Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The grocery shops in Calgary are for the most part atrocious (and I am not just talking about the prices - hi....can you say 14% inflation - I picked THE best city to start paying off student loans in!) - the grocery shops are....well, nothing compared to:
a) Fortinos
b) the wonderful little markets and fresh foodies stores I became accustom to in Toronto.
We have - COOP - the shop that lets you think you are saving money by letting you buy a 1$ stock in the company and then allows you to show your coop pride by hanging your swipe card on your keys. The produce is shitty and they canned goods are out of this world costly (and limited in selection: "sorry miss I don't think we carry artichoke hearts")
We also have - SAFEWAY - I met many a safeway employee during my shotgun drive out here. They started in and around the Manitoba border. They are 'okay' I suppose. They are trying so hard to be a PCish type store. They have bulk goods in some (small) amounts, and they have at least a smattering of organics/'international' and soya products. However, (again) their produce sucks and they are wickedly expensive (I just sound cheap and cranky don't I?)
The only possibility out here (if you want the big, corporate shopping experience) is Canada's Superstore - see trafalgar and highway five in Oakville. It is a PC store, and the canned goods are a bit cheaper and you can buy underwear, car oil and cabbage all at the same time - however, due to this walmart-style approach I feel overwhelmed and a bit skittish when I pull into my parking spot. But, they have quinoa in bulk so I do what I have to do.
The only non-corporate shopping option is the aforementioned Pacific Place with its TT grocery store...which I am sure is owned by some chinese conglomerate - but it will have to do.
There are no tiny markets to be found, and the farmer markets are so out of the way.

HOWEVER - this weekend will see me arriving at Heritage Park bright and early for the annual produce sale.....I am hoping for loads of fresh berries and lots of corn (TABER STYLE).

I have a yummy dish that is worthy of publishing - Enjoy!
(I think I need to start taking photos of these masterpieces)
Creamy Chicken-peas and Apple Curry
1 cup of basmati rice
1 apple (any ol' variety will do)
2 cups of spinach
1/2 a large spanish onion
2 carrots, peeled and cut up in chunks
1 bulb of garlic
1/2 block of tofu
1 can of chicken peas (or garbonzo beans as they are known in some circles)
curry (season as you like)
black pepper
salt (sea salt)
Olive oil
can of coconut milk

In a large skillet (on medium), pour your o.oil and let it heat up a wee bit.
Add your diced onion and some of your curry - I would also throw in some tumeric at this point
Add your carrots and a bit of water - cover and let those puppies simmer for a bit.
When carrots and onions are tender throw in the rice and a bit more water, stir and let sit for five minutes, adding your garlic after two minutes.
Add the chick peas and tofu; stir in coconut milk and season.
Let this mixture sit on medium heat simmering away for about 15 minutes.
Add some iron with that spinach party and let the dish cook until your rice is tender (I added water on occasion - you can decide how dry/wet you want this curry). could also add some sweet potato and okra....and a can of tomatos (or fresh if you don't live in calgary).

Yummy - serve with vegan nan or pita...or do what I did and have it with some gluten free rice cakers!

Enjoy and be happy.

oh - just to report on what I am reading at the moment.
Finishing David Starkley's (crappy and pompous) biography on my lady queen elizabeth.
Just finished Sarah Dressen's The Meaning of Forever - a teen book that I was screening for my students - really good!
I got a load of really really really cheap books from the library yesterday including a book by Katherine Glovier - I read her Angel's Walk in 1998 and really enjoyed it..made me want to move to Point Au Barrel and take up a job in a munitions factory. The other day the fellow who gave me that book as a gift reminded me that rear view mirrors only show us where we have already been...but what if you like where you have been and enjoy visiting on occasion? Some people are way to fatalistic for moi - have fun!

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