Breakfast Soup

It is perfectly fine to have soup for breakfast.  I am the (self-appointed) soup queen and I know these things.  Here is a picture of my butternut squash soup all ready to be pressure cooked.

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Here’s the list of ingredients:

One small chopped yellow onion, minced garlic, fresh minced ginger sautéed in olive oil;  one butternut squash, 2 carrots, 2 apples, 2 little old shrivelled up turnips you need to get rid of (optional), cinnamon, vegetable seasoning, about 4 cups vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

The reason I have listed these first is because usually you can tell from the ingredients whether you have a chance in hell of liking the results, and there is nothing more annoying than scrolling down a page chock full of photos of every conceivable step in the process until finally there’s a bar at the bottom that says click here to go directly to recipe.  Wow.  Too late, I hate you.

I know what a potato looks like before and after it’s peeled and chopped.  There is really no reason for you to chronicle its demise, thanks anyway.  The way to stay sane while researching a recipe is to click the link, copy the URL and then open up your Paprika ap.  There you download, save and create.  Poof, done.  Minimum amounts of grief and cursing.

My Instant Pot category on Paprika is growing daily with recipes I want to try.  There’s a lot of prep work involved and usually a big mess of peelings and seeds and cups and bowls before getting to the Instant part.  Some degree of kitchen chaos is normal for me no matter what I’m making, but with the Instant Pot,  how fast things cook and how tasty everything turns out is SO worth it.  Normally I would never attempt to prepare soup for breakfast but the instant pot makes it possible.  Also a touch of eccentricity helps.  Why does breakfast have to be all eggy and boring, hey?  Ever asked yourself that?  Me neither until just now.

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Voilà, the end result after 9 minutes on manual, normal pressure release for 25 minutes because I was doing something else and forgot about it (10 or 15 minutes is probably fine), quick pressure release and then everything smushed up with an immersion  blender.  I did some swirly things on the top so you can see how lovely and thick it is, and added some freshly ground pepper.  Because people are always adding stuff to the top of soup and that’s all I’ve got.  I suppose I could dig out some parsley, but come on, parsley for breakfast?  I don’t think so.  It’s important to draw the line somewhere.

I’m not a big fan of squash but this is delicious.

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Sharing My World 79

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Share Your World – April 23, 2018

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Sick.  And very fat.  Assuming I go with my first choice which is chocolate lava cake with real whipped cream.  And the only reason I thought of that is because I saw an Instant Pot recipe for it on Facebook, source of all indispensable information.  Good thing I don’t have a cake pan insert.  Phew.

I also want to say coffee, but that’s not exactly a nutritious staple either, so my final answer is soup.  You can have a mad variety with that one.  I’ve always said I could live quite happily on soup alone forever.  Not sure if it’s true, but it’s a fun thing to say.

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.

It’s a rare thing for me to watch the same movie twice, but I did it with Bridesmaids.  Twice in a movie theatre and at least twice on Netflix after that.  If that one doesn’t make you laugh out loud more than once then I’m thinking you might need more help than a movie can give you to cheer yourself up.

I also can’t think of any book I’ve picked up to re-read in an attempt to improve my mood.  So I guess I’ll take a fail on this question.

Something I do like to watch though is multiple seasons of tv shows, because that’s like a book or movie that never freaking ends and can keep me up until ungodly hours in the interests of finding out what the heck god forsaken thing happens next.  And although I profess to prefer comedies, I watch a LOT of crime shows.  They’re not all that cheery normally, unless they’re badly done and then they’re hilarious and obviously listed in the wrong category.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

Not much.  So little in fact,  I would not be surprised if the mouse rather quickly passed out from boredom, or left altogether in search of a more stimulating environment.    W watches stuff on his computer.  I watch stuff on my IPad.  We yawn a lot.  We go to bed.  For a bit of excitement we might discuss the weather if it’s being its normal shitty self.  But that just puts us in a bad mood so mostly we skip it. Or he goes on and on about it and I don’t listen.  Yeah that sounds more like it.  Important to get this boring shit right.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

There was a question a week or two ago – Been anywhere recently for the first time? – and I’m going to answer it now because I actually did leave my house for an extended period of time.  We are talking hours.  Holy.   Imagine living here for so many years without ever visiting these two places –

Muttart Conservatory and the Art Gallery of Alberta.  I greatly appreciate Son and Daughter-in-law and grandkids who took me to see these places because they were both lovely.  Kind of makes me wonder what else there is that I haven’t been paying attention to in this city.

Then of course there’s my new books which I’ve mentioned already, pictured above.  I had to scrounge up a bedside lamp to start reading ( in bed, my favourite place to read), having forgotten that real books don’t light up in the dark.

Hope your world is also filled with wondrously magical things worth sharing. Oh, did I say “also”?  Okay I did, so I must have meant to, right?  Right.  More equally thrilling stuff to come I have no doubt.  Even though you might.

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Sharing My World 76

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Somewhere north of Lake Superior on our road trip heading home taken through the car windshield en route because yes I am exactly that lazy.

Well look what I just retrieved from various places in the drafts folder.  Proof of my good intentions.  And other not so admirable traits.

Share Your World – August 14, 2017

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

When I’m home alone there are a lot of lights on everywhere, upstairs and down.  Probably because there’s no one following me around turning them off.  So I guess that answers that question.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500?

Because of some unexpected expenses this year, the unnecessary expenditures have been put on hold.  And those are always the most enjoyable kind, aren’t they?  Three people in the last little while have asked me, while browsing through my “library”, if I have any new books on my shelves.  It feels a little alarming to me to have to say that I don’t.  Buying real honest to goodness in your hand page turning books is the best way I know to spend time and money.  Because omg, look what you bring home.  Hours and hours of awesomeness.

I’m still doing lots of reading.  Every day I download one or two free e-books from Amazon.  There have been some real doozies but there have also been a few gems.  I wonder if I’ve missed my calling as a fiction editor.  I like the idea of someone else doing all the thinking and then I just improve the way the story is told.  I do a lot of skipping over the dreadful parts.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

Well first off I have to find the damned thing.  If I’ve left the sound turned on it makes that part easier.  I check for missed calls and text messages, making a mental note of how long ago they happened.  Sometimes I’m so on the ball answering a text it must truly startle the recipient, since my normal response is hours later.  I’m working on this, I promise, trying to carry my phone around with me from room to room, but doing that is also the reason I misplace it so often.  It could be anywhere.  It’s rarely used for phone calls because we still cling to our land line.  And I never use it for game playing because the screen is too small.  It’s always with me when I leave home, even for a walk, because what if I broke my ankle or got lost or needed to take a picture of the inside of my pocket?  Best to be prepared for these things.

Share Your World – October 9, 2017

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

Once upon a time it was rich, dark, chocolate ice cream with drizzled chocolate syrup. Then unfortunately I grew up.

The perfect food for me now that I am old and boring is low in carbs, low in sugar, high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals and fibre and all that other good stuff, tastes fantastic, and a small portion completely satisfies my hunger. If you have any idea what that food is, please let me (and the rest of the world) know so we can all feel less despondent about leaving chocolate ice cream behind.

Meanwhile I will continue to struggle with my choices. However, I have to tell you I’m astounded lately by my consistently low glucose readings so I must be doing something right. Even though I continue to periodically give in to a craving for salty crap like potato chips.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Today, this moment in time. Well that would be ideal, wouldn’t it? Never dwelling on the past, never fretting about the future. Never craving potato chips.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My great-great-great grandparents on my dad’s side of the family were probably messing about somewhere in Scotland in the late 1700’s. Pure conjecture on my part since I’ve never researched anyone so far back. They could have come from anywhere and changed their identities for all I know. Since they are all dead I think I might be inclined to ask them what they’re up to now.  Or perhaps more realistically, what they were up to then.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

My lack of participation in the big world of blogging should be your first clue that I have been largely uninspired lately by anything at all.

 

Okay, so that ended on a bit of a low note! Must have been a bad news week.  Ever leave something in your draft files so long (because it’s not good enough to publish) that when you finally get around to cleaning them up, some of it really doesn’t sound as blah as you thought it did originally?  But as for the rest of it, the “delete” button is your friend?  I’m down to seven drafts, so on a desperate day any one of them could surface.  Apologizing in advance.

 

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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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The End, or The Beginning

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And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.

(Junot Díaz)

If this quote has a more profound meaning than something like a new year beginning and an old year ending, sorry, its gone right over my head.  You will just have to figure it out for yourself.

I have my own conundrums to sort.  Somewhere back in 2016 I lost my joy of writing.  I would like to find it again. Maybe I lost the joy in a lot of things and that’s the root of my problem in a rather joyless year for the world in general.

But, you know, who the hell wants to hear about all that all over again.

Today my right knee hurts for no good reason and it’s making me sad.  See, this is what I find myself doing.  Complaining to whoever will listen (even if it’s only the little voices in my head) about insignificant crap. And if I were to write down these whiny complaints, that would just magnify shit.  No one needs shit magnified, do they?  So then I don’t write anything at all for a day, or a week, or nearly a month, and that’s easy, and it becomes a habit which gets progressively harder and harder to break.

So here is my brilliant plan for 2017 to blog my merry way to happiness.  Because for me, blogging was once joyous. I’ve set my goal at mildly entertaining for now and will work my way back up.

I have created a new category called “2017 Book of Lists”.  I will make lists of good things.  There are always good things.  If I can’t immediately see the good things I will list the bad things, but only as a last resort.  And only if they are so bad they’re funny.

Here are some good things that happened today.

    1.  I used up the bag of leftover taco hamburger from the freezer.  No one is more surprised by this than me, except maybe for W who is always surprised when I spend longer than 15 minutes in the kitchen.   Normally I freeze leftovers and throw them out once I’m not really sure what they are anymore.
    2. The cheesey potato hamburger casserole I made was edible!  No, you know what? It was GOOD.  Or we were both abnormally hungry.  It could go either way.
    3. I also used up a bunch of apples that had seen better days by slicing them up and covering them with a sort of cake batter before baking them.  It was a nice change from apple crisp.  My mom used to make something like it, juicy sweet moist apple cake, maybe called Apple Brown Betty, but also maybe not.

Perhaps I should have called this a list of FOOD things that happened today.  Whatever, I am off and running, day one done like dinner.

Happy first day of January, what always seems to me to be the longest month of the entire year.  I don’t think filling it up with lists will make it any shorter, but ‘more fun’ is a possibility.  Hey, getting blown up by an asteroid is also a possibility, would you rather have that?  Yeah I didn’t think so.

What the Monkeys are Really Saying

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OH MY GOD!  I CANT LOOK!  Gah, gag, BARF!

Judgemental little shits.

They sit on a shelf above my stove and one day just relayed these statements to me by mental telepathy, which is pretty amazing when you think about it, with me being the only one of us to have a functioning brain, as far as I know.

Meal prep was very challenging when my sister and her family were here.  They were a mix of vegan, gluten-free, no dairy, limited grains, no grain-fed meat and restricted sugar.  My sister shared all kinds of great recipes and ideas and now I’m making my own salad dressings and using honey and maple syrup instead of refined sugar.  I know it’s still sugar, but you can seriously cut the amount.

Then the next weekend when my family came for Thanksgiving it was just a breeze making stuff that everyone could safely consume.  Even though I cooked it.

Honestly, I do concoct edible things.  I don’t know why W and the monkeys are trying to mess with my culinary self-esteem. He is now very wary about what I’m up to in the kitchen and avoids as if it’s poisoned anything containing…..

1. Zucchini or other unidentifiable green things

2.  Gluten free flour or any of those expensive nut flours

3.  Nut butters which are not peanut

4. Vegetables which appear suspiciously turnip-like and often actually are turnips even though I suggest they might be parsnips, which doesn’t really help.

5.  Healthy alternatives.  He would prefer the unhealthy version, thank you very much.

Well all this is making me hungry for honey nut cheerios.  With skim milk, because that makes it perfectly okay.  Right monkeys?

I have something to say to you guys.  Please keep your opinion to yourself.  Turn around if you can’t look.  Don’t eat if it’s going to make you barf.  And leave me alone or I’m moving you all to the basement.

Sharing My World 61

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The new and improved art studio because I was not loving the first version. I like to curl up in a comfy chair to sketch and draw, and the chair was already paint spattered. Win/win.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 37

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

There are likely rocks on our property, below ground, because I’ve never hit one with the lawn mower.  Our neighbour has some little rocks beside his fence that spill on to our side.  Are those mine now?  I let the grass grow around them and am leaving it for W to take care of with the whipper snipper apparatus from hell when he gets home. I hate that thing.  And how far below the surface does ones property actually extend?  I should ask the property tax people.  They probably have boring days which could do with some livening up.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?

The ability to zone out in a crisis.  I don’t know if that’s a strength or a weakness.  I think it could be either one.  Usually I will go into panic mode later when it’s all over.

What makes you feel grounded?

Well that’s a hard one because I’m pretty grounded most of the time.  I feel very ungrounded away from home and familiar things.  What does grounded even mean?  I’m relatively sensible and understand what’s important in life.  I’m not a teenager or an airplane.  If this was an exam question I would have just failed it spectacularly.

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?

Since I am amazingly lazy in the kitchen, cold food suits me just fine.  Eating stuff right out of the fridge saves a lot of time and energy.  I’d miss hot soup though.

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

W is on his way home today.  He did some galavanting en route, stopping off to visit friends.  “Galavanting” is a word my mother often used to express mild disdain for a person who wasn’t exactly grounded and went off in all directions doing dumb things.  Well, I kind of made that up, I’m not sure exactly what she meant when she talked about someone off galavanting around but it didn’t sound like she found it admirable.  W’s galavanting on the other hand is fine with me.

Anyway, wow, that was a ridiculous way to introduce the fact that I watched the tv show “Galavant” on Netflix.  It’s a musical.  Galavant is a knight.  The main reason I clicked on it was because of the word Galavant. I’m grateful I did because it was quite well done and funny.  You would not believe how crazy this little blurb is driving my spell check. It does not like the Galavant word one little bit.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my sister and her family!  I have no idea what to feed them because they have various dietary issues!  Maybe they would all like to just eat out of my fridge!!

No, I will get my act together shortly. I have a week. W can help me.  But first he better ooh and ahh about this redecorated house before he starts complaining about where the hell I put all his stuff.

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