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It Makes Me Smile

January 27, 2010

(stole this idea from Tammie)

Wow, I am in a totally blah space. I’m pretty run-down healthwise for some reason (I guess a staph infection plus a sleepless vacation plus an allergic reaction plus getting my period will do that to a person…). I’m not exactly in a bad mood, just low energy and feeling like hibernating. It’s gray and cold and rainy out (my favorite weather) which also makes me feel like curling up in a warm little ball in my bed. The cats are setting a perfect example, which is difficult to resist.
However, despite my blank and gray frame of mind, and a number of things to worry about (aren’t there always?), there are still some things making me smile these days.

* The first-time homebuyers seminar! Woohoo! It was very informative, and gives me more than a little hope that we will be able to buy a house sometime soon. I am going to finish filling out our paperwork this week to get the process started. It’s very exciting. Even if we have to start with a small townhouse, as long as it has an outdoor space, we’ll be thrilled.

* My recent upswing in book success! I’ve had three good ones in a row. Actually two of them are nearly finished: The Bourne Identity and Tales of the City. The third, which I haven’t blogged about because it’s my book club book and I wanted to see what my fellow bookclubbers thought of it, was Le Divorce, which I also really enjoyed. Also a rare case where all three books have been made into movies and/or series, so I can enjoy them further. I actually really liked”The Bourne Identity” movie, and have many thoughts about comparing it to the book, which will be in my review once I finish it. I can’t wait to watch “Tales of the City,” and “Le Divorce” looks like it might be sort of fun as well.

* Epic cooking fail! I’m on a bit of a roll with being kind of ridiculous (see before-mentioned health issues… seriously? WTF!), but yesterday I topped it all off with a pretty amazing cooking disaster. I usually have pretty good success with my cooking experiments, but my attempt to combine a couple of Ethiopian-inspired dishes did not succeed. There is a dish that I love which has cabbage, onions, potatoes and carrots all cooked together, and another one with sweet potatoes. So I sort of put it all together in the crockpot, with tumeric and cumin. Sounds good, right? I don’t know if it was the ratio or if I added too much water or what, but it turned out absolutely disgusting. I took some for lunch today. Usually I try to suffer through at least one serving of my mistakes, if only to teach myself a lesson (and not waste it). However, even with generous salting, I couldn’t eat more than three bites of this. Seriously disgusting. The whole batch goes into the garbage. Thankfully it was a cheap experiment, but I hate wasting food like that. Next time, I’m following a recipe before experimenting. Still, it amuses me that it was such an absolute, unquestionable failure.
My other experiment, puffed millet treats (as opposed to rice crispy treats) turned out pretty well. They’re not crispy (next time, I will buy crisped brown rice), but they are relatively healthy and don’t taste too bad either. It’s what I ended up having for lunch, anyway.

* Golden Temple Coconut Almond Granola! I finally figured out where this is in the bulk foods section at my beloved Berkeley Bowl. It kept hiding from me, and I would buy a different kind, thinking it was the right one, but it was not. However, I located it again, and my goodness, this is the perfect granola (for me). Crispy, not too chunky, with toasted almonds and perfectly toasted large shavings of not-too-sweet coconut. I seriously love this stuff. If I felt like being completely decadent I would eat it with my other current favorite, The Greek Gods full-fat greek yogurt (my favorites are honey and fig). Unfortunately it’s a little expensive (and full of fat, although delicious) so I don’t buy it often. But OMG, seriously people. Good stuff. I wonder if the grocery store near my office will carry it soon (the yogurt)? That could be dangerous.

Anyway. Book Club is this Thursday, so I will log a report about Le Divorce after that, and I expect to finish my other books very quickly, so a flurry of book reviews coming soon! In the meantime, you can find me (and Terri, and Cleo and Katie) snuggled in our bed, in our WARM (yes, I said it!!) bedroom, crunching on granola, reading books and watching lamentable TV.

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