Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

I don't normally blog about current events because they generally depress me, but sometimes I hate being right about everything all the time.  I've been against nuclear power since forever, because I can't believe in our extreme arrogance that we honestly think we have control over everything.  Even without human error, as in Chernobyl, things can go very wrong as the events in Japan have demonstrated.  And when things go very wrong with nuclear power, the consequences are just too great.  And for what?  The technology and science we have available to us now are unreal.  Can't someone spend some time on figuring out a renewable resource that isn't going to poison us and the planet?  Improve the solar technology so it's more accessible? Is that really too much to ask?  Okay, I'm moving on before my head explodes or I smack someone.

This week was busy week.  I saw the allergist on Monday.  Verdict was food allergies to milk, crab, hazelnuts, coconuts, clams, scallops, eggs, and almonds.  Given that I was using a coconut milk creamer for my coffee, and almond milk as my milk replacement, I was a little annoyed.  And the egg thing is annoying as well.  Between egg and milk, and my husband's diabetes, you can imagine how long grocery shopping took yesterday.  Before we left I went though my milk free cookbooks to do some menu planning, and I had to laugh at how many had egg in them.  On Friday evening, I did order six new cookbooks from Amazon, three are dairy, egg and nut free recipes and the others are vegan, so I just have to be careful about the use of nuts.  Because the egg and the almond scored relatively low on the scale, the allergist suggested doing a "food challenge" to these two ingredients to see how much they really bothered me.  This means I wouldn't eat any eggs for two weeks and then eat three servings on one day and watch for the next 48 hours to see what the symptoms are.  Since I rarely eat eggs on their own, because I always have had a digestive reaction to them, I think I'll do the challenge, and then repeat it with eggs in baked goods to see if I can get away with it and make my life a little easier.  I may do the same thing with almonds, otherwise I have to give up cereal because there isn't another milk replacement product I can stand enough to eat it with cereal.  But for the next six weeks or so, other than the challenge days, I'm off both of them.  And I'm just giving up coconuts completely, because they tested high enough on the scale, and it's not worth it.  Sigh. 

On Tuesday I had dinner with the Jetboilers and Ex-Jetboilers, although most of us are now ex-Jetboilers. It was good to see everyone.  Ben is now marketing a video about his experience taking a motorcycle from NH to Argentina, and he's giving a talk about it, with pictures, on Tuesday, March 29 · 6:30pm - 8:00pm, at the Hooksett Public Library, 1701B Hooksett Road, Hooksett, NH.  I'm going to try to go if anyone is interested.  Afterwards I knit with some friends and I got to see Lora K, which was wonderful.  Lora's 100 days from her bone marrow and stem cell transplant was yesterday, and I can't wait to take her out to dinner somewhere :)

On Wednesday, I had to run errands and pick up some groceries because Lisa E was coming for dinner on Thursday.  Lisa and I made a very eclectic salad and had some braised/grilled brussel sprouts, and played very silly games on the Wii.  It was hilarious.

This weekend has been a cleaning and cooking one.  The complex is allegedly coming in to fix the ceiling in the bedroom this week, and we needed to get some stuff out of the way.  Also, the beginning of my challenge started yesterday, so we needed to grocery shop and I needed to cook so that I have egg and milk free stuff to eat for lunches.  So yesterday we made beef stew, I made chicken in gravy for toast (chicken junk as my mother used to put it), and we got some ribs to do in the BBQ Pit crock pot Shawn bought me.  But we weren't really thinking about how long that was going to take, so we'll eat them for dinner tonight.  Today, I'm finishing up my killer spicy pea soup recipe.  If you're interested in it, here it is, developed pre-milk allergy:

Denise’s Pea Soup

1 lb bag of green split peas
2-3 large onions, chopped
1 bulb or 12-15 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb package of hot Italian sausage
6-7 stalks of celery, chopped
1 lb bag of carrots, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of flour
2-3 tablespoons of margarine or butter
1-2 bay leaves
½ tsp of each of thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, pepper and salt.
1 tablespoon of Sriracha Vietnamese chili paste or Tabasco sauce
Some cheese sliced to put on top of soup, smoked gouda goes well.

Take bag of split peas simmer on stove in a big stock pot in as much water as the bag says for about an hour or until peas are soft and falling apart. Use a hand blender or a real blender to puree the peas and water. Keep on low heat. Then take sausage out of casings and break up. Brown in fry pan along with onions, garlic, spices and chili paste. Once sausage is cooked and onions are translucent, add to stock pot, scraping down all the contents and spices into the pot. Add celery and carrots to stock pot. Simmer for about an hour on medium low heat. Take a sauce pan, and melt margarine or butter in pan and add the flour, mixing it into a solid paste to form a roux. Slowly add a cup or two of the pea soup broth, mixing it in slowly to allow it to thicken. Keep adding broth until the roux is well incorporated into the soup. Add contents of sauce pan to stock pot and mix well. Simmer on medium low until carrot and celery are cooked. Adjust spices if necessary. You can add a bouillon cube to add additional flavor if you wish. Soup should be very thick. Stir it often as it will want to stick to the bottom and can burn to the bottom, which doesn’t taste great.
Serve hot with a slice of cheese on the top of each serving.

In other news, as those of you Ravelry and Facebook are aware, I finished the Vintage Socks, last Sunday night.  Woo hoo!  I was a mite obsessive last weekend. I also started my project for Andrew and Katie, and I think it will be apropos.  I really can't say much here in case Katie reads my blog when I post it on Facebook.  I don't think she does, but I'm taking no chances.  For those of you on Ravelry, it's my current project.

In writing news, I haven't this week.  Ugh.  Maybe this afternoon, if I have time after guild.

In fiber news, still spinning the Optim.  I did about 20 minutes before work one morning, and about 40 minutes yesterday, so not a lot of progress.

And I think that's it for this weekend.  Stay tuned for further updates as we receive them from our affiliates.

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