Day 29: Sun Apr 12, Easter
Tzatziki, garlic hummus, veggies, dolmades, olives, chips and bread, served with guava/orange pop.
I made the tzatziki which turned out well. I like to eat my carrots with the skin on, and I usually look for a bag of organic carrots that are mostly skinny ones so that I don't even need to cut them, but in this case I did, lengthwise.
Day 30: Mon, Apr 13
That green stuff was a jalapeño sauce from Trader Joe's that was pretty tasty. Remember when we could cross the border into the States just to get a different brand gourmet groceries than what we had here?
Day 31: Tue, Apr 14
Big dipper, fries, bbq ribs, garlic toast from Boston Pizza.
I think this was my second restaurant delivery during this last month. I believe I chose Boston Pizza because it was one of the few restaurants available for delivery at that time of night, and I'm not a huge fan in general, but I do love beef dips; it's one of the few dishes of theirs that I like. When I order delivery, I tend to order enough for several meals, so there is a bit of the rib dinner too. The onion rings were great. I made a mistake with the pizza though. I wanted one with pineapple and went for their chicken and pineapple to mix things up but really should have had the regular Hawaiian. Next pizza delivery, I'm going old-school with just ham and pineapple.
Day 32: Wed, Apr 15
Spaghetti with mushroom tomato sauce, Boston Pizza bbq ribs, served with Diet Orange Crush.
My leftover spaghetti portioned out for the freezer was a great side to the ribs. Pop is a big treat for me. I'm very careful to not have it as often as I'd like to because I can easily get addicted.
Day 33: Thu, Apr 16
McDonald's Drive-Thru Quarter Pounder, McNuggets, a bit of a strawberry shake (unphotographed, but you know what they look like and here is a picture of the view I had when I ate it).
I remembered late at night that hybrid cars should not sit for weeks, so I went to go turn it on and 3 am was a great time to avoid people so I decided to go on a quick drive around, and visited the 24h drive-thru which would have been one of the few things open. I discovered the hearts on the Fairmont Hotel, and it was such a bittersweet Covid-19 image. So many empty rooms with no hope of filling them is needed to make these hearts in this strange time. But I reflected on how people struggling to get through this are taking the trouble to send some love out there. I found out when I googled it at home that hotels around the world were doing it.
Day 36: Sun, Apr 19
Balkan style yoghurt, honey, nuts served with coffee for breakfast.
Day 37: Mon Apr 20
Japanese curry with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, green pepper, tofu, sausage served with rice and Chinese sausage (lap cheong).
Leftovers from the freezer. Chinese sausage is amazing, isn't it? In its package stored in the fridge, it lasts so long. Great "pantry" item when it's unopened (in the fridge). When I'm cooking the rice, I throw the sausage on top so that it's done when the rice is cooked, and then I slice it afterwards.
Day 38: Tue Apr 21
Cobb salad with grilled chicken thighs seasoned with five spice salt. Grape tomatoes, cucumbers, chunky blue cheese dressing, shaved carrot, celery, black olives, cauliflower, spinach/kale/red chard dressed in red wine vinaigrette.
I love this old bowl that my mom gave me ages ago,s traight from the 70's and still going strong. Also, I used the George Forman little grill my parents gave me decades ago when they upgraded to the large size. Iconic. I love how it crisps up the skin on chicken thighs, and it really does keep the juices in while cooking both sides simultaneously.
Day 39: Wed Apr 22
Duck broth, duck meat, noodles, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomato, Chinese mushrooms, noodles, dumplings. Dessert was a faux banana cream pie. Crushed digestive biscuits, Tesco instant custard, banana slices, sweetened whipped cream. (photos of inside layers and the finished cream topped dessert).
I love get Chinese bbq meats, and when I get roasted duck, I save the bones and the bony pieces to make a broth for soup noodles. These bones were in the freezer, and I've really cleared out a lot of things in my freezer which is very satisfying. That includes these slices of duck meat that I had forgotten about for a while.
Getting an whipping cream canister was a bit of a splurge, but I used my Canadian Tire money to get it and love it (and I like to use those points for treats that I wouldn't normally buy with regular money). I have plenty of cartridges at home so that's not a problem, but it took a while for the whipped cream to be available and I still don't have sweetened condensed milk which I'm waiting for to use up my box cake and make tres leches cake. This faux pie really did taste like a real banana cream pie, which is my favourite pie (with warm blueberry à la mode being a close second).
Day 40: Thu Apr 23
Frozen udon, duck broth, Chinese mushrooms, carrots, green onion served with coffee with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
Breakfast of champions. I would never have gone to the trouble of making this for breakfast on a weekday in the "before times." A hot bowl of noodle soup is a great hearty breakfast.
Day 41: Fri Apr 25
Butter flake roll, strawberry jam, whipped cream, apple, grape tomato, celery, French press coffee, my whipped cream canister.
I was in the mood for being fancy and having a matched set of dishes. Once I've got whipping cream loaded into my canister, I want to have it on everything. This was sort of like having scones with devon cream and preserves.
Day 43: Sun Apr 27
Now that I'm cooking at home so much, I've taken opportunities to test and compare techniques side by side to see what I prefer. In this case, I used an ancient can of salmon and tried two approaches to sandwiches. I did like the pan-fried patty quite a bit. But I would say that both were equally good, but just very different. I think my mom gave me those cans of salmon years ago and I just never felt like using them until now.
Dinner was my take on pasta con sardé. Spaghettini with sliced onions, celery whites plus crushed fennel seed, dill, saffron, white wine, raisins, grape tomatoes, cashews, olive oil toasted panko bread crumbs and canned Bar Harbour skinless, boneless sardine fillets. (photographed in the pan before the pasta was added, and then the final plate with a topping of bread crumbs and roasted cashews).
Appetizer of one more salmon patty from the lunch mix. And my first alcoholic drink of the quarantine. Botanist gin and soda (known as a Gin Rickey).
Pasta con sardé is a dish that I have never tasted or even heard of until I was searching the internet for a pasta and sardines recipe. I had bought the can just before the quarantine thinking that it would be a good thing to have in the pantry and imagined having the oil and the fish with just some chilli flakes on pasta (but discovered I had bought sardines not packed in olive oil).
I was intrigued by this Sicilian dish, and I saw many different versions of it. I didn't have fennel (which is put in with the bulb and greens) and make my own fascimile with the celery and herbs. I got to use my saffron which I hardly ever use, and I have a fond memory of when I was gifted the huge stash on a cruise where the chef was on deck making a giant paella as a cooking demonstration and saw me surprised at the size of his box. After the demonstration, he gave me the tin. That was a fun day.
I had planned a virtual dinner party with foodies and that was great for encouraging me to go that extra step with my meal, and also to finally have a cocktail. I usually use tonic, so trying the gin with the club soda that I had available was great, and I think I might even prefer it for letting the gin come through on its own. The Botanist from Islay (which is known for scotch) has 22 hand-foraged local botanicals. I wound up watching a YouTube video that night about scotch drinkers visiting Islay and it sounds like a magical island.
Day 44: Mon Apr 28
Quesadilla with black olives.
A simple but tasty breakfast. Again, in the spirit of side-by-side comparison, I tried three different amounts of toasting on the tortilla. Very different end products, but I still enjoyed all three. I think I like the softest for a bit of chew.
Day 45: Tue Apr 29
Balkan-style yoghurt, very cherry fruit cocktail in light syrup and Nature's Path vanilla and almonds granola.
Another indulgence - a big pack of fruit cocktail cups on sale that would last for months as a backup when running out of fruit. I always like to have some fruit around. Canned fruit cocktail is something I really only ate as a kid but I love it. With the sugary syrup, it was great in the yoghurt. Unfortunately it meant much more plastic waste than I would normally buy, but the cups are better portions without the metallic taste, so I caved.
Day 46: Wed Apr 29
Mint (probably peppermint).
This stuff just doesn't die. It sprouted up again this year, and I really didn't take care of it at all last year. Not enough for a summer of mojitos right now, but we'll see how it does. The rest of the day was for eating leftovers of my pasta sardé.
At this point, there are rumblings about other provinces opening up a bit more, and BC is doing well. There's a bit of hope we'll stop quarantining in stages soon, but that we will need to be ready for a second wave. There are a lot of lessons we should have learned about living during this pandemic about gratitude, being less wasteful, learning "old-fashioned" basics skills, reevaluating priorities for how our time is spent, and more. It will be fascinating to see the next steps.