The weather change put me abruptly into Christmas mood last weekend. We got quite a bit of stuff done.
This is one of my go-to recipes. I make it fairly often, and try to make a two batches at a time to freeze.
I call it lentil loaf. I start by cooking some lentils. Whatever colour you have is fine. I don’t measure, I just rinse a bunch and throw them in a pot well covered with water and boil. Check to make sure there’s enough water every so often. In the meantime I grate vegetables into a bowl. Usually carrots, onions and zucchini, but I also used a peeled eggplant this time. In with the veggies I add some herbs and sauces, usually some mustard, but whatever you have around to add some flavour is fine. Next add some bread crumbs. I used oatmeal this time since that’s what I had. When the lentils are done (taste to check), pour out any extra water and mix them in with everything else. Wait a little bit until they cool and then crack in as many eggs as it needs to look a little batter-y, usually I use two. Put it all into a loaf pan (or muffin tin) and grate some cheese on top. Put it into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until it seems to be holding together. Pair it with some greens and you’re good to go!
It’s been a few weeks now. On Friday I went to the clinic and was given antibiotics for a sinus infection. The antibiotics made me horribly sick (gastro stuff), so last night I went to the ER and after waiting forever they told me to stop taking the pills. Gee, thanks. So now I’m further back than when I started because I’m sicker, but just have to wait it out.
In other news, we put an offer in on a house, but didn’t get it because despite ours being the only offer the sellers came back with a price way over asking price. What?!? Clearly they’re crazy, it’s the only logical explanation. We were shocked and now we’re a little put off by the whole real estate thing. I guess all we can do is keep looking (though the market is really slow right now and there are almost no houses going up) and saving our money for a down-payment little by little.
I’ve been trying to post food related stuff but I haven’t really been eating, since food makes my stomach feel like wild animals reside in it. I doubt you want to recipe for broth and rice that has become a staple. Maybe tomorrow. Here’s hoping.
What, you say? Candy…dreaded? Oh yes my friends, the candy bowl is a problem. You see each birthday and Christmas Kurt and I (mainly him) amass a large amount of candy. For some reason people like to buy Kurt strange (and usually disgusting) candy. We like candy, but the problem is most of this is stuff we don’t like, or don’t like enough to care about eating. Generally whatever doesn’t get eaten in 2 weeks sit. In the dreaded candy bowl, taking up space and creating clutter.
Soon is Christmas, the season of more candy. In an attempt to lessen the problem I’ve challenged Kurt to get rid of at least one thing from the bowl per day, either eating or throwing away. Hopefully there are more days until Christmas than there are candy items. Everything that comes into the house from the holidays will be given an expiry date. If it’s still kicking around by that day, it’s gone. Simple. Hopefully it works!
Here’s the candy bowl now:
This past weekend we went to a concert in the city. It was a band that Kurt had been wanting to see for more than a decade. He grinned through the whole thing. It was great. We didn’t bring a camera, though I think Kurt would have liked a few pictures. Not worrying about getting a great shot really allows you to experience what is going on. You don’t have to worry about anything else, but watching and being present. There were very few people there without cameras. This is becoming increasingly true in every part of life because cell phones take such great pictures now. There were people taking pictures of every second not worrying about quality, there were those taking painstakingly beautiful photos and then there were those who just took video of the whole show.
It may be nice to be able to look back later and watch the whole concert again, but I think in order to do this you affect the experience you get when you are actually there. Not to mention the experience of the person behind you, whose view will be blocked by your camera and who will be forced to distraction by the tiny version of what is going on in front of them. Just try it, leave your camera at home and be present.
I’m still battling this raging cold. It seems to get a little better every so often, only to get worse soon after.
I thought I would give an idea of something really simple we do to reduce energy usage.
We eat quite a bit of pasta. At least once a week. Before Kurt discovered grits, he usually made it 2 or 3 times a week for a snack. Something I heard a while ago, but forgot where is to cook pasta in a lidded pan instead of a pot. This is great because the water boils so much faster, since it’s shallower, thus you can eat faster, and in the meantime you are using less energy.
I know that cookbook and food network chefs say to always use tons of water for boiling pasta, but it really doesn’t seem to make a difference.
Give it a try.
I know, it’s Tuesday, but I have the flu and didn’t feel up to posting until now. This weekend was a busy one for us. We had some social engagements to go to, Kurt made two kinds of cheese, we went to see a bunch of houses, and we had an unexpected visitor in the house.
First things first, here is one of the cheeses:
It’s feta. We haven’t tried it yet because it has to sit in brine for a while. We did try the chevre and it was wonderful.
Our realtor took us out Sunday to see a bunch of houses for sale. There was one that we really liked and one that we potentially liked but we couldn’t get inside because the key didn’t work. The first one has already sold. Real estate is a tricky business.
As for the visitor, here he is:
It’s a gecko. I couldn’t get a good picture because there was no way I was opening that container once we got him in it. We have no clue where he came from or how he came to be in our house. There is a lizard store in our complex, but she says she’s never sold this kind before. As for catching him, it was much harder than a mouse because the cats had no interest. The only reason we knew he was in the house in the first place was because I opened a high cupboard, and he fell onto me from the top of the door! They are also really hard to catch because their whole body is a suction cup. We finally got him cornered under a bookcase and after a lot of waiting and failing (he was incredibly fast) we scooped him up in a fish net and put him into a tupperware. Sadly, he wasn’t here long enough to take care of our fruit fly problem.
We would have kept him since he was really neat looking (his eyes were like lightning bolts), but we don’t have any space tanks or other reptiles accoutrement. So, we brought him downstairs to the lizard lady and she took him in. We were nervous because she said big lizards eat house geckos, but she assured us she wouldn’t do this.
So to count that’s been 4 mice, 1 potential corn snake and a house gecko that have stowed away in our house. And we’ve only been here 2 years.
This is going to be a big spending year for us. We are getting married next summer and so the plans for that are, obviously, in the works, plus we are hoping to buy a home. There’s been a lot of researching, calculating and planning going on. When I try to sleep at night lists, and budgets spin around in my head.
The most pressing decision is about our wedding location. We had decided on a place last summer, but I was never completely happy with it. I kept telling myself, it’s fine, we don’t really have any other options. I really didn’t feel like planning any further, I figured location, caterer, done. I realized that it was my displeasure with our location that was making me feel bad about things. So for the past month or so we’ve been researching again. I think I may have found a place. It’s beautiful, a good price and has the type of space we are looking for. Now we just need to decide if we’re okay with walking away from the deposit we paid to the caterer, because this place does their own catering. The amount we would be saving overall is much more than that deposit, so I think financially, it’s not a huge deal. We just have to be sure that this is right decision this time, so that I can feel good about it.
As for houses, we’ve basically been pre-approved, we’re just waiting for some paper work to go through. We’re going to go around on Sunday to look at some houses with a realtor. In Canada you have to have at least 20% of the price of the house for a down payment or else you have to pay a charge to the government, it’s more than $5000, so we’re trying to avoid that if all possible. Every month our savings grow, so hopefully we can save what we need before our neighbours cause me to go insane!
If you have any wedding planning/house hunting advice I’d love to hear it!
Hope everyone is staying dry (we’re going onto our second week of pouring rain) and recovering from the storm!