A ‘Slim my Viking’ Recipe: Anthony Bourdain – ing with quick & easy summer salad rolls

Standing in the grocery store, one body among many, all of us searching for some semblance of satisfaction, the paralysis of routine takes hold. Thousands of products, but my brain sees only the dozens it has seen before. No. Not today, not with 5 days of weekday repetition looming on the other side of this Sunday afternoon: wake up, go to work, come home, do the bastard dishes, make supper, watch TV, go to bed. No.

Facing an entire wall of salad dressings, I make a choice for change. I turn around. The opposite aisle wall is a mecca of Bourdain – ian possibilities. Anthony Bourdain (sketched at right), a man I’ve followed around the world, from arrogant naiveté to arrogant wisdom. On some strange level, I love that man; as a prophet of hope and novelty, of freedom and humanity. But my heart is held by another, my Viking…

Rice paper! I can do this. Heck, I’ve seen it on TV. Suddenly, I’m on a flavour raid – bean sprouts, red pepper, chilies… designing my own recipe and pillaging (I think we all can do without the raping) for a whole new flavour profile. And if the Viking isn’t sated, I buy his favourite bread with spinach dip to fill the void. The grocery store is instantly transformed from tedium to adventure, my brain and senses fully engaged in the exploration.

Half an hour later in my kitchen, with eyes watering and mouth on fire from testing the heat of a serrano pepper, I’m draining chilled vermicelli using a mesh splatter guard (see photo for vegetable prep). To my awe and amazement, the rice paper holds, and my improvised summer salad roll recipe proves to be quick and easy (see assembly instructions below – my apologies for the white plate!), healthy, and delicious – even to my Viking! Next time you’re lost in the grocery store, why not escape your own routine and go Anthony Bourdain – ing…

Note: Store bought peanut satay sauce shown in photo. But you can also jazz up your dipping by mixing together 2-3 parts soy sauce, 1 part peanut satay sauce, 1-2 drops sesame oil, and a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce.

How to incorporate air purifying plants into an office environment

Plants are an excellent way to improve the air quality in your office. Spider plants offer exceptional purification properties. Of course, you can always take things one step farther into the jungle and create a greenery curtain in your office doorway. Anything to bring more of a barrier between your humanity and the industrial hum of the cubicle wasteland beyond.

Although I do have to warn you, explaining to a befuddled coworker why you’re bushwhacking through spider plant foliage to escape for lunch can be a little awkward – as I found out first hand last week! Click Here to learn more about the Blank Canvas Sampler. And if you’re curious about the font in the illustration above, Click Here.

Blank Canvas Thinkers: Robert Ludlum quote about writing for an audience

When Robert Ludlum turned 40, he went rogue. Not an easy age for any man, Ludlum’s crisis was compounded by the ugly realization that he could no longer support his family through his theatre work. What happens when doing what you love won’t pay the bills? Deep, unremitting, soul crushing despair, and then you move on; most to a staid mediocrity within the system, but some, like our hero Ludlum, just say ‘to hell with it’ and pick up a pen – because writing is so much more lucrative than acting… suuure. When he told his wife he’d been thinking about writing for a living, her response was this: “You’re either going to try it or you’re going to regret (not trying) it for the rest of your life.”

The man gave it his all – how could he not with such saintly support? Just imagine them lying together in the dark, both stressing about money, and he rolls over and suggests writing as a solution – miracle she didn’t smother him out on the spot! But she must have known the secret, his edge in an age of self indulgent novelists, that a true entertainer can work his craft in any medium. And so, like his best known literary creation, Jason Bourne, Ludlum used the skills, talents, and training of his past life to find a new creative identity within a different world.

Click Here to watch an excellent short biographical documentary on Robert Ludlum… bestselling author, master of suspense, chronicler of heroes, and one of the luckiest husbands in human history.

When what to wear to work becomes a military operation – A Che Guevara-ette personal style experiment

“What the hell are you wearing?” asks Doctor C, catching me in an embarrassingly macho pose in the elevator this morning.

“I don’t even know,” I say, blushing. “I was feeling kind of militant this morning so I figured I’d just go with it.”

“Nice cape. Do you think your boss is going to let you wear that hat all day?” She presses the button for her 10th floor Blank Canvas Living offices. My fate holds me on the 6th floor, rolling paper for geophysicists and dreaming about a creative future. My button’s red glow is as mocking as the smirk on Doctor C’s neon-coral lips.

“It’s actually a scarf,” I point out, ignoring her tone. “I knit it myself a few years ago, and I’m going to have to be strategic about the hat. It completes the whole Che Guevara-ette look – and the necklace adds some class.”

I see her trying to hold it in, but she breaks out laughing. “Because you’re the very picture of a classy lady right now!”

“Whatever. Life’s too short to stick to the script. I don’t care if I get in trouble. I just want to feel something when I get dressed. I can’t hide in my head anymore. I need to wear who I am, you know, honour my mood and story of the day. And you know what else? I feel like I could kick some serious ass wearing these pants. I stand differently. I walk differently. All I want to do is to climb a tree in some deep dark Bolivian forest and start scouting for a revolution- ”

“Woah there tiger,” Doctor C interrupts my tirade. “All this from wearer of the infamous ugly pants?”

We burned those bastards! Look what you started!”

She rolls her eyes and swings her long white braid from one shoulder to the other. “If you’re in the mood for war, girl, you really need to come upstairs and do a ‘tour’ in our West corner restroom.”

The 6th floor button winks out and the elevator doors open, but I’m too curious to get off. I leave the script and stay on board for whatever adventure is waiting for me on the 10th.

This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…