In October

The smell of these crunchy leaves was divine!

The smell of these crunchy leaves was divine!

Lots going on in October!

Ella or Angela for the win?

Ella or Angela for the win?

I started the month with a Vegan Cookbook Battle! From Oh She Glows, I made the Enlightened Miso Power Bowl (photo on my Facebook page) and the Protein Power Goddess Bowl. The recipe titles are rather over-the-top! I overcooked the lentils in the Protein Power Bowl which made the dish look unattractive. The dressing basically tasted like hummus. But they were both scrumptious. The start-up costs for the recipes are high. For just these two, I bought miso, nutritional yeast, tahini and sesame oil, which set me back big $$. From Deliciously Ella, I made the Beet Risotto. The beets were roasted whole, and despite all the usual tricks, they were very hard to peel. I decided the recipe would be OK as a side dish but it didn’t cut it as a main course. There is still some left in the freezer so that is not a good sign. I also made the Veggie Lasagna. The puréed squash made it very soggy. Experienced cooks would know to remove some moisture from the squash first. There is also no tomato sauce in the recipe. So it was a vegetable and soggy-squash mêlée layered with noodles. It tasted pretty good but the texture was, er, wet and it was just not lasagna-like. So the final score was Oh She Glows 2 and Deliciously Ella 0. If you have made good eats from the latter cookbook, let me know which recipes!

As a follow-up, my decidedly carnivorous brother bought me the Oh She Glows cookbook as a birthday gift!

For the b-day, I asked Rom to take me out for lunch and then to a couple of used CD shops where he would buy me whatever I liked. He was delighted to not have to think up what to get me. I bought a weird selection of music to fill gaps in my collection: Yaz, Stray Cats, Split Enz, Raconteurs, Flying Lotus, Joss Stone, Martha and the Vandellas, and Harlequin. Browsing for and chatting about music made it a perfect day.

Table

My parents hosted Thanksgiving, as usual, and at this point in my life, I am counting my blessings that they are still willing and able to do so. My mom sets such a nice table and this was even before the meal arrived! No, I am not the milk drinker 🙂

Among the electorate

Among the electorate

October 19 was beyond exciting. Rom got to vote in his first Canadian federal election. And we got to see the old government blown out of the water! Oops, I think I blew the neutrality from my previous political post there, LOL! The only negative was that several local candidates who have performed admirably in Parliament for several years were swept away in the “Red Tide.” But most of us are very optimistic now about the political climate. After years of degraded environmental and human rights and abuses of power (on a Canadian scale, anyway), I am proud to be Canadian again.

Fitbitting continues. I have been out skating regularly. (Fitbit is really bad at counting that!) In the almost 3 months since I got it, I have doubled my physical activity and dropped a clothes size due to toning up. I am packing away about 2300 calories a day. Life is good!

I have read some good books and some bad ones. Strong is the New Skinny was hopeless. It had text descriptions of hundreds of exercises, and there are no YouTube videos or DVDs available to show them. It also defied its own supposed message: it seemed to say that various body types were all healthy, but then implied “but only if you can do extreme adventure races.” Not recommended! I read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett for Book Club.  It is a science-based thriller about drug development in the Amazon. I enjoyed it greatly! I took my time reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates, a book about racism. I’m glad I didn’t rush it. The story got more and more personal and relatable as the book progressed. It moved toward a much more hopeful place than I expected (at least, if you are a humanist). I read a bestseller, The Little Paris Bookshop, which had a great concept: a literary “apothecary” on a book barge dispenses book cures for the lovelorn. It had some lyrical language. It was a fun read, but (in my opinion) got a little carried away and maudlin in places. However, anyone getting over a breakup might find it healing! My favourite novel of the month was Ru by Kim Thúy, another recent bestseller, semi-autobiographical, about a woman who had been a Vietnamese “Boat Person” and started life over in Canada. I like that the character appreciated her new opportunities and integrated into her new place, but in few words, you can also see the deficits that were caused by her move, and how they affect her and the next generation. The story was told in 1, 2 or 3 page vignettes and the language (translated from French) was beautiful.

Trio

Trio

We are just back from a week in Toronto with Link, where we dined and entertained ourselves lavishly. Much more on that soon!

16 comments

  1. Sarah Nosworthy

    I’m impressed by your increasing exercise – I’m really struggling with fatigue due to that late night after a water polo game, that adding a late night training wrecks me all week. Sadly, it’s about the only exercise I’m getting now.

    I’m pleased you can still enjoy a home cooked thanksgiving from your parents in their home – you’re from good hardy stock!

    I’m not too informed on Canadian politics but I’ve read enough from you to know if your happy I’m happy! Our ideals align.

    Happy birthday too

    >

    • Thanks, Sarah. I get up super-early to work out because after dinner I’m toast (I can go for walks at night but that’s about all). I hope the leadership in Australia goes in a good direction!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful month! I love the picture at the top as well – I really miss seeing the changing leaves.

    And I love the Stray Cats (and am a BIG Brian Setzer fan)~

    • Thanks – it was a good year for Fall colour. The rain didn’t come early so we got to enjoy them for a few weeks. Brian Setzer’s music always reminds me of my then-neighbour who played BSO albums every time we visited. Do you know the music of Colin James?

  3. Fiona

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like a great way to spend it – excellent additions to the music collection.

    I am sure the Fitbit is a perfect match to exacting ways! But doubling your exercise and dropping a dress size is especially exciting. As was the election result. I hope Australia follows suit at our next election.

    The recipe books sound interesting but it can be hard to find useful new recipes that are practical enough for daily life. What did you think of the new WHO recommendations this month on meat? I had always known about them, but the formal announcement has no doubt got many people looking up more vegetarian recipes.

    Hope the trip to Toronto went really well – and hope Link is going well, too.

    • Thanks! Yes, the Fitbit is a great way to quantify life. You really must get one! I hope the political climate will change in Australia, too! I was so happy to see that after all the immigrant-bashing and citizens-as-consumers nonsense, most Canadians just had enough (oops, I was starting off on a rant there!) I find most cookbooks are good and I can visualize how a recipe will turn out, but a few are just not tested enough. I had a good laugh over the WHO recommendations. I have several family members who eat processed meat every day. They think I will have a very long, very miserable life without meat 😉

  4. Good picture of the trio and you have every right to be optimistic about the future in your country.

  5. I’m impressed by what you are doing with the fitbit!
    I have not found a good vegan cookbook for how I like to cook, but I have amassed a lot of good recipes that either are vegan or are easy enough to veganize. I like Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks, and she has a lot of relatively easy vegan one bowl meals and soups in it – a good resource if you are trying to use up your miso, and a lot of Debra Madison’s recipes are easy to convert. My vegan friend who is a serious baker swears by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

  6. I’ve done a few Oh She Glows recipes from online. I also recommend recipes from her.

  7. A late happy birthday.

    I love your mother’s table decorations. Are they little lollies and toy pumpkins?

    The UN rightly castigated Australia about our treatment of asylum seekers. The racist element has been let loose under the “Liberals” who chant “We stopped the boats” in mindless inhumanity. Old PM was toppled in a party vote (similar system to yours. We vote for local member and party elects the leader.) But the inhumanity of mandatory off shore detention has sadly become a bi-partisan approach among the two major parties. Neither wishing to alienate the racist majority.

    • The decorations are Hallowe’en jelly beans (orange and black) and candy pumpkins!

      Canada has not had boats of asylum seekers since Vietnam in 1979 and before that, World War 2. I’m sure our cover would be blown if refugees were literally landing on our shores. We are all waiting to see if the new govt will take in 25,000 as promised.

  8. thrift deluxe

    i agree with your views on the cookbooks, I couldn’t get along with Deliciously Ella at all, I really enjoy Oh She Glows and refer to the website regularly for ideas.

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