Monday, April 30, 2018
My arthritis is seriously flared at the moment. The last two weeks my bowling has been impeded by a bum hip making it much less fun. Sleeping has been dreadful. Today is better than yesterday which is better than the day before. Here's hoping I can get back up to my bowling average this week! And, you know, other stuff I enjoy!
when I was in Mexico. So...what was different? I came up with eight things--though they're of varying significance, I suspect.
walking and movement as a sort of medicine.
Bed - I slept in a different bed, of course, but still used two fluffy pillows like usual. Honestly, the quality of my bed rarely seems to matter in my experience. Sometimes my back hurts just as bad at home in my bed as when I'm sleeping on a two-inch air mattress in the mountains. Sometimes worse. I've tried firm and soft mattresses and one, two, or zero pillows and had no noticeable affect. It is probably worth noting that I didn't really sleep better in Mexico, either, based on my on recollections and on the sleep log from my Fitbit.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
favorite stir-fry sauce. Just a couple simple tweaks and it was perfect for a salad, too.
Osaka Salad Dressing
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons ginger root, peeled and grated*
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 C sesame seed (toasted or not)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup white vinegar
pinch of white pepper
tiny splash of sesame oil (optional)
Using a blender combine all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. It will separate in the fridge so shake before using. Make about two cups.
*If you have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender don't bother peeling and grating the fresh ginger. Toss in a hefty knob and let the machine do the work.
I still can't quite believe how much I enjoy salads. It makes me all the more excited for summer when there will be fresh lettuce in the garden and we can avoid cooking on a long, hot day. Not that I need much in the way of additional enticement for my summer excitement, of course.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
As I mentioned last week, I recently got to go on a trip of a lifetime--three generations of women soaking it up under the Mexican sun. As I have both a sentimental heart and a burning spirit for travel this trip was an overwhelmingly perfect combination.
Spending a solid week with my mom and my grandma was really cool. I see them both, sure, but we do live hours apart and we don't get to spend daaaaaaays with each other--eating every meal together, telling stories, and winding down each evening with several games of cards. So, that was really wonderful for me. (And for them, too, I gather.)
Mexico was absolutely spectacular, too. Even more so than I expected. I loved the people, the language, the landscape, the weather.... The mountains were a completely unexpected delight! I enjoyed the drive from the airport with them as the backdrop to the rugged, scrubby desert foreground. I got to see more of my beloved saguaros. I even saw some in bloom with surprisingly delicate little white flowers. I so love the desert. Then, just like that, we were on the coast and everything was lush greenery, vibrant flowers, white sand, and water, water, water. It was a remarkable contrast. Equally remarkable was the difference between the posh, resort-lined coast and the rubbish and clothes line strewn communities of tiny, plywood homes just inland.
Our accommodations overlooked the marina and I enjoyed starting every day out on the balcony with the birds. I would see two new-to-me species on this trip--Majestic Frigatebird and Hooded Oriole--as well as several rarely-seen-by-me birds, including the schnazzy cousin to the flicker the Gila Woodpecker, the striking Cactus Wren (who, it turns out, likes palm trees), and the sleek and captivating Great Egret. I saw so many California Sea Lions. They were playful and sleek and wonderful.
I went swimming--in the ocean or the pool--at least once every day. We took two boat cruises, one at sunset. We walked for miles and miles along the boardwalks and through shops selling brilliantly colored blankets, ceramics, jewelry, and other made-in-Mexico crafts.
Snorkeling was mind-blowing. I was truly dazzled. Just floored. Having only snorkeled around a small, muddy reservoir in eastern Montana prior to this I had no idea what reef fish were like, I guess, and I was not prepared for their numbers. At times there was a veritable carpet of fish under me. I went four days out of the seven--one professional tour out in the big rocks and the rest along our "local" beach. I promptly sunburned the back of my legs rather dreadfully on my first go. I've only really scratched the surface on trying to ID these beauties, but I have a short list already: King Angelfish, Reef Cornetfish, Guineafowl Puffer, Moorish Idol, Bullseye Puffer, Panamic Sergeant Major, Blue-and-Gold Snapper, Cortez Rainbow Wrasse, Cortez Damselfish, Graybar Grunt. I really, really, really wished Matt was along for the snorkeling. He'd love it and it would have been swell to share in that exciting nature experience together. We'll have to make it happen some day....after we get him a prescription snorkeling mask so he can actually see the fish.
Gosh, the salty ocean water tastes terrible! It always surprises me, being an almost exclusively freshwater swimmer for my whole life and all. I had an up-close-and-personal revelation about our precious and limited sources of fresh water as a result. It is just boggling that most of the water in the world is salty like that....
It was a unique blessing to me, this trip. I'm glad that everything fell into place allowing it to go off--and so smoothly. I even had a better handle on Spanish than I realized! The food was very yummy, the laughter, regional beers, and margaritas were plentiful, and the weather was divine. So many new and interesting experiences for me and to share them with my mom and grandma made it all the sweeter. Memories to last a lifetime, that's for sure.
|Day One: Poolside in the evening light.|
|Day 2: Cuppa on the balcony|
|Day 3: Incredible guac and good times on the beach.|
|Day 4: Cool fish, including the colorful Cortez Rainbow Wrasse.|
|Day 5: El Arco, the very tip of the Baja penninsula, at sunset on the dinner cruise.|
|Day 6: Two California Sea Lions and a Brown Pelican in the marina|
|Day 7: Breakfast with a view.|
Thursday, April 12, 2018
My Grandma Nina is my inspiration for this week. I've missed a couple. Oooops. At least last week I had a good excuse! I was in Mexico with my mom and grandma.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
As with the cauliflower tacos, I fear I might wear Matt out on this recipe. I am just so in taken with it I basically drool at the mention of it. I want this lemon goodness on the menu every week. The scrumptious bright flavors, the satisfying, comforting textures...mmmmmmm, I can't seem to get enough. Usually I'm not too picky about fresh lemon juice vs. bottled, but I do think fresh is fairly critical in this recipe.
This also works well as a sauce for rice, though I do prefer it on pasta. But, duh! It's pasta!
|Lemon Pasta Delight with pine nuts|
Lemon Pasta Delight
4-6 servings pasta
the juice from one lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced/micro-planed
1 1/2 t honey
1/2 t Dijon or brown mustard
2 T olive oil
2 t lemon zest (zest lemons prior to juicing)
1/3 C toasted nuts--chopped walnuts, almond slivers, pine nuts, etc.
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
Several twists fresh ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
Make pasta directed (reserve a little of the pasta cooking water).
Whisk all other ingredients together (except nuts and parsley).
Toss pasta/rice with the toasted nuts, parsley, and lemon sauce. If the pasta is too dry add the reserved cooking water--1 T at a time--until it achieves a better ratio.
Variation: Place all ingredients except pasta in blender and puree into a lemony pesto-like sauce. Reserve some toasted nuts for the top!
|Lemon Pasta Delight - Pesto Style|