This was in yesterday’s newspaper, and it really made an impression. I like Sherman’s Lagoon, the odd stories of a shark, his wife and child, and their friends the hermit crab, sea turtle and a variety of others that may, or may not, get devoured by Sherman at some point.
But in this cartoon in particular, there’s some solid advice. Before writing, have a snack or eat something which is good for you. You’d be surprised how the creative process works so much better on a full stomach. I’ve sat down and tried to write while my stomach goes off the rails with growls and moans and what I write is horrid. But when I eat, and I’m in the mood to write, I find it comes a lot better. You’re motivated to write, you have better thought processes. Mostly because you’re thinking about writing. When you don’t eat, you think about writing and the fact you’re hungry. It even helps if it’s peanut butter on crackers (or some other spread if you happen to be allergic to peanuts).
Eating can help with more than just writing, it can help with drawing or even just simple tasks that don’t take a lot of creative thought process. So, it’s always good have something to eat, even if it’s a yogurt cup or even a bowl of berries and cream.
Hey everyone. I felt the need to put some things in perspective because the word “murder” has been tossed around in reference to things people eat. It seems to come from this place of “self righteousness” that people who don’t eat meat think everyone should not eat meat (I’m glaring at you PETA).
It’s 9:00 in the a.m., but I am currently contemplating the sexiness of consuming a bacon, lettuce and tomato, toasted, with a side order of fries and gravy. Just for shits and giggles, here’s a sample of what that thing of beauty would look like.
This is only a representation.
Now, here’s a mutherfuckin’ tiger.
This tiger (panthera tigris) has a lot in common with me. Because, he’s probably contemplating a nice, juicy chunk of meat. Quite possibly from one of the many animals he happens to be chilling out around.
The main difference between us (aside from the obvious) is that he’s gonna kill his meal with his paws, claws and teeth. He’ll use superior body strength and keen hunting abilities to kill his prey. And then eat it. Like a badass.
Just like this.
Tigers’ diets consist of animals like moose or deer, and sometimes they will take down a crocodile (because they’re badass!). Tigers are carnivores. They need meat to survive. How do they get their veggies? Well, they eat things that eat grass, grains, berries and other plant like material.
But we humans are not 100% carnivores. We aren’t even herbivores (which are the things that tigers eat). We’re known as omnivores. Omnivores will supplement their diets with a combination of meat, veggies and fruit, thereby getting all of the nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates we need to keep our bodies going.
You know who else is an omnivore?
Foxes (vulpes vulpes) are a member of the canine family. they’re distantly related to domesticated dogs, wolves and coyotes. They have sharp, needle like teeth for chewing and grabbing prey. But they don’t just stop at field mice or badgers (yes, foxes will take on mutherfuckin’ badgers for food, thus, why they are badasses!), during seasons when prey is scarce, they will forage for food. Meaning, they will eat fruit, nuts, berries, root vegetables and even grasses to sustain their diet.
So the next time you call a human a “murderer” just for eating meat, think of those badasses, the tiger and the fox, and how they kill in order to eat.
The thing is, a diet is a diet. How we as humans choose to eat is our own choice, not anyone else. If you wish to be vegan, be vegan. But do it for your own health and dietary needs, not because you believe that you are on some self righteous crusade to save animals. There are other things which do a greater deal of harm to the natural environments of creatures such as the tiger and the fox. Eating meat isn’t bad. Over hunting is bad. Inhuman domestication practices are bad. Campaign to end certain farming practices, and attempt to find ways to change the way domesticated livestock are kept and handled. Don’t campaign to have people change their diets. That has economic problems, especially for those who live in poorer areas and cannot or do not have access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’re thinking that just killing an animal in order to eat it is “murder” then you’re wrong. Because based on that very narrow minded view, tigers and foxes are also committing murder when they hunt.
Do I really have to choose?
After all, each has their own uniqueness about them that makes them awesome.
Brownies, for instance, are merely small cakes.
Cookies are an awesome snack while watching a movie, drinking some milk, or even sitting on the balcony and enjoying the afternoon.
And then there’s cake. Need I say more about cake.
But I do have one question. Why no mention of pie?
We’ve seen the recent food price protests in Nunavut, where some families are trying desperately to budget each month. They’ll pay a little over 100 dollars for a case of water. What’s the rest of the country look like as far as food prices go? MSN Money put the list together from statistics and surveys collected by Stats Canada.
The prairie provinces come in as some of the best in the country.
The cheapest place to buy food is Saskatchewan, where families spend 9.1% of the yearly income on groceries and meals out. Yearly budgets average $6,344, and of that 24% is spent on meals out at restaurants.
Next, Albertans budget 9.2% of their annual income on groceries. While they spend over $85,000 on consumer goods (the most in the country), they only spend $7,570 per year on food.
Ontario comes in next with only 9.5% of annual budgets spent on food, spending $7,284 to fill up the fridge, but of that, $1,645 is spent eating out at diners and eateries.
Manitoba comes in at number four as the annual food budget is 9.8%. The average Manitoba household spends $6,,520 annually.
So those are the top four, with Ontario breaking up the prairies by sneaking in at third. What about the highest places? Unsurprisingly, the territories have some of the most expensive places to budget for food. The Yukon is not one of those (though, families do set aside 10.5% of their annual budget for food). The Northwest Territories is the best of the most expensive, with annual household budgets for food sitting at 11.5%, spending $9,500 a year on food. And that’s only because household spending in the Northwest Territories is on of the highest in the country (total consumer spending is almost $83,000 per year).
Prince Edward Island comes in next, where the annual food budget is 11.8% of the total household budget. While spending $6,720 per year on food may not seem like much, that’s because total consumer spending in the island province sits around $56,000 per year.
Quebec, like P.E.I., doesn’t really spend a lot on food per year (only $7,215 per year), but again, the annual budget has 12% of it set aside for food. Consumer spending in Quebec sits at just over $60,000 per year.
The list has gradually moved up and up, going from 9.1% to 12%, but the highest food budget in Canada takes a massive jump. With no surprise, it happens to be Nunavut, where families have to budget 17.5% of their annual income just for food. Households spend just over $84,000 per year on consumer goods (second highest in Canada, Alberta spends the most); of that, over $14,000 is spent on food. This is more than double what families in Saskatchewan have to pay for food each year.
One has to begin to ask themselves, why? Why is a place like the Northwest Territories, geographically located in a similar situation to Nunavut, paying less for food annually? A great deal less as a matter of fact.
- Alberta a land of wealth, longevity and educational attainment: think-tank (blogs.calgaryherald.com)
- More Nunavut food price protests planned today (cbc.ca)
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be? (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
Of course with a title like that you would expect me to tell you about all the things that are up and coming. And I am to a point.
There’s been a lot excitement over the pass few weeks. A previous blog explained some difficult times that are coming up in my family. It also gave wind that BF and I are back together.
While it’s not completely official since I don’t have a ring, Zach and I are engaged to be married. All of this happen so quickly even for me that I haven’t had time to catch my breath. Many people understood that I loved him even while we were separated. I fought even when I wanted to do nothing more than give up. I nearly lost him but God smiled on me and offered me my last chance.
Zach understand that the economy isn’t really good and looking for a job is tough. He’s decided on friday he’s going to enlist in the Navy. Now I’ve been this road before. I was once an Army Wife, now I’ll be a Navy Wife. Either way I know it’s going to be tough on me and there will be times when I will want him to come home ASAP because I need or want him. This is where the spoiled Zodi gets put on hold. MEH!
The other part to this is if he and I are married it will be easier when filing paper work and all that jazz so that I can be covered by his benefits. I don’t know about Rhys but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
Now the excitement. With Zach enlisting this means I will go from fiancee to wife in a matter of weeks. Two to be exactly. That’s right. After all the fighting and BS that he and I have put each other through in the past four years, we decided why wait any longer, get it done and over with worry about a fancy shindig later. So on April 16th, I will no longer be Zodi Mitchell. I will be Zodi Mitchell-Heidler, or Zodi Heidler. I haven’t decided yet (and he is picking on me about this too.)
We are planning a huge wedding in a few years, once we know what is going on with all the Navy stuff. This stuff will all come in time.
So yeah lots and lots of new stuff cooking up in the world of Zodi.
Speaking of cooking and of facebook for that matter. I play a game called Cafe World. I’ve decided that I am going to start making from scratch dishes that are in the game. This will lead into a whole new Dontcha blogs that I’ve been seriously slacking on. Kinda like my writing, which I think it’s safe to say that I am taking an undefined hiatus for writing.
All in due time.
Keep it real and rockin’
A while ago, I did a write up on the local Outlook Farmer’s Market. I like going to farmer’s markets, there’s all sorts of produce and products to buy, and often times you’re pretty sure it’s locally grown or produced.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Saskatoon Farmer’s market. It was awesome! Located in the city’s downtown and part of the river front project that is ongoing right now in Saskatoon, it was a nice change of pace from the bustle of going through a major shopping centre. It’s also proof that establishments like Wal*Mart will not be the end of all smaller businesses. Mostly because a lot of those smaller businesses have produce and products that Wal*Mart can’t (or will not) carry.
When I walked into the farmer’s market, I had a sudden feeling that this was like the exhibitors lane at the Saskatoon Ex, but on a smaller scale. And it’s held year round, as opposed to just for the ten day duration of the Ex. Or, in the Outlook Farmer’s Market case, just during the summer months. To be fair, this building was set aside by the Saskatoon City Council and by the business community. It adds to the River Landing.
Locally grown produce and locally manufactured food stuffs and hand crafts are all on display. Even a couple of restaurants have set up smaller food court versions in this place to give the place a nice sit down area to have a bite to eat. And next door to it all is a specialty beer and wine store, filled with imported (both internationally and interprovincially) alcohols. From pale ales, to stouts, to bitters, it’s got it all.
It’s one of many wonderful things to do on a Saturday afternoon, or during the week over the lunch hour. Be careful about heading out to the Farmer’s Market during the work day, however, because you can easily lose track of time while you’re browsing the wares. But it is an experience that should not be missed at all. Markets like this are a great thing, whether it’s in a city the size of Saskatoon, or a town the size of Outlook (or smaller). But the bottom line is this; support your farmer’s market. You are in a win win situation when you buy locally grown and produced products.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
I’ve been surfing the ‘net most of the morning, looking for food recipes that I can can use for my family and my sitting charge. I have found some really really good and tasty looking homemade meals over at Simply Recipes. At the bottom of one of the pages I was looking at I seen something that caught my attention.
At first I was confused as to what this meant. I thought it meant to stay out of the aisles that contained nonsense. General merchandise, plates, chairs, lawn/patio furniture even toys. Obviously I had enough common sense to stay away from those aisle seeing as how I am broke and couldn’t afford the $500 wicker patio set.
However this isn’t what Alanna Kellogg was blogging about. She was writing about staying out of the aisles in general. Stating that they were full of unhealthy and empty calorie items. She only listed off the bad parts of some aisles, the ones that contained junk food. What Alanna didn’t mention was snacks that you do find in the middle aisles. Like plain unsalted, dry roasted nuts, or dried fruit, even sugar free items like instant pudding.
While part of me agrees, the rest of me disagrees. I commented on the blog, seeing that it was well written and did change my mind slightly, but not enough to keep me out of the main food aisles.
I travel up and down the aisles once a month looking for things to feed my hollowed legged boyfriend, my bottom less pit brother and my picky three year old. This really limits my choices on creativity and what I can cook for them. A big staple in my house hold is Mac and Cheese. More often then not I buy cheese and elbow noodles and make it myself.
I guess I am blessed with the fact my son can’t stand sweets, and adore cheerios. Getting him to eat meat is tricky, he can’t stand the texture, so I have to discover ways to get him to get iron protein and other good vitamins into his system.
I keep a look out for bargain sales like 10 for 10 mix and matches and that is when I go on my stocking up binges. My cupboards may not be the healthiest in the world, but it does have some healthier aspect than Cheetos and kool-aid. (which is what my brother lived off for a whole summer while my mother was on “strike”)
For the most part I am a full time mom now, I don’t get my five to eight hour work break to go make actual money, seeing as I am unemployed. Being a mom of a hyper active and over affectionate child is enough to exhaust anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom job, but I love when 9pm comes around and my son goes to bed.
I would prefer to make a lot of things from scratch, but there are times when it’s just not able to happen. Sure the middle aisle usually contain things that aren’t healthy, but once you get past the muck you can actually find decent items.
For example: Juicy Juice 100% real juice. Let me repeat that REAL JUICE Frozen juices aren’t usually “healthy,” they just have a bit more survivability in the freezer. These juices are packed full of sugar and are usually concentrated. The process of concentration involves boiling, which means that it cooks away a lot of the good for you, nature made goodies.
Things that are on sale aren’t just unhealthy foods. You can find stuff on sale that is one heck of a value. Things like lunch meat. Ham, turkey, etc. Often much cheaper than the deli counter which doesn’t even offer you the nutritional information.
A major thing that people have stopped doing is carrying a grocery list. I make an extensive one that I use once a month. I get it right down to how many pounds of ground beef I am going to purchase. Yes I go for price and quantity of how many meals I am going to get from it, but I look for ways to take things and make them healthy.
When I buy ground beef, I purchase 70/30 something or other. This is the fat/lean content or something like that. Either way it’s there’s more grease in the pan then there would be if I had 80/20 or higher. I don’t want to feed that to my family, so I turn the faucet on hot, drain the beef, and rinse it off. Then I season it with salt and pepper and continue to make my meal.
When my shopping list is complete, I go through it and think to myself “Do I really need this again, or is it just a luxury that was inexpensive at the time of purchase?” If I answer Yes I need it, then it remains on the list, if not then I cross it off.
I also have a snack food budget. Ten dollars for each person in the house. Though mine is split with my son. I usually buy 5 chocolate bars or something to curb my sweet tooth when it flares up. Each person gives me a list of things they would like to have to snack on in the house. Then it has to last them the whole month.
I would like to make it clear that I am not bashing the middle aisle blog post, I’m just adding my opinion to it. There are some really good ideas in the blog post, such as getting the major basics. Bread, milk, and eggs. Pop is not a necessity, it’s a nicety. Fresh produce doesn’t hold up in the fridge or even on the counter. Flash frozen vegetables still have their nutrients in them. Cheaper to go with frozen.
Spices are great, but buy in bulk or better still, grow your own. You can get small little pots and make cute little planters that you can pick as needed. If you can find and buy fresh herbs and spices, then go for it. Check around to see if your town has a co-op, usually you can find organic and bulk items at these stores. And because it’s local and not corporation, it tends to be cheaper as well.
I will say, that Alanna’s blog is going to have me scouring over my items even more and seeing about finding healthy and yummy alternatives, but I’m not going to stay out of the middle aisles.
Keep it real and rockin’
Okay, so you may ask why I have an opinion. Well, I’m a bachelor, and I shop for what I need. And a lot of the things I need are in the middle aisles. I live in a small town, so any of the produce items I’ll pick up at the local farmer’s market. Even bread there. Or pies. I’ve even found some great pasta there. I will point back to an old post about that. That leaves little to get in the local Riverbend Co-op. And a lot of the things I need there are down the aisles. If I didn’t go down the aisles, then there really wouldn’t be any point to going grocery shopping there.
Down the aisles is the place where you find the quick meals that you will often times need. Down the aisles is where I’ll find the snack foods that I’ll sometimes get. Down the aisles is where I’ll find my coffee, sugar, tea, and spices that I need for my other food. And down the isles is where I’ll find the pasta sauces (if I don’t make them myself).
If it wasn’t for the aisles, then I’d have absolutely no reason to go to the grocery store. Quick soups, for instance, or even the broth for making my own thick vegetable soup. Oxo cubes as well. And let’s not forget crackers.
I’ll go to the farmer’s market for some of the produce and bread I need. But leave me to the aisles. If there’s people out there that avoid them, then there’s more selection for me.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
About a year ago, I saw this wine in Saskatoon. It’s called Wild Horse Canyon. It reminded me of some of the writing I’d been doing that was a sort of western style. This was before I began Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider. But, I thought it would be a nice treat to pick up a bottle in celebration of the completion of a novel. This was back when I started Canyons of Steel, another western which has remained untouched for a while. I eventually will get back to it. Last year, Pearce and I picked up a bottle of Wild Horse Canyon just to try and were quite impressed.
Just today, I opened up a bottle of Cabernet Sauignon 2006 that I had bought almost a year ago. This is what the website says of the wine.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a lively nose of black currant and ripe berries. Flavours of ripe cherries, a hint of liquorice and vanilla are framed nicely by subtle oak.
I found it a very bold wine, with little after taste. It went down smooth and had a very inviting aroma when I uncorked the bottle. I find the red wines much more to my liking, and this one I definitely recommend. To give you an idea of what Wild Horse Canyon is all about, check out their website. Here’s a sampling of what they have to say about themselves.
Our Winemaker works with the best from British Columbia, Washington and California in order to craft the perfect wines. Each region is selected because of its different and special soils, climate and attributes. The results are balanced, fruit-forward wines: lush robust reds, and clean refreshing whites.
Our winery is named in honour of the wild horses which can still be found today in California, Washington and British Columbia.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
I think I’ll make this a weekly thing from now on. Weird, amazing, interesting, but all completely useless facts. Here’s some for food.
A toaster uses almost half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
Buttermilk does not contain any butter.
There is a giant mushroom in Oregon that is over 2,400 years old, covers 3.4 square miles of land, and is still growing.
A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can eat your plate!
A person swallows approximately 295 times while eating dinner.
Almost all varieties of breakfast cereals are made of grass.
An egg will float if placed in water in which sugar has been added.
Canola oil is actually rapeseed oil but the name was changed for marketing reasons.
Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
During your lifetime, youll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, thats the weight of about 6 elephants.
Each year 96 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S.
Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung.
Girls have more tastebuds than boys.
Goats milk is used more widely throughout the world than cows milk.
Almost every night I have a decent hot meal for supper and on those nights I usually tell my friends what I’m having to make them jealous. More specifically my friend Tim. It’s amusing to see his e-reaction when I tell him what I’m having. For exmaple: tonight I am having roasted pork with stuffing and green beans. His reaction was oooo and then an emoticon that showed drooling.
Normally, these reactions would be more satisfying if I were making the stuff from scratch, but I’m way to lazy for that. Most of my stuff comes from a box, still taste good, but isn’t home homemade. At least until I doctor it up a bit with my own stuff. Like my pork chops are seasoned with black pepper, seasoned salt and some parsley. Thus making it drool worthy.
Tim, like any and all men, like food. Sometimes they let their stomachs speak for them, usually at Thanksgiving and Christmas, by seeing just how much they can pack away before that football starts. Which they usually pass out from full belly syndrome within the first quarter. It always amuses me that guys fall asleep after eating a decent meal. Most times anyway.
Food essentially is life, farmers grow it and raise it, we purchase it and cook it. It brings families together but it can also destroy families as well. It makes for interesting conversations and almost always bring on a belching contest. At least in my house. People may not love much, but one they do love is good homecooked food. Even if it is from a box.
Keep it real and rockin’
Remember the French onion soup? Well, we had a lot of extra, such as the beef loin used to help make the soup. The juices from the beef helped build the taste of the soup. So, suddenly, we were left with a well cooked beef loin. Guess what? We used it to make chili.
The beef was incredibly tender by this point, and fell apart easily. So adding extra sauces, wine, topped with beans, chili peppers, and some hot sauce, it cooked slowly over the next six hours. And what an awesome meal it made. I had to have two bowls. The best part came after the meal.
No, not that.
There was a subtle aftertaste, and the hot came out after the meal was down. A nice kick to a great chili.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Well, here it is. A couple nights ago, after the stupid amount of shrimp, we decided to make French soup. From scratch. This was done with little effort on my part, as Pearce was the one who practically made it all. But, he took an inside beef loin, added a cup of wine (in this case Wild Horse Canyon), Oxo beef powder, sliced onions (a lot), added the whole thing to a slow cooker and let cook for a few hours.
Before the beef loin was put in, it was flash fried on both sides.
Once the cooking was done, it was the serving. The pork loin was removed, to be used in another recipe. Topped with a slice of bread and melted cheese, this was an incredible meal.
Next up, a great chili made from the left overs from the French onion soup.
Until we go hungry…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
One great thing about vacation time is food. And in this case, a stupid amount of food. Over at a friend’s place during this vacation, we decided it was time for a little seafood. In this case, shrimp. We went to a local fish market (yes, an amazing thing in the middle of a landlocked province like Saskatchewan) and picked up two trays of shrimp kabobs.
Roasted over the grill, and laid over rice, it was indeed a stupid amount of shrimp. Each tray contained 25 shrimp. It was filling to say the least. And cheap. Normally a meal like this would come to 17 bucks at a place like Red Lobster, complete with extra trimmings. For each plate, of which, we came out with two plates of 25 shrimp and rice. We paid a total of 19 bucks. For everything.
Five minutes per tray on the grill and it was all done, then the rice added. What a meal.
Later, great home made French onion soup.
Until the cheese hardens…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
Summer is always great. There’s the lake, the parks, warm weather (sometimes unbearable and hot) and even the summer thunderstorms can be great. Even if they do wake me up in the middle of the night. But one of the things I look forward to are the Farmer’s Markets.
The farmer’s market in Outlook in open, every Friday, and runs until September. And, oh there are so many things which you can buy. Farmer’s markets are great. There’s food, crafts and so much more. I even managed to pick up some items while there on Friday. Some incredible pasta and focaccia bread. That was supper for me.
Just take a look at the picture. I could describe it, but looking at it is so much better.
Until the next farmer’s market…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
And the food isn’t done as I discovered something from Homestead Ice Cream here in Saskatoon. Ice Cream in a bucket. Yes, in a bucket. I had to get one as soon as I saw it. And I couldn’t finish it in just one sitting. I may have to take it back to Outlook with me, but it will be more than worth it.
Describing it does not do it justice. The picture will have to suffice.
Until I get a brain freeze…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
On Saturday, May 24th, 2008 the wedding of Gene and Val took place. A wonderful affair that will be described in a future (tomorrow) blog entry.
But today, there is the food.
With every gala affair, there must be the food. And the food began on Friday. Upon arriving in Saskatoon, I went about seeking out my partner in crime, Pike. My first stop was to meeting up with him at a local restaurant, Tony Tomas. There, I had a selection of pasta. But the next day had to be one of the best. Both Pike and I had the Jack Daniel’s Six Ounce Sirloin. The steak was tender, yet flavour filled, and juicy. The evening continued, and we went to the Cluricaune’s Irish Pub. And here we had an ale along with a shot of Glenfiddich. And from there, the decision for ice cream was made. Which slowly became small appetizers. And then, a full platter of food.
After recovering from all the food, the next day brought…. you guessed it, more food. A breakfast brunch with everything you can imagine. Including a chocolate fountain. However, I went with something much more traditional. Waffles, with whip cream and a bowl of Saskatoon berries. This may sound incredibly dull, but please, look at photos from the brunch alone.
‘Til the waiter brings the cheque…