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