Dear Soup Development Team,
In his book entitled The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton eloquently stated that “what we find exotic abroad is often what we hunger for in vein at home.” In a previous article for my company’s newsletter, of which I believe was leaked to The Washington Post, I spoke of my fondness of Toronto, in that the exotic can be found all around us, probably more so than any other city on our dear planet.
Of course, there are the numerous ethnic enclaves throughout Toronto Proper where you can catch a glimpse into the authentic cultures of Asia, Europe, and South America. However, there is no other place in Toronto that brings it all as nicely together as, you guessed it, the “Joe’s No Frills” beside the Dufferin Mall.
This is one of my favourite places to go in the city. As I walked around on Sunday, collecting the ingredients for this week’s soup, I don’t recall once hearing the English language spoken with the exception of at the checkout counter. The butcher who cut my side ribs was joking around with his colleagues en Español, the girl who was taking forever in front of me at the checkout counter was arguing with her boyfriend in Tagalog, and there was a couple behind me talking in Mandarin, complaining about the price of butter. For that instant I felt not unlike how Marco Polo must have during his travels across the Silk Road. Except that I was obtaining my goods with the use of a debit card instead of opium, which No Frills doesn’t accept. Yet.
Contrast this with Loblaws, the epitome of overpriced shi-shi grocery shopping, frequented by overworked young professionals buying pre-cooked meals and bored housewives mulling about the isles with their recipe clippings from Gourmet Magazine. Worst of all is the “Memories of…” franchise. All of these original sauces, in their authentic form, can be found for half the price and taste better then their watered down, pedestrian Loblaws counterparts. Forget about the fact that when you shop at Loblaws, part of the cost is going towards those absurd Galen Weston commercials, face du jour of Loblaws. And don’t get me started on the $15 Jerk Chicken Sauce at Williams-Sonoma.
This week is some good old fashioned Chicken Noodle for my fallen homies who were taken down by the flu. If you want me to come over and make you some just call me. Just don’t get me sick.
Serves one sick person twice
Bring to a boil:
4 cups of chicken stock
Stir in, cook el dente (“sort of hard” in English):
1 cup egg noodles
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: If you want to actually include chicken, you can take maybe half of a boneless chicken breast, shred it into small pieces and cook in the stock until done, 10 minutes or so
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