This was me getting packed for Calgary, or more accurately– me preparing to get packed for Calgary:
Food, food, food, and more food.
I spent all of four seconds tossing some random clothes into the suitcase– “Whatever, it’s only Calgary,” I thought to myself. “I’m sure starched business tops paired with unwashed sweat pants will fly just fine.” On the other hand, I invested hours upon hours in the kitchen: prepping, cooking, blending, freezing, portioning, packing, cleaning, cutting, sautéeing, and generally acting like a half-crazed fool.
We are going to Calgary: not to Antarctica, not to the middle of the Gobi desert, not to the farthest-flung corners of Mount Everest. Calgary. I’m sure a city of 1 million plus has plenty of viable food options, and yet I’m still squirreling away all of the things I know I can eat without major GI trauma just in case. Here is an abridged inventory of what I’ve packed to eat (prepare to feel reassured of your own sanity):
1. Breakfast items: Large flake oats (no instant oatmeal crap), dried cranberries, ground cinnamon, flax seeds, poppy seeds
3. Snack items: Pecans, Brazil nuts, rye crackers with extra hummus and/or almond butter, dark chocolate-covered almonds, kiwi fruit, apples, forty (yes, 4-0!!!) homemade energy bars in a variety of flavours (chocolate blueberry, apple cinnamon, banana walnut, and mango coconut with macadamia nut), boiled eggs
4. Miscellaneous items: Assorted herbal teas, Marty’s basmati rice milk, our special soy sauce, avocados, and fresh lemons, ginger, and cayenne pepper to make my special morning tea
Clearly, this is all fueled by anxiety. No fully sane or calm person would prepare this much food to take on an overnight bus to Calgary. After all, it’s not like we’re going on a trip around the world, and it’s not like we’ll be stuffing our faces all night while we make the pitch black trek through the Rocky Mountains…
At least we’ll have options when we finally get to our destination. (For whatever reason, I’m much more wound up about the Food Situation than I normally would be when heading to Calgary.) And when my in-laws doth protest, I can act all nonchalant, saying “No, really! It’s no problem at all. I pack avocados wherever I go anyway.”
This. Is. Nuts.
PS: Easiest recipe ever for grilled asparagus and artichoke hearts: 1. Wash and cut up a bunch of asparagus spears into desired length (I did thirds). 2. Drain and rinse a can of artichoke hearts (not marinated ones– just canned in water); slice into quarters or desired piece sizes. 3. Put asparagus and artichoke hearts in a mixing bowl and toss with dried oregano, cracked pepper, and 3 Tbsp of Szechuan marinade. (I used “Simply Natural” brand.) 4. Transfer coated vegetables onto clean, ungreased cookie sheet. 5. Place in the oven using the Broil setting and temperature. (Make sure your oven rack is moved to the top position.) 5. Grill for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly blackened. 6. Congratulate yourself for making such a simple and delicious side dish; enjoy eating copious amounts of antioxidants.