Because Blueberries

IMG_3111It will always be a mystery to me why I have such an abundance of misplaced confidence in myself when it comes to any kind of food preparation.  Such optimism!  I wonder if this is how gamblers feel.  Play and play and play until finally you hit a jackpot and the amount of money you blew getting to that point is a forgotten and tiresome little detail.

I’m not going to dwell on food wastage because regret is stupid, right?  I admit I’ve had my share of culinary disappointments.  The experience is what’s important.  I’m just going to go with that.

Reasons why I decided to make this:

  1. I have liked a lot of recipe pages on Facebook so my news feed includes quite an annoying number of pictures of things people have cooked or baked or fed to their dogs, who really knows the truth behind these things, and looking at them always makes me hungry.
  2. Blueberries are good for you.
  3. I am really tired of eggs for breakfast.
  4. This recipe looked like an easy one in which to make healthier ingredient substitutions so that a diabetic person could eat some practically guilt free.

The original recipe is here.  I will also mention that I am more often than not sucked in by the claim “best ever”.

Here are the things I changed (yep, without testing the original):

  1. I used frozen blueberries.
  2. Truvia instead of sugar.
  3. All purpose gluten free flour with 1/4 tsp xanthum gum.
  4. Butter flavoured margarine instead of real butter.  Because if it flops, what a waste of butter.

It was in the oven at least 45 minutes to get to the bubbling stage, likely because the blueberries started out so cold.

The filling was a little watery, probably real sugar would have thickened it up more.  Maybe a little bit of cornstarch mixed in with the orange juice would help.  The orange juice gave the berries a wonderful tart taste.  I wonder how lemon juice would work?  And maybe some lemon zest in the batter?  This is why I end up never making the same thing twice.  The cobbler topping was slightly dry, but still good.  A possible remedy for that problem of course would be the ice cream the recipe so helpfully suggests.  But I don’t have any, and come on, it’s already a stretch to call this breakfast.

Artistic bonus – that pretty round swirly pattern on the edges of the pan, I assume from exploding fruit.

I’m going to call this a success.   It satisfied my craving for something sweet and got rid of a partial bag of frozen blueberries that were giving me a headache trying to decide how long they’d been in the freezer.  I guess you could say I don’t have extremely high standards.

And that’s probably a good thing. Happy Friday!

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Oh Canada

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So this happened….

I don’t know, is there anything more Canadian than two RCMP officers dressed in red serge mounted on magnificent black horses in a Starbucks drive through? Well yeah, they maybe should have picked a Tim Hortons, but still. Lots of weird stuff happening during our country’s 150th birthday year.  This was in June (click on pic for link).

The only reason I know about it is because I looked it up on Monday morning after I was walking through my living room on my way to somewhere else and heard the clippity clop of big horse feet, and thought that’s pretty weird shit for this or any random little residential street.  So I looked out my front window as two mounted police went by my house.

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if you’re hallucinating, insane, deluded, dreaming, or all of the above.  I could so easily have missed it.  There was no time to grab my phone to take a picture because although they were going at a very leisurely pace, they were there and then they were gone in the time it took for me to pick my jaw up off the floor.

The only thing I could find online was this coffee run picture from a month ago.  I guess they may very well be doing these patrols intermittently all summer around here.  And I would have been oblivious to this news if it hadn’t walked by my front yard.

So, here’s a list of things I have seen this summer although I don’t live in a rural setting or by a pond or in a forest:

  1. A big black and white cat.
  2. Many dogs on leashes walking their humans
  3. A coyote
  4. A pair of mallard ducks checking out the neighbors driveway mud puddle
  5. Two jack rabbits. Or could be more, they all look alike.
  6. The resident squirrel and the encroaching squirrels he chatters at and chases away
  7. Many big black crows
  8. Lots of gorgeous magpies
  9. A few bluejays
  10. HORSES for the love of God.

So what’s next, elephants and UFOs?  I’ll keep you posted.

Hey, speaking of posted, I read in the local paper that postal workers want to bring back door to door mail delivery here.  Maybe not-so-disgruntled mail carriers will be the next thing I see from my very own front door.  Not holding my breath for that one though.

For the Love of Flat Bread

Funny what counts as inspiration and makes me want to blog all of a sudden.  This is mostly for my recipe-sending sister, to let her know I take her seriously when she makes a recommendation even if it takes me forever and three days to try it out for myself.

It’s coconut flour flat bread!  I followed the recipe!  Except for the part at the end where my one act of rebellion was to cut it into shapes instead of rounds.  Rounds give you too many left over pieces you just want to throw out.  This was less wasteful and more interesting.  The two pieces sort of shaped like Manitoba were just happy accidents.

It smells great when it’s baking and tastes really good with garlic and herb cream cheese.  And yeah, that was breakfast.

Here’s how easy it is.  Maybe you know what a big fan of easy I am.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut flour

2 (two) 15 ml Tablespoons + 2 (two) 5 ml teaspoons xantham gum

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup boiling water

optional: 1 tsp spice of your choice (I used Italian)

Directions

Preheat oven to 355 F
Whisk dry ingredients together

Add water & oil. Mix with fork until no lumps and dough comes together.

Knead with your hands until well mixed.

Roll out dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Cut into rounds with cookie cutter or oiled drinking glass

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper & fill with cut outs like cookies

Bake for 20 min until golden brown
Next time I might add some salt, and flip them over in the last five minutes so both sides get a bit crispy.  And of course experiment with the spices.

I’ve been so incredibly antisocial for such a long time this summer, if that’s what it takes for an introvert to recharge, I should be at about 120 percent by now.  I admit I sometimes talk to myself out loud lately.  You know, just to see if my voice still works.  This morning I had a staring contest with a jack rabbit until I asked him wtf he wanted and he took off.  The other day I watched the squirrel on our fence taunting three squawking crows.  Perhaps you are getting an inkling of why I haven’t been rushing to my iPad to record these and other extraordinary events for posterity.

And it’s been so hot.  When I shop I go early in the morning, get the mail from the day before, half close the blinds to the direct sunlight and read my kindle with a fan blowing in my face.  Play some computer games, check out the idiotic crap going on in the world, see if there’s weather watches or warnings.  Get quite excited for myself and my grass if it rains.  Wasn’t so thrilled with the latest tornado watch, didn’t like the black sky and hung out in the basement for a bit one evening.

Other than that and having family here for the Canada Day weekend and talking to and texting W sporadically, there is nothing to say.  So I have been saying nothing.  And doing next to that.

I am alive and eating flat bread.  Life is good.

Sharing My World 71

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Share Your World – May 15, 2017

How many languages do you speak?

Regrettably, only one.  Although if I truly did regret it, nothing is stopping me from learning to speak another one.  For this to happen I imagine it’s best to have someone fluent in the new language with whom to converse.  Because this person would be able to helpfully correct my pronunciation and grammar after laughing at it.  Thankfully I don’t know anyone like that.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I am reading an e-book called “Weightless” by Kandi Steiner.  It’s about eighteen year old Natalie who gets dumped by her boyfriend, decides to hit the gym, and then falls for her personal trainer.  Everybody has issues.  Her friends, her mother, her step dad, her ex and his nasty new girlfriend, her hot trainer and his nasty clients….and she is sorry high school is done and debating what to do next.  And I just want to say “Run, Natalie, run!”  The book was a Kindle daily deal.  Totally worth the money.

I am watching “New Blood”, a BBC detective type series on Netflix.  Season one, episode four, case two, part one.  Not sure why I remember all that and even more confused as to why I feel the need to share it.  Episodes one two and three were case one, parts one two and three.  Maybe I’m just proud of my attention to unimportant details.  I like the main characters and how they end up working together and solving the shit out of stuff.

I am listening to the rain pour down and feeling all smug that I put off starting my walk because of all those menacing dark clouds and thus didn’t get caught in the downpour.

I ate a toasted scrambled egg sandwich on dark European rye bread with ketchup on the side for brunch.  Wow, I am a total detail freak today.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

There it is at the top of this post.  A piece of cracked sidewalk and some scrubby spring grass.  I was putting my phone back in to my pocket and somehow managed to capture this brilliant moment in time on my walk through one of the alley walk-ways between houses in my neighbourhood yesterday. I hope no one tries to steal this incredible image without my permission.

What is your favorite time of day?

Early morning.  Because coffee.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for a lovely quiet weekend on my own doing pretty much nothing out of the ordinary….even though Sunday was Mothers Day and Saturday was my birthday.  My daughter, son, daughter-in-law and oldest granddaughter sent me texts.  THEY ALL KNOW ME SO WELL!  I don’t like a lot of fuss and I love that they get that.  W sent a text on Sunday night saying sorry he missed my birthday and Happy Mother’s Day and here’s what’s going on with ME….

Is it weird that I’m ok with all of this?  Probably.  Oh well, whatever, weird is good too, right?  I love them all and I am loved and nothing else really matters after that.

Okay, the sun is out!  Time to drag myself away from the IPad and onto the cracked streets and walkways and bike paths of my soaking wet world!  Then I can get back to crime season episode part whatever the hell is going on case solving.  Don’t ever say my priorities are screwed up.  They are, but you don’t need to say it.

 

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Sharing My World 70

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It’s a coyote!  (Click photo for source)  This is a cousin of the one I saw running down our street on Sunday morning, all pointy eared and bushy tailed and NOT A DOG.  And still I ventured outside and walked around the neighbourhood.  What the hell, I’ve had a pretty good life.

Share Your World May 8, 2017

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

All of the above.  I wear shoes when I am getting ready to go out because I forget something in the house and have to go back in to get it and can’t be bothered to take my shoes off for what will probably be less than five minutes.  Then when I come back from wherever I’ve been I might again leave my shoes on because I forget to take them off.  Being forgetful makes life a lot less boring.  There’s always something new to deal with.

I wear socks when my feet are freezing.  I’ve noticed they are great dust and debris collectors.  When I take them off I wonder how there can continually be that much crap on my floors.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with my outside shoes because I always remove them at the door.  Don’t I?  I am not a big fan of my slippers because they make annoying clomping sounds but they are easier to slip into than gigantic thermal socks.

Barefoot has always been my preference, but the older I get the harder it is to pull that off, and even open toe footwear is getting to be an unwise choice.  Feet don’t get more beautiful with age.  They do get more interesting though.  My right foot has a bunion and both feet are developing claw toes.  My left big toe has an ugly thickening nail.  Mostly I cover them up so they won’t frighten small children.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Strangely enough it was a concoction my grandma used to make, consisting of cut yellow beans and small new potatoes in a buttery white sauce.  She made it for us on the rare occasion when mom wasn’t home to cook, so we considered it a real treat.  I have the best memories of how delicious it was and how fast a whole big pot full would disappear.  Tried making it myself as an adult but the results were disappointing.  Could be kids just have weird taste buds.

Are you a listener or a talker?

If we’re friends and visiting one on one I’ll probably talk your face off.  If you’re a talkative stranger in a supermarket check out apparently I have “sympathetic listener” tattooed on my forehead.  If it’s a big group I’m probably saying  very little.  Chances are I’m not listening either.

Favorite thing to (pick one): Photograph? Write? Or Cook?

Well I’ll just give you answers to all three because apparently I don’t understand what “pick one” means.  I like to photograph whatever catches my eye when I’m out walking, not because it necessarily makes for a great photo, but more to prove I was actually outside and away from my own property.

I like to write lists.  Must be my favourite thing to write based on sheer numbers of them started, scratched off, completed, lost, crumpled up, thrown away, stuffed into random pockets and bags.  They are everywhere.  They are supposed to keep me organized.  They are not very good at their job.

Soup is without a doubt my favourite thing to cook because it allows for freedom of expression.  You can toss any number of weird things in there and still have a wide margin for success.  W would not agree with that.  He suffers from chronic soup suspicion.  Yes, that is a real affliction.  He likes to know exactly what he is consuming and with my soups full knowledge is not always possible.  Or even preferable.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My daughter has made some positive changes in her life and I’m grateful to her for inspiring me to make some too.  I haven’t been walking because of a painful knee and fear of making it worse, but on Saturday the two of us (well three of us if you count the dog) got out in the sunshine and took a long stroll.  Here’s the funny thing about that.  The longer I walked the better my knee felt.  So I guess my making-it-worse excuse is total crap.  Damn.

W just sent me a text from Ontario to say he made it to the island safe and sound.  He left early yesterday morning and I am on my own for who knows how long.  Could be a month, could be the whole summer.  So I am REALLY looking forward to the grass growing so that I can cut it.  Haha.  Threw that in there to see if you’re still paying attention.

Soup and walking.  That’s what I meant to say.  Hope I don’t die from all the excitement.  Although that would beat being eaten by a coyote I guess.

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Laconical Me

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Word Porn (which I follow on Facebook) is my idea of excellent continuing education.  I thought laconic meant lazy, but it turns out it’s way more fun than that.

laconic (adjective luh-KAH-nik)

Definition: using or involving the use of a minimum of words : concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious

For as long as I can remember people have remarked on how quiet I am, or wondered why I’m being so quiet, or assumed because I have very little to say to them that I’m arrogant and rude.  Or quite possibly incredibly dense.  Well maybe I am all of those things.  But mostly it’s a matter of being an introverted deep thinker with so many things to say I can’t even choose one.  So I just sit there looking all mysterious.

I do quite like the mysterious notion.  I’m so damned mysterious I can’t even figure myself out.

But enough about laconic me.  Another thing I can’t figure out is what to do with all my used Tassimo coffee pods other than just tossing them in the garbage and having them end up as landfill. I love the coffee but the packaging drives me nuts.  The pods (coffee, plastic and foil) are six or seven to a box, two boxes to a package and wrapped in more heavy-duty foil.

I’m waiting for the coffee maker to die so I can evolve into a less wasteful polluting mess of a human being by getting something more Eco friendly.

Today I tried cutting some used pods in half with an exacto knife, emptying the coffee grounds into the compost bin, and then scratching away at the glued on foil so I could put the plastic in the blue recycle bag.  That stuff is hell to get off.  Three destroyed pods, thirty minutes and one cut thumb later, I cleaned up my colossal mess and googled how to recycle Tassimo coffee pods.

Well all on your own you really can’t without hurting yourself.  But there is a company that will sell you a box and a shipping label, and once you’ve filled the box up with used coffee pods,  UPS will come by and pick it up for free and deliver it to the box sellers who then do the separating and recycling for you.  The smallest (cheapest) box is a hundred dollars.

Laconically speaking, F that.

Now are you not relieved that you don’t have to talk to me face to face and listen to my inconsequential rants?  This is why you should never encourage a normally quiet person to say something because once they get going it just might all come out and it’s hard to shut them up.

I’m much better at listening anyway.  So maybe I’ll just stick to that.

Hope you’re having a marvellous last day of March!

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This only pertains to recycling coffee pods. I’m good at pretty much everything else.

Sharing My World 68

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Share Your World March 27 

(But first some missed questions from last week….)

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I think 40 is a pretty good age to be.  It’s somewhere in the middle of your life after you’re over the trauma involved in being a kid, you’ve gotten pretty good at functioning as an adult, and there’s still so much to do with your life and so many good things to come.  You know, as long as you don’t get hit by a bus or eaten by spiders.

However, I can believe all I want that I’m in my forties until I look in a mirror and go, ‘whoa’, that can’t be right.  It’s funny when some musician or celebrity I’ve known about since I was a teenager is celebrating a birthday and I think it’s shocking how old they are.  Because if i stop to think about it for a minute, I have to admit I’m around that same age myself.  And then I realize we’re both still looking relatively good for being such old farts.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

The umbrellas are in a basket above the coat rack at the back door.  Even though they are very handy, this does not mean that I will remember to grab one on the way out.  Those things are going to look brand new forever.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending quiet time alone?

Quiet time alone.  I don’t even know what that other thing means.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend have in common.

  1. Coffee first thing in the morning.
  2. We are each responsible for our own laundry.
  3. Family comes first.  Well, right after coffee and laundry of course.

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

My middle name is Mae because it sounds good with my first name, like Ellie Mae and Daisy Mae.  But it’s neither of those, thank gawd.  My dads eldest sister was May, my maternal grandmothers nick name was Mae, and I was born in the month of May.  There really was no escaping it, was there?

Music or silence while working?

Definitely silence.  The more silent the better.  I am very easily distracted.  Being distracted makes me irritable.  So shut up and let me drink my coffee before you try to talk to me.  Haha, sorry, I’m still on the things in common with your spouse question.

If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?

We had a garage sale and then made several big donations to Goodwill.  So any potential most special possessions are now someone else’s problem.  It’s very freeing to get over attachments to things.  Plus it frees up a lot of storage space.  You know, for all those things that aren’t special.  Okay, the real answer is my top dresser drawer.  I don’t even know what all is in there anymore.

The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?

  1.  I will never stop being surprised and dismayed when people die.  We are all in our forties so it’s just bizarre when it happens.
  2. I will never voluntarily sky dive, deep-sea dive, springboard dive or bungee dive.
  3. I will never again be responsible for a pet.  With me these things tend not to end well.  However, as I say this, I am thinking about the video I watched of shelter dogs on a bus being distributed to their new owners and their forever homes and it made me cry and really really want a dog.  For about half an hour until I calmed down and got over it, as little stray dogs everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the witches around the world who have twice now performed their binding spell on the big DT to thwart his and his cohorts efforts to do harm.  Looks to me like it’s working.  We all have to do whatever we do best.

I’m looking forward to April and the REAL start of Spring around here.  Which sometimes isn’t until May actually, but I’ll settle for the snow going away as a good omen.

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