BY LAURA JANE & LIZ & JEN
Monday, May 12
LJ: I woke up at 8:30 in the morning. I drank a cup of black coffee and ate a banana while loading up the previous night’s episode of Mad Men. I picked out two daily Tarot cards for the next two days: Death and the Empress. It’s such a drag how often I draw Death.
An hour and a half later, my boyfriend and I took a cab to the Starbucks next to the Greyhound bus station. I had an iced Venti Americano and a peach & raspberry yogurt parfait. Every time I eat that parfait I am blown away by how weirdly good it is. My favorite part of eating yogurt parfaits is dumping the little plastic cup of granola bits into the yogurt. I remember when I was a kid and that yogurt-concept was first invented. It still feels like an extravagance.
We got on a bus to Barrie, which is an hour and a half north of Toronto, and watched Mad Men with an earphone-splitter. I’d bought a Green Machine juice at Starbucks and drank a little bit of it on the bus. It was lukewarm and the vegetable-y aftertaste was too pronounced. It tasted like the inside of your mouth having just woken up from a nap you took after recently eating onions. I drank the end of the juice while we waited for Mark’s parents to pick us up from the Barrie bus station out of desperation.
We got in Mark’s parents van. It was a three hour drive up to Owen Sound, where they live. It is very far North and very rural, I think by Georgian Bay. That night Mark’s mom asked me if I’d ever been to this part of Ontario before and I had to say, “I honestly don’t know where I am right now.” In the car I ate a cucumber sandwich that Mark’s mom made. She cut the skin off the cucumber, we just had that with mayonnaise on white bread. Very chill sandwich. I had another banana, even though I didn’t really want a banana, so as not to be rude. “Eating so as not to be rude” was an overarching theme of my day.
It was a gloomy grey day out and Mark and I each had a cup of Typhoo in the backyard. His Mom said we made it too strong, like mud, but I liked it.
For dinner we had roast chicken, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, carrots, green beans, and a shredded beet salad with some feta cheese crumbled on top. I’d never eaten a meal like that in my life. When I was growing up, my parents barely cooked, and when they did it was usually their weird specialties: my Dad made good chili, and my Mom made crepes. Maybe I might have eaten similar meals at some of my friends’ houses, but I’ve since forgotten them. I drank two glasses of Chardonnay and had seconds (so as not to be rude). For dessert we had a Swiss roll made with lemon cream and blackcurrant jam. I also had two little crescent roll pastries, one with raspberry jam and one with apricot, and a coffee with some cream and sugar. I didn’t take any pictures of the food because I didn’t want to be rude. At the end of the meal I was the kind of full where you want to unbutton the top button of your pants.
Mark and I went for a walk after dinner but I was lethargic. We watched three episodes of a TV show called Coast, which is a geography show about all the different sections of the UK coast. One was about Wales, and then we watched a couple of Scotland ones. I ate two Triscuits with cheese so as not to be rude. It was maybe five or six hours past dinner, but I was still stuffed. Mark and his parents all drank Martinis, but I had another glass of wine instead.
LIZ: So I generally eat the same thing for breakfast every day. What I do is take two eggs and fry them up in my beloved cast iron skillet (somewhere between over-medium and over-hard), and in a separate pan I cook up some grains (oats, rye, barley, whatevs) so they get to a nice, chewy texture. Then I take a bowl and mash the eggs and grains up with a whole lot of Tapatio, plus sea salt. (I love salt - I have a "salt tooth," like Betty Draper's creepy dad who salts his chocolate ice cream.) My breakfast is not very attractive - it looks like something you'd call "mush," or maybe "gruel" - but I promise it's totally delicious.
So I eat that, and then I drink my tea: black tea (Zhena's Coconut Chai, or any kind of chai or earl grey) with original-flavor Soy Dream and brown sugar. I can't live without my tea.
It was mega-hot that Monday. I ate lots of green grapes while I was working, and then sometime in the late afternoon I went to go get a little snack at El Batey (which is closing soon, on the account of the fact that Echo Park is going to hell in a handbasket). I ended up getting a Cherry Coke Zero, which was an odd choice, and also a coconut popsicle. I was hoping for a rice pudding popsicle, like the one I'd eaten the week before, which had this fun warning on the back:
but the coconut popsicle was just fine. I ate it on the walk home. The world's very jacaranda-y right now and I like it.
At this point I'm going to complain about how I came home from my perfect time at the writers residency on Martha's Vineyard expecting to have lots and lots of checks waiting for me (I'm a freelancer, I live on checks that come in the mail) but instead there were no checks. NO CHECKS, GUYS, mostly due to people being incompetent jerks. Major drag. Also my work schedule's been completely bonkers since the second I came back from the island, which meant that by Monday I was in a state of constantly working but having zero dollars to show for it, which got to be a little demoralizing after a while. What I'm getting at is: I got home from El Batey and drank my weird soda, and took a few minutes before getting back to work to just sit there and feel burnt out and hot and exasperated by the incompetence of others. Halfway through my soda I put on "A Hard Day's Night" and looked at a picture of John Lennon in A Hard Day's Night and thought about how it had been a hard day's night. That was a good moment. It made me feel lighter and connected to the Beatles in a positive, innocent way.
Okay so then for dinner I had a big stir fry: brown rice, the "super-firm high-protein" tofu from Trader Joe's, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce. This is my giant thing of chili garlic sauce btw:
I love it. It costs $14 and contains 771 servings.
Also a spoiler alert is that I'm going to eat big stir-fry for dinner every night till Thursday, which has to do with the whole everybody-in-the-world-forgot-to-pay-Barker-this-month thing. I ate like a goddamn prince on the Vineyard, so I'm basically cool with my food life being kind of blah at the moment. But a little while after dinner I watched the bang-bang episode of Louie and got so jealous about his Indian feast, I couldn't even deal. I was jonesing so hard for lamb korma, man. Lamb korma and naan, and just heaps upon heaps of beautiful basmati rice.
JEN: I went to start making my morning smoothie and realized Alan left the refrigerator slightly open overnight. Things seemed kind of fine, still cool, but when I poured out some almond milk it had those little flakes in it that means it went bad. I made a smoothie with a banana, frozen raspberries, frozen cherries, frozen blackberries, some goji berries, some chia seeds, peanut butter and some water. Not almond milk. It was fine.
On my way to work I got a small black coffee from Oren’s. I ate leftovers for lunch. I had made this garlicky tahini-y nutritional yeast-y kale the night before with some roasted chickpeas and brown rice. I added half of an avocado to it this time. After lunch I had some kukicha tea.
I ate a couple of handfuls of walnuts before meditating. Probably like 12 walnuts.
It was around 80 degrees today - this felt very hot, very summer-y. I hate the heat and felt like I was in hell, so it was a kind of psychotic move to broil some asparagus for dinner. I did that and made my 4th floor apartment which just soaks up heat even hotter. I ate the asparagus with quinoa & tempeh cooked with some garlic. I squeezed a lemon on top of it all. I love broiled asparagus. Asparagus is at the farmer’s market for such a short period of time in these parts it was maybe worth torturing myself to make it.
Tuesday, May 13
Lunch was another feast. We started off with barszcz, which is Polish for borscht. I was expecting it to be more of a consommé so I was happy to see that it was on the chunkier side, with extra beets and carrots and celery. There are a few things in the world I just don’t have time for. One of them is eating clear soup, and the other is drying my hands with a hand-dryer. Give me a break.
For our lunch main course we had pierogies and a really nice kale salad. Here is Mark’s mom’s genius kale salad recipe that I think we should all steal: kale, feta, red onion, mangoes and walnuts in an olive oil, honey, lemon and mustard dressing. I think I ate about four times as much salad as anyone else which was fine because it allowed me to show a little bit more restraint with the pierogies than I may have otherwise. And of course we had lunch-dessert! Lunch-dessert days are such excellent days. We had the end of the previous evening’s Swiss roll, and I ate another one of those little raspberry crescent rolls. I had a Chinese almond cookie that made me wish I’d eaten the Chinese almond cookie instead of the raspberry thing so that I could have had two almond cookies. At that point I was really burning out on eating things. Mark’s mom also made some biscotti, the only dessert on the planet that I actively dislike, but she insisted I try one anyway. It wasn’t as dull as some other biscottis I’ve been forced to try in my life, but it was still a bit of a waste of time. Biscotti are like the dog biscuits of being a human. I gave the rest of mine to Mark when his mom wasn’t looking.
I didn’t eat anything again for a long, long time, and even when I did, it was only because I felt I should. Mark and I each had a pint of beer at a bar in Barrie while we were waiting for our bus back to Toronto- mine was Railway City Dead Elephant IPA, which didn’t really change my life or anything, but I’ve never met an IPA I didn’t at least kind of like. For 10 PM dinner I ate frozen yogurt from Yogurty’s. The last time I ate Yogurty’s I held back and felt unsatisfied and ended up eating a Clif bar five minutes after eating my Yogurty’s and wishing I’d just eaten more Yogurty’s instead, so I made a conscious effort not to make the same mistake again. It’s just that I’m always afraid they’re going to weigh my Yogurty’s at the checkout and be like, “Congratulations, this is the most expensive Yogurty’s that anyone has ever purchased in all Yogurty’s history. You are out of control, young lady.”
Luckily, that didn’t happen. I had white chocolate and salted caramel yogurt with some almonds, peanuts, coconut shreds, and chocolate sprinkles on top, and then in the other half of my container I had pomegranate sorbet with pineapple and blueberries. We got home and I did a little workout and then Mark and I watched the Top Chef Canada finale while sharing a bottle of Bellwoods Brewery Bimini Twist, which is a nice light lemony beer that they genius-ly age in white wine barrels. It has such a great white wine energy shining out of its beeriness. I think white wine is the closest you can get to drinking actual light.
LIZ: I've decided to name my breakfast "gruel," in homage to the part in Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan says "grool." For breakfast on Tuesday I had gruel and tea. It was perfect as always.
And then more green grapes! It was still hot as hell, probably hotter. Sometime in the early evening I went to Superking and got a big variety pack thing of La Indita Michoacana fruit bars, which are the best popsicles in the world. On the ride home I ate one of the strawberry pops and listened to Kendrick Lamar while stuck in rush-hour traffic in the sweltering heat; it felt so right.
For dinner I had stupid stir-fry and then later on I had a coconut pop, and also a peach. The peaches are already so sweet and juicy like it's middle of July or something, which is unnerving and wonderful, and I had some nice chardonnay too. I'm a big fan of the $4.99 Santa Barbara Landing chardonnay at Trader Joe's: it's quietly caramel-y and so good for lying around the porch at the end of a hot day and listening to Seals & Crofts and Gerry Rafferty and various other divorcée-rock artists. An ideal state of existence.
JEN: I make smoothies every morning before I go work, so I made another one. Almond milk, lemon juice, frozen raspberries/blackberries/cherries, peanut butter, goji berries, chia seeds. I also included a scoop of ‘Rockin’ Wellness’ which is this cocoa powder smoothie stuff. It tastes good. The name and logo are so mortifying I almost lied and left it off of here.
I barely slept at all the night before because MY ROOM WAS SO HOT. I was very tired and I got a coffee with soy milk from Oren’s.
I ate a handful of hickory smoked almonds from dean and deluca around 11am. These are from my co-workers desk. For lunch I have left over quinoa and tempeh. I add half of an avocado to this to make it less lame. I also bought and ate a small bag of salt and vinegar kettle chips. I just wanted chips. I ate some of the quinoa by scooping it up with chips.
I met Rachel (who is a celeb apparently, look!) at Champs for dinner. We like to eat meals at Champs and talk about our feelings. There’s a David Lynch quote about the safety of a diner – how you can sit there and think about any terrible thing but you always return to the safety of the diner and your milkshake. He’s right. We each have a couple of cups of coffee, duh, it is a diner. It’s a vegan diner though, so I ordered the buffalo ‘chicken’ salad. We split fries. It’s all really good and perfect. I usually eat too much here and this salad + fries was a really good call. We sat outside, which I have never done there. There are just a couple of tables kind of weirdly on the side. It was maybe a little too cold to be sitting outside. We split a giant chocolate chip cookie, more coffee and then left because we were freezing.
At home I had a cup of ginger lemon tea and watched this movie Tokyo Sonata with Alan. I found the movie deeply depressing.
Wednesday, May 14
I drank a cup of black coffee and then stopped into the Green Beanery, a conveniently-located coffee shop that I don’t like, where I bought an iced Americano to drink during the five-minute walk from the corner of Bloor & Bathurst to the Fresh at Bloor & Spadina, where I was meeting my mom for lunch, which I think counts as brunch when it’s the first thing you’re eating that day. I had an Eternal Youth juice, which was strawberry, raspberry, cherry, spinach and kale. I expected it to be either green or reddish but instead it was a deep, dark brown. It looked like I was drinking a cup of mole sauce through a straw. And I had an “All-Star” salad, which was shredded kale, sunflower sprouts, quinoa & adzuki bean tabouleh, grilled tofu steaks, grilled sweet potato, and some other stuff including but not limited to goji berries. I ordered a side of avocado and it was the most sad and pathetic amount of avocado that anyone has ever paid two dollars for in all of human history. I mixed it into my salad and never even noticed myself eating it. It got lost in the shuffle.
In the afternoon I went for a run and drank lots of water. I am not being very consistent about documenting my water-drinking; in fact I think this is the first time I’ve mentioned it. I only brought it up because I wanted to brag that I went for a run.
That night I met Teri & Sam for dinner at a restaurant uptown called John & Sons. There were a lot of rich-looking white-haired people there, but I don’t think that was the restaurant’s fault. The restaurant didn’t appear to be going out of its way to be courting the patronage of rich-looking white-haired people. I guess one rich-looking white-haired person went there and liked it, and then they told one of their rich-looking white-haired friends, and so on, and before John & Sons knew what hit them, the information had been fully disseminated amongst Toronto’s rich-looking white-haired person community. I started out by eating two oysters accompanied by seventy thousand condiments. My first oyster was from New Brunswick, and it was called a “French Kiss.” It’s weird to think about some oyster guy sitting around and deciding to pervily name his oyster breed “French Kiss.” I ate that oyster with pink champagne and horseradish. Nothing tasted like anything it was supposed to. My other oyster was a Kusshi from BC. It was fat and fishy and I had it with some hot sauce.
My main course was something called a “tuna BLT.” It was a little tower of panko-crusted tomato slices- really nice, beefy tomatoes- seared yellowfin tuna, maple-miso glazed pancetta, spinach I think, and edamame horseradish cream. I felt really special eating it, like if someone had showed my eleven-year-old self a picture of it and told her, “This is what you eat when you’re twenty-eight,” I would have guessed I ended up a movie star. It’s nice how you don’t have to be a movie star or banker to eat crazy stacks of fancy food anymore.
The three of us shared two desserts- one was a citrus olive oil ice cream with red wine poached pears and almond crumble, which was really unbelievable, so quiet and warm. Warm like warm-hearted. The kind of food I would imagine myself serving people when they come over to my forty-five year old self’s house in the south of France. The other was brownies, which was our awkward server’s mistake- we’d actually ordered doughnuts, but didn’t bother doing anything about it. I’d rather eat a brownie than wait for doughnuts. They weren’t anything too special, but I’m not one to complain about oozy chocolate ever.
I drank two Tromba margaritas with dinner. Tromba Blanco is easy drinking and reminds me of the gummy candies I would eat as a kid- not the kind from the corner store, the kind that came in little packs, maybe five to a box, from the supermarket. Some were shaped like dinosaurs. I detect notes of those lunchbox gummies in most of my favorite white tequilas.
In keeping with the theme- I came home and drank a couple stiff Espolon Blanco and sodas out of a Cab Sauv glass.
LIZ: Gruel & tea. Still grossly hot.
Later in the morning I had some mango and then in the afternoon I went to work at the Starbucks in Atwater Village and ran into my friend Mando, which inspired me to start rolling up my jeans (THANKS MANDO!!). I got an iced coffee and some trail mix which included goldenberries and now goldenberries are my best thing. Every time I go to Starbucks nowadays I think about getting one of those flower cookies, which I have a feeling probably taste lots like the polar bear cookies that LJ invented liking in Christmas 2009. But then I never actually get them. If you've ever eaten a Starbucks flower cookie, please get in touch and tell me all about them.
Stupid goddamn stir-fry again (I'm being cheeky; it's actually delicious - I don't eat bad food). And then a mango pop which is soooooo dreamy: it's like if a Creamsicle were made with mangos instead of "orange." I wish La Indita Michoacana and Strawberry Fields Whatever could merge, like SCP and McCann-Erickson or whatever the hell.
JEN: Snoozefest Smoothie: almond milk, frozen raspberries, cherries and – wild card!!! – mangos!!!!, peanut butter, chia seeds, RW, and a banana. This was an especially good smoothie.
I made English breakfast tea at work instead of drinking coffee and yawned all day.
I had a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day. I had to get 2 immunizations and when I left the doctor's office I got some coconut water to bring on the subway. I felt that somehow that would be helpful – like if I ended up having some weird reaction to a vaccine COCONUT WATER would save me on the subway. As if.
I got vegetable tofu cream cheese on a sesame bagel from Pick A Bagel for lunch. I also ate the other half of my avocado from yesterday. I’m eating a lot of avocado this week.
As soon as I left work I began to feel lightheaded, overheated, and like I may faint. I needed water and something to eat right away. I went into Baked by Butterfield which is right next to the subway. I got a bottle of Volvic brand water because their logos remind me of drawings I did my Junior year of Art School and a vegan gluten free chai chocolate chip scone, which proved to be a bad choice. I ate the scone out of the bag as I got on the subway. Eating on the subway is something I’m mostly against. This doesn’t have a smell so it’s not offensive to other people, just disgusting and germ ridden for me putting my subway paws into my mouth. The scone is gross but it takes me a few bites to realize. I just needed something. It’s incredibly dry and crumbly. The water helps a lot.
I get home and meditate and fall asleep and then I make dinner. I made quinoa pasta – penne style. I also made very garlicky oil w red pepper flakes. I toss some kale in the last minute of the pasta cooking and then dump the oil all over everything. It’s good.
At some point throughout the night I develop a fever and my arms are extremely sore from my vaccinations. I have ginger lemon tea and almond sea salt chocolate while scanning in my finished Weed Hounds album art (it’s coming out so soon!!!!!!!!). I feel insane and exhausted and don’t trust myself to color correct and crop them. I go to bed and sleep like a Dracula - on my back with my hands across my chest since I can’t move my arms.