Tag Archive: Cook


I like to think I move with some degree of gracefulness, despite my family often comparing me to animated teddy bears or penguins in various television shows or movies. I know that when I walk, there’s a bounce in my step which can apparently be translated into catwalk-style movement by swaying my hips from side to side, except that when I do that, I feel like some sort of exaggerated, rounded Mata Hari-type person. So bounce I do and it gets me from place to place tolerably well most of the time.

Today we had a list of things to do but first, it was time to play Tip-Chasey. Most people will have played this at some point. One person is ‘it’, they chase everyone else and when they tip someone, that person takes over as ‘it. Clean simple fun.

There are lots of variations and today, we played the one where someone stands at ‘home’ (the big tree in the yard) and everyone goes to hide while they count. When they’re finished, they go and look for the other players and everyone tries to get ‘home’ before they’re caught. We played a few rounds, worked out the finer details, tried to outrun each other. Needless to say, I got caught over and over again. Until…..

The tree which was ‘home’ is in the back yard, so I, feeling very clever, went out the front door and climbed over the fence, then ran back towards ‘home’. I almost made it too, Zac close on my heels, but for the slope we were pelting down

I tripped, and like Jerry Lewis in slow motion, fell over my feet, arms and legs like windmills and came skidding to a halt, on my stomach, on the grass. Oh the ignominy. Because having ascertained that I was okay, they laughed their faces off, doing action replays, describing it again and again, laughing some more.

Right, I was going to win the next one! I found a perfect hiding spot, waited until the seeker, Andy this time, was engaged in a different part of the house. Then I burst from my hiding spot, and before they had time to react, I had made it onto the back verandah, vaulted down the stairs and was leaning against the tree, clutching at my breast. I’d won and victory was sweet! Except that on the way down the stairs, I’d somehow caught my breast on the corner of the railing as I’d jumped and I was leaning against the tree because I was in the middle of keening with the pain of it.

We stopped playing soon after that and went to the movies instead but I can be graceful, truly…..sometimes…..

 

Dinner tonight was the roast beef I was going to cook last night, which brings me to Day 6 of my challenge. I’ll have to think of another one for when this one’s finished…..

Roast Beef

Roast Beef

 

 

No Photo!!

I had a most wonderful day today. It wasn’t big or exciting or full of achievement but it was completely lovely. There was no work today, and I decided to give myself a day of rest, particularly since my calf  (muscle, not animal) is apparently strained and I no longer resembled a sweet tottering lamb but rather a drunk on a particularly determined bender.

Andy was very nice about it, offered me a massage to calm the discomfort and then pronounced the verdict of muscle strain when I nearly leaped through the roof. Either way, I was having a day off, so I waved them all out the door, pulled the coffee table around in front of an armchair in the sunshine and set myself up with a coffee and some books.

The only sound was the small padding of the guinea pigs’ feet in their play area, as they went about their business of eating breakfast. After which, they curled up in the warm padded house I bought yesterday and napped the morning away. Later there were a couple of bird calls but mostly what there was, was lots of pillowy, ear-calmingly, gentle, silence. It was an indescribably peaceful morning.

Later I did useful things; emptied the dishwasher, tidied the kitchen, made a herbed beef stew to go into the slow cooker, wrote a little. Later still, I collected Zac and we went shopping, where we discussed the relative merits of one head of broccoli over another and other really important things…. Actually, I joke but I really like the way he listens and I harbour a hope that these memories, of us together, choosing fruit and veg, might make a difference for him later, with food choices.

And now to the title of this post….

By the time dinner was served, there was a great rush happening, since Andy and Sam were going out for a couple of hours and in the midst of serving the dinner, I forgot to take a photo of it.

I’ve borrowed this one from Pioneer Woman’s lusciously food-filled site;

 

 

It wasn’t quite the same but it gives you the general gist I think. It was served with oven-warmed French Bread and it was yum 🙂

So Day 3 is complete.

 

An Organised Week

I have my Induction tomorrow, for my new job. Apparently they serve morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, so I don’t need to take anything. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it translates roughly to tea and biscuits, sandwiches and tea and biscuits. 🙂

I’ll take apples just in case.

This last week has gone by in a bit of a blur, as far as diet has gone. I’ve eaten well but I was getting bored with the food I was cooking. Boredom is never a good idea. Boredom around food while I’m reforming my eating habits is an especially bad idea.

So I had a think about what could be done and I realised that part of it had to do with disorganisation. When I started this, I was really organised. I had bags of grapes frozen, little bags of almonds measured out, meals planned for the week and more. Then entropy set in and on Thursday or Friday I realised I’d let it all run down and was shopping every day for meals. No wonder I was getting bored, it was taking up so much of my time!

So on Saturday morning, we all sat down and I wrote down everyone’s favourite things that I’ve made in the last few weeks, plus a few I’ve been meaning to try and I made a meal plan for the week. Then a shopping list. Zac and I went shopping. Aldi, Coles, the local grocer. Until I had replenished everything.

Now there are little bags of grapes freezing in 60 calorie lots, each meal is ready to cook, I have enough carrots and zucchinis for a thousand lunch salads…okay…maybe not a thousand but lots. There are a myriad small tins of tuna and larger tins of crushed tomatoes. The fridge is freshly cleaned and filled with green vegetables, bottles of water, fresh fruit and everything else I might need for the week.

It’s a good feeling. That one day of planning, shopping, bagging/making, has freed my week up and given me a feeling of relaxation about food preparation and healthy eating.

Remind me of it the next time I look like I’m going off the rails, would you? 🙂

 

Planned indulgence

Before I started cooking dinner tonight, I made my lunch for tomorrow. I packed it neatly away in various little containers, ready to pop into a cool-bag and take with me on the hour and a half’s drive to my first aid course in the morning.

Why do it before dinner?

Because tonight I took a calculated risk to do with food. I planned a ‘treat’ night.

It took me a while and a few clarifying conversations with various members of my family, to work out what to have. It had to feel sumptuous, indulgent, luscious….so it couldn’t be takeaway, bought in mass manufactured cardboard or plasticky boxes. It had to be full of taste and enough that there was the possibility of more if we wanted it.

I toyed with the idea of creamy salmon pasta, or fish with a caper butter sauce. Perhaps something with masses of garlicky mashed potato, or what about something stuffed, crumbed, then shallow-fried?

I took Sam shopping with me and wandered through the aisles with him. He was tired after a week’s school and sports but he almost uncomplainingly pushed the trolley behind me as I meandered up and down the shelves, taking things down, examining them, putting them into the trolley or back onto the shelves.

We travelled that way through the supermarket. Him talking, me answering over my shoulder, sometimes stopping to laugh with him or share a hug, his tall frame bending to drape over my shoulders. Strange thing, my child being so tall now. He’ll be a man in the blink of an eye.

Finally I settled on a piece of pork for roasting, baby red potatoes, peas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gravy and apple sauce. To be followed by apple pie and ice-cream. Andy had specifically asked for Magnum ice creams, so in they went too.

Things for lunch were being added too. Dark, soft, sweet figs. Honey scented peaches, a very ripe paw paw, a bunch of black grapes. So many lovely fruits in season now. Things for a salad…rocket, a couple of paper thin slices of procsciutto, a few olives, tomatoes, a small block of parmesan for shaving with a vegetable slicer.

I find supermarkets and outdoor markets strangely therapeutic. There’s something about switching off and just moving slowly through produce that feels irresistible to me.

For before dinner, there were dips and corn chips. A Greek Taramosalata, Salmon and dill and Feta and bacon.

A planned night of over indulgence. Planned, as opposed to the other night when I just wanted to inhale calories. I’ve thought about it for a while. A friend of mine has takeaway Fridays and recommends it. It’s how she keeps herself on track for the rest of the week but I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea for me. Until now.

For anyone quietly scoffing about first world problems, you’re right. In some ways, this is ridiculous. I know it. But I made a decision to peel away 13 years of weight caused by over indulgence and self pity. I followed that decision with a promise to give it my best. This is my current best.

Dinner was just as delicious as I’d hoped it would be and I was full much sooner than I ever have been before. I’d include a photo but they’re not wanting to upload for some reason.

There was something so good about letting it all go just for one meal, knowing that tomorrow was already taken care of, prepared for. I feel quieted, calmed, satisfied. Ready to get back to work.

I read an article today, about a woman called Dr Helena Popovic, author of a book called “In Search of My Father-Dementia is No Match For A Daughter’s Determination” She said something that resonated with me,

“If we keep chipping away at something patiently, lovingly, daily- even if we don’t see progress for a long time- one morning we wake up and find the world has changed”

Oh and today was a yoga day, just to add to the general bliss 🙂

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