The TDot Experiment*: Day One Eighty-Five

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On Saturday morning, a little plan was running through my head. I had blown way too much money at Old Navy during their Friends & Family (30%) sale and had to put my credit card on ice for a few days. But food shopping is a justifiable expense and I lined up five recipes I wanted to knock off in the course of two days.

And as I was writing out my shopping lists, I was listening to the most recent DNTO episode Live from Toronto: We’re “in over our heads!” and had to laugh at myself after hearing Deborah Kimmett’s segment. Talking about a particularly rough time in her life, she said, “It was kind of like I was in a country and Western song and I couldn’t get out, basically. And I was really depressed and, you know, I’m the kind of person who picks myself up fairly quickly but I hit this depression that was just unbelieveable. And I was making soup over and over again. Just little piles of soup and putting it in the freezer. I was very depressed, did I mention that?”

I seem to be obsessed with making soup. And there’s always so much left over so it goes into my freezer! And there are some dark hours where I feel worried about the course of my life.

But I forged on because, when you evaluate the motivation behind the fanatical cooking, it all makes sense. When a lot of things feel out of control, cooking for myself is one of the last vestiges of control I know I have. Providing my own nourishment is empowering; I continue to be inspired by the original concept of the Not Eating Out in New York blog. (Not Eating Out in Toronto?  I’m not so derivative.) I have this irrational fear about the future so I have to get it all done now. Since I have to concentrate on the steps of the recipes and stay on track, I’m occupied for long tracts of time from other worries. I won’t have to cook for a week or more. I can move recipes from my cook this! Pinterest board to my cooked this Pinterest board, which brings me disproportionate satisfaction.


When I look at the breakdown of the five recipes, it turns out three of them are from Chow Times, one from Su-lin’s blog Tamarind & Thyme, and one was a recommended in a blog or on Twitter.

Recently, so late to the game, I discovered the power of the macro setting on my camera and have been taking photos that really capture the texture of food. When the lighting is cooperative, like it is in my current “dream kitchen”, I step back and admire my photos like a total narcissist. I’ll still take that Food and Drink Photography course. Someday.

So, I made… ice cream from just one ingredient (banana!) with a sprinkle of cinnamon, tomato non-spicy non-sour hot & sour soup over brown rice vermicelli, Su-lin’s recipe for roti John, biscuits (!) in the form of “Grandma’s butter dips”, and mushroom and barley soup.

I’ve been using new No Salt Added chicken broth which is so bland you learn just how much salt is in the original. My soups could stand to have more seasoning but it’s a nice feeling that I can control it.


At the beginning of the weekend, my fridge looked so humble. I laugh when I think about what a bachelor(ette) fridge I have. I only get what I will eat and over the next couple of weeks, I will chip away at the containers in the freezer and the top shelf of the fridge.

******** This is a blog series complementing my regular blog posts with the original idea was to share our parallel lives, NPY’s and mine, while I’m in Toronto and he’s in Vancouver, 3,400 km away. For me, it’s been pretty fun because I’m this long-time blogger and enjoy repackaging parts of my life in “blog bites”. It’s been more difficult for NPY who hasn’t experienced a change in scenery (although I do not think it is necessary) so I’ll be continuing this with just my photos. I might have something every day. I might not.

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