Tag Archives: soup

Fall Soups: Squash, Rice and Chicken

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Kabocha squash. Scoop out the seeds and roast them like pumpkin seeds. Creative Commons: Namayamsai LLP

When it comes to fall, I always make up a bunch of soups and freeze them. They’re good on a rainy or cold day, or when I’m tired and haven’t left time to make a lunch in the mornings. I have a great recipe book called The New Soup Bible by Anne Sheasby. There are several editions so the soups tend to be different in each one. They are also British and will list items like courgettes and aubergines (zucchini and eggplant to us North Americans) but measurements are in imperial and metric. Nutrition values are also given, which is helpful when I’m trying to watch my intake.

A couple of weeks ago I ended up making chicken stock because we’d had a Thanksgiving lunch at work. I can’t see a good chicken carcass go to waste and always make stock anytime I have one at home. So I hauled these babies home. I also keep cuttings from onions, celery and carrots to make veggie stock so I added these all in, with a bay leaf and some salt and pepper. I ended up with a lot of stock and a good selection of meat. So I had to make some soups. I’ve made succotash soup, and besides the cartoon Sylvester saying, “Thufferin’ thuccotash,” I actually had  no idea what it was.

Succotash soup is southern American (though it was first Native American) and the essential ingredients are corn and lima beans. The recipe I made is thickened with flour and comes out a light creamy yellow. So hearty is this soup that a serving is 500 calories though I saved mine into smaller containers. I didn’t take pictures of this but I have about four soups to make as  room appears in my freezer. I also made Chicken Coconut soup, with coconut milk, green curry and full on yumminess. I put a touch too much lemon grass in but otherwise, it’s super delicious.

Next I took a recipe for pumpkin, rice and chicken soup. The recipe calls for the following:

  • 3-4 c. chicken stock

    squash soup, fall soups, kabocha

    Stirring kobocha and leeks.

  • 1 wedge of pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter (I used olive oil for the oil and butter)
  • 2 leeks chopped
  • 5 green cardamon pods (I used black pods)
  • 1/2 c. basmati rice
  • 1.5 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • pared orange rind to garnish (I didn’t have oranges so skipped this)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I also added a bit of marjoram)

I wasn’t sure how much a wedge of pumpkin is since pumpkin comes in all sizes. I also didn’t feel like being stuck with a lot of pumpkin so I used a kabocha (Japanese) squash, partly because a friend had brought some to a Thanksgiving dinner and it was tasty. In fact, I ate one quarter of the squash one night with cilantro, lime and olive oil. You can also roast the seeds. I also ate the thin green skin. I’m a proponent of eating skins if they are edible because there are many nutrients that are lost when yams or potatoes (for example) are peeled. These squat green gourds are slightly sweet and more yellowy-orange.

The recipe calls for cutting the pumpkin into cubes and slicing the leeks, then sauteeing in olive oil in a pan. (They called for sunflower oil but I used what I have.) I had pre-cooked the squash in the oven with a bit of olive oil so I cut it up and added it in, with the skin, realizing when I pureed it that it was going to possibly be spotty and not that orange. I also could not find green cardamon pods so I bought black pods. I believe that, unlike the green ones, these are roasted. They had a smokey smell but I tossed them in. Once everything is tender, you add in half the stock and stir.

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The finished soup, with rice, chicken and squash.

Before pureeing you remove the pods. I forgot and a small one got ground up. I just have a wee Magic Bullet so I had to do batches and the squash/leek paste was so thick I had to add some of the milk at that stage. While this is all cooking, I put the rice on. Again I didn’t have basmati rice but brown and red rice mixed together. Rice is rice for this soup.

I poured the puree back into the pot, added the rest of the chicken stock and chicken, and the milk. This soup was pea-soup thick so I increased the milk to 2 cups. I added the rice but decided that it was still too thick so I added several cups of water. You could make this as thick or thin as you wanted.

The appearance is a little more green and there are slight flecks of green from the skins. The taste is slightly smoky and not like green cardamon at all but I think it works well and is balance by the slight sweetness of the kabocha and the savory leeks. A successful and very tasty soup. Instead of 4 servings, I end up with 8. Nutrition breakdown for 8 servings is: 158 calories, 5.4 gm fats, 15 gm carbohydrates, 12.3 gm protein, 36 mg cholesterol.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 73-76


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If only I could make these for my Zombie Salon. Creative Commons: xsomnis, flickr BrettMorrison gallery

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 73 (Mar. 13):

Originally I predicted I could make it till March on the food in my place without buying any, and I have. I’ll make it to the ides of March but will I make it beyond? Anyone want to place a bet on which day I’ll capsize? I said I’d stop when there was nothing but condiments and alcohol, but I am becoming heartily sick of this diet. I miss my veggies. While there are a few veggies and frozen fruits left, I can continue but I won’t last long when they’re gone, not too mention the nutritive balance will be out the window. Right now I’ve at least been getting proteins, carbs and veggies though the portions have changed.

Breakfast was! Yes, molasses banana bread. That sucker keeps going but there is only one more slice left. And lunch was Apocalypse Pottage. Dinner was a simple fair of the last of my hearty pea soup.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 74 (Mar. 14):

I missed breakfast this morning and I’m thinking about zombies, not for food yet. Seriously, if I don’t like red meat and am averse to eating humans, zombies will be very far down on the list. I’d be chomping on every bush in the vicinity first. But how else could I deter the rage infested, virus-filled hyper-diseased zombie? Well obviously, do a better job of boarding up the place. If I’m going to hammer up boards I’m not nailing those boards on straight but driving the nails in at an angle so they can’t be pushed out. Better yet, use screws. If it’s the press of numbers there’s not a lot I can do. I’d also head for the country, where there are fewer zombies. I’d get the biggest mofo truck I could manage with a winch and a huge grill so I could ram anything out of the way. A flamethrower would certainly be helpful for fricassee zombie, and of course the spiky, all encompassing clothing. No going out without a crash helmet and hazmat suit. Let’s see a movie that actually has people acting intelligently in it.

And speaking of zombies, the creeping crud is attacking me. A cold sore has started and anyone who has ever had one knows you start to look like a zombie when your skin bubbles and blisters. So I had my pseudo clam chowder for lunch. Someone gave me a big bran muffin and I was only going to eat half but it was so tasty I ate it all. But not feeling very hungry, for dinner I had a bowl of good ole Lipton’s chicken noodle soup, which I found in the cupboard. There’s enough salt in that thing to keep a pasture of cows happy but the noodly goodness is an old comfort food.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 75 (Mar. 15):

Today, the ides of March, it felt like zombies had been clawing their way out of my throat. I had a doctor’s appointment in the

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Supposedly flaming zombies isn't a good thing but I'd like to believe they wouldn't see through the flames, nor smell anything but flaming zombie. From: jadedviewer.blogspot.com

morning so I got up for that but then came straight home. My mother used to give us hot water with brandy, lemon and honey when we had colds. Of course there was little brandy but my scratchy throat determined that I would have a giant mug with hot water, a liberal dollop of brandy, a squeeze of slightly dessicated lemon, and maple syrup,  since I have no lemon. I drank that and then went back to sleep.

While I was hungry when I awoke I was also feeling slightly queasy. I ate half a bowl of the roasted garlic and potato soup, which severely upset my stomach. The weird thing is that I can do raw or fried garlic but if it’s roasted it gives me terrible gas. I have two more containers in the freezer but the reaction was severe enough I’m seeing if my neighbors would like it. Which means, the larder will empty even sooner. I’ve been looking forward to using the panang curry with some canned crab but that’s a bit too spicy for a sore throat. I ate the last piece of molasses banana bread, and had another cup of the hot brandy toddy but a skin had formed in the maple syrup and fell into my cup. That slimy thick, snotty texture was truly disgusting and I had to fish it out. Blargh!

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 76 (Mar. 16):

The creeping crud and I are in a headlock. I’m not sure who’s winning. I’m feeling rather hungry having had nothing but soup for the last couple of days. I have some Ryvita crackers, rather tasteless, but I munched one down for breakfast. Lunch was the last of the Apocalypse Pottage made with beets, tomatoes, barley and tuna. Tonight I’ll probably do up some rice noodles and a bit of fish sauce, tuna and garlic, and maybe red cabbage.

Keeping with the zombie theme, I’m having a Zombie Salon, because I want peoples’ brains. Which means, I’ll have a few people over to actually discuss topics other than sports and the weather. Since I have lots of vodka I’ve offered up martinis. Not sure if I can do a zombie themed martini though. I’ll report on that in the next update.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 61-66

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Zombie food pyramid for a well-balanced diet. Creative Commons: http://www.geekstir.com

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 61 (Mar. 01):

I’m entering month three of the Apocalypse Diet. The fridge drawers are nearly empty, the freezer is mostly stocked; carbs, proteins and veggies are all running low. I think I’ve now entered the creative stage. Be prepared for bizarre pairings (mussels and beets, anyone?).

Breakfast was a brownie and lunch was my spicy vegetable peanut soup, one of my freezer stores.

I wasn’t that hungry for dinner, weirdly, so it was a small handful of almost nonexistent crackers and a bowl of quinoa with the thawed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) that I found in the freezer, and a drop of almond extract. Oh and yes, the last brownie.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 62 (Mar. 02):

Well, I have found out I’m anemic, which has nothing to do with the diet. I’ve tended toward anemia all my life but it’s actually been a few years since the last bout. I’m on supplements now to bring up my iron intake since drinking the blood of my victims is just too gross, and zombie blood is putrid. Some of the things that have iron are molasses, broccoli, sesame seeds, certain seeds…and I’m going to have to look it up but as we know, my cupboard is getting rather bare. I have lots of sesame seeds and molasses though.

Breakfast was the last of the almond butter, nearly the last rice cake, and a sprinkle of the last chocolate chips. Lunch was avgolemono soup. I had the last handful of fresh hazelnuts in the shell, plus a few crackers and calamata olives. A friend came over later with a pizza so that was the real dinner, along with the last of the lemonade and vodka added, though it was a rather meh drink.

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Molasses Banana Bread, dark and tasty

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 63 (Mar. 03):

Lunch, the leftover pizza of course. And now for the great banana bread with molasses experiment. I didn’t have any sugar except for cubes and while I could have tried maple syrup I have a lot of molasses sitting in my fridge, which has been there since dinosaurs roamed. I managed to use up one container but still have a second. I like my banana breads as bread, not cake, so I looked for the lowest sugar recipe (2/3 cups) and substituted the same amount in molasses. They say to add 1 cup of molasses for every 3/4 cups of sugar but I left it the same. Recipes also state not to substitute more than half of the sugar, but I did it all, under duress from the zombies banging against the walls. I thought this was due to how the bread would rise. I also like my banana bread nutty but the only nuts I have left are hazelnuts so I chopped up about 3/4 cup of those.

I added extra baking soda as required. I now have little shortening or flour left but there are all those wee jars with different types so the next baking experiment will involve them. I waited for the bread to bake and it rose perfectly, When I pulled it out of the oven I cut off the heel while warm and put margarine on. It was good! The substitute of half the sugar is about the taste but if you like molasses cookies you’ll like this bread. It’s strongly flavored but still light and very tasty. I actually had two pieces and I’m now full. Molasses is also high in iron so this will help with my anemia.

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Shrimp, carrots, onions, garlic and some dried basil on quinoa. Holy hot and tasty.

I found a packet of holy basil seasoning paste, and one of panang curry mix. The second calls for coconut milk so I put it back, but I mixed the seasoning with the last of the prawns, onion, carrot and garlic, chopped up the parsley, and ate it on quinoa. How’s that for a mashup?

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 64 (Mar. 04):

Roasted garlic and potato soup, plus two slices of molasses banana bread. Supper was the leftover shrimp and basil seasoning dish with quinoa. And then popcorn with margarine and engevita yeast, popped in a pot on the stove.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 65 (Mar. 05):

Breakfast was a good sized slice of molasses banana bread with margarine. Lunch was chicken barley bean soup, and a slice of chocolate cake for someone’s birthday. After working out I was really hungry so I had penne pasta with sundried tomatoes, garlic and a mix of mussels and clams. There were a few squid bits in there but because they were frozen I didn’t fry them properly and they were like an old boot. I chopped up the rest of the parsley and added that with some parmesan cheese, and ate the whole thing.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 66 (Mar. 06):

It seems that Noah could easily have kept enough food for 40 days and nights if I’m still going on Day 66. Breakfast was the banana bread again and almost clam chowder but after last night, I had to vary it. I had the spicy vegetable peanut soup. Tonight, well I think it’s time to have the last of the Brussels sprouts, with garlic and oil and parmesan, and a side of rice.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.


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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 53-58

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Here is the freezer in my fridge. Big bag in front is just ice.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 53 (Feb. 22):

While I’m pondering my emptying fridge (but not yet empty) and cupboard full of alcohol, I must also ponder the state of zombies. If you’ve watched Walking Dead these zombies aren’t completely stupid, but more like animals. They don’t seem to see well or distinguish flesh from rotting flesh but they seem to smell exceedingly well. They’re hearing is pretty good too but they are rather listless when not voraciously feeding. So, I’m guessing the creators used pack animal mentality and a certain mindlessness to create their walking dead. The zombies’ strength is in the pack. And these zombies aren’t choosey; juicy guts, crunchy tendons or meaty brains are all equally yummy to them. Nom nom nom.

Lunch was again the chicken, turnip, beets and rice. I had a meeting in the evening and didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand. My stomach was growling so loudly I thought everyone heard it. So , around 10:30 pm when everyone had left, I had some of my pre-frozen veggie chili, replete with nuts and seeds on rice.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 54 (Feb. 23):

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Not a zombie brain: I save my veggie scraps and will make vegetable stock out of these frozen bits.

The last of the uber cookies met my gullet today. What a nice reprieve that was. Guess what lunch was? The chicken, with rice, beets and turnips. There is a bit of chicken left but I think it will be going into soup stock now, a weekend project. Went for a couple of drinks with the worker bees, ate a few edamame, then got home at 8. I took a flour pesto tortilla, with sundried tomatoes and sprinkles of parmesan (it’s a container so it’s been lasting) and had that for dinner. The oil really oozed out of that thing. Then I dropped by my neighbor’s to get some DVDs and had two glasses of wine.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 55 (Feb. 24):

In honor of Mardi Gras, and because I found one last container in the freezer, I had homemade gumbo with rice. That stuff is soooo good! I could eat it all the time but I’d be 300 lbs. I made the roux, which takes a while. Other ingredients are tomatoes, shrimp, green beans, carrots, okra, turkey sausage and jalapeno peppers. Because of its high fat content it should keep me going until later in the evening.

As it turned out, I got pretty hungry by evening. The last flour tortilla was used. I fried up some of the chicken bits with sundried tomatoes, garlic and onion. I’m beginning to think garlic will be the last vegetable in my fridge.

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The fridge. That jar on the far right, second shelf--it's sauerkraut and will probably be the last thing I eat before I call off the diet.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 56 (Feb. 25):

Saturday: I had one of the last rice cakes with almond butter and chocolate chips sprinkled on top for brunch. Late lunch was avgolemono soup. I was out early in the evening so we went for a late dinner (11 pm) and I had a mild, banal chicken curry on rice, with enough left over for leftovers.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 57 (Feb. 26):

Lunch today was the leftover curry. Then I ate some crackers. For some reason it was a big hunger day, and I wasn’t doing much. I did watch 28 Weeks Later the second in the zombie movies after 28 Days Later where they’re now repopulating Britain but…yes, things go awry. Interesting twist and this virus transmits instantaneously with nasty blood vomiting to complete to gore factor. It wasn’t bad but the first one was better.

I had a snack in the afternoon (there is almost no chocolate left) that consisted of sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and banana chips which remind me of softened toenails. Zombie food? Dinner was pasta with sundried tomatoes, onions and garlic. Noticing a theme here? Yes, almost out of all veggies. However, I still have eggs and found a brownie mix in the cupboard. I chopped some hazelnuts and threw them in with a handful of cranberries. I really shouldn’t have added the last. I don’t like dessicated fruit corpses. I like them fresh, with their brainzzzz. But hey, it was chocolate. I can live through the moistened cranberries.

But I did make up chicken stock from last week’s chicken, found barley and kidney beans, used the last of the limp and starting to rot celery, along with one carrot, four cloves of garlic, and two slices of onion. That went into the stock pot and the soup turn out hearty and pretty good. I’ll be freezing up some of that.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 58 (Feb. 27):

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Veggie drawer. Those browny green things are softening limes. Brussels sprouts, parsley and garlic, oh my.

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One of my veggie drawers. I've been ignoring the apples and cabbage which will be juiced in the next while.

The zombies still haven’t got me though a friend sent a cartoon of the four ways to become a zombie: radiation, virus, infection and college. I can attest to the last. I’ve seen the zombies on the SkyTrain and trudging along the streets. They’re too mindless to even attack when they’re in exam mode.

Breakfast was a bowl of my chicken barley bean soup. It turned out pretty good. Lunch was Filipino birthday noodles at work. They make long noodles for a long life. Supper, some of the leftover veggie chili.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.


Filed under Culture, entertainment, food, movies

Diary of a Taxation Dieter

Without much ado, I present to you the kernel from whence came the Apocalypse Diet. From 2002.

dieting, poverty, poor eating, food, culture, budget foods, food

Poverty means crimping corners on food. Creative Commons: psd Flickr

Forced into circumstances beyond her control, mild-mannered copy editor, Colleen Anderson seeks a new way to survive and pay the dreaded ubiquitous tax man. Yep, that’s me, though not so mild-mannered. The working poor, freelancer who’s just gone through the depression diet, good for a few pounds. But now, having lost money for the first time in my freelance business of copy editing, having paid tax on the proportion where I worked proofing exciting car ads, having earned $10,000 less than the year before, statistically putting me in the range of poverty level income, I find that I owe $1000 in taxes.

I’d borrow from my brother but I just did that to buy a car as mine was failing badly. I’d get a loan but I don’t make enough per month to pay on the loan. I’d cut back on all those frivolities but I already have. All I can do is cut back on the necessities. I still have to pay rent, hydro, phone, car insurance, RRSP loan, creditline payment and gas. I still have to buy toilet paper and feed the cat. My brother’s going to have to wait for repayment. It looks like I will cut back on food.

After all, I wanted to lose thirty pounds anyway and my place is stocked with the usual. I should be able to get by for three months without buying food and stash $20/week  (more than I was spending on food anyway) to give to the tax demons. That leaves me $30/week for incidentals and hopefully I’ll make enough to cover the bills.


Brought one of my frozen soups to work with two frozen buns. Didn’t eat it for lunch since I work twelve hours. I’ll save it for later when everyone’s ordering the weekly sushi at work. No more weekly wonton soup for me. Okay I’ve succumbed to buying a chocolate bar. Damn sweet tooth, it may break me yet. It’s nearly as bad as being a cigarette smoker, especially when you crave the good stuff. And I shouldn’t be eating cheap chocolate bars anyway. Too much dairy and I’m allergic to it.

Eat my thin veggie soup with the two buns for dinner, steal some sunflower seeds from the guys at work. When I get home, I go into the ohmigawd I’m limited on food thing and eat the last of my home-baked chocolate chip cookies as I fret over my taxes. That’s 6 small ones and a handful of slightly stale taco chips with the last of the chili pepper dip from my party a couple of weeks ago. I boil up some Asian style noodles for tomorrow and hit the sack.

As I lay there in bed I realize I better plan what I eat together, otherwise it’s going to get really weird when I’m eating sardines and jam. So, remember, use the crackers with the things you don’t like to eat by themselves. The frozen soups will last and be okay without any carbos. Maybe I’ll do protein one day, carbos another days, sweet jams another. I’m sure my doctor would kill me if she found out but I have to pay the damn taxes.


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Chocolate: still my bane after all these years. Creative Commons: Wikipedia

Mixed the noodles with the last of the yogurt dill dip from my party, some sundried tomatoes steeped in oil, and pine nuts. That’s almost gourmet but how long will it last? It actually tastes good too. I can’t walk down to the store for a bag of corn chips anymore when I forget my lunch.

On the way home I succumb again to the evil sweet tooth. Maybe the tax man should team up with chocolate. They’d be unconquerable, taxing teeth, thighs and bank accounts equally. I stop at a chocolate factory and buy a bag of seconds using the debit card. When I get home, I eat half that bag and take a nap, only to wake to a horrible stomach ache. Too much dairy and I’m suffering for my sins. Well, that should get better as there’s nothing dairy left in the house. It’s going to get interesting though, when I’m down to nothing but a cupboard full of booze and a bunch of jam.

I set aside $20 for taxes and used the other $30 in one swell foop. That’s $25 for cat food since he was down to crumbs and $5 for toilet paper. I now have $2 and change in my purse till next week. And what money’s in the bank has to pay the bills and I probably will be short on rent.

I wonder if it’s like this in countries under siege. First everyone eats the delectables, afraid they’ll spoil or someone else will get them, eating too much like two buns with soup instead of a quarter of a bun with a quarter cup of soup. Wished I had more flour stored up. Low on all the carbos like rice and pasta. Ate the last of the potatoes earlier this week. Thank god I don’t have to worry about a coffee habit on top of the damn chocolate. Withdrawal will start soon.


Four crackers before I left for work at noon. No visions of sugar plums yet and frankly, what is a sugar plum? Probably some sugary prune before chocolate was cheap. Nowadays it would be visions of candy, chocolate, chips and pop dancing across the rotting teeth of kids. I think I probably have a couple of really old prunes somewhere and I’m sure I’ll get to them at some point.

I was offered an apple chip (coated in caramel sugar) at work and I wanted to grab the whole bag. But do you think it might set up a bad working environment to tell your co-worker you thought he was giving you the rest of the bag? Probably. Good thing I haven’t been eating much for a while so the mild growling barely fazed me.

After all that talk/thought about sardines and jam I thought I better eat some while I still have the cracker. Sardines in mustard, sort of a pasty hardly mustard, goo. Slapped them on some crackers, barely noticed the little spines that I usually must remove, and chowed down. Usually sardines are okay for twice a year and I really don’t know why I keep buying them because they’re kind of sinister for fish.  I mean, what other fish would lay itself down in a can with others of its ilk, side by side? At least salmon and tuna have the decency to be from one whole fish. I’m going to have to space out eating the other two cans. Bleah. And now a handful of getting-ever-stale taco chips, no dip, no guac. That’s my dinner.

Stopped by Dan & Nessa’s where they had leftover taco fixins’. I ate one and feel quite full now. Food saviors, gotta love ‘em.


Reprieve. Going to the US for the weekend. Since I have some US money set aside I’ll be able to buy some food. I don’t eat until we get over the border and into Bellingham at 2. I buy six dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice), and a bag of jalapeno potato chips, which I eat on the way. For later I buy a bottle of wine, cider, one lime, a bag of mixed nuts and four muffins to share, which are really cupcakes in drag, weighing a pound each. That comes to $30 US or $45 CDN. US food prices are very expensive.

The bag of chips is so big there’s no way I can eat them all but they and the dolmades do the trick. We drive and drive and drive, through traffic torture and heat and finally get in around 8:30. We set up the tent and I eat a banana and drink one cider. By the time we’re all done setting up it’s time for bed.


Mary brings me a bun with turkey in it sometime in the afternoon. Just turkey and dijonaise, no veggies. I ate a part of Pasha’s magic bar, chocolate and coconut and something else. Later on we have supper, honey garlic chicken and brown rice, with caesar salad. I know I nibbled on a few more of the chips throughout the day so I don’t feel hungry at all.

Evening is drink time, cider and wine and partying.


I wake up hungry but we have to attend meetings and then break down the tent. I eat a couple of chocolate chip cookies and half of the one-pound “muffin.” Back in camp we start breaking down the tent and nibbling grapes. I eat a few more of the ubiquitous jalapeno chips and drink a glass of wine from what wasn’t finished the night before. I pack the mixed nuts that I completely forgot about.

On the way home we stop at David & Jeff’s and they order Chinese food.  Lots of food, I pig out and then feel uncomfortable. We drive on and around 11 we stop for some gas and I’m looking for pomegranate juice because I’ve discovered it goes very well with vanilla vodka. They don’t have any but I find margarine with almost no whey in it. Being allergic to dairy can even eliminate most margarines and I’ve been looking for months for the brand I had bought. I don’t use butter or margarine much at all but it’s good to have some on hand. And I buy a few chocolates for the road because I’m falling asleep. Not the best and there’s dairy in them but there are exceptions, even for bad chocolate.

soup, junk food, dieting, taxes, poverty,

Soup is a good way to fill up when poor. Creative Commons: foodgeeks.com


Monday, day off for Victoria day and it’s cold and blah and rainy. I wake up quite late and eat the rest of the chips and the chocolates throughout the day. That’s my meal until late at night when I finally do the finalized version of my taxes. Then I have a bowl of comfort soup, Lipton’s chicken noodle, the low salt one, which doesn’t have MSG like almost any other packaged soup, canned or dry. Why, I have no idea, but MSG gives me rashes on my face and I already overdid it with the chips.

I used the slow cooker today and made soup from a frozen chicken carcass, denuded of most meat until all that’s there would maybe make a sparrow. I put that in the pot with the last of the veggies in my place. That’s some slightly yellowing broccoli, about a half bunch of celery, some garlic, half a lemon and spices. Spices I have lots of. It cooks all night.


This morning I boiled up some alphabet noodles I forgot I had and added them to the soup. I took a big container and two buns with some margarine on them, to work. However, I didn’t eat them during the day because I knew I had a long night. I succumbed to a chocolate bar and took another to work tonight. That’s $1 I’ve spent on food.

When I did get around to eating my soup it was quite tasty. I put enough pepper and Ethiopian pepper in to make it spicy. Stole some sunflower seeds again from the guys and eventually ate the chocolate, Caramilk, which wasn’t very good.  Bleah.

Got home thinking to have more soup but then thought to have another bun. They’re starting to get that freezer burn taste. However, I settled for eating too many of the mixed nuts. Now I feel a bit bloated and it’s off to bed.


I had a handful of nuts today at work. I knew a friend was coming over to cook dinner so I skipped taking some more of the soup. When I got home I was really hungry though so I ate a handful of crackers and then got a stomach ache.

Once my friend D comes over we make stir fry with basmati rice, turkey, carrots, peas, peppers & lots of wine. I eat well and D bought all the food or we would have had very slim pickins.

DAY 10

Thurs. leftover stir fry, two ciders at penis poetry (I might have been doing a reading of my “penis suite” poems about the penis or I might have been at some other show…I don’t remember).

food, cravings, eating, dieting, poverty,

Dieting can make you crave food even more. Creative Commons: Sashamd Flickr


DAY 11

Friday, writers meeting, last of leftover stir fry, then over to Mikey’s for Vlad’s thang, some wine, Korean pancakes, peanuts, a couple of chips.

DAY 12

Kathy in town, meet her for rally, get a teacher’s free bag lunch, eat half the sandwich with no cheese, veggies with peppers & mayo, bottle of orange juice, cookie. Pub for two drinks then to K’s hotel. We hang out with pita, olives, artichoke hearts, red pepper spread, crackers, grapes, wine, then to lounge for more wine and cider, caeser, dancing all paid on her budget.

DAY 13 Over to Gibson’s with Kathy and to Robert’s and Wilson’s Creeks to see friends. Just a couple of cookies at Ross & Nancy’s, holding babies, a glass of blackberry wine. Two pieces of pizza with cheese pulled off (mostly), back on ferry, stop to buy can o mushrooms and some M&Ms because I found a spare $5 in my jacket pocket.

DAY 14 Tuna & frozen pasta sauce with wheel pasta. Banana chips.

Friday DAY 15 (You can see I started to lose enthusiasm for writing about this diet.)


Saturday DAY 16

Ate some banana chips then went to help John move, or more unpack. His mom was there unpacking and hard at it. Helped in the kitchen and the bathroom, then we all went for dinner. Said I wasn’t going to go cuz I was broke but John said he’d buy. We had Mongolian grill food and it was tasty. All you can eat. I wanted to have more than one bowl but I was just too full.

Sunday DAY 17

Slept far too late even for a slackass day. Ate some banana chips and then Dan ICQed me to come over for BBQ. Met with Sam for coffee. Bought a grapefruit juice which has used some hard-earned coin.

Went to the BBQ and brought my contribution which was absinthe (left by friends after a party). I’m getting used to the taste. Ate chips, salad and a hamburger, which my stomach rebelled against later. But then it might have been the four bucks I spent, two on a bag of chocolate chips that I can eat through the week and two on chocolate covered peanuts that I chowed down too fast and I think they contributed to the stomach ache though I gotta say beef and me don’t see hoof to eye. I also felt waaay too full after eating the nuts. Not a good thing before going to bed.

Monday DAY 18

Slept in this morning and had to rush. I left when I should have been at work but made it in 20 minutes. So I gathered my last pennies and bought a bag of corn chips and some chocolate buds. That was lunch, balanced and healthy.

Had to work on some stuff tonight with a friend so I didn’t eat till 11pm and then I had the ubiquitous soup I made two weeks ago. It doesn’t seem to have turned yet though my stomach ached a bit after two bowls full. I had a handful of pine nuts too.

Tuesday DAY 19

Today as always I splurge and buy a bag of chips and a chocolate bar that I really shouldn’t be eating. That’s a buck from the $49 I have this week, $20 which will be set aside for taxes. I forgot to bring lunch with me and ten hours to get through. Guess I’ll be stealing sunflower seeds again tonight.

Around this time I must have got more work and went off the taxation diet.

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School Lunch

As a young child growing up in Calgary and couple of miles from school, my mother would pack our lunches in those little metal lunch boxes. I somehow don’t remember spring and summer lunches and I think we would do that walk home: twenty minutes in each direction and twenty minutes for lunch. But winter was a different story. I remember being in grade 1 or 2 and late every day for a week because my little legs couldn’t slog through all the snow.

So we’d go with the little lunch boxes. I think there were butterflies on mine. The thermos always had hot chocolate made will milk. The sandwiches (often with Velveeta cheese–ick!) were wrapped in wax paper, not saran wrap. After all, they’d be eaten several hours after being made and saran wrap was more expensive. There was probably an apple or an orange. Calgary in the winter when I was a child, didn’t have a host of the exotic fruits and vegetables that we take for granted now. In fact, the vegetables were pretty limited. I can’t stand frozen vegetables to this day, cooked mushy and tasteless (thank god I never had to experience canned veggies).

By junior high (grades 7-9), we were big enough to walk home for lunch or take it to school. Obviously lunch was not a big part of my childhood memories. I don’t recall whether I brought it or went home. I suspect I did both. But by high school, we were too cool for lunch and going home. On sunny, warm days I did still go home. I wasn’t a rich kid and made my money babysitting, or later, working in the movie theater. But by grades 11 and 12, there was usually one or two people who had a car. Sometimes we went to McDonald’s (I never did eat the burgers.) or drive off for a bowl of won ton soup. There was a mall near the high school so we had a few places to pick from.

There was also the school cafeteria in high school and we sometimes ate there. And sometimes we brought our lunches. I remember Gordon Amsterdam with his chocolate spread and sprinkle sandwiches, or the ones that were nothing but lemon curd on white bread. I think there was one vending machine, or maybe I’m just hallucinating it. I don’t recall ever buying pop from it and that’s all it would have held. No sandwiches, no soups, no salads, or even chocolate bars. There was a store close by for many of those items.

These days, the schools have so many machines. I suspect that the wee tots still get to bring their lunches in whatever cool lunch box/bag is the style. For that matter I have one now with Kali on it. I would use it but I usually bring soups that are in containers bigger than the thin lunch box and don’t do well tipped on their sides. In fact, the Kali box would only be good for sandwiches and cut up apples as it’s not deep enough for most varieties of lunch.

I don’t tend to eat sandwiches very often and I still don’t drink pop (soda) very often. Lunch is in whatever opaque bag I have. Lulu Lemon is one trendy lunchbag. I don’t use it for the fad setting but it is a good size for lunches. I imagine there are a lot of kids today that buy their lunches in cafeterias. That was a luxury once, even if it was cafeteria food.


I suppose I’ve gone on about lunches because I’m making up my annual fall time soups. An easy way to bring something nourishing without having to waste precious sleeping time in the mornings.

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