Beans & TortillasSaturday, August 26, 2017
My eating habits are a product of my upbringing in Buenos Aires. As a young boy I knew enough to accept that as Roman Catholics we could not eat meat (a tough thing in Argentina) on Fridays. So my mother had our live-in housekeeper Mercedes Bazaldúa cook either pejerrey (silverside fish) or merlusa (hake). Mercedes usually cooked them breaded. Neither of these fish are fishy. If anything with a bit of lemon and salt that’s about all you taste.
My mother used that old trick of attempting to feed me tuna fish saying it was just like chicken. It wasn’t and I could always smell it when she tried to hide it in some dish.
Seafood including shrimp was an expensive commodity so I never ate it. It was an unpleasant surprise to suddenly be in Mexico City and be exposed to fishy fish, including sardines and (ugh) anchovies.
Now in Vancouver I will eat scallops, shrimp, red snapper and barbecued salmon. That is only a slight improvement according to my Rosemary and two daughters.
Rosemary handles everything important in our life except for the cooking. I am the cook. This is a tough job as Rosemary eats “como un pajarito”. Of late because of our advanced age into the 70s we go on binges and then we will no longer eat again those faves.
A year and a half ago we had a house warming and I ordered many boxes of very good pizza from a store on West Broadway near MacDonald. I have not returned since. Rosemary and I used to gobble up Mars Bars and Butterfingers. Those have been gone for some years.
Rosemary was most keen on Manila mangoes. Now the desire for them is almost controlled.
In our Athlone house I would get into bed in the evening with a plate of Gruyere cheese dabbed with good mustard. I would pass through my mind the savvy words of Les Wiseman, “Whatever you eat in the evening will be with you in the morning.”
Finally the heavy move from Athlone to Kits had me go from the first hole in my belt to my fourth. I feel much better.
Part of this has to do with my daughter Hilary who will be 46 this December.
She manages the wellness department of the new Burquitlam Safeway on North Road. She gives talks on the subject every couple of weeks on Saturdays at 2. I have been learning lots.
We now use coconut or avocado oil with a spare use of a good Spanish olive oil. We no longer use grape seed or Mazola and God forbid canola!
Thanks to Hilary’s advice we eat a healthy diet and feel better for it.
This is a long way from an incident many years ago at the plush St.Francis Hotel in San Francisco. We had driven to the city from Mexico City in our VW Beetle. We taught English at Camino Real Hotels in Mexico City so we had a deep discount at the St. Francis. Hilary who was around 3 was screaming. Our waiter in a tuxedo approached our table and asked, “How can I help the little lady?” My Rosemary answered, “Only if you have beans and tortillas.”
Bless you Hilary.