Eighteen Shades of Ludicrous

This was me getting packed for Calgary, or more accurately– me preparing to get packed for Calgary:

Food processor, ziploc bags, and cartons of stuff. Who needs to remember a toothbrush? Brushing teeth is for wussies.

Food, food, food, and more food.

Homemade energy 'bars'... more like energy balls in this case

Using up the last of the roasted garlic

Can't forget dessert! Dark chocolate and roasted almonds... yum!

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, sautΓ©eing, and generally acting like a half-crazed fool.

Grilled asparagus and artichoke hearts with Orange Szechuan marinade

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

2. Lunch items: Veggie wraps with black bean hummus on brown rice tortillas, grilled asparagus and artichokes, stir fry on quinoa, f*cking delicious egg omelet

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…

... though the chocolate-covered almonds might beckon around midnight! πŸ˜‰

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.

18 responses

  1. This may be nuts, but I can totally relate–not to packing quite so much food–though I do that too–but to the general frenzy of packing.

    I am a notorious over-packer–much to Sara’s displeasure. I will try to find the link to a post I did on this. Also, the comment above reminds me that Hey from Japan has a great one of packing light, if you haven’t read it.

    Hope you have a great trip. This was hysterical, Dana!

    Hugs from Haiti,

  2. Praying for your soul as you journey on The GreyHound Beast.
    P.S. I would totally eat an energy ball before an energy bar. Tom is laughing because he thought that was a wiener joke. Ugh.

  3. Those energy balls will require a recipe post – I have yet to find a recipe I am happy with. Though not as extreme, I do the same…dammit I will not eat garbage (or less wholesome but tasty tidbits) the whole time I am away from home! Good luck!

    • Would you believe that I STILL ended up eating an all-white meal at the effin’ GOLDEN HUSKY STATION this morning at 6 freaking am??! What has the world come to?

  4. Holy CRAP LADY!!! That is hilarious!! Well, I hope you remembered to pack some warm clothes cause damn, it’s cold in Calgary these days. I can’t wait to hear how it went when you get back. We’ll have to set a date for a beer at Spinnakers when you return.
    Thinking of you!!

  5. I love that. Clothes is always my least concern when packing too. πŸ™‚

    BTW when you have time (after Calgary), would you be willing to share those amazing energy “bars” recipes? We’re looking for some more homemade afternoon snacks and those sound yummy!

    Have a good time, despite the fact that it’s Calgary. πŸ˜‰

  6. I was listening to a segment on CBC today about a woman bemoaning the size of parking stalls in downtown Calgary. She drives a HUGE ASS Chevy Sierra 1/2 tonne 4X4!! Downtown!
    Only in Calgary would that be an issue. Only in Cow town would you be allowed on the radio to complain about it.
    Have fun!
    PS I would totally eat all that delicious food on the bus ride. boredom and the inability to sleep while in transport= mindless shoving of food into my mouth.

    • Oh, Calgary… Everything is so large here. I can’t wait to tell you guys ALL ABOUT the Greyhound when I get a little more time at a computer. It was everything you could have imagined… and then some.

      • Alberta, the Texas of Canada! Sure there is little niches of goodness especially here in the Crowsnest but I still have had a beer can thrown at my head while I bike along the highway!

  7. All that prep gives new meaning to the term ‘comfort food’.
    As you’ve said, the trip has anxieties associated with it beyond nutritional-sustenance survival.
    But then, if the bus were to break down, you’re ready for a delay, that’s fo sure.

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