Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh Winter is on it's way!

Day 4 of November - already. Only 26 more days and it's December. That will come fast - just like October came and went. Do you ever feel like time just passes by way too quickly? And when you look back on a period of time - it seems like you did too much of what you didn't like doing and not enough of what you do like doing? November is an 'off' month for me. I think that it's the transition from Fall and then Halloween and then all of a sudden it seems like it's already time to think of Christmas.

Vacation update:
We had a great time. U2 was AWESOME. They put on such an amazing show. They played a lot of new stuff, but a lot of old stuff - the stuff I heart. The Edge - he has always been my favourite. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I mentioned him in my grade 12 year book write up. The Black Eyed Peas were also fantastic. They were so entertaining. There were 13 of us that gathered in our hotel room for a little pre-concert party and had a few libations - so all in all it was a great night.

We spent the Thursday at Point Roberts. I kid you not - after having lunch I planted myself on the comfy couch and napped and watched tv for about 4 hours. 4 frickin' hours! So lazy - but oh so fabulous.

On the Friday we were off to Dallas. We had a great time. We had a few 'issues' with directions - I had to yell 'red light! RED LIGHT!!!' a couple of times, and had to say stuff like 'oh, I think that we should have turned there' - but all in all we found our way around ok. Our hotel - The Magnolia - really was great. They offered a beer and wine reception every night, a cookie bar in the later evening and a big breakfast every morning. The location - kind of strange. All reviews mentioned it was in the 'heart of downtown', which I'm sure that it was, what they didn't mention was the heart didn't have a heart beat. Seriously, it was a bit of a ghost town. There were so many enormous sky scrapers, lots of restaurants - but barely any people around. 

The game was fun! The stadium is unreal - so huge. I mean huge!! Our team, the Seahawks, didn't win - but it was still an awesome experience. We had a group of 3 drunkens sitting in front of us - and when Seattle came on the field they yelled 'go back to Canada!'. Rrrright. I didn't have the heart to tell them that Seattle was part of the US. 

Will we go back? - probably not - but we're so happy that we did have the experience and the chance to go. Anytime I travel outside of Canada - I am reminded just what a wonderful country we live in.

Dog walking stories for today:
I have two. The first - since winter is among us and the days are shorter (which I secretly love) I can't do the usual park walk with the pups b/c it's too dark. Instead we venture out and tour our hood. Tonight we started at the baseball parks by our place so that the dogs could get in a little bit of running and sniffing. A woman entered the baseball diamond with a beautiful Australian Shepherd - my pups sniffed it and followed it around for a bit. Then another woman entered with a Springer Spaniel - the two women I think knew each other - and went past me and walked away talking to the other woman so that she would follow. The SS owner said to the AS owner - 'I like my dog to play with the big dogs b/c then it runs more - I don't like the small dogs'. I was thinking 'WTF?' - ironically - the AS just wanted to chew on a beat up frisbee that they found in the park - and my dogs were playing tag and running like crazy - the SS wanted in on the action - but it's owner kept calling it 'Biscuit. Biscuit' . Then the SS ran out of the diamond and the SS owner couldn't get her dog back. Karma!

Second story - as we started our walk after the field - a man and a woman were approaching us. The man yelled out 'Oh look - here come two guinea pigs on leashes!' Then he bent down to try and pat them and said 'Oh hello little guinea pigs on leashes'. Good thing that it was dark - b/c I had a very disgusted look on my face - and I wished that I had said something like 'Kujo, don't attack! KUJO DON'T ATTACK' and then started to pretend to pull Magnum back. Oh well. He is probably a dumb dumb anyways. Isn't there a song - 'Oh the people that you meet in the neighbourhood, in the neighbourhood...' - I think it's from Sesame Street.  

Now let's get on to making some dinner. I did a bit of a shop last night - but am trying to hold off until Sunday - so my mom and I can do our weekly vegetable shop at the Root Cellar. So this evening's dinner is dedicated to what I think that my life would be like if we lived on a farm.

If you don't know that I would like to live on a farm some day - you should. I really want to. My cuz Margo and I have talked about living on a farm for years. Years ago, we did a road trip to Plato, SK, with my grandma - so that she could visit her sister-in-law and nephew and family, and the farm that my great uncle had worked for years. It was an amazing trip - and I will definitely have to dedicate a blog or two to that trip. It was so memorable - every bit of it.

Anyways, back to farm cooking. I pulled things out of 'my root cellar' - which is basically this basket that I bought years ago when we had a rental house and very little cabinet space. I bought the basket to sit on the counter so that I could put onions, potatoes, yams... in it. I still use it to this day and it sits in a little nook in the corner of the kitchen - in the area which I am sure is supposed to be filled with fancy appliances like mixers, blenders, etc. 

So tonight, I pulled out yams - a lot of them and an onion. I dug in my 'pantry' and found some canned goods - and I think that I pulled off a pretty good dinner that turns out to be very healthy too.

My Interpretation of Farmer's Winter Chili
1 onion
6 small yams 
2 packs of ground chicken breasts 
1 can of Heinz beans in tomato sauce
1 can of white kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1 large can of diced tomatoes 
1 cup of mushrooms - sliced (that's all I had left)
3 stalks of celery - thinly sliced (that's all I had left)
1 cup of frozen corn - I love the O brand at Safeway - it's Organic and always seems fresh even though it's frozen
Chili powder - as much or as little as you like

In a large dutch oven - saute the onion in olive oil until golden. Add yams - that have been sliced into very small pieces. Continue to saute. In a separate pan - I used my cast iron, brown the ground chicken until it is fully cooked.
Once the yams start to soften, add the rest of the ingredients - and the meat to the dutch oven. 
And that's basically it.
Let the chili simmer until the yams are softened and the flavour is where you want it.

I am just about to dig into a bowl, the smells are making my mouth water. 

Sorry for the novel. Lots to say.



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