090325 I always buy too much
1 So yesterday after visiting the doctor, I walked along Bloor St and got some vegetables. I didn't think I bought so many. Well, I've only used up a third of what I picked up.
2 Today I had the food I made yesterday. An odd mixture of fresh tomato, carrot and mushroom with leftovers of ham steak, peas and kasha. I guess it only sounds odd. It was amazing good, and comforting in the same warm way mashed potatoes are. I want to eat more, but for now I'm full.
3 I crave meat. Fried or barbecued meat. I suppose I can fry something up now, since it's just midnight. It won't interfere with the dentists upstairs. But I feel like I'm doing my body a better service when I slow cook meat in a salted clear broth. I've been making ribs. While it doesn't give me steak or roast satisfaction, I get lots of 'meat ripped of the little bones' happiness.
4 I don't buy expensive ribs at all. My most recent find is called "Button Bones." I had to ask Syndi (daughter) from what part of the pork they come. She didn't know! On a subsequent visit, I twisted her arm, and prepared some (well, she said she didn't feel like anything). She sampled them, and wouldn't return any. And, oh yes, the analysis she made: they're from the back. They only look like ribs. The bones aren't really like buttons. They're very flat and thin. The meat content is high, much higher than for genuine ribs. The ones they like to sell for 11.00/kg ($5/lb) have less meat and more fat. But they might be well suited for the special way people make ribs. I poach mine slowly, and then once they're fully tender and have the right salty taste inside them, they may be roasted, baked or broiled with the sauce. I do this for friends and family, but for myself, I usually stop at the first step, fishing them out of the soup.
5 I live in a very multiculural area. North York, Ontario. Close to me is where many Koreans shop and live. If I go a bit further north, say north of Finch Ave, it becomes the Persian area (where the Iranians, the Iraqi, the Turkish and Afghani live). If I proceed west to Bathurst St, where I work, the area becomes Jewish, Russian and Filipino. I could carry on describing the local neighbourhoods, but I'm simply suggesting that I can get ethnic things easily.
6 Inexpensive pork is such an ethnic thing. The same store will have inexpensive fresh vegetables too. Loblaws and Metro (formerly Dominion) are the big supermarkets here, and while they have specials, nothing can really compare to the always low pricing of an Asian Supermarket.
7 Sometimes they're big and beautiful, like T&T. This particular store has so very many staff. Ready to eat fast food takes so many forms here. They make many Chinese baked goods. For those of you who have never heard of these things, Chinese cakes often have fresh cream icing, and lots of fresh fruit. They sell the most beautiful sushi products. They have a section with fried food, such as fish, squid, eggplant and chicken wings. And plenty more. T&T isn't the cheapest place to buy pork, but if you've never been inside an Asian Supermarket, it should be your first stop.
8 Sometimes these places are small and untidy. On Sheppard Ave East at Warden is the Food Depot. This place is like a lot of other places: has a fish smell when you go inside, little or no in-house fast food, little concern for the shape of the floor. The big plus of course is how low their prices are. I remember getting amazing beautiful pork loin roasts for 79c/lb. I was experimenting during that shopping trip, so I bought all manner of bones with meat on them. They had 39c/lb bones, 19c/lb bones; pork; beef; chicken. The cheaper products had far more bone, but when simmered made very nice hi-gel stock. And the meat itself was sometimes so pretty. They had boneless lean pork. Just solid hunks of meat. For the way I cook, I can admire such meat, but prefer both bone and fat on it when I'm cooking.
9 While this may seem out of place, I'd like to comment on the "B" supermarkets we have in town. They are run by the same companies who run the "A" stores. Loblaws is an "A", and No Frills is their "B" store. Metro is an "A", and Food Basics is their "B" store. These stores have similar products, but their prices are much lower in the "B". There is a new No Frills close to me at Yonge St and Steeles Ave, in the Centrepoint Mall. This particular No Frills tries to appeal to caucasian, oriental and former soviet. Their prices are lower than other No Frills. That's a bold statement, I know.
10 I've seen so many kinds of ribs for sale at this No Frills store. I stare at the meat for ages, wanting, wishing to bring them home. But I have so much at home already, it's insanity to buy anything more. I have to resist. I don't have storage space in either fridge, nor the chest freezer.
11 So here I am simmering some button bones. I hope they're ready for 4am. That's late for eating for most of you, but I'm usually up then, and ready for something substancial!
12 I can't tell you too much about work. It was a good day. Not too many people, and the ones we had were kind enough. It rained, so we weren't overwhelmed with traffic. I got home early.
13 I'm still thinking about going to NEFFA. I'm cutting it close to the bone. The dates are still available for me to take off work, but I don't have firm accomodation! I'm now connected to couchsurf.com and these guys are so serious about this whole "see the world" thing. Serious is good-- I don't want to get to the end of the rainbow and find nobody there for me to stay with. It may be late planning though. We'll see. I'd like to attend, and would love to see Massachusetts again. I'm not dancing as much as I once used to, and could really hurt myself by dancing nonstop for three days and nights. If I miss it this year, I will go next year for certain. I'm also thinking of attending the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs in February 2010.
14 I think I'll take a current picture of my head right now, and let you see how I look as of today, with my new haircut.
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