Monday, December 28, 2009

Friends with benefits

So as I said yesterday I'm sick, I have a damn cold, and I'm cranky as hell. These are the days where I'm the most grateful that I work for myself. I wake up pop a few advil sinus, make myself a cup of tea and crawl back into bed with my trusty laptop. I actually had quite a productive day.
What I was most grateful for today was my friend Chod (obviously that's his nickname). He came by with a container of chicken broth, what a saint totally saved me from eating store bought veggie stock, which really has no healing effects at all. You know what they say about chicken soup - Jewish penicillin.
It was great! I Boiled some carrots and celery and an onion with a bay leaf, and 2 frozen dill cubes. Some black peppercorns and a pinch of sea salt. Once they were tender I removed the veggies, and used the water to boil a cup of Israeli cous cous. I threw everything together with the chicken broth, and voila the perfect sick kid lazy chicken soup.
God I love my friends - thanks Chod.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cold Mushy Peas - nod to Haley M.

I'm sick in bed right now, so i'll try and keep it short. At brunch the other day there was a great side dish. Organic minty peas, served cold, with fresh crusty baguette. It was delicious, fresh and could easily be used instead of bruschetta or pesto on anything. 

Defrost peas in cold water, drain and then pat dry. You can either put everything in a food pro, or mini chop, or use a hand held emerson blender. Just watch out for the consistency depending on what your using this recipe for -less blended would be better for a rustic bread topper, or if you wanted to make more of a sauce puree the hell out of it. If serving on it's own garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh mint sprig and cracked pepper.
Ingredients: I never measure - just try everything out, and taste start off with a small amount and add more.
  • Frozen organic green peas
  • garlic
  • mint
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil 
  • splash of lemon juice or lime
  • Enjoy
PHOTO: Found

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Ho ho ho - Making your christmas organic.

    Feliz Navidad and a Merry Christmas to all.

    Spending the day with friends. Lunch at Haley and Pablos, and then off to a movie with Lance.
    Romantic dinner with the man tonight - making panko crusted snitzel  and butternut squash puree with sauteed rainbow chard. Not exactly christmas dinner, but dinner on christmas none the less.  Contemplating red wine poached pears for dessert, I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Organics Delivered

    So as I mentioned earlier I started this venture off with the delivery of my first basket of organic produce. The company who provided this service is called Organics Delivered. A small start up with very basic promotional material. I thought they were just going fro the granola appeal, but now I seem to thin their lack of experience, and knowledge go straight across the board. 

The promise was made that the contents of my 15$ deposited rubbermaid box would contain 100% organic produce, the best of season, local or geographically close, and much fresher then the grocery store. I was hooked. My grocery store "Fiesta Farms" is insanely fresh, with lots of local grower options, so I had to see if these guys could really do any better. The promise of better quality was a great incentive, but I was pretty much testing fate - utter disappointment. Although I was quite excited to have the stuff delivered to my house. Its -15 outside and I had just returned from a three-week vacation in Cabo and Florida. 

 The deal - I signed up for a two week trial which included the option of an on off week arrangement where I would get a delivery, and the following week I would get none, but two weeks later the second delivery would come. Each box was 48$ and there would be a 15$ retainer fee for the delivery box which would be reimburse if you no longer wanted to continue with the service. Didn't sound so bad - so I went for it. Filled out my registration online, and within 15 minutes someone had called me to confirm my order. I was impressed; I love things done in a timely manner. 

There was a very sweet woman on the other end of the line, and she said it would be no problem to swap out the potatoes for sweet yams. She told me the delivery would come the next day, and we arranged for the drop off to happen between 4-6, as I had to leave after six. She requested that I tape a check fro 111.00 to my door the next day at noon, and a driver would come by to pick it up, and drop off my welcome letter. Sounds good to me. 

The following day I taped up my check, and sure enough just afternoon I went to go check, the check was gone and there was a welcome letter waiting for me in the mailbox. Sweet- on time again, and can't wait for my produce. 

At 5:00 I decided to watch Dr. Oz - I'm obsessed, he's so handsome and I love learning heath things to make me even more of a hypochondriac. Just kidding I just like to learn the tip and tricks he has for his doctor’s orders. Well the show came to an end, and I checked outside, and my box was still nowhere to be found. I had to leave, and I was starting to get upset. 

I called them from my car, stating that my delivery was supposed to be there already, and that I had to leave. The woman on the other end assured me that the driver would call me back, and a was put at ease when he did about seven minutes later. He apologized profusely and said he would leave the box on my porch, and promised that it was done like that all the time, and they've never had any stolen boxes. OK- I said but was a bit skeptical as I do live in a pretty sketchy neighborhood. 

Yay - it was 9:30 and my box was there, I couldn't wait to tear into it and see all of my beautiful produce. I opened this sealed Rubbermaid box and was immediately irked. 


    The contents:
    5 big dirty carrots - Location unknown
    bag of celery - USA
    4 apples - Canada (not even Ontario)
    butternut squash - Mexico

    3 unripened mangoes - Equador
    tiny gathering of kale - USA
    4 pieces of rainbow chard - California
    6 pears - Location unknown
    5 satsuma tangerienes - California
    3 oranges - Probably from Florida
    2 large grapefruits - USA
    giant head of cabbage - Location unknown
    small head of lettuce- Location unknown

    I'm sure from reading the list you know exactly how I feel. Not one of these products are local. Ok so there are a few unknowns but judjing from the rest of the list I think it pretty safe to say. This is a crock!

I was also disapointed to see all these veggies floating around the box, no bags. Nothing. I couldn't believe this mishmash of produce. It also came in quantities that I would never buy in. Who the hell eats cabbage, we aren't living in Poland in the 40's, and the damn butternut squash from Mexico. I just spent two weeks in Mexico, and I never saw any squash in the grocery store there, nor did I ever see any on the menu. This was a box of calamity. Where are my damn yams 

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    The List

    This list will be updated as I go.
    Right now I have yet to finish my review of "Organics Delivered"
    The following will also be reviewed.
    Dufferine Grove Farmers Market
    Apple Tree Market
    Front Door Organics Inc.
    Food Share - Good food box
    Wanigan fruits and vegetables
    Organics on Bloor
    If you know of any great LOCAL ORGANIC grocery stores, delivery services or farms please let me know.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    The Food Critique

    Since watching Food Inc. three weeks ago, I've started to think more about my responsibilities to food. Yes I love food, and enjoy eating it and making it and discussing it (at nauseam) with almost all of my friends, but now I've started to think about my habits of consumption.

    For the last few years I've had on and off stomach problems. I'm sure I must have some food allergies, like lactose, or gluten or any of those delicious deadly delights. However since I love food so much, and would rather spend the 300.00 on going to an expensive five course taster rather then getting a celiac test, I allow myself to be tortured.  I makes excuses and bear though the pain, and discomfort of gas and diarrhea and go through phases of detoxifying my system of yeast, and sugar, and everything I love and should probably avoid if not just for the shear size of my Jewish Jamaican ass. Yes Jewish and Jamaican - can you imagine! In having these stomach problems I came to the conclusion that something must be making me sick, something unnatural something in the food I was eating. I decided to take a break from anything and everything that came packaged. A full on detox of manufactured foods - I'll come back to this story  later.

    So I've watched this horrific documentary, and obviously I'm appalled. Not just by the mass productions of corn, and  its by products, but even more so I'm so completely disturbed to see the abhorrent conditions by which the animals we consume are slaughtered by.  

    I'm not a fool, by any means. I know that animals are bread for killing and consuming, but listening to one families horror story about loosing their 3 year old boy because of icoli in a hamburger, or watching the chicken farmers decline an interview or tour of their farms. The light didn't just go off, the light is a high powered florescent laser beaming directly into my cornea, it can be ignored, or denied.

    I'm trying to shorten all of these stories, and just get to the point, so here it is. In the next few weeks I'll be discussing, and critiquing (my favorite past time other then eating) the local organic delivery services and grocery stores in Toronto. This decision came to me about 57 minutes ago. I arrived home after receiving my first "Organics Delivered" trail box and felt immediately  deceived.  My produce was organic, but it was not local, one of the very important keys to being consumptionally conscious.

    This rant has just begun - I will continue my yammering once I've tried the yams, oh wait they forgot to put them in the basket. I guess they weren't in season (it's December in Ontario) ?