Results … Month #24 & Canada Day!

Snap!

Exactly the same as last month but, given how things have been going during the COVID lockdown, that’s a good thing! First month during the pandemic that I haven’t gained 10 lbs!

But what does that mean?

No clue. But who cares? I’ll take it!

I did, however, order a wok online. No clue what’s going on with that either. I’m just trusting my subconscious is doing the right thing. Or it’s just my shopaholic gene cutting in! Regardless, I’m hoping it’ll inspire me to do something better in July. Though I’ve had “induction ready” products not work on my stove before too! Fingers crossed this will work & I’ll be wokking & rolling this new month.

And that’s enough of that nonsense for today, because today is Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all! 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

Environmentally Friendly Eating

Will I Get to Taste Something? Anything?

Growing up in Ireland, I often found myself wandering the hills above my home in summertime. I never knew what a “water bottle” was, nor did I feel the need to bring a snack. It was all there for me. Provided by Mother Nature. Free.

Mountain springs delivered brain-freezing, crystal-clear water. Dainty wild peas, button mushrooms, hazelnuts, cherries & blackberries. Sorrel, both leaves & flowers, sloes & tiny wild strawberries. And those fraocháin! The wild European bilberry that is like a blueberry, only smaller & more tart. Feasting on those guaranteed you would go home with purple hands, face & teeth. My mouth waters!

Such gustatory memories prompted me to plant trees & shrubs last spring. In the hope of reproducing the joys of eating the fruits, fresh from where they grew. Just like when I was growing up. I planted cherry, pear & plum trees. Along with blueberry shrubs & some herbs. Naturally, the little fruit trees produced nothing that first season. And I only got to eat one blueberry (delicious!) from all the work it took. My basil, sadly, was attacked by some tiny bug that caused all the leaves to wilt & die! It was such a disastrous planting season that I was greatly relieved to see the first green shoots on all the trees & shrubs this spring. My trees had at least survived the winter. Then the blossoms came, a display of nature’s bounty promised. I was getting very optimistic now.

Until this weekend!

All the new growth on my cherry tree is being destroyed by aphids. There are black dots on the many little plums that sprouted on my plum tree. Plum sawfly, I’m told, is the problem. So my plums are shot for this year. While the fruit stems on my pear tree, with the tiniest little pears on them, have all shrivelled up & died too. Nothing left but the blueberries to hope for now.

How is this possible? Everything seemed to provide copious amounts of fruit when I was a kid. And that was in the wild to boot. Now, it seems like I can’t grow anything but weeds in a suburban garden?

So much for eating organic, environmentally friendly food from my own garden. Next year, I’m going to spray & spread every unpronouncable chemical from the garden centre on them. I’d like to see those fruits develop to the point where the crows & racoons will enjoy them. Then I can bitch about the critters next year!

Okay, I really don’t want to do that chemical thing. If you know, please let me know what I should be doing instead.

Still haven’t made it back onto the dietary wagon yet, so I’m happy to have something to moan about!?! 🤪😁

A Diet of News

A Cure for News!?!

Finally figured out what’s going wrong with my diet over the past several months. I’m watching too much news!

Watching the news on the CBC, or any Canadian channel for that matter, I need chips. It seems like when I watch CNN, I eat cookies. Switch to Fox & it’s donuts. The BBC has me craving scones. With jam & clotted cream, of course! I’m miserably failing to focus on my French lessons now too, but I sometimes watch the French news on TV5. With closed captions on, naturellement! Then I wonder why I’m digging out my crêpe maker from the back of the cupboard? 🤪

Recently, once I recognized my problem, I thought I’d try watching Bloomberg instead. That was going great ’til I found myself regretting that I hadn’t bought shares in the hot stock of a car rental company seeking bankruptcy protection. As I questioned my sanity, one eye on the ticker, I caught myself making silver dollar pancakes for breakfast! 😁

I ate out yesterday, for the first time in 3 months. I was so excited that I made all the wrong choices. The food was blah, the service only okay, but the whole experience was so great! With half the tables removed, & all the staff wearing facemasks, it was just a little weird though. But getting out was a joy. It was great to talk to real people, not on a screen. I stuffed my face but … unbelievably … the scale didn’t punish me this morning. I might have to do more of this. Is dieting all just a mind game!?!

This is probably not going to be a good month but I feel I need to support local businesses as they gradually try to get back to normal! 😜

PS … Working on my reopening shopping list for next weekend. Imagine … a visit to a mall! Woohoo! 😂

Makin’ Bacon!

Bacon in a Big Pot

This is silly but it might be my best cooking discovery during lockdown. I just found a new way to cook bacon. A way that is so good, so controlled. And there is absolutely no mess afterwards! No kidding. This is so simple I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. And if you already knew, don’t go sending me a message to make me feel any more stupid than I already do!

The secret? Use a big pot!

Offhand, I can’t think what the name of this type of pot is? Is it a stockpot? Anyway it’s the bloody big one that you’d pull out to cook a massive chili when you’ve got the whole family coming over.

Don’t get the bacon that is layered so the pack is flat. Get the big one, with thick-sliced bacon, not splayed out, so that it’s like a brick of meat in the vacuum pack. Heat up the pot up to a medium heat & toss the brick in, fat side down. You’ll want to give a little crispness to the outer edge of fat on each slice. Don’t overdo it or you’ll make the pot bottom sticky. After that, there will already be some rendered fat coating the bottom of the pot. Turn down the heat. Now you can start peeling off the slices & distributing them around the bottom of the pot. You don’t have to be careful here, any old way will do, doesn’t matter that they’re on top of each other. Come back periodically & give the whole mess a little stir to swap out the slices on the bottom. The slower pace of cooking will allow the fat to render clean & you’ll wind up almost deep frying the bacon at slow speed. Only one or two bits tried to stick to the pot & a quick scrape of the spatula took care of it. Remove the bacon slices when they get to where you like them. I prefer bacon a little rubbery myself, but many prefer it crispy. Your choice.

The lower temperature required for the slower pace of cooking gives you a lot of nice clear fat. Drain this off into a glass container & stick it in the fridge. That’s for cooking home fried potatoes later! Okay get the pasture raised bacon if you want to be really healthy.

This last step is really important to ensure the easiest, non-drain-clogging clean-up. Sautée some onion & garlic in the residual fat at the bottom of the pot. Then deglase with a little stock. From here you can make whatever you like (I made a potato bacon curry, with cilantro for a green vegetable! 😜) but now, all the fat is gone somewhere useful, & the pot is far, far easier to clean.

The big kicker is this … no fat splatter on the stove top & backsplash! None, not one spot. Thanks to the high sides on that big pot.

You’re welcome! 😜😁

Results … Month #23

Results … Month #23

Sorry I’m late. But the result is from a June 1st weigh-in.

The past couple of months have been a dietary disaster. I didn’t think that state of the world was having that much of an impact on me, but I guess it was. With hindsight, how could it not. In any case, I just didn’t realize the extent to which I was stress-eating because of all that’s going on. Until I stepped on the scale the first of the month. Wow!

One thing about the news over the past day or two … and it’s a positive thing finally … is that humanity seems to be showing signs of making a comeback. Is there a glimmer of hope to be found in little outbreaks of kindness that we’re seeing these past few days?

We can but hope. No idea how this month will go, from a human perspective or with my weight loss, but I’ll try to fess up on time next month. Meanwhile, I’m going back to figuring out how to contribute something positive.