Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Basmati Rice

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Well, last night I finally got back in the kitchen after my much-needed break.  After having eaten Thai curry the night before and leftovers for lunch, I was still in the curry mood.  So I searched Foodbuzz for curry recipes, and I found one on the blog Spork or Foon? that seemed pretty simple and looked tasty, so I went with it.  Check out the recipe there, at the very least to see a decent photograph that doesn’t look like someone ralphed all over the brown basmati rice I cooked to serve it with.

I don’t really know too much about curry except that it tastes different every time I eat it. This is because “curry” just refers to a style of cooking; there’s no standard recipe for curry powder.  The powder I used this time was one that I found in my dad’s cupboard– we ate with him and his wife last night — called “Tandoori Curry.”  A quick Google search tells me that “tandoori” refers to a style of Indian cooking using a large cylindrical oven, but I can’t really find the difference between tandoori curry powder and regular curry powder.  Whatever the difference, it was pretty red and pretty spicy, but the coconut milk (something I’m totally into these days) helped out with the heat.

The recipe calls for a quarter cup plus two tablespoons of curry powder, which is a whole lot!  And since curry powders vary so much in terms of flavor and heat, putting this much in is really risky.  But life’s too short to fret about how spicy your curry will be, and only one unnamed wife of mine found the meal unpalatably spicy.  My dad thought it was really good, and nothing makes a son feel great quite like getting some food into his zero-appetite surgery-recovering dad.

So this meal was pretty much a hit, barring the spice issue.  The amount of salt to use in the dish isn’t specified; I added a tablespoon or two to the pan and it still needed more at the table.  Once the amount of salt was correct, this meal earned about 3.5 to 4 cows out of 5 from me.  My only problem was the curry flavor just wasn’t like it is when you get curry at a restaurant.  Maybe I need to make the powder myself, or perhaps good curry-flavor comes from really slow cooking.  Speaking of cooking time, this meal took a while (maybe 40-45 minutes total) because of simmering time, but the active cooking time was very little.

So get in the kitchen and get your Indian on this weekend (but not on Memorial Day; that would be a little weird)!

Erin and I hit the farmers market this morning– going to the farmers market is so gangster.  If you’re still not going to yours, check out localharvest.org and get to it!  We found some fresh asparagus that we’re going to use for asparagus ragout with polenta and some nice Chardonnay tonight, so check back over the next few days for that one.

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The Moderation Trap

In the spirit of my little break from cooking this week, Erin and I went to a Thai restaurant last night.  Erin grew up in a really small town and she has this thing about old-fashioned good service, so whenever she has car trouble we need to drive 45 miles to the only guy in the state that she trusts with her car.  As you can imagine, this makes me very happy and not at all grumpy.  But the fact that we found a good Thai restaurant nearby made it all better.  I was really craving Thai because we’ve been eating SO much pasta and Italian food recently, and I think when I start posting recipes again (this weekend!) I’ll try to get away from the pasta a little bit.

Moderation in Food Matters

food matters 197x300I’ve been reading the book Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, by Mark Bittman, and I must say that I’ve not found it very inspiring.  That the guy spends a lot of time on the economic and environmental benefits of eating less meat is admirable; it’s his proposed solution that I find a little bit troubling.  In his words, “eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains and less meat, sugar, junk food, and overrefined carbohydrates.”  Fine.  Seems easy enough, and not so different from the Michael Pollan stuff that I like so much.  My problem is that the message many readers get from him will fit into one word.

Moderation.

That devilish panacea that so many other health authors promote.  It seems so easy: you don’t have to give up anything for good; just make sure you enjoy whatever it is “in moderation.”  And what could be safer for an author than to recommend such a universally agreed upon approach?

Moderation works if you already eat well and you’re already healthy. It’s an ideal that one should eventually hope to get to; nobody wants to be “on a diet” for the rest of his or her life.  But moderation isn’t what people need when you’re trying to promote massive change on a cultural level.

Moderation doesn’t inspire, and it doesn’t last when you try to institute it. Tell yourself you’re going to make major changes to your diet, the ones Bittman suggests, but that everything is ok in moderation, and see what happens.  Mark refers his own habit of devouring “good white bread on the dinner table” (the word he uses is “attack”) to illustrate his moderate approach, so I’ll use that as an example.  Depending on how much you want to change, you’ll limit the white bread in the first day, maybe the first week.  But then you’ll remember the m-word, you’ll feel you deserve a reward for the changes you’ve made, and you’ll eat white bread at dinner one night. Then you’ll have it again two days later; it’s fine in moderation.  Then the next day at lunch.  I don’t think I need to keep going.  If you’re lucky and strong-willed, it might take a month or two before your diet and weight are indistinguishable from what they were when you told yourself that, this time, things would be different.

If it sounds like I’ve been through this, it’s because I have.  I tried this approach to giving up coffee a few weeks ago, with my moderation taking the form of one or two cups per week.  And now I’m back to drinking it almost daily. This isn’t how you make changes.  You make changes by making radical shifts and sticking with them through discomfort until the pattern is broken.  Once it is, and I mean once you’re really sure that it is, only then can you dip your toe in the moderation pool to see how it feels.  This is what I need to do with coffee.  It’s what I did with soda about eights years ago.  After completing an initial year of none at all, I’ve probably had less than 20 since then.  That is moderation.

I know that Bittman means well.  And it sounds like his plan helped him to lose weight and totally change his eating habits.  But a lot of people who could really use the help, and who are really anxious to help not just themselves but the world around them, are going to pick up this book and fall into the moderation trap.  And a few months later, as they pull into McDonalds for a supersized #4, it will be as if Food Matters never happened to them.

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How I Ate Store-Bought Food and Lived to Tell the Tale

Hope you’re enjoying the new Photos page.  A rare glimpse into the life of the reclusive NMA!

Well, after two consecutive days of gnocchi-making (I had to make an extra batch to bribe Pete), I was pretty tired of cooking.  So I haven’t made anything much over the past few days, and usually that’s a recipe for diet disaster.  But I found some healthy premade foods in the store that we’ve managed to subsist on for the week!

meals 020 225x300I’ve been starting the day recently with some greens in my smoothie. Such an easy way to get a salad each morning!  I got some spinach this week, which only costs $1.79 for a ten-ounce bag, so it’s both cheaper and better-tasting than the spring mix I had been using.  And probably more nutrient-dense, since the leaves are much darker.

Lunches this week have been leftovers, plus I tossed Barilla Plus pasta in some pesto that we made from our garden and froze last summer.  This frozen pesto has been good throughout the winter and spring on days when we don’t feel like cooking, though it doesn’t have all that wonderful freshness that it does when you eat it just a few hours after picking the basil.

meals 015 300x225For dinner on Monday night, we had this pizza I found at the grocery store.  Normally I don’t even consider buying frozen pizza, but this one had so few ingredients that it seemed like a decent choice for a no-cook (well, almost) night. Most of the time this stuff is loaded with fake crap, but check out this ingredient list: soft wheat flour, water, salt, sunflower seed oil, brewer’s yeast, tomato sauce (made from tomatoes, water, EVOO, salt, sugar, oregano), mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, artichokes, black olives, permesan cheese.  That’s it!  Nothing your grandmother wouldn’t recognize! Yes, it’s white flour, and there’s a good amount of saturated fat from the cheese.  But I don’t mind that once in a while, as long as I’m getting it from real food.

meals 003 300x225To add some green to the meal, I made grilled romaine lettuce hearts, something that I found through Foodbuzz (yay sponsor!) on a blog called Grillin’ Fools. I know I said I wasn’t cooking, but this took literally two minutes of work.  And they were really good.  Somehow the grill adds this really beefy flavor (to lettuce?!), and I can see this being awesome with a steak or burger, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I added a glass of Zinfandel, and my makeshift meal was complete!

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dads 067 300x225The next night, I did a similar thing– frozen Italian food with some greens.  The greens this time were the arugula version of my favorite salad.  And this time the Italian food was Nature’s Promise cheese ravioli. I was even more excited about this ingredient list than the pizza’s: organic grass-fed whole milk ricotta, organic wheat flour, water, organic cage-free whole eggs, sea salt, organic parsley, organic black pepper.  That, my friends, is a killer (in a good way) list for a frozen food.  And from the store brand, no less!  Again, made with white flour and a little fatty, but also again, from whole, real foods.  We had it with some organic tomato sauce and some whole wheat french bread.

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Finally, while I was looking for ravioli, I found another one that I wanted to try.  Fresh, whole wheat, cheese ravioli from Buitoni, which we had last night.  The fact that something can be called “fresh” when its use-by date is July 12 should have tipped me off that it isn’t food. This was really the worst meal of the bunch, nutritionally and gustatorily.  Yes, it’s 100% whole-wheat, but a closer look at the ingredient list reveals three kinds of gums, hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup solids, and more yucky fake stuff.  And it still gets away with saying “Made from natural ingredients”!  If I’d have noticed this in the store, I wouldn’t have bought it.  Maybe the nutrition facts look good, but you know what I think about those.  The ingredient list is far more important.   And it comes through in the taste.

Until next time, no fake food!

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New Photos Page

007 300x225Just a quick post to let you know about the new “Photos” page I added today.  Here I’ll post pictures from races, the kitchen, the garden, etc.  And of course, lots of dog pictures!  You can access the “Photos” page by clicking the tab at the top of any other page.

Check back later today for a new post!

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Guest Post by Pete!

The NMA has asked me to post about my diet changes and offered me his famous gnocchi, so how could I say no?  I am not doing this to talk about myself; I was simply hungry at the time and agreed to it.

ucandoit 300x174My diet wasn’t terrible recently; I skipped breakfast, ate a turkey sandwich for lunch, and then cooked dinner.  I went out to eat occasionally so I felt I was doing pretty well.  When I say I cooked dinner, I mean I cooked a pile of meat 7 nights a week.  I never had pasta; I had pasta with meat sauce.  I didn’t have bean burritos; I had crispy tacos piled to the top with chicken with enough room to squeeze in a pinch of lettuce.  That’s a salad, right?  On top of all that, I drank 5 or 6 cups of coffee and didn’t exercise.

Then the NMA came along. Or as my wife would put it, when the NMA brain washed me.

I read his first blog entry and made the comment “Anyway, best of luck, I could never do this.”  I enjoyed the entry so I continued to read them and wonder how the NMA could survive living like this.  Then, the smoky black bean burritos recipe caught my attention and I decided to give it a try.  It was better than any chicken taco I’ve ever had and was even more filling. So I continued choosing a few of the meals to try.  Each time, I was left full and feeling good after I ate.  This is when I realized how much worse I felt when I did eat an unhealthy meal.  I guess you just become used to how a McDonald’s hamburger sits on your stomach.

After reading the entry on the NMA’s struggles with coffee, I decided to do a 10 day challenge of my own and not have a sip of coffee.  Luckily, my wife stuck by me through the first couple days as I experienced extreme PMS.  But, I’m happy to report I didn’t have a cup of coffee for 3 weeks.  I drank one last weekend, my favorite, a regular Dunkin Donuts coffee, no cream or sugar of course.  Insert your favorite “I like my coffee like I like my _____” joke here.  But, I drank only 3 ounces of it.  It tasted different, not nearly as good as I remembered.

As for my diet, I wake up every morning and drink a NMA smoothie.  I took out the protein powder since it didn’t taste good to me and put in a half of a banana.  For lunch, it’s usually leftovers, a veggie wrap, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  For dinner, I refresh the NMA’s blog over and over until his recipe of the day is posted and I try to make it. I also have been reusing many of the recipes that I have already made and trying to perfect the pizza.  I also always eat a salad with dinner and fresh fruit as snacks.

I started off as a meat eater, never thinking about it for a second.  If the meal didn’t have meat on it, it wasn’t a meal. But this blog has opened my eyes to the fact that meat does not have to be a part of the meal to make you feel full.  It is amazing how good I feel now and how much happier I am.  I don’t go through the normal energy swings all day or feel completely exhausted when I get home.

I bought an elliptical a year ago and like many workout machines, it sat in the basement collecting dust.  But, with more inspiration from the NMA, I have run every other day for 30 minutes the past month.

As the NMA knows, it would be impossible to do this alone.  My wife, Kristin has really been extremely supportive over the past month.  Just think of the reaction I got when I told my pregnant wife (who could live off of hotdogs) that I would be limiting the amount of meat I cook.  She only cracked up a couple of times; demanded a burger and wished ill upon the NMA, but all in all has been really wonderful and I just wanted to thank her.

So, I guess the point of this all is, you don’t need to make any drastic changes overnight.  Just try it once, make one meal and see how it goes.  If there is a certain aspect of your life you want to change, then challenge yourself.  I still eat meat, just not nearly as much.  I feel great and enjoy eating again.  Give it a try.

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Michael Pollan In Baltimore

It’s not every day you get to hear the leader of a revolution speak, so when my friend Jan told me that Michael Pollan would be speaking at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore on Saturday night, I knew that I had to go (thanks Jan, for coming with me).  I’ve meals 0071 300x225mentioned Michael Pollan plenty of times on this blog; he’s best known as the author of  The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, both bestselling books about sustainable, healthy eating.  He’s heralded by many (myself included) as the voice of the real, whole, and local food movements.  His works have shaped the way that I think about what I eat, through easy-to-follow rules like “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” and “Don’t buy anything with more than five ingredients.”  I’ve heard that his most recent piece of advice is “Don’t buy any food you’ve ever seen an ad for.”  Think about it for a minute: if you’ve seen it on TV, it’s probably a stretch to call it food.

the omnivores dilemma a natural history of four mealslarge 195x300The talk took the form of a question-and-answer session, the questions being asked by an ironically overweight guy in charge of the school lunch program in Baltimore City.  To be fair, it sounds like he has done a lot of good things for the school system, including instituting a “Meatless Monday” policy in the cafeterias; I just wonder how he managed to land the job looking the way he does.

Due to this format, there wasn’t really a lot of continuity to the talk or much of a coherent theme, other than the obvious one that underlies all of Pollan’s recent work.  So rather than try to organize the information myself and risk interjecting some extraneous meaning, I’ll just list the points of Pollan’s answers that I found most interesting.

  • Michael Pollan arrived at his famous rule “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” after a year of research for a book.  He was surprised to find that the more he learned, the simpler the rubric became.  He has taken heat from both meat eaters and vegetarians over the “mostly plants” part.
  • Pollan is a meat eater himself, but understands that it comes with some health and environmental detriment.  He eats chicken marked “pastured,” because “free-range” only requires that the birds be allowed outside during the final two weeks of their seven-week lives (and they often don’t even choose to go out).
  • 84 198x300He eats grass-fed beef; ceasing his purchasing of feed-lot meat after following a steer’s life for a year and seeing how sick it got in such harsh conditions.  Pollan loves the natural way of humans indirectly getting nutrients from the earth by way of the cow, which is capable of digesting grass (humans aren’t).  He also said that grazing by cows causes grass to cut its root mass to survive, thereby nurturing the ecosystem of the soil for growing more grass and other crops.
  • By eliminating meat entirely from our diets, Pollan says we can reduce our carbon footprint by 25 percent.
  • He is excited by the fact that Michelle Obama’s 1500-square-foot organic garden has inspired thousands of acres of other gardens, and finds it humorous that the pesticide industry has argued that mass starvation will occur as a result of such promotion of organic farming.
  • Pollan blames the dropping of the Imitation Rule in 1973 for much of the fake food on the market today.  This rule stipulated that if, for example, a “cream cheese” brand didn’t contain cream or cheese, then it couldn’t be called by that name.  It was dropped in order to allow nutrient-enhanced and fat-removed versions of foods to go by their original names.
  • Although Pollan is encouraged that President Obama understands the plight of the American eater, he knows that no major change will take place without a movement.  And unfortunately, the current food system works well for the majority of Americans, who can purchase thousands of calories at any fast food restaurant for less than an hour’s wage.

Michael Pollan ended his talk with a line that I found really inspiring, and if I can achieve one thing with this blog, I hope it’s that people will heed the message: “Learning to cook is the key to taking back our food.” And when better than tonight to start?  Get yourself away from this computer and into the kitchen.

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Okey-Gnocchi

meals 007 300x225This is the post I’ve been looking forward to writing ever since I started this blog. Not because gnocchi are the perfect marathon training food (they’re not), but because they’re the food I’d choose to have if I were to hypothetically contract Swine Flu and be quarantined, a la Serious Eats and relishmentsGnocchi are the food that turned me into a cook after I first tasted them in Italy with a glass of Chianti and was compelled to recreate the experience at home.  But after my first attempt at them, it’s a wonder I remained a cook.  Not only did they take all afternoon; they were terrible.

Mario Batali puts it best when he says gnocchi are “excellent when executed perfectly, heinous any other way.” Overwork the dough and they come out heavy and gummy.  Underwork it, or don’t use enough flour, and they’ll dissolve in the boiling water while cooking.  I’m sure more than one Italian grandmother (nonna, right?) has said something like “Good gnocchi melt in your mouth, not in the pot,” before disciplining her young protege on the insert-Italian-word-for-ass with a wooden spoon or rolling pin.

meals 062 225x300For those who don’t know, gnocchi are little potato-pasta dumplings, and the most comforting food I know of.  The irony is that such a heavenly food was probably born out of necessity, when potatoes were cheaper than the flour used in most other pastas.  For such a luxurious food, gnocchi aren’t unhealthy at all; the main ingredients are potatoes and a little flour, and (optionally) egg.  I only say that they’re not the perfect fuel for marathon training because I generally try to get a little more nutrition in each meal than gnocchi can offer.  And gnocchi are one food I don’t dare desecrate with whole wheat flour.

I served these gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce made with olive oil infused with garlic and basil.  In the past I’ve tried fresh pesto, a smoked mozzarella and olive sauce, lamb ragout and Rachael Ray mini-meatballs (before seeing the no-meat light), and most famously, a cauliflower-gorgonzola cream sauce.  Not really famously, just most famously.  And all of them have been outstanding.

This was the first time I’d ever made gnocchi without eggs. A friend of mine recently explained to me that since the eggs we eat are unfertilized, my likening their consumption to chicken abortion was completely idiotic.  That’s how informed a vegetarian I am.  So I’m no longer opposed to eating eggs, but I had already done some research and found that some people think gnocchi are even lighter when cooked without eggs, so I gave it a try.  And though I had to work the dough a little longer to get it to stop crumbling, there really wasn’t any appreciable difference in the finished product.

meals 014 300x225I don’t see any need to rate gnocchi in terms of cows.  For me gnocchi are a 5 out of 5 anything. I guess the sauce dictates whether the meal will be divine or just really good.  This one was a solid 4.5.  I’m not going to give the tomato sauce recipe here since it still needs some tinkering; to try your own just remove and discard as much liquid as you can from some ripe or canned tomatoes, cook them over medium heat until they soften and break down (30 minutes to an hour plus), and add some olive oil that you’ve flavored with whatever you like and cook until the sauce becomes whole.  But I will do my best to describe in detail how I make the gnocchi.  I really recommend that you try it, just be willing to make a few mediocre batches before they get really good.

By the way, I first learned to make gnocchi from what is now my favorite cookbook, The Greatest Dishes by Anya Von Bremzen.  It features 80 recipes for the most classic dishes from around the world, and it’s my absolute go-to when I’m looking to try something new or cook something really special.  I’ve made incredible lasagna, risotto, and pesto dishes from it (can ya tell I love Italian cooking?), and they’ve become my sort of “signature” dishes, as far as my friends and family are concerned!

Gnocchi Recipe

Ingredients (for about 6 starter servings, 3 main courses)

  • 2 pounds organic russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting and kneading (I don’t dare try whole wheat, but you can)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten (optionally replace with another tablespoon olive oil or melted butter)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • pepper and/or whole nutmeg, both optional
  • a potato ricer (I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for 10-15 bucks)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork and stick them in the oven on a baking pan.  They are finished when a fork or skewer goes through easily, about an hour for me.

As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop the flesh out.  (Bonus: top the skins with a little cheese, oil, leeks, and salt and broil; that’s what I’m eating as I write this!)  Run the flesh through the ricer into a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle, pour in the egg yolk (if using).  Sprinkle everything with salt, cheese, some pepper and/or a few pinches grated nutmeg (the nutmeg is best for cream sauces), oil, and about 1/2 cup flour.  Work the dough extremely gently with the tips of your fingers until the flour is barely incorporated, then add the other 1/2 cup of the flour and repeat, again extremely gently.

Turn the dough out onto a board dusted with flour.  Gently work for another minute or two with your fingers, adding a little more flour if necessary, until the dough stays together and isn’t very sticky.  It should feel more like dough than mashed potatoes.  The goal is to work the dough as little as possible, adding as little flour as possible, but so that is dry enough that it doesn’t stick to everything.  To test the dough, break off a small piece and roll it into a 3/4 inch thick rope, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces and drop these into a pot of boiling water.  If they float after a few minutes you’re good; if they break up, add more flour to your dough.  Cover the dough in plastic and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Clean the dried bits off the board and dust with flour.  Break or cut off about an eighth of the dough and roll into a 3/4 inch thick rope, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  You may need to redust the board in between each rope.  Move the pieces to a cookie tray, dusted with flour.  Press each gnocco lightly with a small fork to create some ridges for sauce to cling to.  Use immediately or freeze (I like to just stick the whole tray in the freezer, then break the frozen pieces off the tray to use or store in a container).

To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to boil; salt until it tastes like seawater.  Add about half the gnocchi (frozen is fine) and stir the pot to make sure nothing sticks.  They should float to the surface after a few minutes; give them another 3o seconds or so, then remove with a slotted spoon.  Repeat with rest of gnocchi, and toss gently with whatever sauce you’re using.

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The “Athlete” Part

I just got back from a 12-mile run, and I haven’t even showered yet.  That’s commitment to you, dear readers!

It occurred to me as I was writing yesterday’s post that I haven’t written much about running, and that this has kind of become an all-food blog.  That’s not my intention at all, but with the amount of rest I’ve had to take for me knee, it’s been hard to be sufficiently excited to write interesting running posts.

meals 008 150x150The good news, though, is that today’s run went great. I started the day with a pre-workout smoothie, and this time I added some fresh greens to it, something I’ve been wanting to try ever since  Jenna, the author of the blog Eat Live Run, told me that it doesn’t affect the taste meals 011 150x150much.   And it was good!  I noticed a fresher, greener taste in the first sip or two, but after that I didn’t even notice a difference.  Perhaps most importantly, it didn’t turn my smoothie into the vomit-inducing grey-green color that using powdered greens does.  I used organic spring mix and put what amounts to a small salad in; this is something I’m going to keep doing as a way to get more fresh leafy greens every day.

Even though the IT band pain in my knee is gone, I’ve still felt some disconcerting stiffness in it recently.  But I decided to try this hilly 12-miler today anyway, since I’m running the Maryland Half Marathon two weeks from today. And the run went phenomenally!  I ran the 12 miles in 1 hour, 38 minutes (about an 8:10 pace) with no knee pain and without really exerting myself much at all.  I was really surprised at how easy it was, considering the terrain and my limited training in the past few months.  It’s hard to convey how fantastic this renewed faith in my body’s ability to run feels, but if you’ve experienced recovery from injury before then you must know what I’m talking about.  I did make one critical mistake with this run– I again forgot to lubricate all over with Body Glide.  And now it feels like someone stuck a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose.

Because I’ve had to limit my running in the past few months, I can’t really say how not eating meat has affected my training.  There’s no reason to suspect that it has been a hindrance, and given today’s experience, I’m tempted to say that eating this way has helped me to maintain fitness during my relative hiatus from intense training.  But maybe that’s wishful thinking.

meals 004 300x225But while I’ve felt like a lazy bump on the couch for the past few months, Erin has done something that I consider incredible.  In March she bought a road bike, just before getting really sick with some awful robo-cop roto-virus that sent her to the ER for one night and kept her from doing much of anything for about a month.  She had already signed up for a 62-mile bike ride to benefit diabetes research, and the doctor told her that it would be pretty much impossible for her to do it.  But she trained all throughout April, leaving me in the dust on a few 10-15 mile rides and gradually increasing to 30, 40, and 50 miles.  All on her own, and never having meals 005 300x225ridden before!  And last Sunday she completed the 62-mile diabetes ride, to my endless astonishment.  I was so proud of her.  That’s my girl!  Who says you can’t do amazing stuff without meat?

That’s all for now, the potatoes for gnocchi-making are just about finished in the oven.  And nobody will want to eat that if I don’t shower before getting my hands all up in it!

And if you’re wondering about Michael Pollan last night, his talk was really entertaining.  I’ll get a post up about it in the next few days.

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