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Monday, May 31, 2010

Yoga mats need love too. Clean love.

It's Day 3 for me in the month of Bikram.  It's also past my Bikram bedtime, as me and Z have an early class tomorrow.  But I felt so fantastic after tonight's class that I thought I should write it all up before it disappears like ube ice cream (purple yam) in a Filipino home!


I had to restart my month because of being sick, so I had a second Day 1, which was a great class with one of my fave instructors.  I even managed to ask a few questions about standing head to knee pose and applied it in my practice after.

Day 2 was uh, absolutely terrible.  Let's just say that I crumbled.  Crumbled hard.  The end....of that story for now.

Day 3 was better.  So amazing that I don't mind one bit that there's an early morning class in just a few hours waiting for me.  I even got towel burn, but that's ok too.  They're considered good in this world.  If you bump into me on the streets and see random spots on my elbows, knees, and ankles, you know why.

It's only been a few days, but already I was able to go deeper in a few poses today.   I even saw the back of my towel during camel when a couple of months ago, I could barely do it.  So, so awesome!

You know what else is awesome?  This homemade natural anti-bacterial spray I mixed together for my mat.  I'm sure it doesn't compare to the commercial ones, but it'll do for the in-between mat baths Yes, I wash my mats fairly often in my tub.  I sweat on it, peeps!


All-Natural Anti-Bacterial Spray


water
tea tree essential oil (around 15 drops)
peppermint essential oil (around 5 drops)
lavender essential oil (around 5-10 drops)
small spray bottle

Some recipes call for distilled water, etc.  But I'm not that fussy and I don't have 'distilled water' lying around in case a recipe calls for it.  You can also add thyme oil into this mix, as I've seen it as an 'active' ingredient in commercial mat sprays.  The most important ingredient, though, is tea tree oil.  Peppermint for the freshness, lavender for the calming scent. 

In this Toronto heat, this nice spray on your sweaty body or face is like walking into a fridge.  Tea tree oil is a key ingredient in a lot of skin care products, just be careful and read up on it before you use it.  I spray this on my mat (both sides) after each class.  I even use this for my hands and feet as a temporary sanitizer.  It's just so refreshing and easy, how can you not enjoy it?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This little piggy went to the market. She really did.


I've just have had enough of being sick for the last two weeks that I was starting to get depressed.  A cold and two separate servings of food poisoning can bring on quite the misery, cabin fever, and hunger pains to this piggy.

I refused to cook or be around food the past few days because it just made me nauseous.  Can you believe it?  An aversion to food.  I never thought I'd live to see the day... 

But today is Saturday.  Farmer's market day.  I literally bounced out of bed with that Oklahoma song 'Oh what a beautiful morning'.  Not a cloud in the sky with a light breeze, it was the perfect day to go to the market.  And the best part?  Waking up without any aches, pains, or nausea.  It was fantastic!


Every Saturday, the St. Lawrence Market hosts a farmer's market in the North Building and that's the only time you'll get me to go there.  I don't find the same excitement that most people have for it.  That's probably because Kensington Market and Chinatown are pretty much at my disposal. 


I usually go to the farmer's market to see what's new before I head to one of my classes.  So I skipped to my loo and waltzed to where the food was before my Bikram date in the late afternoon.


There was a backlog of neglected produce in this sick piggy's fridge so I told myself I wasn't going to shop unless it was absolutely necessary.  Today was solely to relax, browse, maybe take some pictures, and have a Chilean empanada.  Absolutely no shopping.  Yeah right.


I failed as soon as I got to the market.  I don't think I even tried.  I just couldn't resist the buckets of strawberries, the green beans, the snap peas, or the asparagus.  I did resist the habanero peppers that called out my and Jezebel's name.  My stomach isn't quite ready for that yet.  Maybe next week.


Hello food!  Did you miss me?  I sure missed you!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Burger on the Brain

I'd like to think of myself as brave.  Especially on a day like today. 

I'm brave because today, because for the second time this week (ugh), the mere smell or sight of food provokes waves of food poisoning pain in my empty, sore, and beaten-up-from-the-inside stomach.  Yet, for some reason, I have burger on the brain.

Big, juicy, homemade burgers - not those hockey pucks you're forced to eat at boring barbecues you're forced to attend.

All afternoon, I kept on thinking about burgers. Picturing them, smelling them, tasting them.  This could be due to the fact that I'm absolutely starving, delirious from lack of sleep, or because I just really like patties of all types.  Maybe all of the above.

I'm not really a huge meat person, so I prefer my burgers to be interlaced with lots of flavour from onions, red bell peppers, and whatever other herb or vegetable is in the kitchen.  In fact, I make sure at least a good chunk of the patties is of vegetables.

Since fun, flavourful food isn't written in the stars for a famished and frail piggy today (oatmeal isn't particularly appetizing), here's a recipe for burgers that I would make right now if I had the stomach and the energy for them.  Don't be afraid of the vegetables in the patties, they won't hurt and they keep the burgers moist.  Be a little adventurous :)

Burgers that I'm dreaming of
no pictures from my imagination, sadly

1 lb ground beef (or turkey, chicken, or a combination of any)
1 egg
1 small onion or a few shallots
1 bell pepper (red, green, etc)
herbs (chives and cilantro are my fave) (optional)
1 tbsp flour (more, if needed)
few drops of Worcestershire sauce
salt
pepper

Finely chop the onion and the bell pepper.  If using a food processor, make sure you chop the onions first, then add the bell pepper after.  Add the mixture to the meat, along with all other ingredients and chopped herbs.  Mix well and form into patties.  Grill on the barbecue or a skillet or however you like your burgers.


Since I'm using a bit of vegetables in the recipe, I add flour to soak up the liquid they produce after being chopped.  It also binds the patties and helps hold their shape.  Use more or less, depending on preference.


I sometimes add finely chopped carrots, and a spoonful of flax flour into this and you can hardly taste them. I can hear the hardcore meat eaters scoffing already.

Sigh.  I am so hungry I could bite a plump, juicy child  But I do believe that's illegal.  Enjoy the burgers!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 1

After the most random derailments in this Bikram Yoga 30-day Challenge with my friend Z, Day 1 has finally arrived and been completed!

Since every move I make right now requires massive effort, I will just sum up the morning with a lovely quote from Z, who had the 'best shower' in her life after class:

Z, right before her first Bikram class ever.

'Life after yoga is so good...because you're just so happy to be alive and not roasting in that hot room.'


Now I'm off to find a horse to eat, if I can get up...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Never go to the grocery store hungry.

I don't always get to eat Filipino food unless I make it.  That limits me to just a handful of things because a) the dishes I like are quite tedious to make; b) I live far away from my ma who has the patience to make the tedious dishes; and c) I'm too chicken to try the very complicated recipes on my own.

So what happens when I find myself hungry and homesick at a Filipino food store on a sunny weekend afternoon?  Two bagfuls of groceries overflowed with childhood snacks and junk food (yes, including that waxy cheap chocolate), purple yam anything, and fried fish.  The store had ready-for-take-out dishes that I haven't had in forever and also do not know how to make.  Needless to say, gluttonous is not enough of a word to describe this piggy in that store.


The funny part is that my ma never liked Filipino take-out food because her cooking is much better and because she doesn't trust others to make our food.  I usually don't either, but being on your own and not close to anything from your own culture can make one a little bit forgetful of those reasons and at points of starvation, causing lowered standards.

So sixty four dollars and sixty five cents later, I was happy because I had enough ulam for the next couple of days, perfect for the Bikram beginnings.  Uh sixty four dollars and a stomachache later, I meant to say.  And minus the happy.

As I'm typing this, I am praying to the food gods out there that the waves of pain in my insides would finally end.  The squid, cow lungs, pork rinds, dried seafood, and purple yam ice cream weren't too keen on sharing belly space.  I'm not even sure which of them is the culprit, but they're all going to the compost bin, down the chute, far away from me.

Just kidding.  The ice cream stays.  So will the pork rinds.  Dried seafood wants to hang around a bit longer too but I really must say goodbye to the soft squid and the spicy lungs.  I don't trust them and their stewey selves at this point.

Sigh.

What lessons have I learned from today?   First: never go to the grocery store hungry.  Two: when it comes to our food, always trust my ma.  Three:  there are pills for lactose intolerance, but not for food poisoning.

Oh and maybe a fourth one:  learn how to make them myself.

Note: This is not a reflection of all Filipino take-out food.  Most won't cause stomach problems and do taste good.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saba for Celebrations


Do you know what today is?  Today, the Piggy Post is one month old!  I have been waiting for this day, because I can officially register my blog on Foodbuzz.  And that's just what I did at 2 am last night.

It's been a dizzying few hours so far, as I'm navigating through the sight, and trying to understand what 'buzzes' are.   According to a kind blogger's message to me, people 'buzz' you if they like you.  Sounds good to me, as I'm at 90 buzzes and my inbox is going crazy, with requests left, right and centre.  If I liked food before, imagine what a community of food peeps will do for me!  I've also been able to direct traffic to the Piggy Post, garnering more visits in one day that I probably had the entire month!  This is going to be a fun ride.

Speaking of fun, I have been cooped up at home most of Saturday and Z was kind enough to pay me a little visit and keep my weary, sickly soul company.  We had gigantic tacos, duck fat fried fries, and a whole lotta girl talk in the nearby bistro

Had she stayed longer, she would've finished off with these yummy caramelized plantains.  Instead, she feasted far away on hotdogs and burgers and no sweet, buttery goodness to warm her belly.


My caramelized plantain is a variation of a Filipino street food called banana-q, which uses the saba banana.  I rarely see this in Canada, unless I do some real digging (I am way too lazy for that right now).   Instead, regular plantains are used in their place.  Saba bananas are really sweet when ripened and do not require much more than a sprinkle of sugar before frying  so I use butter and cinnamon to inject flavour into the plantains.  How can you turn down butter, anyways?


Caramelized Plantains
pictures to follow soon

2-3 ripened plantains
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter (for pan frying)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Heat up the skillet or cast iron pan in medium heat.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Slice the plantains into quarter inch thick pieces and dip them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Melt half the butter in the pan (save the other half for the next batch shortly after).  Once butter starts bubbling, immediately add the sugared plantains.  Cook the pieces on each side until the sugar caramelizes or turns golden brown.


Do not overcook or overheat, as sugar burns very quickly.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicken Soup for a Piggy's Soul


Waking up sick made this morning's trip from my bed to my bathroom an epic journey.  I almost convinced myself to stay asleep, warmed by the sun through my wide windows and cocooned in my blanket.  But it's Friday, and Fridays aren't so bad.  I also convinced myself that a 6:30pm class might make me feel better.

Methinks being sick makes people a wee bit delusional.

So where did I find myself at 6:30pm?  Not in the warmth of the yoga studio, having my ass handed to me, starting any challenges, or climbing any stairs.  No, I was waking up groggily in my bed after being convinced to go home from the office, dreaming of chicken noodle soups and stews. 

Noodle soups always reminds me of those long drives in my childhood, from the city mountains to my grandparents in the country.  There was a pit stop just right outside the mountains, right before the rising of the temperature and the sticky skin brought on by the lowland humidity.  It's also the perfect stop to uh, get over your 7-yr old queasy, car sick stomach, a result of literally driving down a spiraling highway for two hours.

Chocolate doesn't fix everything



Broken subway lines, wrong directions, unexpectedly having to cook for over a dozen people, missing a capoeira class, and getting home at 9pm were the perfect accompaniment to a cold.

Miserable, moody, and mad sometimes can't be nursed with chocolate. 


Here I am on the eve of my 30-day Bikram challenge.  1:45 am to be exact.  1:45 am on piggy posting as opposed to being in bed resting so I can make it to our class for Day 1.  Instead, I'm trying not to choke on my own phlegm, a product of this shit-tastic cold and cough that's sucking all my energy. 

Then a ghost surfaced.  A ghost trying to be relevant but becoming ironically irrelevant in their efforts.  If my Friday has the possibility of being like this, can I just stay in bed instead?

Despite all of Thursday, I am looking forward to lying down in that hot room to warm this cold spirit on Friday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Watermelons and Pink Skies


Wide awake at 1:49 in the morning.  Not a good start for a big, loaded Thursday.  But what can a piggy do when sleep refuses to come by?

No warm milk for me.  I'd rather have a watermelon, thank you.



What do you do when you can't sleep?  Hope you have better luck than me...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Triangles, Towels, and Trail Mix


I know that I started this blog to talk about food and the mishaps I get myself in.  But life happens, and for me, there will be a whole lot of life happening in the next couple of weeks.  And today is no different.

I was so determined to try the 6:30 am Bikram class that I packed up everything neatly before bed: towels, water, nuts, sanity, etc.  I even contemplated wearing my yoga clothes to bed (I didn't).  I also had a wake up call from Jez to make sure I get out of bed.

And guess what?  I made it!  With a proud smile on my face, I walked into that freshly heated room with newly washed floors (they're washed each night).  HUGE bonus when you're the first one to lay your weary body on those floors. 

In the span of 90 minutes, I laughed, got angry, almost cried, and...fell

Monday, May 17, 2010

Zucchini Zealotry


All day, I kept on thinking about food.  Yes, I know, what else is new?  But today, it's a little more serious.  I was afraid.

Why?  Well, my schedule is about to go batshit on me in the next few weeks, leaving little time for laborous cooking, bathing, or even brushing my hair.  My impending Bikram challenge is fast approaching along with other things at work that I started to get anxious.  So anxious that I started to get scared.

I'm afraid that I will back out.  I'm afraid that I won't make it on one or more of the 30 days.  I'm afraid I'll give up before I finish.  But mostly, I was afraid of being stuck eating frozen food.

You're probably thinking I'm just being picky now.

But given that my grandma who raised me didn't have a fridge, let alone a freezer, until 1990 and that people from the islands have never heard of frozen dinner until just recently, frozen food is not what I look forward to, regardless of the reason.  That includes starvation.  It's not because it's bad.  It's just that I'm not used to it.


(more after the jump)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blueberries and Bikram


I've come to the conclusion that I have a fondness for torturing myself, as evidenced by the denial of my own baking, showing up to capoeira class diligently so I can roll around in hairy mats in a gym that sometimes smell like sweaty testicles, attempting vegetarianism while living in Mexico for a few months and knowing full well that I hail from the the pork capital of the world, eating dairy when I'm lactose intolerant, sitting through a boringly bad date because I'm too nice to hurt his feelings, having conversations with uninteresting people and pretending I care, etc.

Then I thought, why not add some more to that list?

Uh-oh.  What have I done?

Uh-oh is right.  In a few days, I will begin another set of 30 long, torturous days of Bikram.  Bikram's Yoga is a series of 26 beginner's postures and 2 breathing exercises performed in sequence in a heated room for 90 minutes.  Each posture stretches, strengthens, and prepares the body to work every muscle, organ, gland, and cell in the perfect order, while circulating 100% fresh oxygen through the blood.  Bikram's Yoga is done in a room heated to 40ÂșC to warm your muscles and cleanse the body, through sweating, to flush out all unwanted toxins. The heat also relieves one's body resistance to allow for deeper stretching without risking injury. 

Yes, that's right.  I am signing my life away for 30 consecutive days of heat, sweat, and a whole lot of wet clothes.


About two and a half years ago, I decided to check out this studio that had big bold white letters on the windows that said 'BIKRAM YOGA'.  I would see it everyday and always wondered, what the heck is Bikram?  Finally, I researched it and a few days later, I was climbing those stairs for my very first class.  I had absolutely no clue what I was getting into.
The first thing the instructor tells you is stay in the room for the full 90 minutes.  I thought to myself, I can do this.  I've sat through the most boring lectures in university for 3 hours at a time.  That was before I entered the room.  I guess I had overlooked the fact that the lectures were not being done while twisting yourself in a pretzel in 40 degree heat. 

Then, as soon as I walked into that oven, all I could think about was this smell that came over me like a thick blanket. 

(Before I scare anyone away, I want to ensure you that the studio I go to is very, very, very clean.)

The smell wasn't anything terrible or horrendous or vomit-inducing.  Some won't even notice it at all.  But I notice everything. 


It just smelled of...people...sweating.  A whole lotta people and a whole lotta sweat.  In one room.  All day.  Definitely out of my comfort zone, but no one goes to Bikram for comfort.  Then, as I walked past the door, I noticed the half naked people, all limber and toned and bendy in their perfect little towels and colourful water bottles.  I looked down on my fully covered little humble self and soon, doubts began to surface.  I haven't even started and I already wanted to turn back around!

But no!  I had to follow the rules, I could not leave the room, especially not for those silly reasons.  Then I remembered reading about other people's experiences on overcoming the distractions, self doubt, judgment, not being present, etc.  I pulled myself together and thought, this is just one class. I just have to give it a try.  If I don't like it, I don't have to come back.  Non-sweaty people have smelled worse.  Ex-boyfriends' shoes and subways have smelled worse.   Shitty food have smelled worse.  I sooo could do this.  

I set my mat down in a little corner and quietly laid down and waited for the instructor to start the class.  Soon, I was too busy bending myself in ways I never knew possible to even notice anything else.  After 90 minutes, I managed to stay in the room without vomiting and finished one of the best classes I have ever had.  The instructor was so kind and patient, and the  intially intimidating, half-naked bendy people even clapped for me upon finishing my first class.  Who wouldn't like that?

Oh, and the best part?  I had forgotten all about the smell.  I realized I was just looking for excuses not to go through with it  And I'm forever glad I stayed.

To this day, I remember stepping out onto the streets and feeling light as air.  It didn't even matter that I was drenched in sweat, that my hair was wet and matted on my forehead, and that my face was red as a tomato roasting under the sun as I walked the few blocks home.  I felt like a million bucks.

But I haven't been the best student over the years.  So now, I'm signing up for another 30 day challenge with my friend, Z to change all that.  I ve attempted it before and only made it to 20 days.  This time, 30 days must be achieved and I'm going to document it all on the piggy blog.   How's that for a challenge?  Accountability is just part of the game, peeps.


Besides the obvious and well-known benefits of Bikram, having a better distraction from baking will also be definitely helpful. Instead of folding in egg whites into a batter, I'll be folding in my belly so I can touch my forehead to my knees.  Instead of looking through the oven door, I'll be looking at the edges of my mat, praying silently that my neighbour's sweat doesn't land on my towel.


In an attempt to keep Z from backing out of our looming challenge (because then, I would back out), I seduced her with the most fantastic flax meal pancakes with blueberry compote while she slept in my very comfortable bed after a night of dancing (I know you're reading this, Z).  I had  also seduced her with wonderful Monday night dinners since we plan to take the 8:30 pm class together.  If good food is what will make Z keep me company in this challenge, then it just makes this all the more worthwhile and less torturous.


I didn't have milk so I had to find a pancake recipe that didn't call for it.  They weren't as fantastic as I wanted (but Z thankfully didn't notice) so here's a better one that tastes much, much better.  Jezebel, she who has a gentle hand with pancakes, was kind enough to share with me her recipe.  Her pancakes are light as air, as if they had just finished a Bikram class :)


Jezebel P-cakes

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp of sugar

Wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter (to add at the end)

Heat up a cast iron skillet or a frying pan.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the the eggs first, then add the buttermilk and milk.  Add the wet to the dry, mix it until it just comes together, then add the melted butter and mix ever so lightly.  Do not over mix, as this does not make for light and flufffy pancakes.

Make sure the pan is hot enough.  With a little bit of butter, cook the batter to pancake perfection.


Blueberry-Lavender Compote

1/2 cup blueberries
1 tsp lavender flowers (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup  water
1 tbsp honey or sugar or maple syrup (more or less depending on your preference)

In a small sauce pan on medium heat, mix the water and honey (or sugar/maple syrup) together and bring to a boil.  If using, add the lavender flowers for a few minutes until the flavour is extracted.  Using a small strainer, take out the flowers unless you want to leave them in, as they're perfectly edible. Add the blueberries and vanilla and lower the heat.  Mash up a few of the blueberries and leave the rest for a chunkier sauce.

Once the mixture is of desired consistency, turn off the heat and pour over Jezebel's pancakes.

Day 1 of the challenge awaits...


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sinigang


Yesterday, a long day that began with a boring meeting with white men talking about immigration then followed by a trip out of the city downtown towards the north, had put me in the crustiest moods ever.

I don't particularly enjoy listening to bureaucrats, especially when accompanied by a boring PowerPoint presentation.  PowerPoint should be banned, beaten, and burned.  But duty called so I behaved.  I figured that if I had to sit through these men call themselves handsome and eloquent (I'm not kidding), I had to find ways to entertain myself.


So what did I do?  I hung around the breakfast table.  Oh, I must mention that their idea of breakfast doesn't include any of the food groups on Canada's Food Guide.  Orange and apple juice from concentrate is sugar, not fruit.

I was so bored that I didn't care at that point, so I took the juices since sugar in the piggy kitchen is on lockdown until the end of June.  In fact, I took two: orange AND apple juice.  How's that for scandalous?

(more after the jump)

Monday, May 10, 2010

So this is addiction...?

I was never a sugary person, unless chocolate is involved.  I never looked forward to dessert, especially in restaurants.  I didn't drool over cheesecake or pies.  I ate sweets but I preferred spicy, savoury, and sour any day.

I avoided baking forever because I hated measuring things, as I mentioned in an earlier post.  I'm stubborn, impatient, and too impulsive for my own good: all characteristics that would make a cake implode into itself.


But one day, my insatiable intrigue with chocolate souffle forced me to finally pay attention, follow instructions, and exercise some patience.  Boy, did my kitchen feel like an after-school special!  Good things do come to those who wait!

The most decadent symphony of chocolate, eggs, and sugar melted in my mouth and it was heaven.  The best part, I made it all from scratch.  I was hooked.

That, my friends, was the beginning of my addiction.  Cocoa, melted chocolate, Dominican vanilla, cinnamon and butter suddenly became an obsession. 

How deadly has my habit become?  Oh, not too, too much.  Just over a hundred cupcakes one winter evening, 8 dozen cookies on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, 6 batches of chocolate perfection last summer, a cake so tall it almost didn't fit in its box...

(more after the jump)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Here's to hoping my ma receives her flowers without incident!

Happy Mother's Day!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

These are my confessions...

Do you ever have those days where laughter just comes and never leave until your stomach begs you to stop?  Confession #1: That's the only thing I accomplished at work today after lunch.

Confession #2:  Once a month on a Friday, me and my coworkers give in to temptation and allow ourselves to indulge in some fast food.  Today, we had filled our bellies with french fries and burgers and of course, laughter.  I'm not going to lie, it tasted good at the time. 

But by the time we had walked back to our respective desks, we had already started to feel the effects of our indulgence.  Let's just say that...mental clarity was out the window, alertness was non-existent, and all we could do was laugh endlessly over nothing and everything.  Lynda was convinced that I had put something in our food.  It couldn't have been the sodium, the dehydrated-then-rehydrated 'vegetables' on the burgers, or the 5 layers of mayo on those buns.  Nopes, it had to be the drugs I secretly added.

So how did we attempt to salvage the rest of our work day?  Caffeine.  

Confession #3: I hate coffee.  It makes me awake for weeks and I bounce off the walls.  It also makes me nauseous and sends me to the washroom in 2.7 seconds.  And it gives you a nasty breath after.  Instead of coffee, I had tea to knock off the lethargy produced by the processed lunch we just had, which totally didn't work.  I needed to be awake for yoga after work.  Bikram after fast food?  Uhm, yeah, that was not going to happen.  Confession #4: I didn't even attempt to.

Instead of sweating like a...pig while wearing close to nothing in a heated room with dozens of equally sweaty bodies, I spent my Friday night cooking in my kitchen.


(recipe after the jump)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday brunch with the man your man could smell like


Each time I cook in my humble apartment, the front door and the balcony doors are wide open because the memories of good food should stay in my belly, not in my room on my clothes, my sheets, and my bed.   The hallway draft that irritates most people is actually quite helpful when airing out the little piggy kitchen.

On regular days, this practice doesn't pose any problems.  Unless the Cougar and/or the Old Spice walk by.  The passage of either of these two mystery individuals in the hallways wreaks havoc in the air that is used push the cooking aromas out into the balcony and released onto the Toronto smog..err breeze.

When either of these surface, it's as if the apartment had become the perfume counter at Sears and the colourful bottles of potions got sprayed on your face all at the same time.  It also evokes memories of that greasy, overly tanned European man that owns the dry cleaners downstairs who talks to me way too close, and whose chest hair is revealed strategically by his half unbuttoned dress shirt and shimmering silver chain. 

This afternoon, while me, the Pineapple Princess, and her lover Mariska Hargitay (aka Hollywood Starlet) feasted on a wonderful brunch of wild leek fritters, avocadoes, and fresh pineapple juice, the Old Spice made his presence known through the air and we scrambled to close the doors as quickly as we could!

I then remembered this hilarious commercial that is just too funny for words and makes me laugh for a good 20 minutes each time I see it.  Maybe the Old Spice saw the same commercial and wanted to smell like the man your man could smell like?

(video and recipe after the jump)