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Phew

I forgot about the mid-term thing that happens to instructors each semester. In addition to keeping up with class prep and general administrative stuff related to teaching, there is usually a boatload of papers, assignments and mid-term tests that all seem to arrive at the same time. You can try to plan it out differently, but it always seems to happen that there is a time crunch in the middle of term. You can't ask more of students earlier, in terms of major assignments, as they are just getting their feet under them. You really have to get some work in, assessed, graded and returned to them so they know where to improve before the end of term. As of last night, I'm done with the bulk of it. I'm behind on a few things but that will get all caught up by the end of the day today.

I've had several weeks of practically no unstructured time at all. Even my social engagements have been blocked in as has prep time to cook for friends, which I'm always thrilled to do. I love that so much. So, I don't mean to say that "no unstructured time" = "no fun". It has had to be calculated, planned-for fun. And there has been plenty of it, I'm happy to say.

But if I don't get some time to putter around my house, write, stare out the window, sip my coffee, listen to CBC, blog, write some more … I'm going to bust a vessel in some critical place, I swear.

Here is my new favourite lamb curry recipe. I have no idea if it is "low fat" but it doesn't use any coconut milk or other dangerously thigh-busting ingredients. The "rich" taste comes from cooking down apples, raisins, onions and lemons. (I always use more onions than called for, and I always buy the "sweet" onions, even for cooking.) Here is my new "standard" channa masala, which appears to be vegan. I love the vagueness of some of the measurements here – It really does mimic how I cook. I made this Baked Seitan from a recipe right here off Method's Vox blog about vegan cooking, and it totally rocked, although I don't recommend it in a curry. As happens in the blogosphere, I have no idea who this person is, but she takes photographs of vegan food that make this omnivore think twice. And her recipes rock. 

I think I'm going to spend a chunk of this winter learning how to make better curries, although the folks who have sampled the lamb seemed pretty pleased with my efforts. I think I can do better, especially if I can find more "low-fat" recipes.

Because I forgot about the mid-term thing, I booked a bunch of social stuff into these last few weeks. I wouldn't change any of it … might spread it out a little more next time. 🙂 This past weekend was a big "foodie" weekend, as was the weekend previously …

Thursday night, late after class: Shopping for cooking projects. I was the woman staggering out of Bulk Barn at 10:00 p.m. carrying items I only vaguely understood how to use. Like "nutritional yeast". What the hell is that?

Friday: Cooking curries, baked seitan, vegan meat loaf … almost all day.

Friday night: Ethiopian Food with Jan. I really want to book their coffee ceremony sometime. The place smells so invitingly of frankencense and other spices. A really cosy, yummy spot.

Saturday morning: Breakfast with Cate, which is alway a treat. We restricted ourselves to poached eggs and eschewed, rather than chewed, breakfast meats. So well behaved, we were.

(Insert frantic grading and house-cleaning here)

Saturday evening: The long-promised home cooked vegetarian meal for the Woman With Beautiful Arms (WWBA). This followed me being put through my paces at the gym as I too wish to acquire beautiful arms. I hope chick peas have sufficient requisite protein for muscle repair.

Sunday morning: After another frantic cleaning / grading session, I joined a group of dim sum lovers at the Bright Pearl on Spadina for a total dim sum blow-out.

(Insert further grading, final food prep and frantic ironing here.)

Sunday evening: The long promised curry dinner for R and M-A. Freddie was a most excellent hostess and made her guests feel right at home.

Monday morning: Get up at 5:45 a.m. to do some power skating.

Just had to throw that last one in … 🙂

Somehow, after all that food, I managed to weigh in yesterday at my lowest all-time weight since starting to focus on weight loss, and I lost 1.25 inches off my waist in a week, which is a bit shocking.

There isn't a single item I would change or trade in the above itinerary – loved it all. Having so many terrific, amazing and beautiful people in my life is such a blessing and makes me very happy. What I excluded here was discussion of the time commitment to my dog, who has been with me for most of October, and the management of a new client that I took on earlier this month. I think I need a breather. 🙂

(Note to Readers: The Handbasket, i.e. this blog, will shortly be moved to a new home, after two years of cozy comfort here at Vox. The link to the new home will be made available when the switch is all set up, likely within the next few weeks. I hope you will join me there!)

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2 comments to “Phew”

  1. Hello. I'm calling to make a reservation for dinner. I would like the Lamb Curry please. Thank you.

  2. Me too, please. And since coconut milk upsets my tummy, I love this veggie rich version…. PS. I'll also have an order of beautiful arms, please.

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