This week when I got to the metro on the way to work, just outside there were people giving out slips promoting "No Spending Day" with an elastic to put around your wallet to remind you not to spend anything for the day:
And inside there were criers calling for donations for Christmas baskets while shaking their buckets and dancing:
This week Licorice was all snuggled up to the computer with her paw on my hand:
I tried a persimmon for the first time on Friday, it was delicious:
And here's Mat, his dad, and his brother after a few beers on Friday night:
Salad with shredded fake crab, 5-herb dressing and furikake this week:
And some mashed potatoes and carrots with spicy mesquite seasoning:
Here's some salsa that I added mashed black beans and canned corn to, it was delicious, had lots of coriander in it:
Here's a small lake near the pool where Mat's daughter had her swimming classes this morning. We had to wait for an hour so I took a walk:
When I read the article about Heidemarie Schwermer that I linked to in my previous post I thought to myself "now that's an example of someone that's Orthodox in spirit if not in name" and in searching for an english translation of her books I came across several mentions of someone called Peace Pilgrim who also lived without money or a permanent residence. Her book is online here, and from what I have read so far, only most of the first chapter, I get the same feeling about her as with Heidemarie Schwermer. The book says she spoke in many different churches, I wonder if she ever visited an Orthodox church? Both of these cases remind me also of a book I read once, "The Ascetic of Love: Mother Gavrilia" and how when she was living in India (also without money) she worked with many people who shared the same principles as her even though they weren't Christian.
All these stories are so inspiring to read, they've reminded me of my efforts to slowly get rid of material possesions that I don't need and my dream of living in voluntary simplicity.
Dinner, kind of a submarine on toast, I sliced up a small container of mushrooms and friend it with half a chopped yellow onion and a clove of garlic chopped up, in some olive oil with salt and pepper:
And made myself a salad with curly lettuce, 1 tbsp sundried tomato and oregano dressing and 1 tbsp 5-herb dressing, salt and pepper, shredded fake crab, and sliced up sundried tomatoes, was delicious:
So today I was awake at 6am to go to a customer service training for my job. Thank goodness there was free breakfast & lunch. Afterwards I got home, made dinner, then we went shopping for some stuff at the pharmacy, and just got back, and I'm off to bed soon. Tomorrow church, cabbage rolls and then going to the movies with Scott & co.
So last Sunday me and a bunch of friends went to eat at Kam Fung in Chinatown for my birthday, and ended up ordering an insane amount of food lol. Here are Christelle and Stephan:
Tiffany and Emmanuel:
Snake soup, it was very yummy, and half of a pork dumpling:
Here's the peking duck (which was my favourite) and spring rolls:
A delicious fried basket with veggies:
A dish of shrimp and veggies:
Here's the table groaning with food:
A delicious chocolate mousse cake for dessert:
All of us, the last one on the right is Dew:
I didn't take pictures of some of the appetizers, the sweet & sour soup and the pork dumplings in peanut sauce. We were so full we all rolled to the car on the way back lol. And we all took home a jar of leftovers too. Oh and we had warm sake too. I didn't even have room to eat my fortune cookie after that!
Some amazing graffiti near my job, my jaw dropped the first time we drove by it:
Not the black suv in the bottom left corner of this one to get some size comparison:
And a tanning salon with a nice mural nearby:
Here's the five-spice teriyaki chicken I made for Mat tonight, that marinade is delicious:
And my dinner, meatless Shepherd's pie, was delicious too:
Ok people, don't send an urn full of the ashes of a loved one by courier! Our company has one of the lowest rates of package loss/damage in the industry, like .5% or something, but things still happen! What on earth are you doing sending your husband's ashes by courier!?!?! He's gonna get kicked around a warehouse for crying out loud! I really wish I could have told this lady NOT to do this. I mean, even if it doesn't get lost or damaged, it's still...disrespectful? weird? I dunno. All I could think of while I was on the phone with her was the angry call I took once a year or more ago by a client who had sent someones ashes in an ENVELOPE and called saying that the envelope was torn and the ashes were spilling out when they received it... Thankfully I don't work in the delivery & tracing dept. and could transfer the call to them, I can't imagine what the person who took that call had to say to them!
If you want to make great Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey and don't have the setup to deep-fry it, smoke it (bbq for you guys in the States) or cook it sous-vide, spatchcocking sounds like a great alternative. I have to try that soon!
And for some alternative stuffing I have to try McDonald's Stuffing (I've never seen a White Castle here in Canada so I'll use McDonald's instead, as far as I know they're both just cheap hamburgers)
I woke up at 6am this morning and wasn't able to get back to sleep so I figured I'd post about last nights meatball stew saga.
Here's Licorice with her paw on my hand:
I have no exact recipe for this, I just followed my mom's instructions.
2 pork hocks 1 small package ground pork 1 small package ground beef 1 chicken breast about 3 cups flour 1-2 tbsp salt pepper
First I put the two pork hocks in a large pot and filled it with water till about 2-3" above the hocks and added a tbsp of salt. Then I simmered them on lowest heat possible for 6 hours, adding a chicken breast at the last hour:
Then I removed the meat from the broth and set the pot with the broth aside:
I gently picked apart the pork hocks and removed all the meat from the fat and put it on a separate plate along with the chicken breast:
Then I pulled apart the pork into smaller chunks, pulled the chicken apart into shreds and put them both back into the broth, and put some flour in a pan to brown. Now I had no idea how much flour to use because I've never eyeballed how much flour to put in a certain amout of broth to thicken it before. So I used this much to begin with, but I ended up needing about 3 times that much:
The flour should be browned to a golden-caramel colour like this, on low heat, stirring constantly:
Then set it aside in a separate container large enough to add the broth to. I slowly added the broth while whisking constantly, and it turned out quite liquid:
I thought it would do like with bechamel sauce and suddenly thicken up, so I added it to my big pot with the shredded meat and the rest of the broth and started to stir it, and saw that the teflon from the inside of my pot was starting to disintegrate. So I poured it all into two smaller stainless steel pots and picked out the tiny flecks of teflon floating on top with the corner of a paper towel. I'm never buying a teflon cooking pot again. Then I brought them back up to boiling to see if it would thicken up, but no.
So I re-did the flour/broth mix twice more (I used about the same amount as the first time both the second and third time cause I was afraid of using too much) with un-browned flour, putting more flour in the bowl and slowly adding more broth and whisking till I got a thick gravy, then adding it back into the two pots. The consistency between the two wasn't the same, so I kept having to pour the thickened broth back and forth between the two and whisking to get them the same consistency.
Once the broth was finally thickened, I started making the meatballs. I salted and peppered the meat and mixed it in before starting. What you do is take bit of ground pork in one hand and roughly the same amout of ground beef in the other, stick them together and roll it into a ball roughly the size of a golf ball. I didn't have enough room in my pots to add all the meat, I didn't have much left but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stir it without spilling lol:
Here you can see the 1/2 light 1/2 dark colour of the meatballs because of the two different meats used:
And finally, at 9:30pm after two hours of standing at the stove and a very sore back, here is the fruit of my labour, eaten with a single slice of buttered white bread because I had forgotten to boil some potatoes and carrots was too tired to do so by then:
It turned out delicious, but I lost my appetite before I finished my bowl because I was just so tired and had been smelling pork hocks boiling all day lol. I'm sure I'll have more of an appetite later today :P My mom said she doesn't add potatoes and veggies to the stew (or chicken, but apparently in Mat's family that's what the recipe calls for) but you can do that if you want. I think I might take one of the pots out of the fridge later to add potatoes and carrots and boil it a while longer. When that's done I'll freeze about half the batch in small containers to eat later.
I'm gonna go get ready for chuch. Mat should be coming home this afternoon in time to leave together for the Kam Fung in Chinatown tonight. We're going to eat with a bunch of my friends, I can't wait! I'm definitely gonna have to take a nap after church though :P