August 28, 2010

Jelly Beans

Friday I came to realize that life can be a lot like a bunch of jelly beans. You just never know what you’re going to get or what’s going to happen. I came to this realization after I had poured some into a bowl to munch on while I poured over program evaluations.

Yesterday I had the day off and for a change I didn’t make one single plan. I was going to do whatever came my way whenever it showed up. This included the repairman for the stove, but they show up anytime within a four time frame so I don’t count it as a plan. There were many possibilities and for a change I had a light airy feeling inside me.

Breakfast constituted of gluten free cinnamon raisin bread. I picked it up on sale a while back from the Natural Pantry, sliced it up and popped it into the freezer. Today was the last of it and it was covered in margarine (the Becel Vegan Margarine I wrote about recently). Butter and margarine don’t make an appearance on my plate very often, and only when I have one of two things: cinnamon raisin bread and corn on the cob (and only with corn on the cob do I have an obscene amount of salt as well). They are nice little loaves and when I see one on sale I’ll pick one up again. The consistency and texture are the same as the regular ones I would pick up at the store once in a while many, many years ago.

The house was pretty disorganized so I did some tidying up and was pleased. There were quite a few spider webs here and there, made more obvious by the cat hair trapped in them. That could wait for another day. I didn’t feel like lugging out the vacuum cleaner. Afterwards I went outside to survey the work of our contractor who spent the last few days installing eavestroughing for us. He has done a very nice job. Hopefully that will have an effect on the water that gets into our basement and the rain barrels will also help in lessening the flooding in the driveway.

While I do enjoy eating with my Honey, I also enjoy dining alone as I can make whatever I want. Since he’s a picky eater that really opens up my options. There was an interesting recipe in Fresh Home with Tilapia and Strawberries and lunch seemed like a perfect opportunity. Off I went to the Parkdale Market and picked up some strawberries. There were some nice little eggplants that would be perfect for a recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook so in my bag they went, along with some tomatoes. A stop at Metro on the way home resulted in some tilapia. Two small fillets. Perfect.

Upon returning home I set to work tying up loose ends from the summer program. It was time for lunch once the tummy began rumbling. Out came some pots and pans and the kitchen filled with the aroma of strawberries and wine.

The end product was delicious. I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly pleased. The flavours all came together and none overpowered the others. A very simple salad only dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, raspberry balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground pepper was all that was needed to use up the sauce that remained on the plate.

While dining on my lovely lunch I realized that I hadn’t made any bread in a while. I had made some last weekend, but it was a little on the gross side and ended up in the composter. Out came one of the new gluten free cookbooks and I found a recipe for sandwich bread. Plain Jane bread. None of this flaxseed, honey, healthy stuff. I wanted bread I could have for toast or a sandwich, without it falling apart or tasting weird with mustard or veggies. (By the way, it turned out quite nice for toast this morning. We’ll have to see about the sandwiches. I’ll keep you up to date.).

After lunch I paid some bills (always a joy), cleaned up my emails and touched base with a few friends. Then I got the dreaded box of program evaluations. They’ve been sitting in my car for the last few weeks and they needed to get done. It was going to take a while, but breaks were nice. The cat needed a scratch and massaging pet, Steven and Chris were giving some kind of DIY advice on lampshades. Another break occurred when the Honey called to say he was going out with colleagues after work (a send-off for one). Although I was disappointed I quickly thought of what to have for dinner. Back to Metro (they probably think I don’t have a home I’m there so often) and to the fish section. I really like fish. Salmon would be great, drizzled with some maple syrup. Then I saw red salmon. I couldn’t remember seeing it before. It was so red! It was worth a shot.

The red salmon with a fish seasoning instead; I wanted to see what it tasted like. And on the side, some of those tiny eggplants with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh ground pepper. Mmmmm

The jelly beans were good today.

Tilapia with Strawberry-Thyme Sauce (adapted from Fresh Home)

35 minutes Serves 4
1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp salt, divided
4 tbs gluten free flour
¼ tsp pepper
4 generous tilapia filets
1 tbs olive oil
Crumbled blue cheese
In a small saucepan, combine the berries, wine, sugar, lemon juice, thyme, and ¼ tsp salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Combine GF flour, pepper and remaining salt. Sprinkle over tilapia. In a skillet, cook fillets in oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 mins each side. Serve with sauce and sprinkle with blue cheese.


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