Sic

Breakfast: leftover chicken & veg soup from Friday, banana

Lunch*: ye olde Mason jar salad - olive oil & lemon juice, carrots, chicken, avocado, olives, heart of palm, sprouts, hemp seeds, romaine. Orange. Butternut soup. Nuts - macadamia, walnuts, cashews. Carrot. 

Dinner: lemongrass pork chops with ginger-shallot sauce & braised greens with sambal oelek and coconut vinegar. Courtesy of Sun Basket. 

 *Evan's lunch. My lunch was too much coffee, rolled up turkey deli meat, handful of nuts, and a kombucha. Because I suck / was doing a photo shoot. 

 

Here's a picture of our dinner.  

IMG_4387.JPG

Cinco

My friend Keiran asked me to keep track of my meals while on the Whole30, which is something I'd wanted to do anyway (and wish I'd done when we did our Standard Process cleanse). So I'll start here and do some retroactive remembering of days 1-4 later.  

Day 5

Breakfast: leftover sweet potato, sautéed power greens, scrambled duck eggs, chimichurri

Lunch: butternut squash soup with carrot, ginger, ras al hanout, and coconut toasted pepitas

 Bison Meatballs over cauliflower rice

Bison Meatballs over cauliflower rice

Dinner: bison meatballs with pistachios, raisins, and ras al hanout over oven roasted cauliflower rice. 

See Saw - an impromptu wellness meditation

Last night suuuuuucked. (Well, good morning to you, too!)

I have notes to myself for certain situations because I know that I will forget what to do. For example, when I have a cold: my head is too thick with sick to remember what to do. So I trained myself to anchor the thought "what would you tell your friend to do if she were sick?", and then do that. Occasions where I need to ask myself my own advice happen often enough that I've started noting them down. With age comes wisdom, or with age comes more situations where I need help, or with age I know I need help? Maybe, yes, and certainly.

I love the wisdom of getting older. I love that I am learning how to pause, how to stop time, how to       Breathe       and      Think.

Life is so much calmer (in a good way), loving is so much easier.

I want to say that I love getting older 100%, but today I do not. Today getting older is punctuated with my body giving me a big Fuck You. Today is my body reminding me that I need to take my own advice, tattoo it on my arm Memento-style: remember the things that make me hurt. Today getting older is a double whammy combo of forgetting what makes me hurt and remembering that my body can't deal with normal things anymore. My organs are sensitive and everyday stuff can make my torso feel like its being pinched by a giant binder clip. No good. 

Today I recover from a sleepless, pain-filled night of my own doing. Because I ate dinner with abandon to celebrate Mother's Day with one of my favorite mothers and my goddaughter. I forgot to read my own notes that remind me what makes my old organs rebel and I am paying the price. I will play for a few more moments the sad violin piece that mourns a food creative with food sensitivities. Most...seriously, most days I like the challenge this gives me. Today, not so much.

Being human takes practice. Today I allow myself to be pinched by feeling pinched. And I stop and breathe and think and take notes, ratchet everything back and start over and see the positive that starting over isn't starting from the beginning. I know what to do. Starting again is remembering.

 Reset: homemade cashew/almond milk, dates + banana, flax seeds, Gaia Turmeric Boost™

Reset: homemade cashew/almond milk, dates + banana, flax seeds, Gaia Turmeric Boost™

Bean Beanie

The constant happiness is curiosity. -Alice Munro

Am I the only person whose secret favorite thing is the new products wall at Trader Joes? It's a pretty good lesson on detachment, too, as many of the exciting (!) things that I find there don't last long and/or are seasonal. I think it only took me getting bummed out once (sweetened condensed milk, I'm looking at you) before I just entered the zone of enjoy-it-while-it-lasts .

Enter sandman, I mean black bean pasta. What what what? Ingredients: black beans, no foolin. I don't eat things made with commercial wheat flour, so I don't really eat pasta that much. Yes, from time to time I'll do corn pasta or quinoa pasta, but sometimes I feel like flour is flour and that stuff makes my innards feel gunked up.  So duh super stoked pasta from beans, will it feel different?

I'm one of many who have a mystery weirdness going on in my guts zzzZZzzZzZ, and one of the things that's been resonating with me lately is beans as opposed to beef. My gut issues I should talk about here as I'm sure I'm not alone (!) and would love to hear others' experiences, however not gonna happen today, not in the mood to go down that particular road because I want to talk about this pasta! It sat in my cupboard for a week or two while I mulled ... hmm, is it super black beanie? Like, should I make some kinda southwest style pasta with queso sauce? And while that sounds like a decent idea, it didn't happen (yet). Post Easter bbq I had a lot (lot) of leftover red onions and mushrooms from making kebabs. And I'm leaning away from beef and towards beans so hello stroganoff (of sorts).

 oh hello pasta times umami

oh hello pasta times umami

So here's my wonky stroganoff-inspired pasta. Those dried mushrooms in the picture are King Boletes,  Boletus edulis, that Evan's friend foraged in Oregon. Fancy and super delicious.

Dried Mushrooms - fresh mushrooms - red onion - garbanzo bean flour - white wine - paprika - asparagus - black bean pasta - yogurt - garlic - s+p - evoo

Soak your dried mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water (you'll use that soaking water later, too). Saute mushrooms until soft, set aside. Saute red onion until it starts to soften.

Mix about a tablespoon of the garbanzo flour with a teaspoon of paprika (less if you don't like the flavor...I do, this will make it paprika-y). Add that to your onions and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the flour looks like it's starting to brown and is moistened (sorry) by the onion juices. Strain the dried mushrooms out of their liquid (remember, save that juice!), chop up and add to pan. along with the previously sauteed fresh mushrooms. Sprinkle in some salt and your chopped up asparagus, saute for a few until the asparagus is starting to soften. Pour in about a third of a cup of white wine to deglaze, then add your mushroom soaking liquid. Cook your pasta until just barely done (for me this was eight minutes), drain but save the cooking water, and add to your mushrooms and onions. More salt and some grinds of black pepper. You want your sauce to be thick and saucy, so either cook down or add some of that pasta water. Turn off heat and stir in the yogurt, season to taste omg so good. I think next time I'll add some pancetta and replace the asparagus with peas what? whoa.

Inspired by the kale and mushroom stroganoff over on chowhound.

Perfect Imperfect

Sometimes the right thing feels all wrong until it is over and done with.

     -Alice Hoffman

I made this bowl last night.

It was supposed to be a cylinder.

     When I finished it, I was simultaneously proud and hesitant. I couldn't believe I made it! It looked so good to me because it was a real, actual thing...not a sloppy, lopsided, broken blob. This was only my second wheel ceramics class, my third ceramics class since high school when you count my naughty chia pet class I took last winter—that was a hand/slab class.
     I took ceramics in high school and didn't feel I had a knack for it, in general, and really had a heck of a time with the wheel. I couldn't center, couldn't maintain the right speed to keep projects from going haywire or flying off the surface, literally. That was a long time ago.

Is it age?
The intervening years of making a living using my hands to make things, developing hand-eye coordination?
The teacher?

     The teacher, who is fantastic, teaches in a way that resonates with me, breaking the process down into bite sized morsels and encouraging us - nay - requiring us to do the one bit and then to chuck the clay and start again. Then do the first bit and add the second bit on another pound of clay. Then chuck that clay and start again. Do the first bit, second bit, and add a third bit. Chuck clay. And so on until we got to pulling it into a shape (the sixth step). Dude, that first class I centered from the very beginning, the necessary first step that even after a semester eluded me those many years ago, didn't feel daunting and lo and behold, just...came. I think that knowing you're going to chuck it keeps you from making that blob of clay precious...a thing. It's just practice, so you can approach it with relaxation and that beginner's mind. And boom, that little lesson stays little and gets learned. And the next time it's a bit different, sometimes one of the steps doesn't work, but since we are practicing detachment concurrent to our throwing lesson, it's no big deal. We don't beat ourselves up. We chuck it, clean the wheel, and start again.

     So, class two. Start by practicing what we learned last week. Keeping it mellow, knowing we are going to chuck this clay. I have a new wheel, much faster than last week's, and I can feel myself reacting to that, feeling out of control. But I know I'm going to toss this pound of clay anyway, so I'm able to chill and throw it and center it, even though it takes me a little while. And then the muscle memory comes back, one less thing to think about while I play with the foot pedal and listen for the sound, how it sounds when it hits just that right spin that keeps it moving while allowing me to feel like I've Got This. Next blob, time to practice the big one: pulling up the sides. Last class this didn't go so well for me, and that's okay, I've got all night and all these blobs of clay. We are shown again how to do it, where to place our hands, what to do and what not to do. Our turn: go. I go: steps 1-5 getting more fluid, now. It's time for six, keep breathing, thinking, rehearsing the do's, listening to the sound of the wheel speed...yes, there, remembering the don'ts, slow it down a bit. And it grows taller, wider. My hands are getting it, doing it. It's beautiful, perfect.

     And it's not a cylinder. And there's a weird smudge-y bit on this one edge. And the lip has a bit of slip. But I look at it like it's the most beautiful thing in the world as the teacher approaches and I can feel my chest constrict as I say "I made a bowl". [Holy shit holy shit PLEASE don't tell me I have to chuck it because LOOK I made this THING.] "That looks great!", he beams. Here, let me show you how to get it off the wheel.

I can keep it. It's good.

Baked Lingcod, Tomato Salad / Freedy Johnston



Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozarella Fresca and Green Goddess

10 small-to-medium heirloom tomatoes, 3 medium sized balls mozzarella Fresca, handful of fresh basil torn up, 4T Green Goddess dressing drizzled on top, finishing salt flakes & fresh ground pepper

Goddess recipe: http://food52.com/recipes/23729-green-goddess-dressing


Baked Lingcod w Lemon Garlic Sauce

Recipe via Elise, but I used Sorghum flour instead of wheat. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/baked_ling_cod_with_lemon_garlic_butter_sauce/

Lingcod from my seafood CSA Siren SeaSA http://sirenseasa.com

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Freedy Johnston

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OVqBYkrlsmw



Two Salads - Daily Dinner



Fig Chèvre Basil Salad

10 figs, 1/4 log silver goat chèvre, 1/3c torn fresh basil, 1T olive oil, 1t balsamic, s&p 


Harissa
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-harissa-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-190188


Cantaloupe Tomato Salad w Harissa

1-2 cantaloupe, 5 medium heirlooms, 1/3 giant cuke, 1-3c feta, handful fresh mint, s&p. Dressing = Harissa mixed with olive oil and honey. Source http://food52.com/recipes/12856-summer-melon-salad-with-harissa-feta-and-mint


My #memademay = #FreeFiFro

I don't have enough 91°-appropriate handmade-by-me clothing to do memademay, but I love the idea of broadening the make/craft focus away from the starting/doing and into the using. 

How else can I reach out my awareness and use the things I make? I do a lot of kitchen-oriented making, and I use the things I make regularly. Daily? Add that to the list, but it's not in the same spirit as wearing (because using is so much easier), so I'm challenging myself differently. 

Last time I counted (years ago), I had 22 WIPs. Yeah. I made a soft rule: no starting something new until I'd finished or frogged two WIPs. That went okay for awhile, but for at least the last year I haven't made a point to keep track. 

So, my May = repurpose/finish/frog aka "FreeFiFro". Since many of my projects are large (sweaters, blankets), it's an unrealistic goal to *finish* in one day. But you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. So instead of stashing 10+ projects in the basement and rotating half-assed between 6+ "active" projects, I'm going to focus at least one hour of undivided attention on a project—the same project—every day until it's finished, freed, or frogged. Starting today, right now, on this alpaca hat I've been debating. Debate: over. Finish and write up pattern. Bite one: go. 


Garlic Soup / J Dilla


Garlic Soup
Shallots
Celery
Organic butter and/or EVOO

Sauté. 

Thinly slice 20-30 cloves of garlic and add to sauté 5 mins. Add some ginger and thyme and a hearty splash of ww vin. Saffron threads if you've got 'em, bay leaves, homemade stock* and sea salt. Simmer for how long it takes you to make Harissa and a simple salad. I made my salad with baby spinach, butter lettuce, red bells, avo, sprouts**, and a sprinkling of cooked lentils/quinoa. S,P, Balsamic, OO. 

Harissa
Roasted red bell, coriander-cumin-caraway (dry roasted), OO, onion, garlic cloves, red chiles, lemon juice, sea salt -- all blitzed.

Back to the soup: take out bay and immersion-blend a few pulses - maybe 1/3 of it. Bowl, plop in a spoonful of Harissa. The garlic mellows and this ends up being a pretty satisfying soup. Adapted from that by Yotam Ottolenghi.

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J Dilla - Donuts

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This meal was from Day 4; I'm now on day 7.
I'm enjoying this so much, the cooking part. There's so much hoopla about cleansing and things tasting like dirt. I haven't found that needs to be the case at all. But I do think back on cleanses I've read (and tried) that were obviously written by doctors/medical professionals rather than someone who cooks—checked all the boxes except palate. And in striving for 'variety', ended up using lots of ingredients only once, and lots of prep and cooking. A real drawback is that it's time consuming. (For me it's also A LOT of food). I go from super full to starving on a dime. Having stuff prepped or having go-to, brainless reach-for's has been vital. 

My next fantasy project: make cleanse food for folks (think Blue Apron style) and/or a book that has actually good tasting recipes and ones that take reality into account. Ex. - you don't have to spend thousands of $ buying tons of produce (3 x a week), but instead the recipes and meals are thoughtfully set up so they last a few meals and snacks with less constant work.

*Stock - I save the trimmings of my vegetables in a bag in the freezer. Need stock? Trimmings go into stockpot with water, simmer, voila. 

**Hooray home sprout grower, right? I was too lazy to do the jar method so bought one. Either way, so worth it!

Collard Wraps / TAL


Collard Wraps

6-7 large pristine collard leaves
Cooked quinoa and lentils*
Half a bundle asparagus
2 spring onions
2 carrots
1/2 large red bell pepper
1/2 sweet red chile
Olive oil spray
Balsamic vinegar
Tahini mustard sauce (recipe follows)
Avocado

Cut off the stem of your collards so that they're close to being round. Lightly steam them (2-3 mins max). I leave in the stalk, cause I tried it once cutting out the stalk and overlapping and it was a messy nightmare. Having done it both ways, for me this is superior. Set aside to drain and cool. 

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Cut up your carrots, onions, and peppers into 2-3" sticks. Spread out on pan, lightly oil surface, easy salt, pepper, sprinkling of balsamic then into the oven for 20 minutes. While they're cooking, break off the bottom tough parts of asparagus stalks. Cut down to 2-3" pieces if necessary. When veg are done with round one, remove from oven, turn, add asparagus, and return to oven for 10/15/20 mins depending on size of your veg. You want them roasted to your liking. Remove and set aside. 

Cut a peeled avocado into 8-12 wedges. 

To assemble: it's like a burrito or more like a sushi hand roll! Spoon some quinoa/lentils, spoonful of sauce, arrange a bit of each type of veg + some avo and roll. I secured with toothpicks. I also left the top open for prettiness and also cause it was easier. 

Tahini Mustard sauce
Half a cup of tahini
Half a cup of water
2T clean (sugar free) mustard
2T lemon juice (or more to taste)
Crushed garlic clove 
Pinch o salt

Blitz it up in a mini food processor or that contraption that came with your immersion blender (if you're me). Makes a TON, so I'll be figuring out what to make with it over the next week I guess. 

*quinoa lentils - in my fuzzy logic rice cooker, I put in one cup washed and drained quinoa, one cup green french lentils, 1 piece kombu, 4 cups water. Set to cook for 'regular'. Made a giant batch. Again with the figuring out....

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What did I listen to?
This American Life. 

I'm on a podcast bender. Sorry records, I'll be back soon. 

Still with me? I will blab. 
Number one: what's with me being so descriptive with the cooking instructions? Who do I think I am, Julia Child? Get over yourself, me!
Number two: doing a lot of it. Hello, I'm on a cleanse!
Number three:
So this is what I made for dinner day three of our Standard Process Cleanse. My observations at this point were UGH! So much food! I felt like I was constantly making food or eating food or making shakes or drinking shakes or taking pills. And I felt crazy bloated but had surprisingly lost weight, because honestly, the bloating, jeez. Also felt a bit spaced out and for the first time had a kind of detox-y pseudo-headache weird brain feeling. Not bad, just like when you were a kid and wore a headband that was too tight. So due to the I'M TOO GODDAMNED FULL feeling, I went down to one shake a day. I make a triple batch in the morning. Pour one for Evan's breakfast, one for his lunch, and split the third in half for me: one for mid morning and one for mid afternoon. What a difference!

Kitcheree / Colin Hay

Evan and I started the Standard Process Cleanse yesterday. I was surprised by how little was out there when I searched looking for recipes and inspiration, so I'm taking notes—both for myself (so I can remember what I did, what worked, what didn't) and for anyone else who stumbles upon this.

Today is day 2; starting there as yesterday I felt like a big pile of garbage due to Game Night being the night before and why not start a cleanse with a bang, the bang being a shit ton of champagne the night before. 



Made the kitcheree yesterday and the squash today, which I'll post separately. 

Kitcheree
1c red lentils
1c red quinoa
1 thumb sized chunk of fresh ginger
1 pinkie sized piece of fresh turmeric 
Olive oil
6c water
Salt
1T cumin sed
1t mustard seed
3 carrots
2 dried chile peppers (crushed),one seeded depending on your spice tolerance

Sort and rinse lentils and quinoa in a few changes of water. Drain and set aside. 

Peel and finely dice the ginger and turmeric. Heat oil in a Dutch oven until hot, add ginger and turmeric and sauté over medium high heat for a few minutes.

Add quinoa and lentils to pot with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat, then add water. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat and simmer for half an hour. 

While simmering, toast your cumin seed and mustard seed until the just start to pop. Cut your carrots into bite sized rounds. 

When 30 minutes have passed, uncover and stir. If it's watery, leave the lid off. Add spices and carrots and cook another 20 minutes. You want it mushy like oatmeal or risotto, not watery like  congee. 

The Standard Process cleanse (or purification, as they call it), is a supplemented one. Recommended and procured through health care professionals like acupuncturists (in my case) or chiropractors. It's a lot of supplements & 2-3 shakes per day. You eat unlimited vegetables, half that amount in fruit. You can have quinoa and lentils (obvs), as well as green beans and peas. Some seeds, coconut milk.... It's pretty generous, really. Basically no caffeine, sugar, booze, dairy, grains, eggs, nuts, or processed foods. You can have clean meat starting day 11. You're eating cleanly so as to not undo the work of the supplements you're taking, which are giving a scrubbing to your liver, kidneys, small, and large intestine. 

Last night we were treated to tickets to see Colin Hay at the Palace of Fine Arts. I was somewhat familiar with his music, but in the most basic way, so decided to use the day for a more comprehensive, dedicated listen. His songs are beautiful, sweet, singer-songwritery. Some of his lyrics are chuckle-inducing, and they all have an honesty in the lyricism that I find unique in their personal Everyman observationism. His voice is distinct and consistent, and there's a specificity in his style. I was expecting a sweet, quiet show. 

What a surprise. Dude is HILARIOUS. I would say almost half of the performance was story-telling, all of it highly funny and often quite touching. His wife joined him for part of the performance which added a different level of entertainment I couldn't possibly describe. So, yeah, go see that guy. 

An irritating thing: when people BLAH BLAH BLAH too much in their posts. Apologies. 

Meatloaf & Baked Potato / Rock On



Inspired by this article in the recent BA, I've had baked potatoes on the brain. Was going to roast a chicken so I could use the carcass to make stock, but a) I don't have room for more stock in my freezer, wtf is my problem and b) meatloaf sounded SO good. My go-to meatloaf uses beef and pork and sometimes veal, but I went wild and am using a new 'recipe'. More fast n loose than my usual. We'll see, it's baking now. I also want to make these cookies, but House of Cards is calling. 

Potatoes
Two giant russets, scrubbed. Pricked, rubbed with olive oil, generously sprinkled with fresh ground tellicherry black pepper and sea salt. Baked directly on middle rack at 400 for about an hour. 

Meatloaf
Halve a red onion. Pulse it to bits in a food processor. 
Toast 3 slices GF white bread.

In a bowl put:
1# ground turkey
1# 85% lean beef
1# 80% lean beef
Pulsed onion
2+ minced cloves garlic
2 t kosher salt
Lots of fresh ground pepper
1/4cup ketchup
Egg 

Pulse bread in the food processor until it's crumbly. Add 1 cup milk. Let it soak while you do an initial mix of bowl ingredients. Add milky bread to bowl. Knead until just mixed. 
Form into a loaf-like mass on a parchment-papered rimmed baking pan. 
400 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes, depending on your oven. 

Rogue moves: no carrot, celery, bacon, sausage, parsley, Worcestershire ....
No pan!
Upside: way faster and easier.  

Smokey Tomato Soup / Paradise Theater


Its raining. First time in months ... and they've been hot months. Game Night was last night, so I'm a bit dehydrated. Soup + knitting + tee vee = perfect. Especially tomato soup; you always have the ingredients on hand, cause its just canned tomatoes and onions plus whatever else you want to add, right? Easy breezy. 
Did you know that canned tomato products have an expiration date? I didn't, but now I do! Most of mine were over 2 years expired. Oops. So: thank god I have a shit ton of fresh tomatoes. 
Spent a little too much time outside picking tomatoes while onions were 'caramelizing'. Oops. Decided to leave burned onions instead of tossing and doing over. For "flavor profile". Now it's  'Smokey Tomato Soup'.
Decided to keep smoke as dominant flavor rather than add heat/peppers. Fresh tomatoes = lots of cherry toms = sweet. So already that balance between sweet and smokey. Needed a lot of salt, which I don't like to add too much of, so added a just a couple dashes of Tabasco and a dash of vinegar instead. Rounded it out perfectly. 

Brown/kinda burn one chopped yellow onion in a knob of butter and a healthy pinch of salt. Add a bunch (2-3 cups) cherry tomatoes, plus a small handful of leftover baby carrots and one slice of raw red bell pepper that are leftover from the party you hosted last night. Throw in 6 medium chopped up fresh cluster tomatoes, a glug of olive oil, fresh black pepper, a couple bay leaves, and a scant pinch of ground cloves. Simmer until tomatoes are broken down and there's lots of liquid. Add a quart sized freezer bag of defrosted beef bone broth that you had in the freezer. Bring to simmer for 10-15 mins. Remove bay leaves and blend using immersion blender. Pour in some milk. Taste. Add salt. Taste. Add a little bit more salt, a couple shakes of Tabasco and a shake of balsamic. Eat with quesadilla instead of a grilled cheese  sandwich. Use leftover queso dip from last nights party as quesadilla filling. 

Tom Tom Jam / Tom Tom Club

Mixed Tomato Jam w/ Gypsy Peppers
Adapted from Food in Jars

1# Romas 2# Heirlooms (from my box), 1.5# heirlooms Gypsy Peppers (from my garden), lime juice, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, red chile flakes

Surprisingly different in flavor than the last batch I made, although recipe tweaks are minor. Way more tomato-y. Now all I need is a hunka cheese.

Listening
Tom Tom Club - Close to the Bone