|Me & my Dad at his 70th birthday|
When I think about this blog, I used to be really proud of it because I thought that it showed what a healthy, diverse, and full life I was trying to lead. Trying. That is the key word here. I started this blog over a year ago to motivate me, to keep me accountable in terms of how much I run, how much I read, and what I eat and cook and eat. For a long time, I was really proud that these are three of the things I love the most; I even made them my twitter name! But now I know that instead of trying to prove to others what a great life I am living, I should just live it and invite others to join me in it. That is how my Dad lived.
One thing I am really proud of is that a lot of my interests are a direct result of life with my Dad. You see, he was a jogger in his heyday, was an amazing cook and huge foodie, had an amazing eye for art, both as a collector and creator, and most of all, lived life for every second of his 70 years. And when we were with him, he made sure we shared these experiences with him. Even though my Dad was a little frugal (Ok. super-cheap) he did believe in spending money on things of value so my Dad never took us to libraries, he took us to bookstores because he understood how valuable it was to own a book. In fact, he took me to my first author reading, The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn, a book I still read to my grade 7 class. Since then, I have been passionate about collecting books, especially signed Canadian books.
My Dad introduced me the world of art, taking me to my first art exhibit (outside of school field trips). We went to the Degas exhibit at the National Gallery in Ottawa where we not only saw the exhibit, but he also arranged for a behind-the-scenes tour of the art that was not on exhibit. This experience led me to pursue art history in university and even though it is not the most lucrative profession, my Dad encouraged me to pursue my passion. In fact, the only career advice he ever gave me was to not get a desk job because if I am sitting all day, I will get a big ass. And it's true!
So in between all this book-signing and art-viewing was the food. Life with my Dad meant there was never any room to be a picky eater. Instead of the Kraft dinner and chicken fingers, we were served papardelle with tomato sauce and fresh herbs grown on his balcony and grilled chicken with a grainy mustard and beer marinade. Of course, if we didn't like the dinner, he would make us a pb & j sandwich, the bread being a dense pumpernickel, the pb being fresh ground almond butter, and the j being orange marmalade one of his dental patients made for him. So are you starting to see how I became a foodie?
He encouraged my budding interest in food by buying me cookbooks as birthday presents, a tradition he has continued with my son, the budding foodie. For Billy's birthday last month, even though my Dad was so sick, he went out and got my son a copy of 3 Chefs, personalized and signed by all three chefs. And a couple days before he was diagnosed, we walked from his house in Toronto's annex to Mistura, where we had the most amazing meal ever. He would highly recommend the CARCIOFINI FRITTI
(Lightly Coated Crispy Artichokes on a Spiced Puttanesca Sauce & Parmigiano), a dish he called the best appetizer he ever had. On the flip side, two weeks later when he knew he had less than two months left, instead of another fancy restaurant, he navigated us to an unnamed hole-in-the-wall Churrasco Chicken joint where he patiently waited in the car for an hour while they prepared the chicken (they had sold out by the time he got there but knew it was worth waiting for a new batch). He had second helpings...at at time when his appetite was supposed to be diminishing.
|Dr. Arthur Herbert Rubinoff (aka. Grandpa Treats) 1940-2010|