Days in the city have been marked by pale, blank skies, temperate weather and a damp chill. A new semester begins, and the hallways of my workplace are feverish with students. No marking yet, so there are tiny bits of time to cook, or read a novel, between writing and festival submissions and the day-to-day admin of a part-time artist’s life.
There is good food in this city, and people to share it with. Izakaya (Japanese tapas) at the freshly-minted Guu on a chilly night with The Librarian. A room full of noise (the wait staff shout greetings and orders in unison), and eager smiling people at long wooden tables. We adore the BC tuna sashimi, the grilled black cod with miso and white wine sauce, and the grilled oysters with spinach, garlic mayonnaise and cheese. A few days later, hole-in-the-wall Mexican with The Tennis Player: pozole soup, enchiladas with mole sauce, and a colourful melange of Christmas and Mexican decorations.
And a tuna salad sandwich, shared with The Queer Organizer as we take a pause from skiiing in the hills near Mansfield, in the fresh, astringent air, is as delicious as anything I’ve eaten all week.
I’ve been making salads, too. A Waldorf-ish quinoa-apple salad; retro mushroom and spinach; a beet-fennel-carrot slaw. I cook wholesomely and earnestly, in this first month of a new decade: sweet potato and chickpea curry; pasta puttanesca. Tomorrow I will make minestrone soup, and later go to an Indian Harvest Dinner for which the Diasporic Filmmaker has requested perogies. I will walk through Trinity-Bellwoods Park to the Czech deli on Queen Street to purchase them, and then I’ll fry them up with onions and serve them with sour cream.
A good week of food and friends, in a troubled world.