Puppy Love and Soup

As you probably figured out, or if you saw on Facebook you already know, I dropped out of my own challenge.  Life got in the way.  I feel defeated which is never a good feeling on top of feeling guilty for not finishing for Pam.  But, I tried.  I blogged more than I’ve blogged in a long, long time.  At least that’s something.

It was a high close to eighty degrees today and yet I made vegan matzo ball soup for dinner.  It seemed the right thing to do after feeling like I was hit by a ton of bricks.  I have some sort of cold/allergy thing going on which hit its peak last night making my throat sandpaper and acid.  I’ve also had a stomach issue for the past week which was only made worse by my doctor’s suggested “remedy” of sorts.  And then that on and off migraine I had for a week?  The weather thought it would invite it back for a day.

Yesterday was not the day for all of that considering the stress level at work.  I’m not looking forward to Monday.  But today I feel much better.  I can swallow without wincing, my stomach isn’t bubbling like a witch’s cauldron, and the rubber band around my head must’ve snapped during the night.

But I still can’t eat as I usually do, which is a vegan diet naturally high in fiber and healthy good stuff.  So today I didn’t eat a whole lot and that included vegan matzo ball soup.

It was the first time I tried making vegan matzo balls.  I used egg replacer instead of eggs with the matzo ball mix.  I’m not sure what happened, but the balls were small and despite boiling them for long than the recipe called for, they were doughy inside.  All is not lost though, for I have found many a from-scratch-vegan-matzo-ball recipe online.  I will have a delicious vegan matzo ball someday.  In the meantime, the soup was good on my throat, in my stomach, and for my soul.

I also attribute my betterness to Candy.  Good old-fashioned puppy love.  As in, love from a puppy (or 3-year-old Shih Tzu).  She’s been cuddly and wonderful all day.  I’m sure she thinks I’m dull and stupid for sitting around reading, sleeping, and not feeding her training treats, but she seems to know what she’s supposed to do.  Dogs are fabulous like that.  Bill and Bailey are great like that, too.  If I was at the house, Bailey would probably be under the same blanket as me, snoozing and warming my lap, inducing me into a nap as well.  How can you not love dogs?

It’s not even 7pm yet and I could go to bed right now.  I’ll try to stay up for a while so I don’t wake up too early.  Tomorrow, orange juice for breakfast! Mmm. Continue reading

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L is for Lentils

I love lentils.  I’ve told people time and time again that lentils are nearly the perfect food and I love them.  Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and iron.  You can make soups, salads, and sides with them.  They are a vegan’s dream come true.

Recently I learned how to sprout them.

Apparently you can get even more nutritional value from a lentil if it is sprouted.  For once in my life, instead of being lazy and saying I’d eventually try it, I ate tons of pasta to empty a jar and bought cheese cloth so I could sprout some lentils.  All it takes is soaking your lentils overnight, draining them, putting them in a jar covered in cheesecloth, and rinsing them twice a day.  A windowsill for sunlight helps.

After a week of watching the magic of nature and growth, I had sprouts.  They looked just like bean sprouts with lentils hanging off the ends.  And they taste fantastic, lentily with a touch of sproutiness.  You can eat them raw or cook with them.  The sprouts are about as versatile as the lentil itself.

Sprouting lentils would be a great learning project for elementary aged kids.  And if you’re like me and little parts of nature like plant growth never cease to amaze you, it would be a great project for you, too.

I love lentils.

Wow, I Lost

It is Tuesday evening and I am three blog posts behind and Candy is giving me big googly eyes because I should be spoiling her instead of writing here.

On Sunday we went out for dinner.  What should have been a quick meal out turned into a long night of waiting.  My dad and I are not know to be the most patient people.  It runs in the family.  Thus for Sunday, I was for Impatient.  But, when you wait 45 to 90 minutes for your food to come out, is being unhappy about the service really out of line?  The excuse we were given was that everyone was ordering the special and the meat had to cook the right amount of time in order to not be served raw.  The last time I saw my parents cook beef on the grill, it only took about 25 minutes.  So, I did not have time to do much when I got home, let alone fulfill a blogging duty.  Bah Humbug.

On Monday I found myself catching up on what I couldn’t do on Sunday.  My brain was J for Jumping around from place to place, this blog not being one of them.  Candy’s jumping problem, yes.  She’s getting better, but if you’re a little kiddo and she wants to play with you, you might get a nice pouncing.

And today, Tuesday, even though I was brainstorming what to write whenever I had free time, I find myself trying to write this as quickly as possible because I should be washing up, getting ready for bed, and getting Candy outside for the last time.  K?  Kangaroos.  I planned to write about Kangaroos.  Either this challenge is a killer, I am ADD, or I have more on my plate than I thought!

Tomorrow, L.  L is for…

Gobble Bawk!

Have you ever noticed that, although your train of thought may seem logical to yourself, if you were to describe it to somebody else it would probably have no sense at all?  That’s the way my brain works most of the time.  But somehow it brings some interesting ideas to mind and some wonderful reminiscences.

I don’t know what got me thinking about my eating habits today, but that’s what was on my mind while I was changing my sheets this morning.  I was turning over in my mind the idea of whether or not chickens are emotionally attached to all of the eggs they lay, fertilized or not.  Some people argue that taking any egg from a chicken is cruel because the chicken will become depressed and mourn the loss.  But that’s a lot of mourning going on in one lifetime considering the majority of a chicken’s eggs are not fertilized.  And how do so many people successfully raise chickens and take the eggs without having sad or angry chickens?

Yes, I think about these things in my spare time.  It explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Anyhow, this train of thought some how chugged along to an evening years ago when I was high school.  This was one of the funnier moments with my group of friends, but what do you expect from poultry?  One of my friends at the time surprised the rest of us with a statement that she will obviously never live down.  Mind you, this is an extremely bright girl who was in advanced classes, many clubs and volunteer programs, etc.  Because I don’t remember who asked which questions, I will simply refer to the unfortunate friend as “Her” and the questioner(s) as “Us.”  We were discussing the holidays and turkeys.  This friend and her sister gave names to all of their family brought in for the holidays.  Of course I found this a bit disturbing considering my stance on eating turkeys or any other animal and the fact that she was naming something she would soon be eating.  But we quickly noticed that every name she used was a male name.

Us: How do you know they’re all boys?

Her: All turkeys are boys.  Turkeys are male chickens.

Us: What do you call a rooster?

Yes, we did break the news to her.  And had some really good laughs.
And now, while cleaning the rest of the house and watching the news to find out what kind of damage the storm last night wrought on the city, I can’t help but think about turkeys and chickens and turkens.  Or would they be chikeys?

I can’t really blame her, though.  Until I studied abroad in London and visited the English countryside, I didn’t know that sheep were actually born with tails.  But I blame that on a messed up agricultural system in this country.
While searching for a picture of a tailed sheep for you all, I found this amazing blog post http://for-the-pits.blogspot.com/2011/01/sheep-tails-and-magical-hybrids.html