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! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

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 crΓͺpe maker from the back of the cupboard? πŸ€ͺ

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! πŸ˜‚

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! 😜😁

COVID-19 Confusion & Dietary Deflection!

I haven’t smoked a cigarette all through the month of April. By quitting, I thought I was playing good COVID-19 defense. I believed that was the right thing to do. Right up until I read the stories about the smokers in China & France. Smokers are doing better than non-smokers! Apparently smokers are less likely to get COVID-19. When they do, they are less likely to develop serious symptoms. Even with serious symptoms, smokers are less likely to wind up in intensive care. I know, I know, smoking kills us in other ways. But still!

In France, the differences between the smoking & non-smoking populations prompted a study with a nicotine patch for COVID-19 patients and for front-line health workers. Just my totally uneducated guess here but I’m betting you actually have to puff on a cigarette or two every day to get the benefits! πŸ€ͺ

One other huge negative to my quitting smoking is that, in lieu of sucking on cigarettes, I’ve continued to stuff all kinds of other stuff into my face! Okay, so it’s stuff like bread, cookies, candy, chips, ice-cream, & a whole host of food-like products that I would normally try to avoid like the plague! Speaking of the plague, let’s get back to the COVID-19 thing!

That was the deflection away from diet & weight-loss right there, did you notice!?! LOL

We’ve all had enough of the social isolation thing by now, right? What happens next? Look, nobody wants to transmit the disease to Grandma. Frankly, I don’t want to go out there & catch the damn thing myself. But we all want to get back out there, sometime soon. Some want out right now! Perhaps their jobs are in jeopardy. Their business might be going under. These are all valid reasons to want things to open up sooner. But the majority of folk still seem more concerned about catching the disease, or of spreading it to someone they love. Their preference is to keep things locked down for longer. Hey, right now, staying home is a very valid position too.

Regardless of our feelings on the matter, I think we’re edging closer to getting back out there. Even the more reluctant of us will likely be thinking this way sometime soon. Why?

Because we’re pretty predictable as a species. Once the burden of frustration exceeds the burden of fear, we’ll all start moving towards getting back out there. Some combination of things will reduce the fear factor. The people who caught it & survived will feel better about getting out there. If my grandma died already, I’m not really protecting anyone at home now. The odds are in favour of that younger person surviving it, they’ll want to escape sooner. What if my government wage subsidy ends in a few weeks time? Put enough good reasons in my basket & I’m suddenly far more motivated to get back out there too. As more & more of us shift across to that position, it will start to feel more like getting back to work is the right thing for some, perhaps many, of us to do. Since there are some braving the more aggressive approach already, any reason the rest of us shouldn’t just sit back & watch what happens for a bit?

Personally, I’m still more in the fearful & careful camp at the moment. But I recognize that this shift in attitude may already have started. There was a noticeable uptick in my day job activity this week. It just feels like people are starting to get used to this whole COVID-19 thing. Of it being a part of our lives now. You might even say it’s beginning to feel normal! Okay, it’s not quite like the regular old flu yet. But you can start to see how it might be one day. There is a shift towards this new normal. No violence, no protests, & no bullshit required, it will happen all of its own accord!

Peace, love & stay safe, y’all!

PS … I think that was a pretty good deflection away from my monthly weigh in, don’t you!?! More dietary self-deprecation & humiliation will follow. I’ll come clean on how bad this month really was, I promise. Just not now. Besides, I really could use a cigarette!

COVID Cranky!

Doubling Down on Lockdown!

Okay, I’ve had enough of this nonsense. No, not the social isolation thing, I understand how necessary that is just now. I’m talking about politicians. I’m sick of some of these “representatives of the people” parodies. I wonder if some of them, spouting their anti-the-other-party rhetoric, even believe it themselves. Or is it just a show for their followers? Does everything have to be thought of as an opportunity to snipe at the other guys? How did it come about that we think this is the best way to run a country?

Sure, I understand that we need checks & balances. I get that we need someone reining in the power of those currently in charge. Yes, of course we need contrary perspectives. But this negative, agressive, bitchy, bickering style of party politics is dead to me. I don’t always agree with everything on any one platform anyway. I’d rather cherry-pick my positions on those issues that are of import to me. There ought to be a national voting app for that.

Even on this weekend, a holy time of the year for many, I’m hearing some religious stuff coming out of the mouths of some people that I wouldn’t even buy a used car from. Nor do I believe all the empathic stuff we hear from some of them either. It sounds like preaching from a moral high ground, but sanctimony always has a bit of a smell about it.

That said ….

At the moment, is there just a little less of this BS going on in our political circuses? During this COVID-19 outbreak, does it appear that there’s a touch more sanity? Is there a slight reduction in the level of sniping between sides? Are we more focused in the face of the real problems we have to deal with at the moment? I think some of our politicians, from all the different political parties, are actually working together. I might even be … just a little bit … impressed! Please, please keep it up, this is what I voted for. With a bit of luck, some of this will carry over to whatever normal might be in the post-COVID-19 era.

We’re all going to pay a big price for this war on the corona bug. But if our leaders figure out how to lead, if they remember that they are all, individually & collectively, in the service of the people of our country, there might be something of value to be salvaged from this mess afterwards. If nothing else we might all have a better appreciation for a good healthcare system. And maybe we’ll whine a little less when it comes to paying for it.

Okay, enough of my whining, there are still a lot of things I am grateful for. Though losing weight this month isn’t one of those things. This month, that project is going backwards! Come on now, cut me some slack. I bet I’m not alone in gaining an ounce or two during lockdown?

However …

I have done one other thing this month. Or rather, I’ve not done one other thing this month … I haven’t had a cigarette in the month of April. Not a single one. Not even a puff. No idea if it’ll stick but I’m giving it a try.

Amazing that I’m doing all that & not getting cranky, eh! 😜😁

Now while you can be grateful that you’re not sharing your lockdown space with me, I’m grateful to those who have the dubious honour of having to endure my detox! πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

Whatever you celebrate … Easter, Passover or Ramadan to come … I wish you all the best. Here’s another big digital, socially-isolated, group hug for us. Stay safe & spread the love around. Send some my way too, please, & maybe I’ll be a little less cranky next time!

Meantime, I’m off to see if anyone hid any Easter eggs round here!!! πŸ˜œπŸ‡πŸ£πŸ₯š