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Preview: Food Snobbery is my Hobbery

Food Snobbery is my Hobbery



It's not that I'm a snob. I'm just a food snob. There. I said it.



Updated: 2017-07-23T06:53:18.064-05:00

 



Yoga with Cats

2014-07-10T20:13:59.546-05:00

I'm not doing much Food Snobbery blogging lately, but I'm doing lots of yoga with my cats and taking pictures to prove it.  Check it out at www.tumblr.com/blog/yogawithcats  or find me on Instagram at @yogawithcats.  Of course, I can't help but post a few food snobbery pics on there, too.

Billie is the original yogacat, but Bess and Bell and even Hannah Dog join in, too.



I killed baby garlic

2014-04-20T13:10:41.199-05:00

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I don't usually till my garden beds, but this year my soil was looking a little compacted, so I turned it over with my trusty garden fork. Oops. I killed my baby garlic.

I re-planted some of it, but couldn't resist eating a little to celebrate my first day back in the garden after the longest winter ever. I puréed the baby garlic with olive oil, salt, and a bunch of cilantro. I tastes like springtime in heaven.



French Toast Factory

2014-04-20T13:07:25.786-05:00

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When life gives you a free loaf of pain de mie, you make a full loaf's worth of French toast for the week!! Freeze it on a cooling rack, then seal away until you pop it in the toaster oven and smother it in maple syrup.



Snack Packs

2014-04-06T15:08:05.281-05:00

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These snack packs are a lifesaver on busy mornings. It just takes a few minutes to make a bunch of these, and I mix and match flavors so I don't get bored with them during the week. I just pair up any dried fruit, nuts, seeds, sturdy cereal (like shredded wheat), or snacky foods (like wasabi peas or rice crackers). I label them so that everyone can choose their flavors.

This keeps us from buying quite so many packaged snacks, which can get so expensive!



Butter Bean & Arugula Pesto Pasta

2013-06-30T09:39:28.860-05:00

Okay, assuming you made the same Cilantro Walnut Pesto that I did this week and have about a cup of it left over, here's what to do:

Cook up some bowtie pasta because it's the cutest.  As soon as it's done, run it under cold water to chill it.

Mix up lots of that pesto with a can of butter beans (I like the Bioitalia organic butter beans from my co-op, but any butter beans would do.  Lima beans or cannellini beans would be good, too).

Combine the beans & pesto with the pasta and a few giant handfuls of fresh arugula.

This pasta & bean salad is super fresh and green as it can be!  And I can tell you from experience that it's even better the next day for breakfast.



Cilantro Walnut Pesto on Snap Peas

2013-06-27T21:00:51.056-05:00

I have a little problem with not being able to weed out useful plants from my garden, even when they're interfering with other useful plants.  Last year it was dill.  This year it's cilantro.

So I cut the tops off of a 4x4 garden bed FULL of cilantro and brought it inside to make something with.  Here's what happened:


  • I peeled 3 cloves of garlic
  • I soaked & washed the bundle of cilantro
  • I zested and juiced an orange
  • I threw the garlic, 1 cup of walnuts, a handful-sized hunk of Sartori parmesan, the cilantro, orange zest & juice, sea salt, and a long glug of olive oil into the food processor.  



  • Then I tasted it and realized I was going to want to eat the entire container of this pesto tonight.  
  • So I packed 1 cup of it away in a canning jar in the freezer.















  • Then I thought about how good this pesto would be tossed with the snap peas in my fridge.  
  • Then I ate a whole lot of snap peas.  






Cocoa Puff Day

2013-04-07T18:33:03.712-05:00

Apologies to anyone looking for information about actual Cocoa Puffs (TM).  

In my head, I call today Cocoa Puff Day.  It's first day in spring that I go out into the garden to stir in all the little bunny poops into the soil.

I have mixed feelings about rabbits in my garden.  On one hand, they ate clear through the bark of my brand new honeycrisp apple tree, so I hate them.  On the other hand, they give me free fertilizer every year and seem to wait by my garage so that anytime I come home, they're hopping down the alley looking super cute.  So I love them.  (Cute + free fertilizer) > (Sad, doomed tree)

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Do you see the little Cocoa Puffs?  
I've vacillated over the years in my "cleaning up the garden before winter" philosophy.  Some years I clear everything out at the end of fall so that I have nice, clean beds for spring.  I usually feel very accomplished and organized those years.

Other years I'll feel lazy and just leave all the tomato plants and broccoli stems to rot.  The downside to this is that when pulling soft, cold broccoli plants from the garden, it's hard to get a good enough grip to pull them out as their skin slips right off.  And I've watched enough CSI to imagine that this is what it would be like trying to pull a dead body out of the ground.  Ew.

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The past few years I've found a happy medium between the two methods: I clear out the beds that get the most sun so that they're ready for early planting in spring.  But I leave some plants remaining in the shadier beds so that the bunnies will snack on my leftover collard stems all winter and leave behind their little poops.  Win, win!

The next step?  Not-so-patiently waiting until it might be safe to plant!  It feels like spring today, but it just snowed two days ago, so I'm trying not to plant any seeds just yet.



Too Much Mustard

2013-03-30T21:54:00.679-05:00

 I'm on a mission right now to clean out my kitchen.  I'm reading American Wasteland and feel a little embarrassed by the number of varieties of mustard in my fridge.  I count 7 now, but that's only because we finished off the last little bit of 3 jars this past week. It's not just the mustard, though.  I've got a whole shelf of hot sauces and varieties of beans I've never even used before. So here's what I've been eating to clean out the foods I've been neglecting at the back of the fridge and pantry. 1.  Black beans with millet, pickled limes, cumin-coriander-apricot chutney and harissa kale chips.  (pickled these limes 3 years ago)2.  Roasted broccoli and carrots with WW Israeli couscous and last year's frozen pesto.  (Just enough couscous left for a couple servings.  Been sitting in the pantry for months.  I also poured a little thinned-out mustard over the broccoli and called it a mustard sauce.)3. Barbecue pinto beans and chipotle lime Gardein strips over romaine lettuce and carrots.  With ranch dressing, of course.  (Finishing off some barbecue sauce and pintos). 4. Butternut squash ravioli with edamame and pesto. (Frozen ravioli.  Frozen edamame.  Frozen pesto.  Cleaning out the freezer!)5. Chora dal na pooda with barley, saag, apricot chutney.  (The last of the hulled barley and finally tried the chora dal!). I'll have more to share soon.  I have weird cereal no one wants, urad dal, and so many dried garden herbs.  It feels like Iron Chef trying to plan my meals around these ingredients. [...]



So simple, so good

2013-02-11T20:02:32.781-06:00

I intended to make something complex, and maybe just a little fancy-pants, when I put some cubed rutabagas and some wild rice on to boil.  But I got hungry and just ate boiled rutabagas and wild rice with a little fresh thyme and ground black pepper.


It was amazing and perfectly simple.




Banana Sundae

2013-02-02T22:51:26.992-06:00

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Not quite as good as an ice cream sundae, but the toppings are the same.




Chocolate Fluffer Nutter Cookies

2013-01-31T19:28:50.573-06:00

Just when you think Dreena Burton's "You got peanut butter in my chocolate" cookies couldn't get any better, try adding marshmallows to them.

(image) I call these Chocolate Fluffer Nutter Cookies.  Fluffer Nutter sandwiches are crazy and probably no one should really eat them, except maybe as a dessert.  But in a cookie, combining peanut butter and marshmallows seems perfectly reasonable, right?  Especially with chocolate.

The original recipe uses barley flour and they're really good that way, but I wanted to make these gluten free so we could all enjoy them.  So my adaptions are below:

Chocolate Fluffer Nutter Cookies
Adapted from Dreena Burton's recipe

1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 handful (about 8) vegan marshmallows, cut into 4

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, millet flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda until the lumps are gone.  Then stir in marshmallow pieces and chips until they are coated in the flour mixture.

In a separate jar or bowl, mix together the maple syrup, agave, vanilla and oil.  Add to the flour and mix until a thick dough forms.  Then drop/drizzle bits of peanut butter (mine was refrigerated, so it was lumps of peanut butter) onto the dough and use a knife to cut it into the dough, leaving lumps and swirls.  Scoop rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 11 minutes, then let cool completely.



Fat on Fat on Fat

2013-01-17T20:31:08.943-06:00

You know that 2010-2012 trend of putting bacon on and in everything?  That's what my life has been like the past few weeks, except with coconut bacon.  Perhaps you've already noticed.

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Well, tonight I outdid myself and made an avocado and coconut bacon sandwich drizzled with super good olive oil.


This is basically a fat sandwich.  It was incredible.




Pile It High

2013-01-16T21:01:09.472-06:00

There is something magical about the combination of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce.  Especially on a salad.  Also with croutons and coconut bacon.  


It's a lot easier to make salads for dinner when you keep crazy good salad toppings like these around.  I've eaten mixing bowl salads three times in the past week.  This one has locally grown baby spinach, chopped romaine, shredded yellow carrots, croutons, coconut bacon, locally made smoked blue cheese, baked tofu soaked in my bestie's homemade whiskey barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing. This is a filling salad.  Be sure you pile the spinach and lettuce high to balance all the rich toppings.

My buddy Jesse says I only like barbecue and ranch together because I'm from Texas, but I think everyone should try it.  I enjoyed this salad while watching an episode of King of the Hill.  Hank Hill thinks you should go prep some salad toppings now so that you're prepared.

His words of wisdom on tonight's episode: "Plan ahead.  Then when stuff happens, you'll be prepared."



A Salad without a Name

2013-01-16T21:01:27.175-06:00

Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook dinner.  Especially after a long day, on a night where I eat dinner by myself, it's really tempting to order pizza or pick up some takeout from Kim's Kitchen.  But I'm teaching a class about eating more vegetables this week and one of the benefits of my job is that I get inspired by the things I research and end up eating more healthfully as a result.

(image) So I made this quick and very veggie-heavy salad for dinner last night.  It was kind of a weird mix of flavors, but I really liked it!

"I Don't Know What to Call It-Blood Orange, Peanut, Tahini, Cabbage and Kale Slaw"

2 cups very thinly sliced savoy cabbage
2 cups very thinly sliced lacinato kale, stem removed
1 blood orange, supremed (a.k.a. membranes & pith removed)
1/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts
Tahini Sauce (tahini, tamari, rice vinegar)

Mix it all up.  This would work well if it had time to marinate, but I ate mine all right away.  Yep.  I ate my 5-a-day in one meal.

*Green onions would also be nice in this salad, too, but raw onions don't agree with me.  Cilantro would also be good, but I didn't have any.  Or baked tofu.  Also, it's kind of a pain to cut the membranes off the orange, but it really pays off with the juiciness of the oranges.  Also, I have no idea the proportions of tahini, tamari and vinegar.  Just give it a taste and add more of what sounds good.



A New Year, New Resolutions

2013-01-16T21:02:02.009-06:00

I know I say that my favorite holiday is April Fools Day.  But really my favorite holiday is New Year's Day.  I started planning my resolutions in November, people.  I just love the idea of a holiday that encourages people to start healthy habits and break unhealthy ones! I stuck with last year's resolutions pretty well.  That is, when I re-read them a few minutes ago, none of them surprised me.  I actually remembered these throughout the year and consciously tried to do better.  I think I'd give myself a B-.  I did great with wearing skirts in the winter (but I discovered I also love black skinny jeans), I went to the gym 3-5 days a week for my mental health, and I met my financial goals...sort of.I did pay off my car this year (hooray!), but the same day I met my emergency fund goal, I immediately had to withdraw a big chunk to buy a new furnace.  Bummer.  Oh, well!  That's what an emergency fund is good for!  I think I'm still on track to finish paying off my student loans this year and then I'll be debt free (you know, except for that little thing called a mortgage).  Heck yeah! I could have done much better with integrating more music into my life, though.  I didn't really have a backup plan for when music club fizzled out.  But at least I'm still listening to music most mornings at the gym and I'm working on converting all those CDs to mp3 format. All in all, this was an okay year.  Short recap of the highlights/lowlights: My partner completed his grant work and released an awesome CD and we celebrated 10 years together, my stepsons reached a major goal by becoming black belts in tae kwon do, I finally ditched my bank for a credit union and I messed up my pinky pretty bad.  Hmm.Let's move on to 2013, shall we?I have a lot of resolutions this year, but I think they're all reasonable. 1. Keep in touch with my Texas family more by sending little photos and things about my day to them by email.  When people communicate only every few weeks, it can be hard to think of the highlights or big things to talk about from your life.  But within each day there's always something interesting to pass along- and for me that feels like a more authentic way to communicate.  And then I don't just say, "there's nothing new going on here."2.  Listen to music everyday.  Yep, even at home.  For some reason I just don't think to turn on music. 3.  Complete a project with Mike.  We both want to learn woodworking, so there might be a new table in our future?4.  Pay off that student loan!5.  Print off some favorite photos from the computer and get them framed.  Then switch them out occasionally.  There's not doing any good just being stored away.6.  Track my personal care routine.  This one's a big one since it involves a lot of items.  Here they are:Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.Floss my teeth every day.Use my neti pot at least 3 times per week.Take my vitamins every day.Wash my face every day.Do something active every day.Do my pinky massage and stretches twice a day.For tracking these, I downloaded a very simple and utilitarian app called Habit Goal Monitor Pro ($2.00) and I love it.  I can quickly log each time I drink a glass of water and it shows me how I'm doing with a progress bar, recap of the last week, current streak of success and personal best.  I've only been using it for a week now, but it has really helped a lot.  I've taken my vitamins every single day this week AND flossed more than I usually would in a month! Note: I do other personal care things, too, like take shower[...]



A Lil' Swedish

2013-01-05T21:12:35.141-06:00

I didn't set out to make Swedish "meat"balls tonight, but I changed my plans.

I've never had Swedish meatballs before, but after about 13 years of living with Northerners, I have a bit of an idea what they might be like. And I heard several people talking about eating them over the holidays, leaving me wondering if I'd like them. So instead of my usual apricot-tomato glaze for some walnut-tofu balls, I decided to give it a whirl.

I looked at a few recipes online and then ended up winging it with my usual cream gravy recipe (Earth Balance, flour, almond milk, veg. broth)...with some Tofutti sour cream stirred in at the end.  Healthy, huh?


(image) Billie Cat enjoyed this process.  I probably should have stopped him from cleaning out the sour cream container, but he could use some extra calories.  Poor Billie was recently diagnosed with diabetes and just started insulin shots this week.  He seems to be pepping up a bit, but he still has a lot of weight to gain back.  

Anyhow- here you can see the balls after they are baked.  After this, I dropped them in the sauce, rolled them around and then ate them straight up.  I was cooking rice to serve with them, but it wasn't done yet and I couldn't wait.






I know this doesn't look like much.  But seriously- "Meat"balls in gravy?  How have I not made this before?  Bring on the lingonberry jam!



My Happy List

2012-12-30T12:13:24.718-06:00

I recently joined a little book club where we read only food/nutrition and health-related books.  Even though this is the type of stuff I'm interested in, I often find that it closely resembles work.
As I read about healthful eating or sustainable agriculture, I can't help but think about how I'll use this in my job and then I start to wonder why I'm reading this in my spare time.  Then I put it down and pick up a mystery novel.  And a cup of tea.  And a cat.

But the truth is, I like reading these non-fiction books and I want to keep learning.  So instead of relying on my own motivation to pick up these books, I joined a this book club.

We started out with Your Body's Many Cries for Water, which made a rather in-your-face argument for chronic dehydration being the root cause of every major illness in modern society.  It felt a little like being recruited into a cult, but at least the cult only encourages drinking 8-10 cups of water a day.  Cheap, easy and definitely worth a try before heading over to the doctor.  Overall, though, the author came across as a wing-nut.  But I'm still drinking more water and feeling good.

This month's book is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I had read this one before, but could probably read it a few dozen more times- or maybe just every December/January in preparation for new year's resolutions.  In the spirit of all things happy, here's my current list of things & activities that make me happy (by no means a complete list).


Jigsaw puzzles
Herbal hot tea (specifically, Lemon Ginger Yogi Tea with lots of lemon and local honey)
Wool socks
Flannel sheets
Pilot gel pens- bold
Watching the cats snuggle together
Gardens. Any kind.  Any where.
Fiesta ware
Organizing things!!!
Taking pictures of food
Having a clean house
Listening to music while driving
Jam with cheese and crackers
Soup
Pickled anything
Murder mysteries
Pure beeswax candles
Wednesday nights by myself when I watch New Girl
A new project or challenge
Canning jars of all shapes and sizes
Power walking and yoga, while listening to Young Jeezy, Kanye, T.I. and Lil Wayne
Slightly alcoholic mini-milkshakes
Getting things in the mail
Making lists & budgets
Crossing things off lists

Just like Julie Andrews says, sometime you just have to remember your favorite things and then you don't feel so bad.




Seitan Fail, Soup Win!

2012-12-02T19:38:10.271-06:00

(image) This year's Thanksgiving meal was fantastic (if I do say so myself).  But I wasn't 100% happy with my seitan turkey.  I tried a new recipe this year and despite being flavorful and impressive looking, it was rubbery.

I won't blame the recipe entirely, though.  I tried the "unturkey" recipe, which sounds amazing and has been my favorite commercially made faux turkey in the past.  I might have neglected to time it during the boiling process, though, so I'm trying to not give up hope on this recipe.   But I think next time I'll go back to using Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe, which I can't find on her website anymore.

Anyhow, it was really easy, smelled amazing and I was able to stuff it like I imagine you'd stuff a real turkey. After slicing open a cavity, I stuffed it completely full of stuffing (see "before" photo on left).  It felt seriously gross sticking my hand up inside a seitan roast.  But, at least there weren't any giblets!

Here's the finished product.  It looks good, right?  Too bad the texture was off.  But the best part of this recipe wasn't really the "turkey".  It was the broth!  Since this recipe required boiling the seitan in a fantasmically flavored broth, I was left with 2 quarts of it after Thanksgiving.

So I stashed the broth away until I wasn't sick of Thanksgiving food...Today!

Instead of a seitan soup, I went with roasted carrots, celery, butterbeans and whole wheat pasta.  Since the broth was already steeped in seitan, I didn't need to worry about using gluten free pasta for Mike to enjoy this.  Sorry, honey, it's all mine!



Yum, yum, yum.  Butterbeans are the best.  I also added a hefty amount of grated ginger to the broth for a little kick.  This will definitely be making an appearance in my lunchbox all week.

PS- This Thanksgiving marked my 20th year as a vegetarian.  Feels good.



What I'm harvesting now

2012-12-01T18:45:41.964-06:00

There's not a lot left in the garden these days.  It's unseasonably warm this weekend  and I'm taking advantage of it by spending time harvesting the last of the veggies.  Or at least the last of the veggies that Hannah Dog hasn't stolen.

 Luckily the dog has't figured out how to steal carrots (yet).  Carrots have got to be the most fun vegetable to harvest.  I nearly waited too long to harvest them this year.  The ground was really cold and dry and I had a rough time digging these guys out- But it's so much fun to pull each carrot out!  I love that satisfying moment when the soil loses its hold and the carrot emerges...short, long, fat, skinny, tiny or huge.  I had quite the variety this year, probably because I refuse to thin my carrot plantings.  I just can't bear to pull the little ones.  


The award for biggest carrot of the year goes to this guy.  I'm hoping it's still tender and not fibrous, like overgrown root crops can sometimes be.  I think this one is destined to be roasted and then made into soup if I can stop myself from just eating the roasted carrots right off the pan.



(image) I thought that my Brussels sprouts were a dud this year.  I planted them a little later than I should have and they just didn't seem to be forming sprouts- they were just big and leafy.  I was surprised today to find those big stalks covered in tiny Brussels sprouts!  They are very little, but there's enough of them to cook some and freeze some.  I just have to decide how to cook them up...roasted? sauteed? steamed?  Tough call.



On Cake

2012-11-19T20:43:43.072-06:00

I'm about to get seriously snobby up in this hizzouse.

I love cake.  Chocolate cake, vanilla cake, banana cake, whatever.  I will eat any vegan cake you put in front of me, and even some not vegan cakes.

But you know what kind of cake is just worthless? Refrigerated cake.  If you can't eat it fast enough to prevent it going bad, then share.  In my experience, cold cake is dry and all the flavor has been sucked right out.

Some exceptions might exist- perhaps freshly baked cakes that have been refrigerated a very short time and then are brought up to room temperature before serving might be okay.  I understand that we're supposed to refrigerate things for food safety purposes, but I'm willing to risk my life for fresh, room temperature cake.

That is all.



Sicky Soups

2012-11-17T11:08:43.694-06:00

Meeting new people can be dangerous when you're getting over a cold.  Last night I met a new friend and we spent about 3 hours talking at a friend's wedding reception/party.  Last night I sounded like I'd been smoking for 30 years (I must have started young).  Today I can barely talk!

My only (inaudible) question for today is: Which soup should I make?

Here are my top 4 favorite soups to eat when I'm sick, in no particular order:

A gingery-lemony-spicy lentil rasam

Seitan noodle soup

Meemaw's potato soup

Lemongrass Pho




Sweet, sweet victory

2012-11-11T20:35:29.253-06:00

My garden carrots may not be the biggest carrots ever, but they are the sweetest.  I planted lots of Yellowstone carrots this year, not my usual varieties (Scarlet Nantes or St. Valery).
(image)
They're just lil' guys, but they pack some serious flavor, color and sweetness.  The carrots' inaugural dish was a stir fry packed with lots of broccoli and green onions coated in a lime-tamari glaze and served with udon noodles.

What is it about udon noodles that is so comforting?  I think it's something about how puffy they get compared with regular ol' Italian style pasta.  Or that they're often swimming in savory broth.  Anyhow, I ate an extraordinary amount of this meal.  I ate an entire head of broccoli.


I highly recommend keeping some dry roasted sliced almonds around the kitchen so that you can sprinkle them on top of dishes like this.  It doesn't take much, and the nuts really bring out the earthiness of the sesame oil in the glaze.  I also like to grind up some salt with a dried Thai chile to sprinkle on top.  Just remember to clean out the mortar and pestle afterwards, because it is SPICY!



My Breakfast Routine

2012-11-08T18:28:34.628-06:00

I've been eating the same thing for breakfast for months. You'd think I'd be bored by now, but I'm not.  I'm sure it'll happen eventually, but for now I love my routine.  Here are all of my favorite parts of this breakfast routine.
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Great meme a friend "pinned".

Favorite Breakfast Smoothie
Super simple. Super easy.  Virtuous, but tastes like a shake.)

1 ripe fair trade, organic banana, peeled
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened organic yogurt (Wildwood soy or Kalona Supernatural full-fat dairy)
1 heaping spoonful of fair trade, organic baking cocoa (Equal Exchange is my favorite)
1 cup organic milk (Blue Diamond almond is my favorite)
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (Bob's golden is my favorite)

Blend.  I blend it right in the wide mouth pint jar that I drink it out of using my immersion blender (Cuisinart stainless is my fave).  It's important to drink this with a straw. That's part of what makes smoothies so fun and convenient for breakfast. I love these stainless steel straws the best.  And I love that this smoothie is kind of tart- it's only sweetened by the banana and milk.

I couldn't drink my usual smoothie this morning, though, because my dog Hannah ate all of my bananas.  It was the largest bunch of bananas I've ever seen at the co-op.  The cashier and I marveled at how huge they were and then 24 hours later, Hannah ate every single one.  She didn't feel very well.

I figure that this deserves her very first entry into dog-shaming.com.












Pinky

2012-11-04T10:34:06.541-06:00

I admit to half-assing my gardening this year.  I was ambitious in my initial planting, as usual, but didn't follow-through with successive plantings.  After my cucumbers failed, I just left my bed sitting empty for the rest of the summer.  Sometimes it's good to let the soil rest, though.  And I needed to rest, too. No fun being strapped into this.I was just opening a can of tomatoes for some enchilada sauce when the lid sliced into my pinky finger.  What seemed like a fairly bad cut that probably needed stitches ended up being a really bad cut that required surgery to repair the flexor tendon in my finger.  And my right hand was stuck in a splint for 6 weeks, with strict orders to not use that arm for anything. I've been lucky enough not to have had too many major set-backs or medical issues in my life, and this injury just showed me how lucky I've been to be so able-bodied.  All the things I love to do in the garden, the kitchen, on my yoga mat, around the house and at work took five times as long to re-learn with my left hand- if they were possible at all. Without the ability to quickly whip up some homemade soup, cookies or even a fresh garden salad, I lost my appetite and my motivation to do just about anything.  I watched a lot of New Girl and read a lot of books (even reading a book is more challenging with one hand).  Luckily my sweet partner Mike took care of me and discreetly asked my friends to come check in on me.  I even had friends come over to help harvest my garlic and elderberries and weed my garden back from a jungle-like state.I ended up learning to do just about everything with my left hand, as I accepted the fact that it would just take more brainpower to do things that I used to do without thinking.  I learned to tie my shoes and put up my hair with one hand. I watched YouTube videos to figure out how to get toothpaste on my toothbrush.  I even canned a batch of pickles! Turning my half-splint into a hand puppet helped.Now my hand is working pretty well.  It's been 3 months since I injured my finger and I have re-gained most of my hand strength.  My pinky finger is still struggling to bend fully or straighten fully- and I can't move it at the first knuckle, but I do my finger exercises every day and see my physical therapist every week.  They think that within the next year I should regain the full range of motion. So long, tomatoes!I can do nearly everything I used to do now, except reach the far-right keys on the keyboard, hold small things like vitamins or beads in my right hand, stir thick batter with wooden spoon click the end of a click-pen while holding it or hold a toothbrush without looking like I'm having a tea party. I'm still struggling in my yoga practice- I can put weight on my right hand, but holding adho mukha svanasana for more than about ten breaths is pretty painful.  On the upside, I have gotten a LOT of practice on my standing asanas lately! Yesterday I worked in the garden like nothing ever happened.  I pulled baby trees that tried to sprout up on the strawberry patch, trimmed the blackberry canes & elderberry shrubs, composted the tomato remains and put away all the cages & supports.  Besides being a little stiff from the cold and switching to my left hand for any challenging tasks, I'm back in business. Pinky is just a little wonky now...[...]



My Hobbery

2012-11-03T14:00:45.411-05:00

I've been thinking about this little blog lately.  You might not think so from the lack of posts, but it's true.  I wish I could say that I stopped blogging for some good reason.  I'm still recovering from a hand injury that left me unable to use my dominant hand for about two months, true.  That's a pretty super excuse.  But I stopped writing well before that.

I think I just lost my motivation for telling other people what I'm doing.  I just wanted to do and not to tell.  This blog has brought me a lot of joy and introduced me to new friends.  But it's also been an obligation to some extent and for a while I just wanted to let go of all my non-necessary obligations.

I got a good deal of release and relief from letting go of expectations from myself in regards to cooking/blogging/household crafties.  But I also lost some of the joy.

Last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I wandered downstairs and contemplated doing some writing to give my mind something to focus on.  Instead I surfed Pinterest.  But what's really cool is that I got this comment from a reader at about the same time I was thinking about my next steps for this blog.

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Surely I'm not the only person who has missed you! If your blog is done that's fine. You've given me tons of juicy tid-bits by which to live and eat. I'm a carnivorous eater here in mid-Missouri and I've loved going through pretty much every single page of your blog. :) But if it's done, can we at least have a closing post? Hope your garden was great this year! 
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Thanks, Yoakumputer, for your comment.  I've been struggling to figure out why I should keep blogging when there are thousands of other bloggers out there writing about very similar topics.  It was really nice to hear that my writing was missed.  

I think I'll give this a shot again.  Food Snob for life.  It's just time to make it my Hobbery again.