Rain!

When I arose this morning I had every intention of heading out for my walk before 6:30 a.m., having learned my lesson yesterday when out walking yesterday morning after 8 a.m. in the heat. Then I looked out the window. It was raining! When it ended there were still patches of dry pavement under the vehicles, so we did not receive a lot of rain, but some is better than none at this point. I would have gone walking in the rain, but when I looked at the thermometer it was already 25C, and the Humidex was over 30C. There would be no walk today, not in the outdoors at least.

As it turned out today, I didn’t stick my nose out the door at all. Instead I worked on my book.

The other activity that occupied my time today was cooking. Attila and I decided to give cooking a try during the mid priced hydro window, which is in the morning. I made a large batch of croutons in the oven, and cooked lentils with which I made a Lentil Salad. One thing always leads to another. My Lentil Salad called for raisins. The raisins we buy are bulk organic unsulphered raisins. It is a big, big box of raisins. To get just one cup I had to open up the entire big, big box. Once opened it needed to be repackaged. I filled four 1.5 litre mason jars, which made a small dent in the raisin supply. Not having any more large mason jars, I opted to seal the raisins in their plastic bag, seal that in a cardboard box, then store the box in a suitably sized tote which would keep out the mice, if we get any this fall. The Lentil Salad was so good that I felt it was worth all the kerfuffle to store the bulk raisins properly.

Lentil Salad

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
– 1 medium red onion, diced
– 1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
– 1/3 cup capers
– Vinaigrette:
– 1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp. strong mustard
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 2 teaspoons pepper
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– Optional add-ins:
– Arugula
– Walnuts
– Goat cheese
– Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
– Sprouts
– Crispy seasonal veggies

METHOD:

1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful! 2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. 3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large. 4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.
SERVINGS: 4
SOURCE: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/06/the-best-lentil-salad-ever-2/

===============

A telephone call was received to schedule the delivery of the dishwasher tomorrow. Another project! At least this project can be worked on inside the air conditioned house, which Attila will appreciate a lot. I dare not expect this job to be done any time soon, but I can dream!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 6:03 AM EDT Wednesday 10 August 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dewpoint: 21.2°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSW 21 gust 36 km/h
Humidex: 32 (This rose to 39 by mid afternoon.)

Quote

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
Eric Hoffer
1902 – 1983

[This is true of most people, but not all enemies.]

One Jar Down

Last night I was able to sleep for six consecutive hours. Bliss!

I arose around 4:30, and had several hours to putter before Attila arrived home from work. So I flipped on the back porch light, and ventured out to select a squash to cook, before the cost of hydro doubled at 7:00 a.m. Our harvested squash are sitting on the back porch, looking quite wonderful. I had already cooked, and we had eaten, the largest squash, one that had burst open as it ripened. I chose for this morning, another squash that had burst open. It was huge, at least 15 pounds! It would not fit into one pan, two were required to get it into the oven. Attila arrived home to the sweet scent of roasting squash.

Our car is having issues, something leaking in the back end, and making a lot of noise when the car reaches highway speed. An appointment has been made for tomorrow afternoon, with the local mechanic. Fingers are crossed that it is nothing serious. Attila took Tank to work, so as not to put more stress on the car.

A trip to the city is in order one of these days. I need a haircut! The migraine headaches started last week, because my bangs are touching my eyebrows. I try to keep them away from my face with barrettes, but my hair can be contained for only short periods of time, before it breaks loose and is back tickling my eyebrows and lids. The hair stylist was on vacation until last Monday, but there just hasn’t been time to even call for an appointment. I don’t want to cut them myself this time around, as my hair does need to be cut by someone who knows what they are doing.

Also, the first draft of my book should be ready for pickup in the city; better call them to touch base, they must think I am a “no show”. And there are boxes of items to go to the corporate charity store in the city, items that the women’s shelter and men’s mission did not want.

My day was spent primarily in the kitchen. This was not planned. The squash was baked, the oven turned off just before 7:00 a.m., and left to cool. Later in the day the flesh was removed from the skin, and pureed in the food processor. Then it was measured into two cup portions, which were placed in plastic bags to be frozen for future use. Two cups of pureed butternut squash will make one recipe of Pumpkin Squares. There were six two-cup packages of pureed squash for the freezer, and one package for the refrigerator for squares for our Thanksgiving Dinner this weekend.

While I was preparing the squash for baking, I perused the kitchen and spied a jar of green lentils. That jar of lentils came into my life with Attila, so it is over twenty years old. It is what I regard as “vintage food”. Waste not, want not! Two likely recipes popped up during an internet search on how to use green lentils. One was a salad, which did not appeal to me, but I knew Attila would like it, so I decided to give it a go. The other recipe I had spotted some time ago, it interested me. It was for Chocolate Lentil Cookies, a very unlikely cookie, in my opinion.

There were about four cups of green lentils, so I cooked all four cups. It turns out that that is a lot of lentils.

I made the salad, and have to admit that I loved it, and so did Attila. The salad is full of culinary excitement, I don’t know how else to describe it. The bonus was, after eating a cup of the salad, I felt like a million bucks, truly, a general feeling of well being took over my whole body. Who knew!

I made the cookies, and we both liked those too.

There were still a lot of lentils left, so I made a second salad to keep in the refrigerator, and a second batch of cookies to keep in the freezer for Attila’s lunches.

Now the green lentils are all gone, and the jar is in the recycling box. One jar down, many to go!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Wednesday 7 October 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dewpoint: 13.3°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SW 11 km/h

Quote

“Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world – making the most of one’s best.”
Harry Emerson Fosdick
1878 – 1969