Make You Famous: Avoiding Febtober

If there is one month that tends to be harder than all of the others in Canada, then it has to be Febtober. Fans of SNL will recognize the fictional month from Will Ferrell’s Celebrity Jeopardy skit when Tom Cruise shouts out the answer to the category “Months that Begin with “Feb”‘, and this always makes me laugh. So, February became Febtober, and every year I struggle like all Canadians to get through. Maybe it is the lack of sun, the lack of travel opportunities, the work that piles up or the work that still has yet to show up; all I know is that Febtober is  the hardest month of the year.

To deal with that it is usually a good idea to either look forward to the next great adventure or back at one of the previous adventures. I love to travel and I love to eat food. In June of last year my mother and I hit Chicago and Milwaukee to enjoy a few days in the big city and see what food we could find off the beaten path. Our first choice to help with the journey was Chicago Food Planet, a tour company that has daily tours to the hot spots of Chicago’s food scene. Weirdly enough, they were filming a promo video on the day we went with them and I just discovered these frames online.

My Mother and I crossing through Wicker Park to Bucktown; she is trying to not lose me!

Travel is a luxury that allows us to forget the hassles at home. We can hide in the anonymity of the crowd, most of whom are living in the hassle of their own city. For me, Chicago became a little nicer after walking through this edgy, gentrified part of the city. I wish that I had been able to do the same style of tour in NYC the next week, but time just did not allow for the experience.

V. says I was looking grumpy here; I think I look like I ate Chicago.

Ugggh, the major problem with food blogging is that it is all too easy to kill yourself with goodness. I swear that I was ready to explode after just a day in the city. I chalked it up to a necessary part of the adventure – especially after the giant chill dog in Milwaukee’s Harley Davidson Museum. Every night when I am running to get back into shape, I remember that damned dog and imagine it is still working its way through my belly – ha ha ha. It was killer though, and part of life is to enjoy the best it has to offer while we can. Errrr…you just cannot do that very often or you will may not see many more Febtobers.

Carol was not impressed with the salad; after a hot dog and a marshmallow chocolate shake she knew what tasted good.

The next month will see me getting ready for a week in Thunder Bay and a week in Quebec. Both places will be cold and North. I hope that V. and I will be able to shoot arresting landscapes up north with the Linhof view camera. I ordered 7 film holders from Atlanta and I hope they are all in decent enough shape to use. I will be reading books by Ansel Adams to glean words of wisdom about such work, but I am excited about the possibilities.

Quebec will be a working adventure with the school. Still, dog-sledding, rock-climbing, tubing, cross-country skiing and cabanes aux sucre all have their own fun and thrills to enjoy year after year. I just have to ensure that I do not subsist on bacon and poutine for a week at a time. Ahhhh, Quebec!

Lastly, the first image in the blog was that of my spaghetti and meatballs. I always find it strange that this dish seldom is served anywhere other than at a cheapo kids restaurant. Forget Boston Pizza [deathzone for food] or the pizza joint down the street, as the only way to get an authentic version of this is to luck out in an Italian restaurant in Boston or New York, or to make it yourself “just like your Italian grandma did for four hundred years in Sicily.” Growing up in Prince Edward Island, I thought this was the number one Italian dish, so I was greatly disappointed to figure out that it was more of a North American craze. We will have to see if V. can find any when she hits Rome in April for Easter. Ahhh granmama!

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