Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From the vault - Meet Bob*

Years ago, a friend and I were heading to a house-warming party for our friend Sally*. Before the party, Sally instructed us both: "you are going to be meeting Bob*, and whatever you do, don't stare at his eczema because he gets upset." Well, I, for one, having the social graces of a 7 year-old, really appreciated this warning, otherwise I'd have been staring all the while, and may have asked Bob a lot of embarrassing questions...

At the time, Sally was really into "Community Living" and she had invited quite a houseful of interesting characters. I didn't know this was supposed to be a "dry" party and showed up with Sangria, which everyone immediately slurped up, much to Sally's dismay. The night wore on and I became increasingly restless while trying to connect with other guests, as we all yelled to hear each other over Sally's horrific guitar playing.

Then, Bob arrived, and Bob was about 7 and a half feet tall. He was a pale-skinned man and yes, he had some eczema on his face, however, it was barely visible in the shadow of his giant cowboy hat. Bob also had the longest feet I have ever seen, and he was sporting a pair of those mesh slip-on shoes in navy blue, with no socks. In addition, Bob had a cast on his left arm, which he was eager to explain to each person he met. When Sally introduced us, he told me excitedly "I got hit by a car yesterday!" I said "wow, that's awful!" and he said "TOTALLY!" and continued his way around the room to meet everyone else.

Now, the thing that killed me about all of this is that Sally only cautioned us about staring at Bob's eczema. No "oh yeah, he's like 8 feet tall" or "he might be wearing his oversized, novelty cowboy hat." Nothing. Just no staring at his eczema. "Whatever you do, DO NOT stare at Bob's eczema." And we didn't...

*Names changed to protect the innocent.

Purple reign

This story is better told in person, with actions. I can't possibly do this young man's persona justice in words, but I will do my best.

I was walking down Queen St. to go meet my husband and friends for drinks on a Friday night, and I decided to stop into one of the many fabric stores along the way. This particular shop specializes in ribbons and trims, and I've had it in mind to put some trim along our bedroom drapes.

Anyway, I went into the store and right away a voice calls from the back:

"Thank GOD you are here! Can you please help me?"

I walked a few steps toward the back and there was this lovely, lovely young black man, thin as a rail, poker-straight hair to his shoulders, fully made up, tiny red shorts, green crop-top.

I said "me?" and he said "YES! These women are not taking me seriously!" and he gestured to two annoyed-looking Asian ladies.

I said "well...I'll try."

So, he holds one of these in pink up to his face and and says: "well, which is it? The pink?" And then he pulls out a silver one says "or is pink too much and should I go with silver? Which one looks more natural?"

I wasn't sure how to answer this question at first and then I said "well, what colour is your outfit?" and he said "purple," so I said "well then you need a purple one."

And he said "thank GOD you came in here today, you have saved my life!"

I looked around the store, but of course I only liked the $26.99 a metre trim, and I have no plans to spend that much on drapes that only the two of us really see. When I left the store my friend had the two ladies sorting through boxes, looking for a purple one.

I told my husband this story later that night and he said, "let me guess, he's your new best friend?"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Curry Beef

You don't see this very often, but it's great. I serve this with parboiled rice or, for a low carb / high fibre option, cooked quinoa.

1 lb stewing beef
1 small can coconut milk
4 T of your favourite curry powder
1 large onion
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 med. sized new potatos, peeled and chopped
1 can chick peas (optional - good option for stretching the meal)
3 cups water

1. Brown the stewing beef in a large skillet coated with olive oil.
2. Saute the onion until soft.
3. Add the curry powder, stir until the colour changes slightly.
4. Add the water and coconut milk and stir. Bring to boil.
5. Add carrots, potatoes and chick peas if using. Reduce heat to low and cover.
6. Cook as long as you long, not less than half an hour. The more time you have, the better it will be.