Wait for it…..

9 12 2018

In retrospect, perhaps it was some sort of comedic karmic comeuppance when I said that we were lucky to have avoided any major issues with flying in the last few years.

We flew from Cancun into Calgary last Saturday, after a delicious week of turquoise blue Caribbean water and hot Mexican sunshine, lazy cribbage games and indulgent drinks imbibed before noon. It was a lovely getaway.

Our plane landed in Calgary a half hour early, thanks to some tailwinds. Lucky for folks living there, but now some of us had a 4 and half hour layover to kill before jumping on the plane to Kelowna. All in all, though, not a big deal. But then, as we made our way to the gate to get ready to board, the announcement came over the speaker that our flight was delayed 30 minutes. I could see the collected eye rolls of various passengers as we all plugged our phones in and tried to find something else to kill the bonus time.

Finally! The little Dash 8 arrived and I watched with amusement as the harried passengers offloaded and raced to make their various connector flights. It was cold and snowing that day, so I imagined that was partly the reason for the delay.

Finally after 45 minutes we were allowed to board. The ground crew de-iced us and the plane was ready to go…. but then the pilot announced that she was told there was an exterior panel issue that they needed to fix before we took off. Back to the gate we went, to wait for another ground crew to come and fix it all up….with a few exasperated sighs and seat shuffles that bespoke of most people’s frustrations.

Oh, wait. Did I tell you the best part? We had an active farter on board. One who, for whatever reason, thought it was entirely acceptable to drop rancid air biscuits every 5-10 minutes.

So, while we waited for the repair and then another de-icing, this furtive gas-passer continued to torture us all with what I can only assume is the raunchy results of a gastric inability to deal with Mexican food. Beans, beans, the musical fruit, and all that, I suppose. I sat with my scarf over my mouth the majority of the time. Tentatively I would gauge the air and find it safe, only to be lambasted yet again with another malodorous cheek squeak. It got so bad that one fellow sitting behind us announced that “Now would be a good time to use the facilities if anyone has to go”.

I believe this if the first time any of us had to deal with turbulence on the ground before. The tension and anger was simmering tangibly among us. I seriously considered auctioning off my little supply of Ativan to the highest bidders before anyone decided to lose their proverbial shit (pun entirely intended).

Finally after two hours of sitting in that tiny little plane with a lone wolf letting trouser trumpets fly, the pilot announced we were ready for takeoff. I have never felt such mutual jubilation in a group of tired, annoyed and disgusted people in my life. The rest of the flight continued uneventful, and apparently the guilty tooter had ridden him (or her) self of the intestinal issues and no further sphincter sirens were emitted.

 

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Spice

26 01 2015

When I was growing up in the ‘Wood, my foray into the culinary world was about as extensive as moose steak and mashed potatoes. The most exotic meal I knew of was Jigg’s Dinner, coveted by my bestie-Newfie-transplant-friend Lisa, OR the much-drooled-over in advance of the oft-made Pepper Steak, otherwise known as The Only Thing I Ever Saw Melissa Cook. I can still hear her say “Mmmmm…. Pepper steak,” as we cooked it on Saturday afternoons. We ate mostly healthy food back when I was young, but in retrospect, it might have been a tad limited. I wouldn’t say bland as I did grow up with a lot of homemade yummy goods as well as hunted meat, but the foreign aspect, the worldly aspect, the spice aspect…… it was missing. This isn’t to say it was anyone’s fault. It was the late 70s and early 80s in a small coal mining town. It just was the way it was, good or bad.

We all used to laugh about some of the kids in our class whose parents had immigrated from India, in our 80s sadly-acceptable-racist-ways, making fun of their abundant use of curry. Hahaha, we’d laugh, wrinkling our noses at such a foreign scent, never ever knowing the wonder of that spice. There was one day I recall that I went to my friend’s house: we tried on saris, I wore glass bangles all up my arms, and ate the most amazing sweet rice I have ever tried and this strange fudgey stuff, that I think now might have been Halva. My gastronomic juices began flowing, I believe on that day…. The strangeness of the flavours and textures made me curious about food.

I was lucky enough to travel a bit and I came to realize the astonishing fact that the Eye-talian spaghetti and meatballs I grew up eating (yes, absolutely DELICIOUS but still) bore no resemblance to the pasta I ate in Italy. Then I tried risotto. I was all “this is the best thing I have ever tried ever” and promptly gained 20 pounds eating gelato and chocolate and bread and pasta and mortadella. The brie in France was a creamy passion I fell in love with instantly. I tried duck for the first time. Sadly, I DIDN’T EAT ANY GOUDA IN HOLLAND! I regretfully realize now that my youth didn’t have the brains to sample more… Why didn’t I go to Spain? Or Greece? Ugh….. the mere lack of food experiences make me wistful. And eager to travel more.

I have slowly learned how to embrace cooking and the one thing that has made this a much easier path is my new gas stove, giving up fear of the unknown and just going for it. And wow, the fun I’ve had!

I enjoy cooking, I put on my iPod, pour my wine and COOK. It’s like a weird meditation for me, searing and sauteeing, chopping and peeling, dancing and adding flavour.  Salt and pepper liberally tossed around and onions softening in a melted butter orgasm.

I secretly love Anthony Bourdain. Yeah, he’s my pretend boyfriend.

The Food Channel is my weakness. I’m learning ever so slowly and my foray into the world of food, hopefully, won’t end any time soon.

So here’s to cooking, to dabbling in the unknown, to trying new things and treasuring the old.