Resolve

Resolutions.

It’s the annual tradition around this time of the year to reflect, and therefore plan for the year to come.

I hate resolutions.

I’ve done it a couple of times, but quickly found that my personality isn’t suited for them. You can start with the best of intentions but then, life happens. Then there’s the guilt and the sense of failure.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. Instead of looking at the things in my life I want to change, that should I fail will make me feel bad about myself, I prefer to look at the beginning of the year as a chance to challenge myself. Last year, it was to say YES to things that are outside my comfort zone.

I started with food. Specifically, Sushi. Then I moved on. To Indian food.

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Mmmmm – Butter Chicken!

I didn’t just leave it to dining out; I tried new foods at home, and it was pretty much a success each time. I liked the idea of challenging myself, and feeding my family healthy, flavourful meals. We have some new favourites now! (Spaghetti squash anyone?!?)

Then there was recommitting to Yoga. It helped that The Big Guy was willing to give it a go. We’ve made Monday night “date night” as we Downward Dog ourselves to healthier bodies!

I’m also trying to look at better ways of taking care of myself. While it’s traditionally accepted to pop a pill or chug a manufactured syrup, I’m trying to figure out WHY I’m ill, pained or otherwise out of sync. A couple of people have looked at me funny when I show them I’m wearing a crystal or using an essential oil to give myself comfort. Those who have opened their minds to these things are quick converts themselves! Keep learning and keep young!! 😀

So long story short – look at New Year’s Eve as a chance to dust off the bucket list. As I sit here this evening, I’m thinking of what I want to tackle in 2016. It’s certainly more fun than contemplating a diet or deciding what I want to “quit”.

Happy New Year! 2015 was certainly a step up from 2014. Can’t wait for 2016!

The Pie Man

Most people know how much I love to bake, but one dessert eluded me – PIE!

Now I have tried. Lord knows my mother tried! A dedicated pie maker herself, Mom tried on more than one occasion to teach me the art of the pie crust, to no avail. I continued to persevere on my own, with hope building up each time I saw a recipe entitled “No Fail Crust” or even better, “Really No Fail Crust”.

Guess what, they FAILED! Or, perhaps I failed, depending on your definition of womanhood and one’s ability to whip up a good ol’ fashioned apple pie!

So what I lacked in pastries, I made up for in cakes, cookies and muffins! So when First Born Son came to me and asked how to make pie, I hung my head in shame and told him I was not the woman for the job.

But his Gramma is!

So before you could say “Pumpkin Pie” we dragged her to my kitchen and armed her with pie plates and flour.

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With an interest reserved for only for antique trucks and farm equipment, FBS was riveted. He worked the dough just the way she asked. He rolled the pastry with the utmost care!

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She taught him the fine art of crimping the crust. And crimp he did!!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably  larger!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably larger!

It was heart warming to see them in action…

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Delish!

Delish!

…because we finally get to eat pie again!

A New Four Letter Word that is Six Letters Long

There is a new swear word in our house.

G.L.U.T.E.N.

For the past few months, The Big Guy has noticed a bit of a pattern in his health and well being. Due to a suggestion from a work colleague, he decided to go off bread, specifically for the gluten component. He had an immediate response. In a positive way!

So we expanded on the experiment. Ironically, our nephew is gluten intolerant, but we didn’t really understand what that meant. A couple hours of online research gave us a crash course. Firstly, gluten is the glue of human food. IT. IS. EVERYWHERE!!! I challenge you to find a bread, cracker, cereal, or dessert that doesn’t have gluten in it.  And if you do, please let me know what it is. Unfortunately, The Big Guy is a Big Lover of all things bread. And cake. And crackers with a smear of cheese. And bread. Did I mention bread? He used to rate Stag and Does based on the “quality” of the kaiser buns and handmade sandwiches he would make with them.

Big bread fan.

However, if that weren’t enough, gluten is in sauces (salad dressings, Worchestshire sauce, marinades and bbq sauce), snack foods (granola bars, pretzels) and pasta (KD?!?!?). This has not only rocked his lunch box, but is has kicked the crap out of my meal planning regimen. I’m not even going to discuss now long it now takes me to find my way through the grocery store, reading the labels on every single product!!

This introduced me to a whole new division of the grocery store – specialty foods! Mind you, I only have a limited selection in the area I living in, so now I’m keeping an eye out at just about every major grocery and bulk food store.

I started with these;

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The muffin mix was $4 and change. They went over well.

The cake mix was $5. It was not. Imagine the delicious smell of brownie, followed by the the most dried out, tasteless brownie you have ever had the misfortune of eating. It was worse that that. Yum.

Along with these purchases, I invested in white rice flour, brown rice flour and tapioca flour. And a cookbook. Then I looked into a line of credit to afford this….

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This pasta better cook itself, cuz it put me back $10. I now understand why my nephew claims to be the poorest student on campus. While his peers live on spaghetti and other cheap pastas, he’s paying almost as much in rent as he is for his weekly food bill!

Ironically, this past weekend my Dad found this –

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…which apparently I’m going to have to drag The Big Guy to, if for no other reason, than I can learn how to cook for him again!

Until then, I expect A LOT more swearing.