Monday, June 30, 2008

Garden Gnomes

So here are the aforementioned pictures of the garden. I also have some pics of the kids to fill in the mix.This is the garlic. Apparently when the bottom four leaves are brown you are supposed to pick it. I just hope it is dried and cured before we leave for Japan. I think 2 weeks should be sufficient. I plan to dry it on my work bench in the garage. Fingers crossed. Up next you can see our Raspberries. They are doing very well this year. I plan to give them an extra soaking today as we really want them to plump up soon. We may just have to resign ourselves to the fact that we won't get a lot of raspberries before we have to leave for Japan. We knew this going in so I should be prepared for it but I know that packing up and leaving with hundreds of berries just getting ready to burst with flavour will be tough. This next picture is of our tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers and squash. The are almost all starting to train up the twine. The tomatoes are going great guns and the cucumbers have finally started going. The drip hose seems to be working great and the trench method does seems to have a good nutrient base for all the plants. The landscape fabric is keeping a lot of the weeds down but there is still more work to be done than I had imagined. Finally we have the pics of the kids. Just snapped these off before typing. Man they are cute.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Soup and Stirfry

Well it almost cracked 40 here today. Dang, I forgot to take those garden pictures. Of course the fact that it is still weed filled may have had something to do with that. Anyways back to Dinner. It was Africa hot, little guys in purple robes bursting into flames its that hot. (Just realised that true nuance of that joke from good morning vietnam, with the monks who commited suicide that way.) Anyways, the idea of dinner did not strike anyone as being that urgent. We had some chips and dip to start. The we had the soup shown to the right. It was a yam, leek, and onion base with the cool organic pea soup in a can thrown in afterwards. I used turmeric, coriander and some bay leaves. A little salt and pepper and it was all done. The kids ate the soup almost cold thanks to a liberal serving of ice cubes. The portion in the picture was served over rice. After this I took up the job of creating a tofu dish. The tofu was pressed so that it would soak up the sauce. The question was what kind of sauce. I had pulled a beat earlier in the day so that became the base. You may have noticed the tofu looks like cubed pork. Gotta love dyeing your food with beets. The remainder of the sauce was made with garlic, ginger power, salt, soya sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, and molasses. I fried up the onions and broccoli and then set them aside. Then I fried the already sauce encumbered tofu in a small bath of oil. Reintroduced the vegetables a few minutes later and voila. A misspelt instrument. I should never had cooked so much on a hot evening. The added heat just won't leave the house. I'm sleeping downstairs so it isn't such a big deal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Begins

So with today being the last day of work and the first day of summer I think it fitting that I get a little slack for not posting last nights meal. There were no pictures taken and I was off gallivanting with friends so I cannot complain. Anyways, we had a great day today and from here on out it will only get better. We had friends over this evening for dinner. The same friends who had us to their house for a pool party. Note to siblings thinking about rearing children. The best baby sitters are children the same age as your own children. They have intimate knowledge of what will interest your children and keep them occupied. Back to dinner. You see I was a little enthusiastic getting into my dinner and took a whopping bite before remembering the picture. It was a great burger and in spite of what my mother says about improving my odds of getting cancer I like the blackened charcoal exterior. The overexposed white stuff is a home made garlic/dill dip dressing. We had a tangy green salad with crunchy noodles on top. There was also a potato salad but I couldn't get it onto the first plate. Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have learned never to have seconds with potato salad. Unfortunately, my learning curve is pretty shallow. The mildly over full feeling I have leads me to believe that my whole eating responsibly thing isn't working out. Tomorrow is another day. On a different note, our guests seemed to enjoy the meal and they brought wine which was enjoyed by all. Well most of the kids only had half a glass but that toddler man he can put it away. Good conversation ranging far and wide followed dinner and no one left till it got dark. A perfect start to what hopefully will be an awesome summer. I will try to take some garden pictures tomorrow, after the massive weeding session I have planned. Everything grows in the sun.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good day.

Yes this was the day when I had excess under control. Did my yoga before lunch. Had a reasonable dinner and then played ultimate in the sun. We had a quick go at dinner as we had to ge to the pitch by 6:30. The salmon was pan fried with garlic, salt and pepper. Can you really go wrong with salmon. I put the big wok lid over it to get the juicy steamed fish feel. So good. Rice and coleslaw were back from last nights dinner. Or was it the night before. With two working days left my mind is actually shutting down. I am trying to remember what else was on my plate as the picture loads... oh here it is. The veggies from the lunch left over veggie platter. A nice accompaniment to a light meal. I am out for dinner tomorrow (colleagues retirement get together) but I have my fingers crossed a picture will be taken of the pork chops.

So this line came to me in the esprit du lescalier. "Thanks for the guilt trip. I haven't been on one for a while." You know when someone just loads it on you. From now on, if I am keen enough to react I plan on using this line. I mean what the hell. Do I really need someone else pushing my guilt buttons. Grow up and run your own life but leave my shit alone. I will make my own decisions and live with them. This was a work issue and I am trying to let it go. Deep breath in, pause, deep breath out. Time for bed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't get the wrong impression

We really don't eat smokies at every other meal. We just had left overs and couldn't muster the strength to think of something more creative. We did barbecue some eggplant, no sauce, no oil, just straight dry barbecue. Afterwards we drizzled a little soy sauce on them and it was very nice. Quite Japanese tasting if you ask me. The coleslaw has made it from Giant bowl to a small bowl to a large sized tupperware and I think we are now into a small sized tupperware. Eventually it will be eaten and another giant bowl will be made for some festivity or another. The rice was cooked with peas and curry powder and was a nice change.

On a totally different note I am boycotting UPS at least until I order something else off the internet. The loot bags I sourced from some novelty place in the states had an original shipping fee of 18 dollars. Rather steep on a 26 dollar purchase but it still was within budget, had all the things I wanted and meant neither my wife nor I had to go searching for the stuff. However, when UPS left their little note today saying there as a 21 dollar brokerage fee -- $3.43 in taxes, the rest for doing the work -- i lost it. Talking with the novelty company on line they were unrepentant, "it says it in many places on our website" what is says is that there will be some duty, taxes or brokerage fees. No mention that UPS will stick their greasy mitt deep into your wallet and double their fee. The UPS lady was slightly more sympathetic though completely unapologetic. To top it off I was calling to arrange a better drop off time tomorrow, as no one is home when they plan to come by, and the service agent replies, "well I can't guarantee a drop off time as they will be there when they get there on their route." Service. Sometimes you get it. Sometimes it gets you. This kid better have one wicked ass time at her Birthday. My luck they will all end up playing with the boxes and I will be left with 13 x 7 novelty items and 13 bags to put them in. Should have left it all up to the wife. Saving money never felt so good.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Farewell Reiko

We had a farewell dinner for a student that had been studying in Grand Forks for the last three years. She is Japanese and had come to our house quite a few times in those years for dinner or to babysit. She finally graduated and this was her farewell dinner. We actually had six adults and three kids for dinner so it was a fairly elaborate production. Burgers were the main attraction with me only realizing as I was flipping them that one of our guests was a vegetarian. To my wifes credit she has put together two salads, two types of french fries and enough vegetable toppings that the veggie guest had a veggie sandwich and seemed satisfied. One of the salads was the lettuce and mandarin affair that I learned about at my previous school. It is always nice. The coleslaw made a come back, second day is always better. Yam and potato french fries, baked not fried. There was also carrot cake with lemon flavoured cream cheese icing. My first piece was a little healthy but the second and third pieces were delicious. None of the pieces were overly large so I can say that I ate quite conservatively this evening. One burger, one helping of fries. Seconds was only salad. I did drink a beer but only one and I had a whole bunch of water. There was 7.3 k of running before dinner so I think my scales are balanced this evening. Four work days till summer. Gotta keep my eyes on the road.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Night Fever

This is what that warm bloated post pizza dinner feeling should be called. Man I ate too much. Don't tell my sister but we finally had the artichokes on some pizza. Fabulous. I also wrested the pizza stone out of the now defunct pizza oven. In the big oven it worked like a charm. We even used the pizza peal and everything. If it weren't for the amount of power the big oven draws I would stay with this set up but I think we are going to try and find another little pizza oven. I actually saw a wood fired pizza oven that someone I know made. It looked pretty cool. Some day, some day. Anyways, back to dinner. The first pizza was a kids but it wasn't ham and pineapple. It was plain pepperoni. They enjoyed it. Phew. Now there are two kids pizza options. Hawaiian and Pepperoni. As for the adults we have the spicy salami, with mushrooms and artichokes first and all the same ingredients but with red peppers added in the second. The sauce was good but a little oily. The crust was perfect. Topped off with some coleslaw and chips with guacamole (one bowl with tomato chunks the other with diced jalapenos). Our guest enjoyed the dinner and had four or more slices of pizza. That is the kind of eatin I look for in a guest. It makes me feel less self conscious when I eat the silver ware. Really is there any reason to be this full. I think I need to be more fully aware of what I am eating as I eat it. Conspicuous consumption. Let the finger point at me. Well I'll worry more about that tomorrow. Until then I am yawning up a storm. Have a good one.

Saturday, June 21st

So after arriving home, unpacking, taking oldest to birthday party, more unpacking and just kind of getting back into being at home, dinner was the last thing on anyone's mind. I did eventually come up with the idea of egg salad sandwiches and soup. Soup and sandwiches is my final fall back position. Usually more so in the summer, but any time of year, sandwiches and soup make a great dinner. Light fare if that is what you are into. Heavy duty if you make the soup and the sandwiches thick enough. So that was the original plan. I boiled the eggs. Went to pick up oldest from birthday party and came back to make egg salad. Now a number of my siblings are not great egg salad fans. However, I am a true believer. I make mine with minced veggies like carrots and celery. A little mustard, mayo and today we added in the ominpresent dill. There are also some red peppers. With some vinegar and salt (totally forgot about pepper) the salad was complete. Strangely it became a wrap with a bunch of lettuce thrown in. Really quite nice. As for the soup you will have to wait until Tuesday. Really lacking in enthusiasm tonight.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 19th and 20th

For the sake of brevity I will wrap up whole camp trip in one blog. Hope this works for you.

Ah the first camping trip of the year. We plan to go again pre-Japan. It should be out at Kettle River provincial park. Should be some good tubing. Some good marshmallow roasting. Everyone is welcome. No set date yet so if you want us to plan around you we can get it done. Just has to be in the next four weeks. This weekend Texas creek provincial park was great for us. Swimming, fishing, more swimming, more fishing, roasting marshmallows. Telling stories at bed time. (no ghost stories yet. We need the kids to sleep) We did not catch any fish but time spent at the river side/lake side with the kids messing around was awesome. Some day we will catch a fish and eat it and it will be great. I don't know when and am not willing to make a forecast but I am pretty sure it will happen. Had a bite that even jumped out of the water. It got away and was pretty small but it is a start. So that was camping, now for dinner.

Camp night one. The set up. Seeing as we arrived at 5:30 and it had been a regular work/school/home day I didn't think we would have it in us to cook after setting up. So the wife mentioned the roast chickens that you get at a local grocer. Still warm when we sat down to eat. I shredded and the children consumed. I think we had other food. Some veggies and dip. Some home made onigiri (rice balls). And of course the requisite beer. Can't have camping without beer.

Camp night two. We went all out and had the classic camp fare. The lipton instant noodles. They are called side kicks now but they still make great camp meals. All you need to bring is the milk and margarine and you have instant flavour. The daughter slurped up about 1/3 of all noodles made. Wifes comment, "she loves MSG." We also roasted smokies on the fire. These were the mozzarella filled smokies. The cheese dripping out and sizzling on the fire provided great amusement to the kids. Sliced and whole we went through six smokies. Most were eaten cut up into chunks. For dessert we had roasted and unroasted marshmallows with milk chocolate. We skipped the graham crackers. No big loss. The fire and my years of experience provided for some molten marshmallows that never got black. All in all a good weekend of camping. Two nights was good. We had to be back for a birthday party. I think we will stretch our next outing to three nights.

Wednesday, June 18th.

We had wraps this evening. We also had to get out the door quick so that we could be at Ultimate for 6:30 but there is more about that below. The real feature of this evenings feast was the creamy dill dressing. Nothing like having an overabundance of dill to let yourself go crazy. The dressing was so rich and dilly. It actually went perfectly with the home pickled jalapenos. The base was made from pan fried ground beef and assorted vegetables along with rice. The dressing along with the green salad and jalapenos finished it off. I realise I could have eaten them all separately but then why have a wrap. Notice my wrap is actually wrapped whereas the son has a sort of open faced dinner. He isn't so into the wrap. More of a shovel it in using a fork or spoon sort. When he gets really hungry he just hammers away, often getting nothing in his mouth but thoroughly enjoying the motion. So that was Wednesday.

Ulti Update: numbers were up but we didn't quite make it to seven a side. The other members better start bring people in. I am getting angry looks and people crossing the street when they see me. The pro-ultimate harassment might need to be turned down a notch.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Invitation Night.

Well this evening was smokies and salad. I managed to score a DQ double cheeseburger for lunch on top of a fried egg sandwich for breakfast so I believe I had already met my caloric needs for the day. However, I still managed to make my way through two pan fried smokies. Now if you are starting to cringe at the unwholesomeness of today's fare then I will add that there was also a green salad as well as a bean salad. Our garden continues to produce an abundance and neighbours (with the u joey always with the u) are starting to bring us some of their extra produce. We will be drying our own dill this weekend and that should see us through another year. Upon further consultation my chef and I decided that the bean salad could have used a touch more vinegar but it still had a snazzy assortment of flavours. The post dinner family outing was dropping off birthday invitations to the friends that do not attend kindergarten with us. We will get the kindergarten friends as soon as we know all the addresses. Already have one no and one maybe. Have played charlie brown to a summer birthday's Lucy myself I shouldn't be surprised at the number of people going on vacation. Heck we are doing it ourselves. But it still hurts a little bringing back those memories of all the, "sorry we are going to be away then." Meh, more cake for me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh the heat.

Recommendation: Do not do your first 11 k run of the season in 30 degree heat. Man that last two k was just killing me. But its done now and I can rest.

Recommendation 2: Relax. I am way overly psyched about Ultimate on Wednesday. Got all six of our disks laid out. Organized to borrow the cones for the field from the school. Talking to everyone I know. Hey if you are reading this, Wednesday, 6:30 - 8:00 on the high school field. Newbies and pros, everyone is welcome.

Okay lets talk about dinner. We had the home made fishcakes for the second time and they were even better. The mixture of potato and salmon is just fabulous. Dill and chives are thrown into the mix and there are some other subtler tastes in there but I do not have the chef handy so you will have to take my word. The salad had some of our neighbours radishes and the dijon vinagrette dressing. The pasta salad was a creamy garlic option. After the run I was famished so in total I probably had three generous helpings over the course of four trips to the kitchen. Yes it was that good. Summer is definitely here. Hey, do you ever look at your neighbours yard and wonder why their grass looks so much better. I figured it out. From the side you see a greater cross section of blades of grass so it naturally looks better. Your own yard you are looking straight down. Its like tall men. They never go bald because no one can see past their outer defences. Short men. Everyone can see it. So that is my rationalization for my crummy lawn there. Hope you liked it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father knows best

Happy father's Day to everyone. I sure had one. I was the guest of honour at dinner this evening and so was able to select the menu. We had home made gyoza (dumpling with pork, and other stuff inside) cauliflower with cheese sauce, green salad, rice and soup (notably not miso though very miso-esque). The beauty part about gyoza is the sauce, a vinegar, soy, hot chili combo. Went beautifully as a salad dressing by the way. I thought I was loving the gyoza but then my daughter got going. She may have eaten upwards of twenty dumplings when we finally sealed the tupperware and put it in the fridge. They don't stand a chance come tomorrow's lunch. The salad was made from a bunch of leftover produce that I actually took out today in a weeding frenzy. Small volunteer cilantro and lettuce was taken out to make way for their stronger brethren. To top off this evenings meal we had healthy chocolate brownies with the last of the strawberry ice cream. My son took this picture and I think he did a damn good job of framing me. You may also notice the mosquito bites on my leg. A small price to pay for the arrival of summer in all its glory. Only two weeks of school left. Lets hope the lettuce holds out in this heat and doesn't go to seed. No menu yet for next week. But it is only 9:30. Anything could happen before midnight. Yee haw.

Saturday, June 14th

Just about a perfect day. We set up the tent trailer in the back yard this morning. The kids spent all day in and out of it. After that I spent three hours, thirty dollars, 15 curse words and lots of sweat to change the washers in 4 faucet handles. No more drips down stairs. Yeah. I also now own a brand new crescent wrench which still couldn't solve my problem. The ultimate solution was locking pliers and a hammer. Sure the piece is stripped but at least I could get it off. After that our daughters friend and his dad came over to enjoy a barbecue with us. They brought burgers, we had smokys and everyone had baked potatoes and coleslaw. Sitting outside in the shade of the camper we had a lovely evening. Then I made a fire and we roasted marshmallows. Smores were made as well but the kids seemed more into just eating the squishy insides of their burnt marshmallows and then tossing the burnt skins into the fire. After our friends went home we spent this night sleeping outside in our tent trailer. No complaints here.

Friday June 13th. No one even noticed.

Hey did anyone else not notice it was Friday the 13th until after the fact. I think my brain may be shutting down. I think it is a case of early onset summer vacation. They have a treatment. It is called lab ourda yweek end. Unfortunately, it takes about nine weeks for the treatment to take effect. (my apologies for those of you who can't get the sick leave) I was not feeling quite myself today. Something I ate the night before didn't agree with me so we had rather a late start. However, the day really picked up after that. We went down to Osoyoos and spent the whole after noon at pool side playing with the kids and my sister and brother in law and some of their friends. It was an awesome day. Literally three hours straight in the pool. Then we ordered the pizza you see for dinner. This was topped by chips and salsa and veggies al fresco with dip. (Ed. the author of this blog uses foreign words as he sees fit with no regard to their actual meaning. Mostly he just guesses and we are not responsible for any meaning implied or intended) Followed by some watermelon for dessert. Then we drove home. It was great. Also I didn't drive either way. I did tell a wicked story which included the death of a grand father. I have no idea what brought that on. The story was pretty up beat and then the kid came home and her grand father was dead. Definitely branching out on those lets hear a story in the car stories.

Thursday June 12th

Well I was not home for dinner so you can't fault me for getting this one up late. Imagine my confusion upon seeing this picture and being told they had perogies for dinner. Apparently this is what my daughter wanted for dinner. Do you see any perogies? I do not see any perogies. Upon further investigation this is the crispy chicken from the picnic lunch they had in the park today. Some people are enjoying a pretty nice life. On Thursday they kindergarten class had a fun day in the morning and this was followed by the aforementioned picnic in the park. Like that wasn't a killer day. Dinner consisted of the perogies (noticeably absent) crispy chicken, onigiri (riceballs) and okay the picture just popped up and I am a total idiot. What I took for Onigiri sprinkled liberally with soy sauce are indeed the perogies. I am thinking about going back and rewriting this entry to keep myself from looking like an idiot. Unfortunately that horse has already left the barn. Those marshmallow looking things in the salad I have confirmed are in fact chopped daikon. Good looking salad. Anyways here is a picture of the Kindergarten fun day. Bean bags and sunshine equals fun as far as I am concerned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pre-game Meal

We had ultimate tonight. It has begun. When we lived in Vancouver we loved playing ultimate. We made teams and joined teams and even played some pickup once in a while. Then we moved to Japan and it kind of dried up. We have been pretty much shut out since that time. Then about three weeks ago we got the new Rec-Commission pamphlet and there written large (okay the type was the same size as all the other activities) was an invitation to community ultimate. We have been anxiously awaiting this night since then. It was worth it. There is another die hard in town and we had two beginners who seemed eager. Now if all five of us can bring two friends then we can play seven aside. By the next week if each of those fifteen can bring two people we can have a three team league. And so it will go until everyone in town is playing ultimate every night of the week. Mathematically it should only take about 8 weeks. Give or take.

Oh yeah the meal. We had stir fried vegetables, rice, onigiri (rice balls with a little something special inside) and my wife even fried up the leaves from a daikon (japanese radish). Nice light fare.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Do you ever feel like if you could just stay in one place for like a week and not have something new pop up, or some issue (probably someone else's issue) arrive to mess up the list of things that should be done pretty soon that you could get organized. Its like your taxes. Every year your booklet arrives way before your t4s. You can't start doing your taxes until you have all the pieces but as soon as part of it arrives you start reminding yourself, get that done as soon as you can. And then you forget. Other stuff comes up. Then you see the tax envelope on your desk/in your cubby/on that shelf and you get that rush, shit is that due yet. And the cycle repeats. There is always something new. I am thinking about that tooth that is bugging me or the wasps nest that may or may not be growing daily in my attic but I can't take care of during the day because it is an involved process and I reacted really badly to my last sting and then I suddenly realise there is only a month left to plan for a sixth birthday party and most of the theme specific supplies cannot be sourced in town. As I settle down to get them online I realise I haven't booked that cabin for Christmas. I look up the e-mail address. I start composing and
think "Shit! are my taxes even done".

I want time out. I want to sit down and get everything that needs to be done or could be done right now done. I want to get back to even and then truly relax. I know it will never happen but it is my dream right now. So much shit to do, where to start. Right party supplies.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Post Run Party

The name is a slight falsehood as I was the only runner. My usual mates had other things to attend to, so my feet were the only two pounding the pavement. However, I did not run alone. The son road shotgun in the bike trailer/stroller--I drove --and the daughter did an excellent job of keeping up on her two wheeler. I did not plan to make this a family outing but I made the mistake of coming home before going for the run. Gotta leave from work in the future. Anyways after 7 or so kilometers we arrived home just before running buddy number 2 arrived from after school meeting. The baked potatoes were already on and we slapped some bbq sauce on our pork and his steak and headed outside. About 15 minutes later we all tucked in for a fabulous dinner. The bread was still warm out of the oven. The potatoes were a little firm, really you need to start them an hour early and then let them sit for 15 minutes before you start eating but who is that organized. Tonights salad dressing was a garlic, yogurt, vinegar affair. The creator is safely ensconced in our sons bed so I can't give you any more details than that. I think the big win tonight was that the planning for this weeks dinners actually occurred last night. We had fallen off the wagon for a bit there but we are back on it now. Third week of running just starting. Taking it slow. Blisters are not too bad. Fingers crossed I can keep it up.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Simply Sunday

Well my simple dinner plans won out this evening. On the way back from playing frisbee and soccer at the elementary school up the street, my daughter and I were surprised to see the wife and son riding towards us. Earlier, I had woken from my nap only to find said daughter packing. She was had been planning to run away because everyone else was having a nap. So we had gone to the park to play while mom and son slept on. As the family congregated on the road the decision was made to go and get some groceries for dinner. We bought a steak, some veggies, milk and ... maybe that was it. Back at the ranch I threw the steak on the barbecue. Red onions and minced garlic were sauteed before adding red peppers and green beans. We were out of mushrooms, I guess I put them all in the curry. Rats. Spices and a can of crushed tomatoes later the sauce was bubbling. I had turned the steak once in the mean time and now I brought it inside. I sliced it up (some hyena's made off with a fair portion of it but I scared them off with the big knife and some cussing) and here was the big mistake. I put it in with the sauce. I should have kept it aside and put it on top of the noodles before ladling on the sauce. It was still pretty good but the whole barbecue effect was lost. Rats number two. The salad dressing was a new number, fresh ground rhubarb, maple syrup, dijon mustard, vinegar and a little bit of oil. It really does just keep getting better and better. By the way the sun shone today so we mowed the lawn, weeded a massive section of the garden, and even managed to get the trimmer out. Just a little bit of paradise here. Doors open, make yourself at home. We're expecting you. Soon.

Friday June 6th

Double the trouble when two curries are in the house. This first curry was a shrimp, broccoli and red pepper affair. I was spiced from scratch using tumeric, coriander (home grown) cumin, garlic, paprica, basil, oregano salt and pepper. The garlic was sauted with onions till the were brown. The the spices were all added with some more olive oil. Once the good smells started coming out I threw in the shrimp and when they had that nice cooked look on both sides I took everything out. I then stirfried the veggies and when they started to steam I put the shrimp back in, added some yogurt, brought to a boil and then let sit. Meanwhile, kids and dad went to swimming. Upon arriving back home the little ones tucked right in and I got started on the second curry. The first curry was not hot at all, I mean it had great flavour but since it was meant for the little guys I didn't put any heat in. The second curry I made for the after hours crowd. I started with yam. Cubed and microwaved with a little bit of water in the bottom of the bowl. Then left to stand for about five minutes. Fresh ginger was the heart of the heat, lots of it sliced and then minced, but not too small. My curry base was a pre-packaged indonesian curry paste. This was fried in really hot olive oil until it started to sizzle and then the garlic and onions once again. Ginger rolled in just after the onions and garlic. Soon after that came the mushrooms. The green beans came in for a little fry just before adding a small can of coconut milk. I was feeling pretty satisfied, when suddenly I realised I had forgotten about the yams. The were steamed to perfection and I poured them, and the steaming water, into the pot. The over all effect was great. Nice thick consistency from the yams which also brought up the sweetness. The ginger and curry paste together added all the heat we could ask for. A very good evening.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another Thursday.

Random picture.

This evening I drank a bunch of beer and ate popcorn. Nothing like kicking back after work with co workers. I did walk my daughter home and do the banking and some shopping before the kicking back so my guilt factor was a little under 5. At home they ate pan fried pork chops and some lovely bread from our baker friend. Sliced cantaloupe was had for dessert. That's it said my wife as she laughed. It was a simple night. At least the work week is done. We will try for a picture tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Friends for Dinner

After running 7 k I was sure hungry. Te-maki is the perfect meal at a time like that. You get to choose the toppings, you get to choose how much rice, and you get to choose how many rolls you eat. Upon arriving home I had to rather sheepishly admit to my wife that I had also invited my two running buddies. With a natural aplomb bordering on saintly she set two more places. Now in my defense one of them lives with us and he had offered to make dinner for the other one. However, we shared a grand communal feast and even had a choice beverage imported all the way from Brazil. It was a good Te-maki (hand roll) night as there was the fake crab on offer. With the avocado it sure is good. We also had green salad courtesy of us. With all the rain we have been getting I haven't even had to water. Its a matter of going outside and helping myself. Also with the living mulch effect I barely have to weed. It is great. This weekend the beans, cucumbers and squash are all going to put in and the garden will finally be ready for some serious love and attention. Fingers crossed for transplanting the cukes and squash. They are not known for loving the transplant action but with the weed matting down it is this or nothing. We will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baked Pumpkin

Sometimes watching a little TV makes all the difference. Today while I was away the family was watching some Japanese television that we have on tape. During one show they had a cooking segment where they baked a kabocha (butternut squash perhaps) with a ground beef stuffing. So this is what you are looking at. It was quite good. I think this is the last of the squash we grew last year. The wife had been keeping it in the freezer. It was sweet and savoury all at the same time. Served with coleslaw and rice it sure hit the spot. Interestingly my daughter couldn't stop eating the rice and ground beef and my son wouldn't stop eating the coleslaw.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Deep Fried Goodness

Well some tofu and zucchini were deep fried this evening. I arrived home, post afternoon run, to find some amazing tofu and zuchinni waiting for me and my guests. ( I brought home two buddies from school and we sat outside and enjoyed the evening and a beverage while the kids played around us) Outside we also partook of the garden's offerings in a massive bowl of green salad. We were not able to get in on the miso soup action as I only gave the wife about 20 minutes notice before we arrived. The boys were happy with what they were fed and served so it wasn't an issue. For a totally crappy weather day it turned into a lovely summer like afternoon. Only nine teaching days left. Gotta keep my eyes on the road in front of me.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Light Dinner

As we were driving back to the GF this evening the topic of dinner came up. After a weekend of feasting and four days of sitting I am always thinking of something light. Also something quick and easy to prepare with very little lead time. In my brain I come to pasta with a vegetarian tomato sauce. No dethawing. Anything undercooked can still be eaten without the possibility of death. I think it works. So I offer this up. To which wife responds, "you always say that when you want a quick meal. I was thinking, yaki soba with miso soup, and a green salad." To me this does not sound like a quick meal to be whipped up in no time. However, it also sounded way better than what I was offering and -- more to the point -- sounded like I wasn't going to be cooking it. Sold. It turns out I was in charge of the salad but after being away for three days the garden was teaming with fresh produce. We even ate our first daikon. It was pretty small and the kids complained because it was too spicy. Exactly. Yup having a great garden year so far and though one of my jalapeno plants has succumbed to a bad case of dampening off, everything else has flourished (so far). Even the almost dead broccoli is coming on strong. I actually had to tell it to back off as I am married. You know how broccoli can be.

Oh yeah the red stuff is hot sauce. I know I won't be able to taste anything by the time I am sixty but I just love the hot stuff.

Don't feed the Squirrels

Come to Manning park. See deer bounding through meadows and bears eating berries. Slide the slopes and trails in the winter and hike them in the summer. Camp and enjoy nature. Or just stop at the rest stop for half an hour while your kids toss bits of bread -- bread they have finagled from other tourists eating their lunches -- to the ground squirrels and birds. Everyone knows we shouldn't feed wild life but these aren't real wild life. They are like the monkeys in Japan who demand food from passing tourists and will actually go into their cars to look for it. These squirrels and birds are as domesticated as any pet. Probably more so than some cats. My daughter actually managed to pet one of the squirrels. No mean feat after my son had spent the better part of half an hour chasing every squirrel he could find. And then he wondered why they wouldn't eat out of his hand. Doy. As the children get older the stops get longer. I imagine the trip to Grandma's house may be a two day affair some day. Lets hope that is a long time in the future.

No Credit Deserved

Well this evenings meal was whipped up by my mother. She in turn had the foresight to go to a local m and m meat shop to buy the cannelloni that my children love. Unfortunately, she didn't buy cannelloni. She bought stuffed pasta shells. It was just as good as the cannelloni but I think my ma was disappointed that she had been duped by the woman behind the counter. The salad was great. My mom has this really thick balsamic vinegar and the dressing she makes with it is beautifully rich. The scones, though not home made, were fluffy and light. The had the chives baked right in. Mmm Chive goodness. Well this was our Thursday evening meal. The rest of the weekends meals were missed although my daughter kept reminding us just as we were finishing off or had finished dinner, "Dad!! the picture!!" Whoops.