Living Out of Boxes (of Food)

It’s been quiet in these parts, and the food has been unexciting. Too much stuff out of packages and too much stuff out of take-out containers. There’s two more weeks of this to go, and I swear, once we get moved and settled, I never want to see another frozen pizza again.

I mean, it’s not as if we’re moving far – a whole five blocks east. But it’s still easier to weed down your kitchen cupboards and buy new, rather than moving all your groceries, particularly perishables. So we’re trying to use up and clear out, which means no trips to Whole Foods, or the markets (Kensington and St. Lawrence), or swank and lovely Pusateri’s.

Instead, we eat the crap. Salads out of tubs, the ubiquitous frozen pizzas, store-bought frozen vegetarian lasagna, and many things from soy made to resemble parts of dead critters. The plan is to eat the crap for now, and once we’re in the new place, unpacked, and have had time to hit all the grocery places for fresh grub, to do a two-week detox to clear all the gunk out of our systems.

We’re figuring it might even be easier to avoid the crap at the new place. Although it’s only five blocks away, here we’ve got lots of different places to grab quick take-away; Jerry’s Fish & Chips, four different roti places, a falafel place, three Tibetan restos, a bunch of pizza-by-the-slice joints to cater to the high school kids, and the hole-in-the-wall Sri Lankan place with the awful dosas, but the highly addictive deep-fried chili peppers. And those are just the veggie-friendly places. Within spitting distance of the new apartment is, are you ready? McD’s, Burger Thing, Quizno’s and Subway. Plus a crappy coffee chain, another roti place and a greasy spoon. Other than the roti place and the greasy spoon, it’s a wasteland. Sure, there are cute cafes and coffeehouses a few blocks east, and even a gourmet pizza place that makes vegan pizza, or we can head west and be back to the old part of our ‘hood in five minutes, but for a quick bite on the way home, there’s nothing we can/would eat. We avoid chains as much as possible, and there’s no way I’d risk my 17-year anti-McD’s campaign, even if the smell of the place didn’t make me want to puke.

No, I think the temptation will be small to non-existant.

In the meantime, we munch on fresh fruit and dates and carrot sticks to try and counter the salt and sugar and msg as much as possible. And once I can find my pots and pans again, it will be an austere two weeks of no caffeine, refined sugar, wheat or processed soy. Instead, it will be brown rice; steamed veggies; some small amounts of fresh tofu, miso and fish; and lots of fruit and juice. Greg will probably drink his morning coffee, but I am going to try to do without, for those two weeks at least. It should be an interesting time.

The grocery options are a lot better at the new place as well. The closest supermarket has a huge “multicultural” aisle with sections for Portugal, Poland, Asia (Tibet, China, India, Japan) and South America – all designed to cater to our very multi-cultural neighbourhood. If I can just keep from getting addicted to Sumol, the Portugese soda, I should be okay. The next closest place is a huge No Frill’s (part of the Loblaw’s chain which carries the President’s Choice line) and has a pretty decent fish counter. As in, “tank of lobster” decent.

So all in all, I’m pretty stoked to get into my new kitchen and start cooking. It’s just the next two weeks I have to get through first.