cat fridge

Sweet Fridge Full of Food

fridge with cat

Our idea of shopping doesn’t involve clothing. We spend our money on food.

In this house, we love food. You might say that food is our religion.

The cats feel the same way. Hence the furry huntress up there, curious ears twisted back, framed by the crisper drawers.

We switched to organic food five years ago. Whenever I get into a conversation with someone about my beautiful groceries, they complain about how expensive the good stuff is. Yet they’re wearing the latest trends, drinking their expensive coffee drinks…need I say more?

Food is medicine. It’s the most important thing we put into our bodies. Truly good food will pay for itself, while a shit diet will cost you.

I never understood what food was, how it was made, and where it came from. I lived in the burbs, without a farm in sight.

I grew up with my dad in sunny Southern California—middle class, I suppose. Dad did the best he could with me, in between the full-time job and need for sleep. Sometimes he cooked one of his go-to meals: tuna casserole, spaghetti, chicken and rice, and the occasional luxury…pork chops.

Back then frozen dinners were a thing, so I had a lot of those too. I still remember the Salisbury steak one with the mashed potatoes and gravy—it makes me shudder. Then there was the fast food (eww, I know). I lived for McDonald’s chicken McNuggets with barbecue sauce, and never cared about the toy in my happy meal.

I was always happy to be eating, even though none of it was actual food.

Mr. H on the other hand, grew up in Waterford, Wisconsin. Farmland. He understood what food was, how it was made, and where it came from. He had a big family, and not a lot to go around—so food was a precious commodity.

That never left him.

When we first met each other, we saw eye to eye on so many things, even though we came from completely different places. One of those things was food.

We spent our paychecks on restaurants, but realizing we didn’t make enough to eat out all the time, Mr. H learned to cook. Over the years, he crafted his skills to become one of the best chefs I know. And I’m lucky, because I get him all to myself.

Those of you who follow me on social are forced to see drool-worthy pictures like this occasionally…

homemade pizza

Besides making all of you jealous, what I wanted to share is how I often feel when I look at my fridge.

Whenever life confuses me, when I’ve convinced myself that I want more than I need, I look at my fridge right when I get home from the grocery store. It soothes me. I know that I have more than enough, just by looking at my full fridge.

Mr. H and I get funny when our fridge is empty, toward the end of the week when we’re zapped from working our tails off. We try to make do, grabbing things here and there, but something’s off. If we aren’t surrounded by food, the thing we love so much, we just don’t feel like ourselves.

I’ve been crazy busy at work and with writing—helping grow the marketing agency I work for, while holding down this blog and slaving away on the second draft of my novel.

Somewhere in there, I’m doing my best to live. I started trail running again a little over a month ago, I’ve been amping up my Yoga and meditation practice, and bringing dance back into my routine. And then there are movies and books, good conversations with good people at our neighborhood bars, petting my cats’ bellies and playing laser mouse—and hugging Mr. H tightly whenever I can…because I don’t get to see him enough.

So when I was looking at the fridge the other day, I realized just how damn lucky I was—to have this life and to be fed.

I won’t preach to you all, because it’s not my style. But with the holidays upon us, it’s a good time to realize how immaculate the simple things can be.

For me, that’s seeing a full fridge. For you, that might be something very different.

I know that others in the world don’t have it this good, which is why I try to stop and appreciate. And you bet your asses I’ll be rockin’ the lunch lady look again next month when I volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank with my coworkers.

Because though I have a sweet fridge full of food, there are many who wish they had one.

oregon food bank

Le Food, Le Drool

Ah, food. How you sooth me, energize me, and whisk my troubles away. How you bring me joy, fulfill me, and…

Oh, hello there! Sorry, I just went into a food love coma for a moment, but I’m back.

So, last week I chatted about our invasion of Montreal. Today, let’s talk food!!!

It’s no secret around the cyber world (this blog, my other blog, FB, Twitter) that I worship food.

So much that my idea of a shopping spree is going to our local Co-Op and spending without remorse. So much that purchasing our very first food processor a couple of weeks ago has made me insanely happy. So much that we even named said food processor “Bruce Lee”. He likes to chop shit up and he does it like a boss.

Anywho, one of the main reasons we gallavanted up to Montreal was for the food scene. There’s a lot of hype, saying it’s one of the food capitals of the world.

Was it the food orgy we were seeking? Um, let’s just say we’ve had better.

But, let’s also say that there was no possible way for us to eat at ALL of the restaurants there. I’ve never seen so many spunky cafes crammed together in my life. Also, we like to travel on a budget so we usually rock the apartment rental and cook a lot of our own food.

(A quick warning to budget traveling foodies…prepare yourself for the ultimate food tax at restaurants AND grocery stores in Montreal. You’ll be taxed twice and it will hurt your feelings when it happens.)

Anywho, since I just so happen to be married to the best chef in the world, there were many cozy nights spent on the terrace like this…

le plateau montreal
Our Stupendous Terrace in Le Plateau

One of the things we’ve learned over the years from the great Anthony Bourdain…when you first arrive somewhere, get your happy butt to the market. You will instantly connect with the people, culture, and pulse of your unfamiliar surroundings.

On our first morning, we took the Metro straight to the market. The Jean-Talon Market, mecca of grub.

jean talon market mushrooms
Mr. H Cruising the Shrooms
jean talon market herbs
Herb Haggling
Me and a Little, Old Lady
Me and a Little, Old Lady
Bell Pepper Parade
Bell Pepper Parade

The French do three things brilliantly: cheese, chocolate, and bread. In other words, throw your healthy morals out the freaking window, ditch the skinny jeans, and indulge your ass off.

We received this cheese recommendation from a young fellow at the Jean-Talon Market, which was used in the terrace pasta above. It was creamy perfection and we ate it every day.

quebec cheese
The Cheese Wrapper (sorry, we ate the actual cheese)

We explored chocolate in many glorious forms…

jean talon market creperie marche
Slingin’ Crepes at Jean Talon Market
jean talon market crepe
Salted Caramel, Butter, and Chocolate Crepe at Jean-Talon Market
Juliette et Chocolat brownie and latte
Bananatella Brownie (Banana and Nutella) at Juliette et Chocolate in the Latin Quarter

There was a bar of chocolate called Caramel Crack from a chocolatier in the Plateau that was to die for. It was my kind of crack! (Sorry, no pic. We ate that puppy on the long road back home to Milwaukee.)

Lastly, we dipped a fresh baguette in a yummy tomato broth Mr. H fashioned to go with our mussels.

jean talon market seafood
Jean Talon Fish Market

Mussels are everywhere in Montreal. To save some bucks, we recommend fetching your own at the Jean-Talon fish market and enjoying them at your leisure.

In the end, Montreal is a fun romp for foodies who like the richness of French cuisine. Know that you’ll pay out the ass for food taxes, the chocolate anywhere will knock your damn socks off, and you’ll probably need to detox when you get home.

My First Food Anomaly

Ah, the curious subject of food anomalies. People claim to see celebrities in their toast, animals in their crackers (pun intended), and UFO’s in their oatmeal. There’s even a Museum of Food Anomalies dedicated to this edible hoopla. Who knew?!

To this day I still childishly identify cloud shapes and have been patiently awaiting my very own food miracle. Well folks, here it is.

The hubby made salmon and sweet potato and carrot mash, one of my favorite meals. I was beside myself when I peered down at my plate.

I exclaimed, “My salmon looks like Africa!”

I took a picture, because who knows if something this monumental will every happen again. It had to be documented.

Then, the nerdy geography enthusiast side of me struck up an internal debate over whether or not the salmon looked more like Africa or South America. After carefully comparing the image with my world map, I’m leaning towards South America.

I think you guys should decide in this poll. And, please feel free to share any of your oddball food sightings in the comment section. You know it’s fun!