Small Food

How’s. It. Going. With. That. Ten. Dollar. Thing. they ask. They have read my blog entry, the one in which I’ve pledged to only eat out if the meal is ten bucks or less. (let it be known to one and all that this does not preclude being taken out for more pricey meals!)

There have been many a home-cooked meal, and many a tasty low-budget bite.

Vaguely Greek sidestripe shrimp stew on Remote Island, made for friends visiting from California elicits deep contented silence. Wow. It. Almost. Tastes. Like. Lobster. said one. I. Want. More. said the other. We ate til we could eat no more.

Which was slightly unfortunate, since my neighbour The Paintress, her partner, daughter and grandson were coming over, and I’d made rhubarb raspberry crumble with a candied ginger, oat, and cornmeal topping. That’s. The. Best. Crumble. I. Ever. Had. said The Paintress, once she’d tasted it. That made me proud. People on Remote Island are awesome bakers, they have to be. Standards are high. Those kind of compliments are rare.

It wasn’t until I left Remote Island (which is currently without a General Store and thus little temptation) that I really had to face up to my own challenge. But it was no biggie. In fact, I got introduced to some new foods and tastes. As usual, the food was made tastier by spicy friendship and piquant conversation.

Fantastic prawn tacos was devoured at Go Fish’s new location at Broadway & Granville, for nine bucks. I was with Madame Beespeaker, and we chatted ever so deliciously about art, writing, and citizen science, one of her many current passions. Madame hopes to educate the world about sustainable paints, community gardens, and the secret lives of bees.

The Film Editor and I discussed life, death and filmmaking over sweet potato spring rolls and gingery wontons at Wild Rice after watching Wenders’ flawed 3-D exploration of cave paintings in Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Blueberry/white chocolate Danish from Terra Breads on Granville Island. Four dollars. Could be a meal in itself. Shrimp and avocado sandwich purchased from a bakery in Sidney and consumed on exquisitely beautiful Sidney Spit.

And who knew cauliflower could be so delicious that you think about it for hours after the meal? A cauliflower wrap at Nuba, a small Lebanese food chain in Vancouver with The English Teacher made my tastebuds shimmer. Again, less than ten dollars was spent, as we shared the joys and woes of our writing projects (The English Teacher is actually an acclaimed Canadian writer) and her recent travels by train across the continent.

And then there was the apple, paired with Little Qualicum brie, devoured on a wee kayaking venture with my brother in Saanich Harbour. The salty air had made us hungry.

The glistening water, the occasional seal, the awkward, leggy blue heron we’d seen, put me in a state of euphoria. I pulled out the little snack baggies I’d made and handed one to my bro. Bro eats in fine restaurants all over the world but he was touchingly grateful that I had packed him a snack.

We floated aimlessly in companionable silence, gazed at water, sky and mountains, and ate.

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