Foodie Hibernation [General]

2011 Jan 7
I'm posting this to see if anyone feels like ...

I haven't written a proper OF forum post or review in months. I keep trying to get myself back and involved and passionate about Ottawa's food scene, but the gear's just not kicking in.
I remember the summer months, when I would Google Map a new place for lunch, scurry off and come back in time for 1 p.m. to scrawl out a brief review or add my two cents to a topic.
Truth is, I haven't done that since the warm part of the Fall. I'm realizing now that I haven't been to a proper restaurant -- outside of my two or three nearby, cheapy haunts -- in a very long time. I'm in a depression. Well, a foodie depression.
With Christmas hangover (and the aftermath of overspending!) and poor walking conditions, I can truly say I've gone into Foodie Hibernation.
Symptoms include getting delivery more than you feel you should, over-couch sitting and a bland palate.

2011 Jan 7
I hear you, and even though I haven't put on any weight, I certainly piled on the slack.

2011 Jan 7
We're all different people, but I think what works to get me out of a foodie slump is to start cooking! Read cookbooks, get the saliva flowing, then hit the kitchen. Once you're cooking again and experimenting a little, then you have rebuilt the proper foundation to appreciate the genius of a professional chef.

The Ottawa library even has cookbooks available in electronic format, so you don't necessarily have to leave the comfy couch to get started! ;-)

2011 Jan 7
I'm with you Fresh Foodie - cooking is the answer for many people I suspect - are you one yessi? When I was first living alone I took to inviting 2 or 3 friends over every Thursday night for supper in my apt. atop the lightning bakery on Bank at Roseberry as I recall. It forced me to learn to cook and was lotsa fun. Perhaps I'd suggest a soup night as an economical starting point, maybe with a loaf of good bread or some fresh tasty teabiscuits, scones cornbread, etc. And wine of course!
Get a mitt, yessi, and best of luck to you.

2011 Jan 7
I'm having a tough time imagining not wanting to cook, but I suppose "just go cook" is about the best advice to give in this situation. Or find someone who is cooking something you like and go watch them cook or ask them about cooking.

2011 Jan 7
yessi, my suggestion, as a supplement to the above (sage enough) advice, is to bookmark this thread for a return visit next Dec 1.

Then, instead of overspending on xmas gifts, consider a ticket to Spain. Or Malaysia. Or Cuba. Or Paris. Or Tokyo. Or any other food capital.

Leave before xmas to spare self from the social obligations around gift giving: nieces and nephews will enjoy that postcard from Reykjavík or Goa just as much as the xbox peripheral - esp. when it comes from their cool, somewhat eccentric / food-crazed, aunt.

2011 Jan 8
My problem is I have a really big lack of money- so have not really eaten anywhere "interesting" lately.

I never spend that much on holiday gifts as family never wants anything really big (they usually get good items or something small and nice from a craft show that is $25 or less....)

In Dec I had at least $900 of unexpected that left me almost nothing.
I am looking for a part-time job now and and supposed to update my resume.

I try and cook at home most of the time, but no too sure if people are even interested in things I make too much.

Today I make some crab cakes with a lime/sundried tomato/jalapeno tapenade and panko.
Used canadian crab.
Turned out really tasty and I took and few pics (and wrote the recipe as I went along).
That's what i'm having for dinner!

2011 Jan 9
Hmph. I went through that BEFORE Christmas. I went to a neverending series of potlucks this fall (with the exception of the OF potluck which was awesome!), making hostess gifts etc. So by the time December rolled around I opted out of our annual office cookie exchange and ~gasp~ even brought a store bought item to one of the last ones. I am now into week two of a cold and I am getting REALLY SICK of eating soup. (Geez I never thought I'd say that!) I am now reading Anthony Bourdain's book Medium Raw and I saw the Maine episode of No Reservations last night so the urge for cooking is going into overdrive. I sure hope I get some energy back by next weekend so I can whip together a fabulous meal. Now off to dust off those cookbooks...

2011 Jan 9
I have to say, it is not as nice to come out of a restaurant when the snow is blowing and it is cold. Even day trips you want the sun to shine.
I'm waiting for a sunny day for a field trip down Preston St, after reading other posts of some new kitchen places.
I don't always have to buy, just looking and thinking how I might find use for an item is fun too.

Hope you feel better pasta lover. Dr Wiel suggests eating raw garlic can help a sore throat and may help a cold. I've tried it when my throat felt a little scratchy and it seemed to help. You mash the garlic between a slice of bread. Raw garlic is hot! You need lots of water as morning breath can be very bad.

2011 Jan 9
I just came back from a nice lunch and the one thing that kind of sucked was that we sat near the door and the door kept on opening every half hour or so with people coming in and leaving and there would be a blast of cold wind.

Didn't think of that at the time when we were seated, should have asked to move as there were empty and bigger tables...
Will remember this for the next winter meal.

I don't entirely mind the cold....I like ice skating and downhill skiing!
Just not in -30 weather!

2011 Jan 10
solstice I have indeed been eating raw garlic although I have been grating it on my microplane and adding it to my olive oil/lemon juice vinaigrette. This cold bug has been making its way around the office, and despite the garlic cure, it looks like it's my turn to get sick. I'm feeling a little better today and I'm quite determined to get better by next weekend. I love skating and now that the canal is open I hope to get outside and enjoy it while I can. It won't be long and the weather will be nice enough to take that trip down Preston Street. Luciano's is a favourite and Preston Hardware is a definite must for any foodie.

2011 Jan 10
We all go through slumps... go to a cooking demo, or cooking class at Loblaws or the Chinese Cooking Studio or if you've got the $ at Urban Element. Get inspired, try new flavours, learn new techniques & recipes, meet new people! :)

2011 Jan 10
You guys are great. Mostly, I just needed to vent.
Thanks for the suggestions. Throwing some creativity into my cooking will probably do the trick. I just tend to stick to soups, pastas, chilis, etc. in these cold months, and I think I need to change that approach. I miss my summer fish tacos! :) I miss all the fresh flavours!
Cooking demos/classes are a great idea, too. I just need to take that first step and sign up. Hehe.
Thanks duderinos.

2011 Jan 10
Me and a buddy will be at one of the cooking classes at the Chinese cooking studio in the next month (torn between Thai, Viet and Korean). I'll report back and let you know how it goes.

2011 Jan 10
I'm a student and don't have a lot of money to eat out. I live vicariously through the other foodies on this site.

I usually hit the public library and take out a half a dozen cookbooks, usually covering a variety of cuisines.

I also try looking up off the beaten path cuisines on the internet- Laotian, Chilean, Dominican, Malaysian, El Salvadorian- restos that you don't find in the city. It's my way to combat the winter blahs- not being able to afford a holiday somewhere south.

2011 Jan 11
My budget for resto's has been slim lately as well, or being spent in Mtl... I second the library suggestion and watching episodes of No Reservations online. Since it's not as pleasant outside for walking, I do more advance planning. If I've pre-set a date at a resto with a friend or committed to cooking a dinner it's harder to back out because of crap weather. Also helps to have a jacket with a great hood :) Budget-wise, my winter food project is to experiment with inexpensive cuts of meat (the nasty bits as Bourdain would say) and new carbs (since I'm craving them anyways, made arepas recently mmmm). For cheap inspiration, have a smell through the Grace Ottawa $1 row of bagged spices. For example, smelling a bag of whole cloves last week brought bag childhood memories of baked ham, so now I want to highlight that flavour in a more modern dish. For further inspiration I've been 'hibernating' with library books. I'm working from foodie classics, like MFK Fisher and Calvin Trillin, onto new titles like Ideas in Food. Best of luck to you this winter!