The Daily EO: August 27th, 2012

Well, it is official.  I am never moving again.  I’ll be one of those old people with two bum hips hobbling around my house – unable to get to the upper floors – but intent on dying in my home.  Surrounded by my unpacked things.  Then someone else could pack up my corpse and my things and leave me out of it.

Despite my efforts to have little clutter – what is it about packing that results in small gatherings of weird stuff- but somehow valuable – all throughout the house?  I mean, you look in one corner and you find your “color palette” when your mother took you to have colours done as a teenager, a mixed tape that your brother made you, a brass “McMaster MBA” business card holder and a pair of plastic handcuffs.  In another room is 10 gold hooks, an attractive empty glass candle holder, a green highlighter, and 3 American dollars.    Over there, a stone that has sentimental meaning but you can’t remember why, a $5 Casino Niagara chip, a hand towel that is stained but could be good for packing and a lid for a stainless steel canister because you know you will find the bottom somewhere around here.

These little collections do not plague me when I am not packing and moving, yet they come out to haunt me when I don’t need the added pressure.  Yes, Yes, I know, I know!  No matter how much planning I do, the last 2 days before a move will suck.  I know it.  You know it.  The little collected piles know it.

Sigh.

Today I wasted time baking stuff – because who wants to pack when you can bake – to use up what I had on hand.  I made a mixed berry crumble; a papaya, pineapple, strawberry, pineapple and tomatillo crisp; and chocolate chip pumpkin cookies.  This effectively used up all the frozen fruit, pumpkin puree, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, plantation raw sugar, cake flour, chocolate chips, safflower oil, tomatillos, add eggs.  Hoorah for me.  Good work!

August 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Realizing that “using up” resulted in Emile and I having to eat 3 dozen pumpkin cookies and 2 full-sized crisps in less than 2 days.  I feel a bit sick.

 

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The Daily EO: May 2nd, 2012

In my kitchen growing up, there were three main food preparation areas.  One is to the left of the kitchen sink that is covered by a wooden cutting board.  This area – even now – is by far the busiest area.  Food is chopped on the cutting board, dirty dishes sit here awaiting the dishwasher unload (which was my chore growing up, so some times there was a bit of a wait), and quick meals are eaten from it.  It is constantly wiped and cleaned.  Over the dishwasher is the second area where the electric frying pan is plugged in when it is time for grilled cheese and the toaster and coffee maker.  I distinctly remember making Easter Nests and Baklava with my mother at this spot.  Who makes baklava with their non-greek mother?  I did.  I called the layers dirt, paper and glue (the nuts, the phyllo and the butter/honey mixture).

The other space that is not really there any more, is to the left of the fridge.  It’s there obviously, but now is taken up by the microwave.  It is where I remember my dad kneading bread, rolling pastry and for some reason I remember clearly – making Tomato Pinwheels from the Fleischman’s Bread Baking Cookbook.  I remember so well because he was so frustrated rolling out the dough.  You needed to roll it to certain dimensions, cut it, and then create the pinwheels.  But it kept shrinking.  And he was getting upset.  I don’t remember if they tasted good or not, I just remember thinking “How is it possible that my dad can’t do something?”

Today I thought of home and these memories and wanted to bake.  But baking does not really fit with the lifestyle changes we have made.  So, I took to the internet and found myself a low-carb and low-calorie recipe for Pumpkin Coconut Muffins.  The flour used was coconut flour – what the heck is that? – apparently it’s made from ground coconut meat and is also defatted to remove much of the coconut oil and milk.  I wonder if the Bulk Barn carries it?  And my lucky day – in the huge gluten-free section – they did.   It smelled pleasingly like suntan lotion and it was cream coloured.  Not too expensive either.

May 2nd, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Mini yummy muffins that only have 31 calories each with 1 grams of fibre and 2 grams of protein in each.  Though, I would not recommend using rock salt instead of kosher salt – makes for a some unexpected saltiness at times.  I like this coconut flour stuff.

Maintenance May Day 2:
$25 Micro-loan via Kiva to Folly Loko in Togo, Africa to purchase a washing machine and iron for his laundry business.  Emile’s choice. (Soul)
$25 Micro-loan via Kiva to Adama in Mali to purchase scrap metal to support his metal working business.   He is a married father of two in his thirties – like my dad was when he died.  (Family)
Supported Hariyo Chowk via kickstarter.com with $25 to help create an urban green space in Katmandu.  Reward is my Dad’s name on a hand painted mural in the park once completed. (Family)
Supported Flyover Farm via kickstarter.com with $10 to help create a rooftop garden in Mumbai, India to help provide organic produce in a low-income area.  Reward is my Dad’s name on their facebook page as a donor. (Connection)