how much I won. I didn't win in the sense that I should get a tofu-themed parade in my honour, but I did win in the sense that I should get to watch Zoom's Video Of Defeat sometime soon. Because after her third piece of tofu, she distincly said "I like it!" and that's evidence enough of not hating tofu. Can I get an amen?!

By the way, Zoom's site also features a poll on the issue (go vote!), as well as a picture of me showing my devotion to salt and pepper tofu.

March 12, 2009



Tomorrow's funeral is going to be very strange.

I don't see this side of the family very often. In fact, the last time I saw them all was at a funeral several years ago in the same funeral home. How sad is that? But it makes sense - my parents were never cheerleaders for spending loads of time with our extended family. Frankly, there were so many of them, it would have been quite the challenge. We got to know our immediate family and those we chose to be part of our crew.

Everyone else, we saw at funerals.

Funny, because I've never actually been to a wedding on this side of the family either.

Going to India with my BH was a brain twist... There, family is everything and you know them all. Your cousin's cousin's cousin, and all their neighbours, and their neighbour's neighbours. That's how all of Mumbai seemed to know that we were married (even though we're not) because it only took one person saying it and BAM. Marriage.

I digress.

Last night, I caught a glimpse of this salad and suddenly found myself with blinders on. All I wanted was that salad. So on my way home, I went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients I needed. Somehow I managed to leave one of my grocery bags at the cash, and didn't notice until I was back in my house with my Kitchen Bitch apron on, chopping the hell out of my veggies.

I ran back to the store, which was closing in fifteen minutes, and gestured to my receipt in a panic. They had just put all my things away. I felt like a jackass, watching them run around the store trying to collect everything.

The salad was worth it, I'm happy to report. I think I might make it again tonight.

So... I'm still waiting nervously for winter to snap back at us and laugh.... What's with all this spring weather?

March 11, 2009

For Uncle Maury


My great uncle died this morning.

It would not be a stretch to say that we didn't get along. His comments when he found out I was dating a "brown man" made me growl at his name for years. He also made my sister cry several times because she figured she could win the argument of the moment, and he knew better. So it goes.

But he was also a character. He had signature crazy eyebrows that were known among family and friends alike. Starting when he was a young man, he would grow them out and curl them upwards to make himself look part diabolical and part goofy. He was a ruthless businessman and ran his company extremely well. His car was the only Jaguar I've ever sat inside. I remember running into him once at the bank when I was still in high school, and when I mentioned that I was saving up for university, he handed me a fifty, winked, and walked away.

He mellowed over the years - his racism and homophobia took a back seat year after year, and died completely when his daughter married a black woman.

I remember grinning like a Cheshire cat when I heard that news.

I will miss him because underneath it all, he was a funny, sharp-witted man who loved to make people laugh. Cheers to you, Uncle Maury. You were one of a kind.

This weekend was so busy that I didn't have time to blog - rare, but with good reason.

Friday night was the highlight by far. Megan wowed the crowd with her reading (and her smoking outfit), and the other acts were equally as fun. I saw things done with nipple tassels that I thought were urban myths! Well worth the cost of admission, although I did lose my watch, which set me back about $50. Boooo.

Saturday started off SO BADLY. I was late for the bloggers' breakfast because my car died, I dropped my cell phone in a giant puddle (IT STILL WORKS!! Probably because i did not bake it, as was recommended), and I had to clean up dog vomit. Despite being in a snarly mood when I arrived, everyone was so charming that I cheered right up. I quite like the new location for the breakfasts - the food was good, the service was good, and the room was great considering our swelling ranks.

The day got even better when I walked down to the Market and bought my BH some tulips. The gal behind the counter gave me a discount because she likes my CD. SCORE.

Saturday night was... An experience. We had to go to Barrymore's for my BH's school pub. We were deluded enough to think it would be fun. I don't think I've felt quite so out of place in a bar since that time I was dragged into On Tap against my will. There was bad boom-boom dance music, creepy short bald dudes with gold chains, and a disproportionate amount of guys with cowboy hats. Milan came too, and was kind enough not to leave immediately when the bartender gave him a beer that was half Keiths and half mystery beer because their tap ran out.


We migrated to the Aloha room and then to Shanghai, where we pressured my BH and Mark into singing karaoke. They did it, and it was awesome, especially because the DJ pronounced my BH's name correctly. This NEVER happens.

Karaoke is probably my least favourite thing to do ever, so I'm relieved I was not dragged up there too. My hatred of karaoke is something I try not to explain because I risk sounding snotty, but I will try anyway: I sing as one of my jobs, and over the years I've been hard-wired to be as professional as possible about what I do. So getting up in front of a crowd with a shitty mic and a shitty canned back track to sing a song that is in the wrong key for my voice sounds like a nightmare to me. It gives me anxiety. I like watching other people doing it, but I'd rather play a proper gig in front of thousands of people than sing karaoke in front of ten drunken onlookers.

Nevertheless, I'm going to practice a song or two in case I'm ever forced up there. Yes, I will practice, because I am hard-wired not to intentionally damage people's ears.

Sunday was dim sum with the fam. Delicious as always. Then I came home and baked like a mofo - homemade pie crust for apple cobbler, and a giant breakfast casserole.

The weekend ended with the movie Eagle vs. Shark that went a little something like this: hysterically funny, sad, sad, uncomfortable, sad, sweet. I would watch the first twenty minutes of the movie again - they were the greatest.

March 6, 2009

Busy Bee


Tonight I'll be celebrating one of my favourite stores at their anniversary party. Tomorrow morning I'll be meeting a bunch of you local folks at the Bloggers' brunch. Tomorrow night I'll be helping out my BH's school department by drinking too much at their annual pub. Sunday is dim sum with my Bubbi.

You may also be happy to know that Zoom has finally agreed to take the tofu challenge on Friday the 13th. XUP, Robin, the GC and my BH will be present to make sure everything goes according to plan (well, my plan anyway, which is the part where I win the bet*). Stay tuned!

That itinerary? It's busier than I've been all winter. S'okay though. After hibernating for the past few months, I'm happy to be out and about. And while I'm sure we're still due for a cold nap or three, I'm enjoying the spring weather while it's here.

Music is kicking once more! I've just booked a gig in April (Almonte), and another one in June (Black Sheep).

I still haven't figured out how to make Morty not run in fear when I take out my instruments though; he's still scared shitless of the banjo and guitar. Short of slathering both instruments in chopped liver (freeze dried hasn't done the trick yet) I'm at a loss about what to do.

See (some of) you tomorrow!

*What is the bet, you ask? A restaurant near me serves up one of the best tofu dishes I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot). This is the kind of dish that tofu-haters love, much to their dismay. Since Zoom identifies as a tofu-hater, I bet her that she would not hate this dish. No matter who wins, you guys benefit - we have to post a video of either ourselves or our pets doing something embarrassing or acrobatic. Hmmm... Come to think of it, Morty cleaning his (non)nuts would satisfy both those criteria.... Too bad I'm going to win.

I tend to have a very emotional reaction to good music, which includes getting shivers and shakes, welling up with tears, laughing out loud, and growling at people who interrupt my listening experience.*

Since I bought the new K'Naan album, it's been hard to reign in myself in. I like him not only because he makes great music, but also because his past is so compelling. He came to Canada as a Somalian refugee, and he sings about his life in Mogadishu, trying to get through the war and gangs to make it out to the other side. He lost so many friends and family members along the way, and his music is full of their stories. So many of the kids I grew up with were refugees from Somalia, and it's amazing to finally understand what they were coming from when they showed up in droves at my public school. All I was told is that they were escaping a war, but I didn't really understand what that meant at the time.

I also like that K'Naan criticizes 'gangsta' rappers who glorify guns and violence. He was a seven-year-old with a machine gun; he knows there's nothing glorious about it. He is a prime example of everything I love about Canadian hip hop - he's truly unique and humble, and I respect him completely for it. Now I just have to see him live.

I guess I'm telling you all this so that if you see me wandering along with my headphones on bawling my eyes out, you know I'm just listening to the new K'Naan album. It's that good.


It's been a pretty stressful week at work, and I'm very much looking forward to the weekend. There seems to be no end of fun things to do lately, and I'm starting to feel like I could handle crawling out of hibernation for a bit. The weather forecast sounds very... WET. It can't be spring already, can it? It's only March. There's no way.

Also, my rain boots don't fit.

This could get messy.

*My BH discovered this the hard way during our trip to Toronto. When I'm at our favourite CD store, I go straight to the listening booths and zone out for about an hour. It's my ritual. My BH, however, has no interest in the listening booths and kept coming over to chat while I was listening. It made me twitchy, and I had to explain later that I need silence when I am at the booths OR I GO CRAZY and start foaming at the mouth.

My BH was already asleep when I got home from work yesterday. School is taking the energy right out of him, and I didn't want to wake him up when he really needed a rest.

Since he was passed out in the front room, I went back to the kitchen to see if I could busy myself there. I can almost always busy myself in the kitchen.

First I baked up the last of my freezer stashed cookie dough. There were only a few balls left and gave me a good excuse to make more. (I will never be skinny as long as I keep cookie dough in the freezer - it is too delicious)

My fridge was a mess of thawing veggies from my freezer cleanout the day before. I had a giant bag of cooked black beans, and a smaller bag of summer peas. Then I remembered what my friend's parents used to do - when they had extra veggies and grains, they would blend them up with spices and make little burgers. Done and done.

I threw the beans and peas in the food processor and got them nice and smooth. I added tomato paste, chili sauce, cilantro, garlic, bread crumbs and seasoning. The mixture was flattened into patties and rolled in corn meal. Half of them were fried, and half were baked. I can't decide which I liked more, but I enjoyed them both thoroughly.

They needed some salsa, however, so I threw some tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lemon and green onion into the food processor. Voila.

A couple hours had passed by this point, and my BH was still snoozing away. I folded the laundry and read a book until he woke up.

I suppose the point of all this is to say that I'm noticing a trend. Lately I've been Slowing. Right. Down. I have zero desire to run around like crazy... I'd rather spend three hours in my kitchen mashing beans.

So weird. But so nice.

Speaking of taking it slow, look at this awesome lady. She could teach me a thing or two about using what you've got, no?

It's funny that my very favourite Jewish food is actually, according to Wikipedia, "various sausages of Eastern European origin made by stuffing intestine (derma) with meat, blood (often) and a grain."

Except that the version I grew up with is vegetarian, and until last night, I thought it was the real thing. My Bubbi has been making kishka (well, mock kishka) since I was a wee one and it's still my favourite Jewish comfort food. As I was copying down the recipe from her last night, I noticed the "mock" in the title and made a mental note to look up what the original dish was.

Blood sausage.

My Bubbi's version is way tastier, I promise.*

I've noticed a lot of vegetarian dishes in Jewish cooking, which I guess is party due to dietary laws, and also partly due to knowing how to make your food budget stretch. Either way, I'm thankful!

While I was ogling the kishka recipe, I copied down a recipe for sweet potato kugel and learned that kugel dishes don't always need to contain noodles. News to me! Jewish foods seem to be perfect for Canadian winters, because they use up a lot of winter veggies, so I'm collecting some favourites for the vault. According to my Bubbi, you can also make latkes with just about any vegetable, including carrots and broccoli. Another must try.

I suppose it helps that my BH adores Jewish food more than anyone I've ever met, so the more recipes the better around here...

*In fact, because everyone should enjoy this tasty dish, I'll share it with you.

Etta's Mock Kishka

1/4 cup melted margarine
12 oz. package of Ritz cracker crumbs - approximately 3 1/2 cups (Bubbi says no other crackers will do)
2 medium onions
2 carrots, peeled
1 stalk celery
salt and pepper to taste

Crush crackers in the food processor; remove and set aside.
Process veggies until minced.
Add crumbs and margarine to veggie mixture; process.
Form mixture into three rolls and wrap tightly in foil (you're basically making logs)
Bake foil logs on a cookie sheet at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes.



It seems that someone loved kishka so much that they wrote a song about it. From Wiki:

"Who Stole the Kishka?" (originally spelled "Who Stole the Keeshka?") is a traditional polka tune, composed in the 1950s by Walter Solek and recorded and played by various bands. One popular version was familiar to American radio audiences from a 1963 recording by Grammy award-winning polka artist Frankie Yankovic. A portion of the song includes three of various lyrics having to do with Polish foods, depending on who performs the song:

You can have my shinka
Take my sweet koscheeke
Take my plump perogi
You can even have my chernika
Take my long kielbasa

The verse ends with the pleading refrain "but please bring back my kishka."