And don’t you ever forget it 🙂
To the (possibly drugged out) man at the library today,
Let me start by saying that I try to be a compassionate person; I try to empathize with others, as I believe one of the things that our society lacks today is exactly that; compassion and kindness, a willingness to be there for others, be it family members or strangers.
I had just joined the public library and was happily flipping through a book on gardening in Northern BC, when you startlingly came at me in the aisle, attempting to press your body against mine. I quickly looked around and no one else was within earshot. Maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t, but you had immediately forced me into ‘flight’ mode. I was (both your fault and to a degree mine) instantaneously the one with less power in that situation.
I’m sad that I allowed your physical dominance to intimidate me. I’m frustrated with myself for giving up my power so quickly and easily.
You called me ‘beautiful’ and ‘sexy’ as I walked away from you, and you seemed upset that I didnt accept those ‘compliments’ with a smile.
You cat called at me from the upper balcony alongside your friends as I checked out my books, head down, eyes down. You seemed angry that I was leaving.
I left as quickly as I could because you had soured what was meant to be a pleasant afternoon.
You followed me out of the building, so I hid in a crowd until you left.
Instead of being intimidated, instead of feeling like I was the one who had to take responsibility and remove myself from the situation – I wish that I had called on some inner strength (that I hope I actually have) and told you that I had not asked you to talk to me like that.
I did not ask to have you follow me. I do not owe you a ‘thank you’ for for your empty, shallow ‘compliments’. I am not an object for you and your friends to admire and discuss openly as you see fit.
This isn’t only your world. It’s mine too. And I deserve to be able to walk in it freely, confidently, knowing that I am not going to be objectified and intimidated (at a public library, of all places).
As a woman, I can say that sometimes walking out the front door feels like arming yourself for battle. I have to gear up in order to take what may come my way.
Of course this isn’t everyday, but some. And hopefully fewer as time goes by.
The only way I can see it getting better is if people like you stop treating others this way, and if people like myself stop scuttling away into the shadows and stand up for ourselves.
Next time, Mr Man at the Library, I will not scurry off. I will not lower my eyes and politley smile. I will (hopefully) take a deep breath, channel my inner lioness and roar.
These days I’m trying hard to be proactive in my food choices – for the most part this means planning ahead, consciously choosing ingredients that can be sourced locally and following or creating flavourful, veggie filled recipes.
Dinner from last night was definitely one that’ll be repeated… we picked up some locally grown potatoes and asparagus at our farmers market over the weekend. I was scratching my head, wondering how to combine them in something more interesting than your usual roast potatoes and plain old asparagus, when lo and behold I stumbled over this gem of a recipe in one of our Jamie Oliver books.
I haven’t included the basic pasta recipe – that’s for an upcoming post – but it is something I make often. Once you know how and if you have the right equipment (a kitchen aid and pasta attachment!), its so worth the extra twenty minutes.
This was a super easy dinner to put together, even though it sounds and looks way more complicated than it is! Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it.
I halved the recipe as I was only cooking for two, but you could make the whole thing and freeze them for another night – which in retrospect is what I should have done 🙂
Ravioli of Minted Asparagus with Potatoes & Mascarpone
- 225g potatoes, peeled
- 680g asparagus, bases trimmed
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 good handful of mint, leaves picked and chopped
- fresh pasta
- 2 knobs of butter
- 2 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
- grated parmesan cheese
- Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until tender and drain.
- Remove tips of asparagus and set aside.
- Finely slice the asparagus stalks and fry with the garlic in a little olive oil until tender, placing a lid on the pan.
- Remove from the heat, add the potato and mash together. Season and add half the chopped mint.
- Fill your ravioli with a heaped teaspoon of filling (I’ll write more about this in a later post) and cook in salted boiling water with the asparagus tips for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain and toss the ravioli and asparagus tips with the butter, mascarpone, parmesan and the rest of the mint.
- Serve and enjoy!
Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying to get my diet to look more like a vegetarian one – 20/25% carnivore, 75/80% veggie. My main reasons are fairly straightforward:
- The industrial food system is flawed. It’s exploitative, inhumane and just doesn’t produce the happy, healthy, hormone and antibiotic free meat that I want to eat. The problem is that the local, pastured, organic alternative is pretty pricey and that doesn’t exactly work with my wallet. Veggies are however, my budget’s best friend.
- If we all ate meat, for every meal, of every day, our world would implode in a catastrophic ball of fire, similar to a super nova. (OK, maybe not that extreme but you know what I mean. It’s just not sustainable.)
For the most part this hasn’t been too difficult to achieve, except for one thing.
It’s indescribably tasty and nothing really compares. I’ve tried the chicken and turkey alternatives… they just don’t cut it I’m afraid. So here’s one of my favourite (and easy) recipes for getting my bacon fix… Potato & Egg Bake with Bacon & Onions.
Super quick and no fuss, plus it’s delicious and fills you up (and it’s pretty easy on the wallet too).
Potato & Egg Bake with Bacon & Onions
- 5 or 6 potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp cornmeal
- 7 or 8 strips of bacon, roughly chopped
- Half a red, yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
- 4 eggs
- 3 or 4 spring onions, chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat your over to 420 degrees
- Parboil your potatoes in a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes
- Drain them and then place back in the pot and toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper (to taste). I add about a tsp of cornmeal, which helps add a bit of a crunch
- Transfer your potatoes to a baking tray (I line mine with foil to prevent anything from sticking) and spread out evenly. Place in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, tossing halfway through
- While the potatoes are in the oven, place your chopped red/yellow/white onion and bacon in a skillet and fry until cooked through. Set aside until almost ready to serve
- After you remove your potatoes from the oven (make sure they’re cooked through by piercing with a knife, if they’re not done, continue cooking), crack your eggs into gaps between the potatoes.
- Place the tray back into the oven for approx. 5-7 minutes, depending on how well done you like your eggs (I like mine runny, so I tend to let them only go for about 5/6 minutes).
- Once your eggs are done, remove from the oven and spread the onion/bacon mixture over the top, followed by the spring onions
- Serve and enjoy!