“delicately flavored granita” by Julia in her bed


Saturday September 9, 2017
12:57am
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin


mom’s in the kitchen making “something you’ll like, shut up and trust me”
it’s her speciality
don’t know if she learned how when she was living in Naples nannying those conjoined twins
or before
or when she was raising her younger brothers so they wouldn’t fall off a cliff or accidentally drink lighter fluid
“something we’ll like” is often a combination of soft bread and sour spreads
something we wouldn’t know to choose
or if we’re lucky espresso granita
served with impossibly cute spoons

“Way bigger than you think.” by Sasha on her bed


Wednesday July 12, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s streetcar ad

When Maude pulls up she breathes a sigh of relief. It’s never felt so good to be home. It’s after midnight, so she imagines that Greg is asleep, curled up on his side as though she’s there. When Greg leaves, Maude sleeps like a starfish, taking up the whole bed. She also eats bowls of rice crispies for dinner and lets the dishes pile up. She wonders what Greg’s been eating… Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise, farmer’s market radishes on sourdough with salty butter, watermelon.

“also fun” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 6, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

She comes over to sit with me as I attempt to airplane a chicken noodle into her baby’s scowl. She brings cheerios and cottage cheese and sets them next to the breaded chicken, the cup of green peas, the watermelon, and the cheese quesadilla. We alternate forced forkfuls from the grand buffet he cannot appreciate. She looks thankful to be talking to an adult that isn’t her husband, sick from back pain. She tells me they haven’t gone on a date since he was born eighteen months and two weeks ago. She says sometimes they just have a glass of wine in bed after he stops crying.

“Chickpeas / Tahini” by Sasha at her desk


Monday May 1, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
From a grocery list

The way to his heart was through his taste
buds blooming on the upside down tree
dripping tahini and
honey
Begging for a lick
She made him falafel and pickled lemon
Peach sorbet
She tossed mint with arugula and massaged
kale with olive oil and vinegar
The way to his heart
The map she makes every day
charting the topography of a love
story that is still being written
right before their eyes
She blends tahini and chickpeas
garlic
salt
the rhythm of the pulsing
the rhythm of her heart
his heart
this heart
beats

“an advanced degree in creative writing” by Sasha on her balcony


Thursday April 26, 2017
1:19pm
5 minutes
Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert


Sitting on her bed, the woman shoves
chocolate chip cookies into her mouth
one two three four five six seven.
She barely chews, inhaling the
sweet soft hardness, exhaling
the loneliness, the fatigue,
the face and the feet.
The woman has just been accepted
to an advanced creative writing program.
Three, in fact. She tastes the imposter.
She tastes the unlovable. She tastes
the big body big story big in a world
where she is only wanted if she is
small. She tastes the failure of the
places where she has not been accepted.
She catches herself. She sweeps crumbs from
the bedspread and walks to the bathroom.

“Now that I’m free from any such shackles” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 6, 2017
10:37pm
5 minutes
davidsilverberg.ca

saved by the ivory
tower but not for long
good god i hope i don’t
have to
saved from the beer
spills and “our house wine
is a dollar an ounce”
from roll-ups and tip-outs
and “can we have more
bread?”
i’ll tell you what
the magic word is
it’s please

the summer i was
twenty one i worked
at a place where
the bartenders were
always high and the
sous chef called me a
stuck up bitch
and i cried in the
basement and ate shrimp
in the stairwell
and everyone seemed to
be fucking each other

then there was the
sous who would request
my presence in the kitchen
only to undo my apron
so that i’d have to bend
over and pick it up

then there was the
sous (is there a theme
here holy hell) who
would stick out his
chest when i’d come
to ask a question like
those are just my breasts
it’s how they are i
am not sticking anything
out or up except my
middle finger at your
ignorance

“I don’t have any change” by Sasha on her couch


Monday January 16, 2017
11:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

I want nothing more than to be a food writer.
To be paid to eat ridiculously delicious things
is some sort of heaven that I don’t seem to have
a ticket for. I try my luck at
buying my own dinner
and then writing about it
and sending it to that
cheap magazine you can find outside of
the dingy subway stations. They have the manners
to write me an email back,
“We have a food writer already, Maisie,
but best of luck with your future endeavours.”
It’s like somewhere between
buying my own avocado toast
and figuring out the adjectives best use
to describe hemp hearts
I got lost.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday October 7, 2016
12:14am
5 minutes
overheard on Oak St.

I’m not sure why… I guess, it’s always been a dream. I thought I wouldn’t do it until I had some sort of stability, until James or I were doing really well and we wouldn’t be sinking everything we have into it, but… Well, we’re doing just that and I have no regrets. Lots of people say, “You must be crazy to go into business with your husband!” “You must be crazy to open a restaurant!” “You must to CRAZY!” And, well, maybe they are right… I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’ve never been so excited for something in my life.

“I think he’ll appreciate this food” by Sasha on her porch


Friday August 19, 2016
10:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 84

You slice watermelon. The juice drips
down your fingers over your wrists up your arms
and into your pits.
You pick out the seeds
the ones you can see at least
with the left fork finger and you stack them
one on top of the other on the counter.
The compost is patient.
You roll a lime between
your sticky palms.
You slice it open and squeeze it’s juice
on the melon
ready and waiting to receive.

“if something opens up” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:14am
5 minutes
from a text

I’m waiting in line at the store
planning to buy this canned tuna
and a clue
because I got hungry
just
waiting and looking at the food
Seron said he was going to meet me here
I don’t think he’s coming
he said he would come to the broccoli aisle
but no one has showed up yet
that looks like it could be Seron
Based on his picture he will have a big black beard
and he said
for fun
he would be carrying
a daisy
in some way
I liked that he was trying to be creative
for me
because I told him before
I like making art and starting conversations
I wonder if we are at the same store
if he meant, maybe, a different one
or if I got the address wrong
I have been waiting for two hours
now
and counting
I wonder how long he has
been waiting
for me

“it would be like not listening at all” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday July 8, 2016 at Starbucks
6:49am
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I wake up everyday already loving you, you’re at, let’s say 20%. You know, like a server at a restaurant: I go in and I give you the benefit of the doubt, I start you at a 20% tip and if you mess up by being rude, I knock a couple percent off. I have no ill intentions, I don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be disappointed. I expect kindness. I expect good food. I expect thoughtfulness. And I expect, sometimes more than I should, a freebie of some sort. And then because I’ve eaten out at other restaurants before, I compare this service to that service to this service to that service, and I know when I’m not being treated right. I also know because I was a server once too, and it’s not hard to remember what was involved in a customer experience job. I wake up everyday at the top of my love for you. And then you forget to buy the garbage can again, or print off the movie tickets, or you bring home the light mayonnaise even though I specifically asked you NOT to get the light mayonnaise, for reasons that don’t need to be stated here. I’d say you’re lucky if you’re getting a base tip of 15% by lunch time.

“creamed corn with beer” by Sasha at Foundry Rd.


Monday July 4, 2016
10:16pm
5 minutes
Visiting my Sisters
Phil Hall


Vince likes his creamed corn with beer. He eats this on Sundays, because Sundays are lazy. Mondays Vince has a tuna melt with three dill pickles. Counts as his vegetables. That and the celery. “Good amount of veg,” thinks Vince. Tuesdays Vince goes for wings with Andy. Might even have a beer if he’s feeling deserving. Always gets Honey Garlic. He can’t handle heat. Andy makes fun of him, every week, because he gets Suicide. Vince used to laugh but doesn’t anymore. He doesn’t get how a joke can be funny the four hundredth time.

“how she wants to move herself” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 27, 2016 at Starbucks
7:04am
5 minutes
Apartment Hunting in the East End
Don Austin


How she wants to move herself is her business! My father exclaims from behind the island in the kitchen as he emphatically chops up the rabbit he’s getting ready for dinner. Why are we all spending so much time worrying about her? His cleaver comes down hard and clean, splitting leg from torso. I don’t know, Honey, I think this is a call for help. Tanya needs us right now and we’re just watching her spiral! My mother remains at her makeshift office in the corner of the dining room that connects to the kitchen. Her glasses are balancing on the tip of her nose. She wants to pay a bunch of strangers to crack her mind open so they can fill it back up with useless garbage!
Rita, my father shakes his head. We don’t need to get involved. She’s a grown woman. We did our job already. I don’t know, I just don’t know, my mother grumbles to herself.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt

“Mangiamo Italiano!” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 14, 2016 at Starbucks
6:52am
5 minutes
The front page of the Westender

They are sitting around a long table, glass bottles filled with fresh spring water from the well down the road. They are drinking Limoncello before noon. They are cracking jokes in dialect, English, Italian, and a combination of all three. They are sprinkling extra Parmigiana on their pasta shuta, adding extra wine, cheaper than water, to their tiny cups. Some of them add sugar. Some of them fall asleep while drinking it…
They are pouring olive oil on everything, going up for seconds before there are none left, and passing the soft bread, still warm from the hands that broke it just seconds ago. They are telling the same stories that have been told for decades, still expecting the same laughs, the same response even though everyone there has heard them in rotation. They are quiet and trying not to eat as much, or quiet and trying to take it all in, or quiet because there is so much love and it speaks volumes in the moments where only faint chewing is audible.

“Textures” by Sasha at the Green Beanery


Thursday April 28, 2016
5:52pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

my back the topography of the himalayas the andes the rockies
my insides the colour of the deepest places of the sea
it just keeps getting harder
mom is in the kitchen gorging on chocolate chips and
betrayal sister is dancing circles
in the living room
dervish of wonder of bewilderment
i’ll wait for you on the corner the moment the sun sinks
below the horizon

“tossing rolled oats” by Sasha standing in her kitchen


Sunday February 21, 2016
1:34pm
5 minutes
From a recipe

I show you I love you by toasting the pecans before putting them on top of your fruit and granola I show you I love you by making you chocolate you can actually eat with coconut oil and honey and cacao nibs I show you I love you by flipping your eggs over easy I show you I love you by making bread with sprouted flour and pumpkin seeds I show you I love you by leaving you a salad in the fridge with as much protein as you’ll need after a workout I show you I love you by buying you so much peanut butter (I never knew someone could eat so much peanut butter)

“No, I’ll never come back down,” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday February 1, 2016
10:29pm
5 minutes
Salt
Portugal.The Man


Guilty pleasures? Oh god. I don’t have those! HA. I do. I really do. My life is a guilty pleasure. No. It’s not. But I wish it were! HA.

Fried chicken? Cigarettes when I’m drunk? Molly? Salt water taffy?

No. Actually. If I had to choose just one it would be snooping into other people’s stuff. Fridges are my favourite. No! Pantries. Have you ever just like gone to town looking through someone’s pantry?! It’s a riot! And, if you ever do, help yourself to a thing or two! They’ll never know because who in their right mind does that? A kitchen is sacred. It’s personal. It’s intimate. I once ate a handful of mini peanut butter cups from someone’s (who shall remain nameless) secret stash and saw them lose it but they’d never guess it was me! Blamed it on the roommate. Poor soul. HA!

“Hard to hand over the reins” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday November 27, 2015
5:17pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Sun
Friday, November 27, 2015


When you teach me how to make your mother’s guacamole and salsa verde, when you show me how to carve a jalapeño open and scrape out the seeds, I’m finally getting to know you. I wanna dance around your kitchen like Swan Lake, I’m so excited. “I know you now,” I say. You smile, and hand me an avocado. It’s the first time I’m at your place, and it’s bigger than I’d imagined. It makes sense. I don’t read into the fact that you don’t have a roommate. I don’t make assumptions about your past, your bank account, or your job. I know you work in consulting. That’s enough. This is enough. You feed me a freshly fried tortilla, topped with our salsa and a leaf of cilantro. I close my eyes, savouring the spice and the juiciness of the green tomatoes.

“But it clearly manifests itself” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday October 29, 2015
8:30pm
5 minutes
The Real Terror Network
Edward S. Herman


Poseidon feels bad about the fish-sticks he eats. “They were on sale,” he whispers as we waits for them to crisp up in the toaster oven. He squirts ketchup on his plate in preparation. “It’s okay,” he says, biting down, the flaky white fish filling his mouth with saliva, a wave of flavour and crunch, softness and salt. “Yummm…” he sighs.

His parents were vegetarians, and Poseidon still feels shame and guilt when he goes out for burgers or shrimp roti. When his mother calls and asks what he’d like to bring for the Thanksgiving potluck, he bites his tongue. “Prime r-“… “What?” His mother laughs, astonished.

“that’d be a mess” By Julia on her patio


Monday, July 13, 2015
7:10pm
5 minutes
In The Boom Boom Room
David Rabe


I’m thinking about what I’ll make you for dinner when I see you again.
See, I’m debating between ribs and chicken cause you really liked them both the last time. Maybe I’ll make you both with the special sauce and the arugula salad. You went crazy for the arugula salad. Or the chili shrimp. I could make you the chili shrimp. I want it to be special. Seeing you again after all this time, I mean, It has to be special right? It can’t just be thrown together. It has to be thought out. What a mess it’d be if I made all the dishes you liked but not well because there was a lack of focus. I tend to focus poorly when there’s more than one thing to focus on. I’m thinking about seeing you again, and kissing you again, and cooking for you again, and that’s very hard for me. It’s very hard not to let my mind wander. My mind’s a mess. You know it feels especially cluttered these days. Need someone to go in and do a spring cleaning, get all the cobwebs down, reorganize all the big issues so I don’t have to trip over them just to get to the good ideas.

“Our backyard garden plot” by Sasha in the passenger seat of a Car2Go


Saturday, June 26, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

Dear Jemima,
I put in the garden this weekend and I can’t thank you enough for sending over those seeds. I can already feel them growing. It’s amazing to look over the raised beds and think of the cuttings from Babs and the seeds from you… You’re both growing so close! I like that a lot. I bought a huge bunch of garlic scapes at the market and I’m going to make them into pesto. They’re so pungent! Do you think I should roast them first or something? Garlic and parm and stuff? Whenever I’m in the kitchen I think about you and how easily all that stuff seems to be when you’re doing it. You effortless beauty. I’m always second guessing every move. I’ve got to try to be more confident, I think. Have you got a garden this year? I know it’s a commitment, but I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:12am
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


If you catch some salmon, I’ll grill it up real good… I’m also a really good baker. I make excellent Christmas cookies and cookies with cashews and… Why do I feel like I’m trying to impress you? I’m not trying to impress you. I’m just… Food is something I know. I am good with food. I’m not so good with people. I’m better with cracking an egg. I’m better with cutting up an onion or a carrot or…

Look – if you’d like to come over, I will make you a really delicious soup. Oh… I’m not hitting on you. I don’t even like women. I barely like men, I just… If I was going to make you a soup, I’d make you a coconut Thai curry with tofu and lemongrass. You look like one of those people – who can handle a little bit of spice but doesn’t want anything that’s going to smack you on the chin.

You can tell a lot about someone by the kind of soup they eat.

“three variations to play with” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Monday February 16, 2015
6:03pm
5 minutes
chatelaine.com

It’s funny how the colours change, how suddenly oatmeal tastes really different. Kenneth makes a mean bowl of oatmeal. He lets the oats soak overnight, covered, on the countertop and then, in the morning, there is the best damn oatmeal you’ve ever had. He adds raisins and flaked coconut, a little drizzle of honey. Warm soy milk. He’s inspired me to switch to soy, that wasn’t something I did on my own. I’m not that health inclined, right? But Kenneth reads all those articles and they really stick, he remembers every little thing! Chia seeds have protein and avocados are good for your hair and eat some fish, but not too much and – ! Phewf! It gets exhausting! So many variations of health to play with, so many possibilities. I say, make a piece of toast and put some peanut butter on it and call it a day but not Kenneth. “If you’re going to spend your money on anything, spend it on your fuel,” he says. It’s not “food”. It’s “fuel”.

“and back to discipline” by Julia on the couch at the Coren’s country house


Friday December 26, 2014
1:43pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Wake up. 6am. Decide. Wake up? 6am? Sleep longer. One hour? One half hour. Wake. Wake up. Wake up and start. Day needs. Lists. Wake up. 6:16am. Decide. Move. Go. Start. Coffee. Skip it. Banana. Second banana. Leftover popcorn. Start. Go. Teeth brushed. Floss? Not today. Not tomorrow either. Fuck. Buy toothpaste. Buy deodorant. Troll living. Stop troll living. Out the door. Go. Get moving. Groceries. Find recipe for butter tarts. Try to look everywhere. Go to store. Back. Back to store. Buy butter. Buy butter tarts. Fuck it. Fuck. Check list. Clams. Clams? Oh, clams. For the sauce. Build the sauce. 4pm start. Ready for 6pm. 6pm. Decide. Decide to wash. Tomorrow maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Change sweatshirt. Tomorrow buy new sweatshirt.

“and back to discipline” by Sasha in the kitchen at Bowmore


Friday December 26, 2014
12:13pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Her pants are tight. She resents that, but she keeps quiet about it and makes sure no one knows when she unbuttons the top button and pulls her shirt down past her bum. It was a terrible idea to make fudge. She feasted and only had enough left to give it to her mother and her brother for Christmas. Her poor dad said, “Where’s mine, pookie?” And she had no words. She just pointed to her round tummy and felt the colour rise in her cheeks. She ate ham and turkey and left the potatoes but then ate them when no one was looking. She poured gravy on her pancakes and when her brother made fun of her she took them into the bathroom and ate sitting on the toilet.

“Share with a friend!” by Sasha on the bus home


Wednesday November 26, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

When my mother makes soup she chops up everything in the fridge – even the rejected broccoli florets in the crisper corner – and she lets it simmer and she adds salt and pepper only at the very end.

“Two eggs and one piece of whole grain toast has been my breakfast for forty six years… Why would I change that now?”

When my mother goes grocery shopping she organizes her grocery list by type. “Fruit”, “Meat”, “Dairy”, “Treats”.

“Snacking causes obesity.”

When my mother makes salad dressing, she chops up garlic very finely. She refuses to use a garlic press. “Lazy,” she calls them.

“Take this banana bread and share it with a friend! I don’t want it!”
“Well then why did you make it?”
“I wanted one or two pieces, not the whole loaf! If it sits on the counter, I just eat it!”

When my mother orders tea in a restaurant she says, “Bag out, please.”

“The flavours are so simple but they’re so good” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday September 19, 2014
6:19pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ phone conversation

Nice spaghetti, sweetheart, you’re really nailing the sauce. When he looks at me like that, Liza, I wanna punch him right in the nose. Imagine what he’d do if he got blood all down the front of his shirt. Phew… And he’s going and telling Henry that he was the one to come up with “Joe Schmo”… I mean, come on! I was the one who introduced that! That’s mine! I don’t wanna be petty, you know that, Liza, but I feel like I need to fight for what is mine and “Joe Schmo”? That’s mine. Man, honey, the flavours are so simple here, but they’re so so good. You really are a catch, Liza. Enough about Henry, he can keep lying to the whole lot of them. He doesn’t have you making him dinner and that’s what really matters. But, damn it, the guy drives me crazy.

“BAM” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday July 30, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park

My mother used to work for Pasquale. Did you know that? I could have sworn I mentioned that around the first or second date. You know, the way things about your family comes up? That was my thing. That was my party trick! You were talking about béchamel sauce which I internally corrected you as “Beshamella” because if it’s not pronounced in Italian I don’t even want to pretend to care. But she wrote out his cookbooks. He spoke to her in Italian, she transcribed them, and BAM! I am now the sole owner of Pasquale’s perfect lasagna recipe which when I make, is an absolute show stopper. I mean, I could have sworn I mentioned it when we went to eat at Neve Sole and you ordered the bruschetta but you pronounced it “brushetta” and I almost lost my mind about it because how many lame Italian cliche jokes do you need to hear before you actually just NEVER pronounce it in a mangia-cake way?

“What bugs you?” by Julia at her desk


Sunday June 1, 2014
11:08am
5 minutes
A List of Questions to inspire scenes

1.Waking up after wearing tight bottoms and seeing belly fat first thing in the morning
2.Dirty fingernails
3.People who hate other people for no reason
4.Guys holding a woman’s purse just so she doesn’t have to
5.Girls who ask guys to hold their purses so they don’t have to
6.Food getting thrown away before everyone is offered some
7.Batteries. (honestly, WHERE are they supposed to go when they’re dead?)
8.Ingrown hairs that leave scars
9.Having to use my keys to get into my house
10.Going to sleep without yawning the right amount
11.People who don’t drink enough water and then complain about always having head aches
12.When people don’t move out of the way on the sidewalk for people trying to actually use it

“that they might have life” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 17, 2014
4:02pm
5 minutes
John 10:10

This is the time of year for fiddleheads
Or it should be
If winter would finally melt away once and for all
This is the time that the fiddleheads grow on the banks of the river
Peeking through the moist ground
I’ve heard that if you close your eyes and listen
You can hear the earth opening
They can grow four inches in a day
Fiddleheads taste like asparagus’ illusive cousin
Related distantly to mushrooms
And broccoli
They are my mother’s favourite
She used to steam them
Half an inch of water in the bottom of the pot
Just a few minutes
They should still crunch
She’d spoon a bit of butter
A sprinkle of salt
Fiddleheads are coming
There are no fiddlehead farms
Really
Just foragers who find them
And sell them
Who can make a pretty penny
On those early spring days
When we so crave something from the earth
Close by to where we life

“Looking at those thin winter trees” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 23, 2014
3:28pm
5 minutes
Cairo Blues
Leif Vollebekk


If I opened my kitchen cupboards, I’d feel exposed, I’d feel excited, I’d feel giggly and sweaty-palmed. You’d see smoked paprika and pink sea salt first, truffle salt second, alongside pumpkin seeds and peppercorns. The small, red sesame grinder rests nearby, no doubt a small pile of ground seeds under her bottom. Behind that is a can of chickpeas, a can of kidney beans, a small can of tomato paste. A jar of popcorn kernels, nearly forgotten because I’ve forbidden Sam from burning another one of my favourite pots. Powdered kale, made by my mother, a small jar of her famous corn relish, corn shucked by me, small husk dolls made by Sam. On the second shelf are the oils and vinegars, the wet things that bring balance and provide lubrication in the roasting pan – Palestinian olive oil, organic balsamic, Umeboshi, grapeseed oil. Some people pride themselves on their shoes, or their books or their antiques. The things I hold dear rest on our tongues and go down our throats to our thankful bellies. The places I go, away from the thin winter trees, are carried on spoonfuls of coconut butter and sprinkles of cardamon.

“blows a kiss” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 13, 2013
1:42am
5 minutes
metro weekend December 14-15, 2013

She’s too sweet like a bag of candy from the bulk barn. You think you’re going to get sick of the sweetness, but then you see the bag there and you just can’t help yourself. You’re an addict for it, and you know you’ve had better quality than this before. You keep forgetting for a split second how unsubstantial it is, how filled with sugar to mask the lack of flavour. She’s like that. She’s one of those small doses, don’t miss it till you have it again and realize it’s been too long since you’ve had it in the first place. You keep hoping each bite will taste slightly different, maybe a touch of mint, you convince yourself was in the last attempt. She’s like that. She let’s you eat her up and think about how she’s doing absolutely nothing good for you. She’s not a cleanse, or a diet. She’s not a New Year’s resolution, or a necessary amount of nutrients for your daily intake. She’s nothing and everything, and she consumes you the way you consume her. The way you forget to make a proper meal for yourself because your body is tricked into feeling full after just one or two handfuls. Then before you know it, it’s past the hour you thought you’d be sleeping by, and it all seems so hard to stop.

“butter chicken roti” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, August 15, 2013
12:06am
5 minutes
from restaurant sign

she told me to meet her at the restaurant around the corner from Bobby’s grocery. She said, wear a suit and tie, I’m going to tell you something good, and if you love me you’ll pre-order the chicken marsala and ask for extra sauce.
I told her I would rather get some meat on a stick from one of those local trucks that look more like wagons than motor vehicles. she laughed as if I were kidding and told me, don’t be late, or I’ll know who you are and once I know there’s no changing my mind.
So I went to the restaurant around the corner from Bobby’s grocery and I waited for 6 minutes before I ordered the chicken marsala for her (even though they said it wasn’t their specialty and highly recommended I ordered something less like..well..chicken marsala).

“I really cannot tell you with what it was filled” by Julia at Queen and University


Wednesday, July 31, 2013
2:47pm
5 minutes
Kwaidan
Lafcadio Hearn


I will try with every single ounce of my strength to recall to you what was in that delicious, light, and flaky pastry, but I’m sorry, when you eat something that is as magnificent as this gift from, quite literally, heaven up above, you find it a little difficult to…OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. Sorry. I did just get a reminder of how unbelievable it was. As you can see, pastries are my weakness. My Achilles’ heel! I was just thinking about it again and I couldn’t even stop to tell myself to stop because it was just so freaking mouth watering. I’m sorry. I’ll try again. It had a custard….OOOOOOOOH! It was french, and I know it, because I have tasted so very many of them, and it was creamy, and rich, and I…..I’m sorry. This has never ever been an easy subject for me to talk about. I’m actually getting…oh no….emotional….I didn’t mean for it to…overcome me this way. It’s just when I get to the filling, my brain goes into overdrive and my heart just pounds for mercy. Let me out! It screams. My heart, of course, as it feels like a caged animal being kept from the wild even though it’s the worst possible thing for an animal of that nature! I WOULD SAY IT WAS JUST A REGULAR FILLING BUT THAT WOULD BE A LIE.

“the suffering they have known” by Julia on the subway going north


Monday, July 15, 2013
6:30pm
5 minutes
A Brief For The Defense
Jack Gilbert


She was wearing denim cutoffs that were too big for her new body. They kept falling off every time she turned or moved. She wasn’t used to so much attention from everybody’s mother thinking she was too skinny to be healthy. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but she had stopped eating the bad stuff and started calling everything an intolerance. Not because she had an eating problem, but because she had an intolerance to feeling shitty every day. She told herself that morning that she was going to buy a belt. Or new denim cutoffs. Or whatever. She found out recently that she has an obsession for calamine lotion. She didn’t really want to talk about it but it was becoming more and more of a problem. Just the cold stuff getting all crusty and crumbly. She liked that part the best, where she could brush off each bit like chalk dust. Her new body was like a new brain at the same time. Suddenly feeling out of place and like an object, but also liking the new looks that she was getting since it happened.