Here we are at the start of a new year, and everywhere there are earnest reminders that we should be striving for more, improving, setting goals, accomplishing new things…. it’s exhausting, isn’t it? How about we start by maintaining the good we’ve already done, and celebrate that little victory? After all, we deserve a pat on the back for showing up, don’t we??
With that attitude in mind, my post today is about keeping one’s sense of humour. I don’t know about you, but I have been known to get all fired up about new things (like trying recipes, for example), only to discover that success was not as obvious as expected. I just deleted a draft of a recipe I had written here and wanted to post: “Banana Coconut Cream Pie with a Chocolate Crust”. Sounds awesome, right? Yeah, well, it didn’t look awesome when I made it. It looked like something my dog might have well, put back in the bowl, if you know what I mean. And it didn’t taste all that great either. Not only did the custard not set, but the bananas went brown almost immediately, and the crust was soggy in some spots and like cardboard in others. So much for sharing that Pinterest find. We did have a good laugh about how awful it was, though, as we substituted homemade sundaes for dessert that night. What else could I do?
So, I am not making any resolutions to go on a diet, or eat gluten free, or start up longer work outs or lift more weight. I’m working on keeping up with my efforts from last year. Thankfully, being married to a chef and interested in good food, I eat pretty healthy most of the time. I also treat myself often (my workout schedule is a combination of vanity and a calculation that accounts for regular chocolate, ice cream and alcohol consumption). Don’t look here for any recipes that feature restrictions – look for dishes that feature interesting tastes and combinations of flavours. They might be extra-healthy, they might be gluten-free or Paleo, but most importantly I think they are delicious.
Alright, enough said for today. (I don’t want to seem preachy.) Get out there and have fun – eat something interesting! And then congratulate yourself for living life to the fullest. If you’d like a relatively healthy recipe idea, how about Chicken with Cinnamon and Dates ? It’s one of my favourite chicken recipes.
If you need more inspiration, the wonderfully funny folks at Urban Daddy came up with a great New Years list for the first month of the year: 31 Reasons to Have a Drink. Since I’ve managed to stick to my 2017 plan for two days in a row, I think I’ll toast my small success with a glass of wine 🙂
Well, it’s now July and the rain and grey skies continue. At least here in the Okanagan it’s not really cold, but it’s not the summer paradise we’re used to, that’s for sure. Gardens are lanky and lush green, and lawns are hard to keep mowed with all the rain. Everyone is still wearing jackets, and only the die-hards deep in denial are sporting their flip flops – who wants soggy toes? But since I said in my last post I was going to make a concerted effort to improve I decided I had to find my own sunshine.
My garden is overgrown, which for the most part means more weeding and less bounty. However, rhubarb is one of the plants that is grateful for cooler temperatures. The strawberries are also plump and juicy in my boxes out back. So, in the spirit of making lemons when life gives you lemonade, I thought it only fitting to make a Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie! I used the good old-fashioned pastry recipe on the bottom of the Tenderflake lard box, because I wanted this to be a comfort dish. It always turns out flaky and golden brown. The beauty of the pie though, is that even a store-bought pie crust that you thaw and bake will still show well with the taste of freshly cooked fruit.
Having married a chef, I have to succumb to professional criticism of all of my recipes. Martin is friendly about his comments, but he is not shy to tell me when I could improve (“the filling would be thicker if you made sure it boiled”, or “the centre doesn’t cook very well when you put a large decoration on it”). However, when he says that something tastes really good, he means it. And when he goes back for another piece, I know I have a success.
We’ve now eaten the pie, and it’s still raining. But I feel a bit better. It really was like a bit of sunshine, tasting the tart rhubarb and the sweet strawberries with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. Scoring a star rating with the chef didn’t hurt either 🙂
Next I am working on something with our golden raspberries as they are ripening to spite the rain, I think. Keep watching this space for another recipe!