Saturday, October 14, 2017

On the menu

Last night was mushroom stroganoff with brown rice. I tried baking pears and apples again. Did 25 minutes at 350 and realized it was supposed to be 450. Did fifteen more minutes there and had some burnt maple syrup but it was close enough to an apple dumpling that I felt rewarded.

I took a short vacation from cooking last weekend and struggled through the week with chili frozen from the week before and tortillas and refried beans.

This week I will be more prepared. Lunches will be individually frozen black beans and cauliflower rice. I will enjoy hummus and carrots through the weekend and have baked a spaghetti squash as the new thing to try. I'm thinking of adding a curry butter seasoning to it for dinner tonight.


I'm always surprised when food does what the recipe says it's going to do.

I also knit. I've finished one of ten pairs of mittens for the high school students. Brought them donuts last week. I think I'm just grateful to have almost adults to start my day. Next week begins the history of Western European music- starting with the Middle Ages. I believe it should be taught in the context of history rather than out of thin air so there will be several blog worthy projects in the next week. And while their doing them I will ply their brains with facts and sounds.

I am continuing the lace wrap in white malabrigo laceweight. I love the pattern and the accountant recipient so It's been an enjoyable non tedious project.

I missed both Zumbas this past week and rather than losing any lbs., simply maintained. There might have been some Mexican food in there as well. I bought my first pair of pants that really feel like tights and wore them with a long gray tunic top. I was just one of the kids.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to on the menu and on the needles.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An observation at Panera's


The women in this picture, they MADE the little people with them with their bodies. Life is amazingly complicated and amazingly simple.


Sunday, October 08, 2017

Just so you can be part of the fun...

Here are the girls from brunch who get a regular scolding from the dining hall manager for not knowing how many we will have for lunch.  Juanita on the left is teased for talking to much. (in fact the face she made is after I told her to stop talking so I could take the picture- I knew Lorna was in a hurry)  Lorna on the right is called "cookie" and asked if she wants oatmeal regularly because she hates both.  Showing her buckeye balls in the center is greatauntofmine.

It's so hard to explain the conversation.  It is peppered with misunderstanding, mishearing and miscommunication.  And laughing at all of it.  Also picking on each other.  They like to pick on each other.

They talked about the Ohio State and WVU football games, never realizing they were actually talking about two separate games.  Aunt assumed they understood she was talking about Ohio State.  They assumed the same thing about West Virginia.  They never realized what games the others were talking about.  It would have been free of misunderstanding if both teams had played a similar game.

At one point the conversation went from the boys in the football games to the gnats in the dining hall.  Not realizing we had moved on, Lorna said "I saw them taking one away on a stretcher"  And we thought she meant the gnat and I made my fingers into a gnat sized ambulance- sound effects included.

In other news, this weekend was one of accomplishment.  I found the secret file electronically tax pin that I've been looking for and harassing the previous accountant for after many months of searching.  It was in the "important document" folder where I had looked for it at least 1000 times.

I also took the final steps to transfer one of the previously untransferred investment accounts from deceased brother in laws account to her name.

Both were absolutely horrible tasks that make me crazy with the fear of details I won't be able to find what I need to complete the tasks.  I was not expecting success on either front. And yet karma ruled in my favor.

The food making of the weekend included more hummus and some black beans and quinoa in burrito shells.  Both had three cloves of garlic.  I heart garlic.  I've noticed that the variety of possible meals has increased with each week. Other than the pears, I took a week off.  I'll make them again tonight with the walnuts this time.  The bonus of cooking with beans is that if you screw up you're not throwing out $10 worth of food.

On the knitting front I have four projects I'm rotating between.  The connected triangle scarf (I've hit an uneven decreasing snafu that has put it into time out), the frank lloyd wright inspired scarf (the perfect knit night all garter knit), a lace wrap I'm making for the patient accountant (out of white malabrigo lace weight.  she is such  beautiful brown color, it will look spectacular on her) and the mittens I'm going to make for the high school kids.  They might not ever wear them but they will remember that someone cared enough about them to knit them mittens.

And so it goes.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

So very openmi... oh.. Nevermind.

I NEVER bring up religion in conversation.  I live and teach in the middle of some Jesusville and prefer not to make a fuss.

Today I found myself talking to the grandparent of Sally (at Zumba.)  We were talking about how shy Sally is.  Grandma was a rambler so hang on.

GM: We took Sally to bible school.  We go to the Presbyterian one sometimes and the Baptist one other times.  I like to expose her to all different religions.  I mean, we're all going to the same heaven anyway.  There aren't different compartments. Well, I don't know what you believe, but I believe we all go to the same heaven any way (and then she went into serious non-affective cult voice and said) Imeanaslongasweallbelieveinourlordandsaviorjesuschrist.


I got nothing.  I don't share her belief.  I don't care to share mine.  The conversation was about how Sally had stage fright at both bible schools and as the music teacher I didn't want to say "yea, I don't know if she has a good voice- she's always too afraid to sing."

The longer I live the more adamant I feel about my Judgy McJudgerson opinion on religion.  Because if I were being really honest (which I can do here because it is in fact my blog and so very few read it) I mostly just wanted to say "I think you're full of shit."

The openminded/Jesus only dichotomy was what sent me to write a post about it.

Item Number Two

Another Zumba friend (who's religious preferences I don't know and can therefore engage in regular conversation with her without judging in either direction) brought me pears from her pear tree tonight.  I was going to just eat them plain but then I got this idea:

Baked pears- I've added maple syrup and cinnamon.  The recipe I read  also called for walnuts which I did not have so I did without.  The date brownies also call for walnuts.  I may need to keep those around.  The recipe also suggests topping it with vanilla soy yogurt.  Whatev.  I have been served whipped topping  made from coconut milk which seemed like a possibility but not on a school night.

Greathusbandbob went to visit Greatauntofmine today.  He told her he wanted to visit since he doesn't come with me to Sunday brunch with the girls.  She said, " yea, Becky hasn't been here in a long time."  If by long time she means every Sunday then she is correct.  I think we just observed the first sign of mental decline.

And finally.  I was standing next to a first grade line this afternoon when a little tiny one looked up and said "Hey, you got skinny."  WHAT THE WHAT!!!! My new favorite friend forever.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Indian Accountant

Told me about the two specialty shops in her plaza. One Asian and one Middle Eastern. She told me about lentils and their many varieties. She also spoke of spices.

I put green lentils in the crockpot this morning. I prepared some clarified butter in which to mix cumin seeds, fresh ginger, curry powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. In another twenty minutes (when the brown rice is ready) I will have lentils and rice with Indian spices.



Above- the bent spoon used to make clarified butter.



Who Am I?

I know I've asked that before after a cooking adventure or two but this new thing every week has now been going on for several weeks. Seriously, who am I?

I also found some medjool dates to make another batch of unbaked brownies. Furthermore I know the difference between medjool dates and the less expensive variety.

Greathusbandbob is out and about for the afternoon. This means that once I enjoy my lunch I will watch made for t.v. movies from the 70's and 80's and get the laundry done early.

Tomorrow I will make and freeze some bean chili in case I run out of lunches next week and will prepare the brownies. Knowing how good they are I must put off preparing them so I don't have an entire day to resist them.

Also I purchased the one liter size of olive oil because I keep running out. I almost bought the kind that is in a metal can like a gas can but thought that would feel pretentious and have a slight hint of cultural appropriation.


And while it doesn't necessarily photograph well, it tasted AMAZING!


Friday, September 29, 2017

I'm no empath...

And maybe these are just the post traumatic after-effects of that header I took a few summers ago, landing head first on the cement but....

Here are things that have made me twitch, squirm, blanch and quease of late.

The bandaid on my cousins nose where I know they had to take out some cancer cells.

The three inch (completely healed, mind you) scar on greathusbandbob's belly from the kidney removal.

The mere thought that someday I might have to have some sort of surgery performed on myself. I am so creeped out by that, it's nearly reaching my "fear of the dentist" proportions. Even though there is no surgery planned.

Watching one of the high school kids tackle another one. In football, with pads, on a damn little iPhone where they look like little bugs.

Any acted on television, not real, misstep, trip, bump, kick or jolt. Don't even get me started on the guy from the defenders (Netflix) flying from building top to building top.

I am a walking virtual reality bot. At school today the kids saw a production of you're a good man Charlie Brown. There is a point where Charlie pretends to bang his head against a tree and creates the sound effect elsewhere. I flinched and jumped at that. Aargh.

In other news, my accountant, who is of Indian heritage, said to try green lentils in the crockpot with turmeric and cumin so that may be this weekends cooking experiment. There is a Middle Eastern grocery store near her office. Also not far from Aunt's place. I picked up some lentils and some more dates for brownies. I may have to investigate Indian recipes. There were so many interesting items in that store.

I'm knitting a scarf based on Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. It feels Mondrian with more blues, grays and greens and not primary colors. Using the magic counter that knitnightmarc turned into an app makes lots of long boring rows move more quickly when there is a timer telling you what percentage you have accomplished and how much you have yet to go.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weekend Dining

Come to find I am an excellent cook when making food I love.

This morning's activities started with some easy peasy hummus and again some leftover carrots.


The big experiment of the morning were chocolate covered Katie's ultimate unbaked brownies. The main ingredients are dates and nuts. It called for just walnuts but I had (and therefore used) a walnut/macadamia/cashew combo.


Dates are sticky gooey. Once food processed they make the processor tired. It becomes the texture of those little Debbie brownies. Cocoa makes it chocolatey. The frosting is coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup and cocoa. I don't know much about dates. They kind of creep me out but the internet says they're good for you. It looks like this-


I don't know how they taste yet. After you make them they need to be refrigerated for two hours.

This was followed by the main course- brown rice with mushroom stroganoff. The bonus of using the stroganoff seasoning vs. just Italian seasoning is that the spice packet seems to have a bit of a thickening agent. Greathusbandbob ate it. I asked if it was good. He gave a lukewarm "yeah- I kept looking for the meat though". I thought it was spectacular and had the feeling of mushroom risotto.

There's a head of cauliflower in the fridge waiting to become cauliflower crust pizza tomorrow. Rather than using sauce and cheese I'm going to top with olive oil and garlic and use with the hummus. There will also be bean chili for lunches next week.