Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting off my ### ass

It all started last Friday.....I decided to take the g'kids somewhere different.

I call these, the stairs from hell.
Way back when.....about 7 yrs ago I would use these stairs to come home after an 8hr shift...standing up on my feet all day....then up these stairs and 5 km walk home.

I did it....
So I figured....I should give it a go again

Well the kids made it up, running
My lungs exploded not even half way up.  I was so exhausted by the time i got up to the top, I had to calm down for about 1/2 hr.

It was way easier to go down, that's for sure

So after the stairs, we decided to check out the river valley on their bikes, and me running after them, screaming wait, wait, wait.....

It was a beautiful day, and I've forgotten how gorgeous the valley really is, since the new foot bridge went in, the city is going all out on spending money on the area to spruce it up.  And they are doing a bang up job


That was Friday, the kids went home.....and I got it into my head to get on my bike and copy everyone else I saw on friday....and ride around the river bank.  Why not? They all seemed to be having a time of it.
So Saturday morning I jumped on the bike, rode around the neighborhood, came back and had to grease up several points, tighten things. After all, the last time anyone rode this thing was probably 5 yrs ago.
Then in a crazy fit of "i can do this", "I should get of my butt"....the bike went into the back of the van and away we went.
I put on the helmet
Sunglasses, oooops nowhere for the water bottle....darn, oh well should have brought a small pack or something, but too late now.

I am so thankful the bike path is somewhat level, cause otherwise I don't know what would have become of me.  I kept going farther and farther away from the parking lot, then I crossed the river and came back completely the other way...which of coarse I had no choice but to keep going because by now there was only one way back.

And water, water, water....everywhere except some to drink.

When I got back I drove part of the route just to get an idea of mileage, and I had to get home someway or other.  After sitting in crappy traffic along the route I surmised that I went about 25-30 km.  No wonder my ass was so sore.

I was kinda surprised I was able to get out of bed the next morning.  Sunday I gave my butt a rest and drove down to the river valley again, and walked up and down the stairs again, then walked around the gorge
That was enough for me for the weekend.
Come Monday all the energy I had was a walk to the library prob 1km ...if that, but I did shlep a heavy bag of books both ways. And I did stop and watch a bunch of kids doing the "wall"

Someday....I would like to give that a go

Tuesday I drove to my clients....I was sorta thinking I would get my husband to drive me down and I would walk back....and take transit if that didn't work out, cause there are several buses etc I could have taken, but then the weather report said something about late afternoon thundershowers, so I scrapped that idea and just went to work.  No thunderstorms, no rain....felt cheated.

So wednesday I stuck the bike into the back of the van and drove half way to work and biked the rest of the way.  Even though the weather report said the same thing, I decided to chance it.  I didn't realize my ass was still so sore.  It almost killed me, and then all I could think of .... have to ride back to the van.

Wednesday and Thursday I had the kiddies again and thank god they just wanted to veg out in the back yard for two days, and play in the park across the street, and attempt to ride the BIG bike without training wheels, so I pretty much stayed home.

To recouperate my sore ass

Friday it was a walk to the grocery store, and that's as far as it got for getting off my ### ass, And here I am, it's 11:45 A.M. and I'm still in my jammies, in bed ......

And my ass is still sore.....they really should make better bike seats.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Food Industry...

I was very happy to get this email from Kraft Canada.

It would have been difficult to eliminate Kraft products from the shopping basket.  There are so many products that I buy.  I can now eat Kraft products as usual.  Thank you Kraft

This is the email that I received

Thank you for visiting

If a product (or component of a product) is manufactured in a country other than Canada, the packaging will reflect this information. The label will state:
Product of ....

If no statement is made about production in a foreign country on the package, the entire product was made in Canada.

Indicating "Product of Canada/ Produit du Canada" is optional for the purposes of marketing in Canada and export.
If a product (or component of a product) is manufactured in a country other than Canada, the packaging will reflect this information.
Also, all of our cheese is made from pasteurized milk.

Yay, I can continue with my addiction to Cheez Whiz with celery!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Food Industry part 2

Locavore: From Farmers' Fields to Rooftop Gardens-How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat    read it, then start making phone will be upset to discover where the products you eat actually come from even if they have a "product of" label or "packaged in"...

Well I finished the book
My food future will be very different that is for sure
Who knew
If I was younger I would be a farmer, for sure. That's the future.
I am going to have to do much research for next years growing season, maybe check into the using others backyards for a garden....thing. That was an interesting turn of events.
I made many phone calls to processors for their sourcing information.  Not good news on that front.
Milk may not be imported from south of us, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get here in milk products.

I remember having a petition in my store for customers to sign to ensure that monsanto doesn't get a foothold destroying our milk supply like they did in the US.  And now I discover the milk by products are in my cheese. Not happy at all.  I will be changing my cheese buying and ice cream buying that is for sure.

Still waiting on a call back from heinz, re my ketchup.....

Heinz ketchup sources it's tomatoes and tomato paste from Leamington Ontario....yay

one down.....hundreds to go

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Food Industry

I Started reading this book around 10AM and almost didn`t go to work.  Then after just reading the intro I realized that I would have to do some research and maybe should read it and take some notes, and make some calls.

As so happens I was hungry, and made some quesadilla`s for brunch.
Once I discovered from the author that most of the tomatoes grown for processing are produced in I grabbed the salsa I was about to open and studied the label.  Hmmmm
jalapeno peppers
tomato paste
distilled vinegar
dehydrated onions, and garlic
natural flavor

So i called Old Dutch Foods it happens - here in Calgary. I got a call back shortly thereafter and was assured that the produce was grown in Texas and no part was ever sourced from China.

So I ate my lunch. I don`t know why I never questioned the tortilla, but I didn`t...another day perhaps.

It was only after I called Sun-Rype the question the source of the apples, that I remembered the dehydrated onions and garlic from the salsa and realized that hmmmm, I didn`t beleive her, cause I know that most of the processed garlic and onions, not to mention ginger come from china. That`s why I stopped buying those little jars of garlic and ginger mush.  Cause I couldn`t trust the ingredients where 100% pure.  So I will have to send an email to make sure about the onions and garlic.   After reading a few labels in the fridge and pantry I have come to the conclusion that I will have to do some canning and processing this month. Darn...that`s alot of work. Pisses me off that the food industry has screwed up like this, and left me no choice - cause I can`t trust their sourcing.

That brings me to apple juice...and Sun-Rype

I have grandchildren, and they are all addicted to apple juice.(have to do something about that one day). And since I lived in the Okanagan in the past and it`s close mileage wise...Sun-Rype is usually my first choice for juice.  But I have been known to buy a cheaper product from time to time.

So when the book stated that most of the apples that are processed into food products, come from CHINA.. I was stunned, to say the least. WTF China...again. with the Okanagan and Washington state right here....and the Niagra region...just over there.  Apples are coming from China.   I always assumed that apples were going toooooooo China. Well guess what?  Apples are mass produced in China and exported all over, as in Apple Concentrate.

I have a history with Apple Concentrate....and it`s not a happy history.

There was a time, way back in the early 90`s that We lived in Oliver, BC and i was waiting for call-ups as a Chef (cook, whatever...I prefer Chef). I was on-call. And since I got the job kinda unexpectadly fast, We really didn`t have much time to get a place to live and start working etc, etc, etc.  So, we had a camper and truck at the time.  What fun, we will go camping while mommy works.  What fun.  Even though my husband was working himself out of town (as in Vancouver) at the same time as I was planning on working in the Okanagan ( I still don`t know what I was thinking at the time!!! I was young....and ....)And since this job wasn`t really a guarantee of hours as on-call, so I wasn`t prepared to move there lock stock and barrel yet.  We loaded up the camper, and all the stuff, tents, camp stove, boat, bikes, everything imaginable.  And parked it all in a lovely campground in almost downtown Oliver BC, next to a lovely lake, and rec center...very grassy, completely fenced.  What could anyone ask for. My husband stayed around for a couple days while I did my training etc. Then he went back to work in Vancouver and two days later threw his back out and came back for the summer on WCB. To the campground, and three kids less than five years apart.

The camper wasn`t fancy, or big, or big...or fancy.  There was a port-a-pottie, and the shower was ....down the lane.

I did most of the cooking on the campstove on the picnic table.  Cause it was way to hot to do it inside. And besides so much easier.  Then we thought ...maybe we should look into a rental ...just in case.  Well that was a surprise.  I then realized that most of the other families (and there were several) were looking for the same nonexistant housing that we were.
After about two weeks of this camping thing I got desperate to get away from them all.  This was waaaaay to much togetherness.  And no one was calling in sick at the Longterm care facility. So i was stuck in this family togetherness.  Than one day I spotted an ad in help wanted for bodies at a processing plant, that just so happened to be real close by.  I applied and got the job.  It sounded like a better one than the cooking (ooops I mean chef) one I was waiting and waiting for.  The pay was better, it was seasonal (meaning I could potentionally take the winter off on UI), I could wear cut-off or jeans. The hours were perfect.  Wow...

I went to work one, day, two days....only two hours of three days....
I couldn`t take it anymore.  UGhhhhh

The job itself was a no brainer.  Basically of what I remember I pre-packaged fruit leathers into larger bulk packaging, and then shrink wrapped the whole box, then assembled these boxes into larger shipping boxes.

The problem was, that my station was directly in front of these massive coolers, basically the size of a house each - that stored Apple Concentrate. The Concentrate was in these huge vats, the size of a small hot tub, on wheels.  And they were wheeled in and out of these coolers. They weren`t covered, just sloshing around...with this huge black cloud of flies, fruit flies, gnats....I don`t know what they were exactly. They were just massive and gross. And everytime those coolers were opened and the sludge was wheeled around, I was engulfed in black shit, up my nose, in my eyes, buzzing around.  It was ......awful

This is apple concentrate.....allowable blah per million of fly parts and mouse hairs.....yes fly parts and mouse hairs.

(Canned soup is another no no noooo in my house, for the same reason)

Anyway I lasted less than three days.  And have never bought fruit leather or granola bars since.  If my children ever eat these things in front of me, I can be sure to point out those mysterious brown spots on the leathers as fly parts etc etc etc.  And they usually throw them away with a gross look on their faces.

So if Canada has standards for apple concentrate that gross me out, I can only imagine that China has even less.  Therefore A call was made to Sun-Rype about the source of their concentrate in mixed juices that I have on several occassions purchased, not really reading the label before. But apparently most mixed juices all have apple concentrate in them.

According to the rep from Sun-Rype ``we only buy apples from the okanagan valley, then washington state....but when we buy apple concentrate we MAY source it from brazil, venezuala, new zealand, tailand, and CHINA`` blah blah...but it has these high standard shit, blah blah blah....I don`t remember anything after she said CHINA.


I am going to have to read those damn labels more closely now. Damn the food industry all to hell, for slipping this crap into my food.  I am soooo pissed.  Do you know how much work this is going to take now to monitor every-single-thing-i-buy-that-goes-into-my-mouth. ARGGGGGGGGG

Do you feel my outrage food industry!!!!!!
I am pissed!!!!!

And horror of all horror!!!!!  Im going to have to start canning and freezing my own stuff. i need all that work. Shit!

And now I will be on the look out for the 100% from apples juice from sun-rype when it`s on sale and have to buy many cases for the year. Damn

Thanks alot Food F*cking Industry.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Girl and her Pig

My current fav read. After only a couple pages, I "wanted to", but didn't actually...yet, clean off my counters and sharpen the knives. But I did make it to the market (although...not the farmers market) for some new carrots that I will roast on the bbq along with my new potatoes and honey garlic sausages. I'm sooo hungry already - just thinking about it. I always dreaded thanksgiving...for all the work. When all that is really required is a leg a breast and a whole shit load of app's and booze. But no - one has to get a 15-20 lb bird, prep it, stuff it, make several entrees, salads, not to mention all the stupid app's. The only saving grace was the chow mein for brunch from all the leftover turkey. BUT NOT THIS YEAR..... After reading this book I am looking forward to the "Bubble and Squeak" according to the recipe in the book, from all of the leftover roasted veg, and brussel sprouts. Of coarse since I started roasting the brussel sprouts sliced and doused in bacon fat, there are no leftovers of them. But this year I will make MORE...just for the "squeak" the next day ....along with the chow mein. That will be an interesting brunch for sure.