Monday, August 15, 2011

Post Event

As stated in my last post, I will treat the event of last weekend like Lord Voldemort’s name in the Harry Potter series. It shall not be named. Labeled “The Event” yes, but named, no.

In addition then, to said Event, was another bonus from the Highland Games weekend. As dad was an avid gardener, IronGirl and I planted his two beds this year to keep up his hobby for him.

We even grew tomato plants from seed starting them on his Lee Valley plant incubator. There have only been 3 cherry tomatoes to date but there are more on the way.

It must be noted that being a vegetable gardener in absentia does not work well. Mother was more than willing to water but the weeds were a bit much for her. And as a weed is a plant growing someplace we don’t want it to, they enjoyed the water and spread like, well, weeds.

Already consumed, ‘straight from the earth’, we have had several heads of lettuce, green and yellow beans, and just enough fat pea pods to compliment a couple meals.

Additionally, this weekend we harvested:
• 2.5 pints of raspberries (.5 was consumed and the other 2 are on their way to becoming raspberry gin for the Christmas holidays)
• 2 heads of romaine lettuce
• 12.6 pounds red of potatoes
• 3 beets (something ate most of the tops before they could get going and that is too bad as me loves a pickled beet)
• I lost count of how many onions (half of which are pickling in malt vinegar and will be sweet balls of goodness in a few months)

Still to come are blackberries (they need a bit more sun), 3 jumbo acorn squash (they need a frost) and I hope one more batch of raspberries.

It’s a good thing that dad taught us well. The Event took a lot out of me and I need to replenish my energy stores.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3 bottles and 10 km

I did it! I won my first family foot sports challenge at this year’s Fergus Highland Games 10 km race! Not since Baco Noir and I made the Irons eat dust on our bicycles at Versaille have I ruled the race track!

To be clear, I was not first first, but first out of our group. Granted my nephew, who runs as quickly as the gazelles being chased by cheetahs I saw in Tanzania wasn’t there. Nor was Fauntleroy who is light on his feet in more ways than one. He hasn’t done the race for a couple years so technically, according to my rule book, doesn’t count.

But both IronMan and IronGirl were in the race and despite my sister’s grabbing my shirt slow me down, I was first across the line! Last week IronMan and I went for a practice run and was surprised to find myself slowing down so he could keep pace. He’s done that more than one time for me so I didn’t mind. But in a race, it’s every man for himself! Dog eat dog and all that jazz.

For one fleeting moment I felt bad as I passed him but it didn’t last.

One must give credit where and when it’s due so I need to thank the man in the orange Running Room shirt. I don’t know who you are, but cheers! Around 7km in, off in the distance I heard someone sawing a log. There was that “voompa, voompa, voompa” sound and it steadily grew more distinct.

After another km as I closed in on the heels of Mr. Orange I realized it was his breathing! I soon grew tired and very annoyed with it a decided I either had to slow down or get far enough ahead of him so I wouldn’t have to listen to that.

There really was no option. I also feared falling back would obligate me to stop and help him when he collapsed. I was not losing my victory over the IronLords so I fart-licked my way well in front of Orangina.

I have no idea why it’s called a fart lick, but to break up the monotony of a run, and believe you me it is monotonous, you run as fast as you can to a marker of your choosing and then ease off or walk for a smidge.

Option A, walking, was not going to happen as I could faintly hear “voompa” bringing up the rear. IronGirl had also tried to spook me but sticking right behind me the first bit whispering "Robert" in my ears. I distinctly heard that on the breeze as well so full speed ahead was my only choice!

As I mentioned, I did a trial run with IronMan and squeezed in two others; one during our Lake Placid trip and the other one night after sweet potato fries and a pint of Hoegaarten. I figure I ride my bike to work and that is same as running despite IronMan telling me repeatedly, and correctly, that it is not.

Both today and on our trial run, post Placid, he said his legs were just not into it and felt like tree trunks. They are, in a sturdy, muscular way, just about as large so not sure what he was expecting.

Rigorous is not a word I would use to describe my training regime. About 48 hours before the 10 km, Kitkat, Fauntleroy and I settled in for our usual Thursday night. I find it funny that his Lordship still feigns shock and awe at the end of the evening when three empty bottles are stacked in front of us.

It’s either that, or two bottles and empty pre-dinner cocktail glasses. Either way, I didn’t carbo-load and should have trained more.

As a result, my time wasn’t great, 51:13 (19th in my age group and 71st out of 149 racers) but good enough for a personal best. Snaps for me.

I am aware that pride is one of the deadly sins so I will say no more about the sweet taste of my triumphant domination of the family. It will go down as one for books. Enough said.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Heat and Calories

As much as I adore food and indulging at every opportunity, this hot weather has certainly put a damper on my appetite. Summer activities have also curbed some of my usual routine. It may sound simple, but roller blading, running and recreational patio hoping have put quite a damper on things like reading.

My apres work routine is a selection of last fall's pickling endeavours - beets, onions, beans and asparagus - some cheese, all washed down with a glass (or two) of Pernod. This is also my chance to chat with my neighbours and read the Steig Larsson trilogy. I must admit I rather like them more than I had anticipated. The books that is, not my neighbours.

One thing that has piled up though are my Real Simple & Living magazines. LSC also gave me a stack of Hello Canada and Kitkat the GQ with Captain America and that put me even further behind schedule.

But one long weekend, a jumbo umbrella for shade and a pitcher of iced tea was all I need to flip my way to the bottom. Back to my earlier food fascination comment, I found myself overly excited at the July Real Simple cover ~ 3 Ingredient Recipes. Fast, Fresh, Delicious.

Further froth and foam exuded forth when they quoted Nora Ephron on page 2. "I don't think any day is worth living without thinking about what you're going to eat next at all times". A woman after my own heart indeed. I could hear Papi cheering "YAY!" as I read.

Imagine then my disappointment when, on page 117, in the Health Guide that six top health experts recommend the following for "good tasting staples and snacks":

• A SMALL spoonful of almond butter (picture shows about 1 tsp.)
• Frozen grapes to stave off an ice cream craving
• Sardines

Now I know, Nora is not one of the purported experts but something here just doesn't jive. It's a bit like picking up Martha's annual Halloween guide and finding out how to decorate for Easter.

I will admit that some of the 3 ingredient recipes were indeed tempting and they shall be taste tested. But Real Simple, come on, when you show TWO of your three ingredient dishes on the same plate it adds up to SIX. Chicken with lemons and olives + arugula salad with white beans and pesto......SIX!

Anyway, heat or not, sardines and a teaspoon of almond butter are not things I look forward to.....ever! But here is a tried and true Nigella Lawson recipe that 3 people can easily handle any evening of summer. Even though it says "serves 8 - 10".