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Archive | May, 2017

People Need Hobbies

27 May

A week and a half ago I finally started composting. Yes I know I am late to the game with this but hey, at least I’ve started now, right? That should count for something!…maybe… πŸ˜‰

Anyways!

I have been dutifully collecting my kitchen scraps in a brown paper bag, that is inside of a plastic bag juuuuuust in case the paper bag leaks…I may or may not have trust issues when it comes to paper bags…and I got to the point where it was time to take them out to the larger bin.

Where I live all composting materials go in the bin labelled “Yard Trimmings”, it looks just like the garbage bin, only the name on the top is different. My landlord always keeps both bins under the deck so not like I have to go searching for the thing.

Only, I did have to go searching, because it wasn’t there. I thought maybe I missed the day it goes out and it was already in the alley waiting for pick-up, no biggie, I can hold off one more day and add them to a newly emptied bin, but nope. The bin didn’t reappear the next day.

Or the next.

Or the next.

Finally I go actively searching for this thing. I’d like to pretend it is because I am industrious but it is more because my kitchen scraps are starting to smell a little and I’m not enjoying it.

So a-hunting I go! Is it in the alley? Nope. The front yard? Nope. The backyard? Nope. Under a different part of the deck? Nope.

What the hell, where could it have gone?

Last night I ran in to my landlord, and his wife, and I ask where it is. I am all self-depreciating about it, saying how I feel so dumb I can’t seem to find a large, usually easy to spot bin, and it turns out it isn’t me being a dummy!

Someone stole the yard trimmings bin.

yard trimming bin

Should I make a missing poster for it?

Who. Does. That?

Someone who needs a hobby, that’s who!

I mean c’mon, not like these things are hard to come by, ask the city and you’ll get one, they want us to compost!

But nope. Someone who is obviously lacking in entertainment apparently decided after last yard trimming pick-up day to go down the alley and take our bin. *rolls eyes*

My faith in my fellow human is fast decreasing.

So now I am storing my compost in the brown bag (which has split), inside the plastic bag, inside an old kitty litter container that has a lid, in the hopes of containing the smell..but oh man do ya ever get a strong whiff when you open the lid to add something new in there.

The landlord contacted the city, turns out these things have serial numbers on them, and he was told they (as in the city) would get back to him…that was almost a week ago…if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m going to have a whole new ecosystem flourishing in that kitty litter container, and won’t that just be all kinds of fun to deal with? πŸ˜‰

 

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My Attempt to Roast A Squash

24 May

The other night at work the chefs roasted butternut squash, I had a piece and it was amazing. After grilling the chef that was on that night on what to do I thought I might give it a try, at home, with only the cat to supervise me…it may not have been my best idea but the house is still standing so it couldn’t have been the worst! πŸ˜‰

As those of you who have read past cooking posts know, I have a teeny tiny kitchen with nooooo counter space to speak of so my cutting board gets balanced on the edge of the counter that is at the front of the sink and the middle part of the sink, it is a wobbly, dangerous, stupid, place to put a cutting board, but generally my best option. I’m pretty sure one of these days I’m going to slice in to my finger *rolls eyes* Tonight, I dropped the knife and almost stabbed my foot, oops! But I didn’t! So I’m counting that as a win…

After deciding I wanted to keep my feet and fingers intact I managed to find a better balancing spot and proceeded to do as the chef instructed. He said to chop the top and the bottom off, then peel the squash, then cut it in half so the round bulb part is separate from the top column shaped part. Then I slice open the bulb part to dig out the seeds and cut the entire thing in to pieces sized however I want them to be sized.

butternut squash

I’d love to say it went as smooth as it sounds like it should have but well hey, it wouldn’t be my kitchen if that happened, right? πŸ˜‰

I don’t know if it is my peeler, or my technique, or what, but peeling that squash was not an easy task. I ended up using my knife and hacking away at the outside so my poor squash looked not quite as attractive as one might imagine a peeled squash could look. Cutting the top and bottom off was fine, cutting the entire thing down the middle was a tad harder…that could be due to my knife being too small but let’s not get picky about these things, ok? Then there was the whole digging out all the seeds and gross stuff from the bulb section, ugh, I always dislike that part of dealing with a squash, so slimy, so squishy, so easy to have a knife slip because maybe I started using the knife without getting all the goo off my hand…but again with the being picky!

So eventually I get my chopped up butternut squash on the baking tray and now the easy part. I had some oil in a little dish and I got to use my oft neglected pastry brush to spread the oil on the squash, then I sprinkled some brown sugar over top. At this point, or at some point, maybe not this point, I kinda forgot (oops again!) I was also supposed to sprinkle pepper, salt, and a Club House vegetable seasoning on the squash but (1) I was too lazy to get the pepper (2) I don’t add salt to anything so that wasn’t gonna happen and (3) I tried to buy the seasoning but the store didn’t have any so I was crossing fingers it wasn’t an intricate part of making the squash taste good.

While all this was going on the oven was heating to 350, it was sitting at its temperature for quite a while because yeah, this whole prep thing didn’t go quickly *rolls eyes* so in went the tray and on went the timer. I was told ten minutes, maybe fifteen, would be needed, and to stab the squash with a fork to test it. Also to remember what the squash looked like at work and wait till my squash looked the same.

Well…um…yeah…something went a tad wrong there. For starters, at the ten minute mark it was nowhere near done, so back in it went, in the end I think it took 40 minutes or so. Which is unfortunate because I was super hungry so that 40 minutes felt like an eternity. Even after all that time it didn’t look the same as the squash at work but it passed the fork test and I wasn’t willing to wait any longer…impatient much?

Also, I think maybe I should have flipped it at some point? The sugar kinda melted down so it was on the tray, leaving the topside of the squash pieces bare. Which is fine, except the squash was basically sitting in a brown sugar and oil lake so when I took the squash pieces off the tray there were strings of sugar, like gooey strings you’d see on a caramel apple or, I dunno, a caramel filled chocolate…not that I don’t like sugar but what I was seeing seemed a tad excessive. The underneath side had a nice browning effect to it, thanks to sitting in the sugar, where as the top was the same colour as it started out as. Not as pretty as the roasted butternut squash at work. Then again, those chefs went to school for who knows how long, their food better look nicer than mine! πŸ˜›

butternut squash cooked

In the end it was edible, actually, it was more than edible, it tasted good. Not as good as what I was trying to recreate but that could be due to the lack of seasoning, or too much sugar, or the wrong cooking temp and time, or the simple fact that I made it…but it wasn’t so horrible that I won’t try again, and hopefully get better results next time!

Hey, don’t scoff, a girl can hope! πŸ˜›

 

Food Huggers Review

20 May

I bought this weird Food Huggers thing ages ago for avocados and then stopped buying avocados, so it has been sitting in my kitchen all this time…depressed, alone, not being used, adrift and without meaning in it’s life…its sad really. To make it up to the little avocado Food Hugger I did the only humane thing I could think of…I bought avocados.

Oh the sacrifices I make in life *big epic sigh* πŸ˜‰

So this is what it looks like…obviously.

It comes with two sizes in the package, the light green is the more realistic size, the dark green is to make you envious of places in the world that apparently get gigantic avocados in their stores. I have already donated the dark green one because no joke, I have never seen an avocado that would be large enough for that hugger, especially since these things are supposed to have a snug fit. Don’t think yoga pants snug, think leggings snug.

The idea behind this creation is that you can keep half your avocado fresh for longer than without. I didn’t really believe that claim but I will admit to being a sucker for tupperware and similar items that are shaped like the food they are meant to hold so really, I was doomed the moment I saw this thing. I am after all the person who bought a tomato shaped tomato holder and who keeps convincing herself she doesn’t reeeeally need the onion shaped onion holder even though it would look so cute in my fridge!

Anyways…

The avocado food hugger has some limitations, the main one being finding an avocado that ya know, fits. The hugger is supposed to be super snug on your avocado, it needs to make a seal. The first time I tried it my avocado was too small so there was no actual seal made and this was the result…

2016-08-27 12.58.29

Not exactly what you want your over priced avocado to look like the next day. I would have done better to wrap it in saran wrap but hey, ya gotta live and learn right?

Next time I bought avocados I managed to find not one, but two avocados that fit in to this thing, yay me!

Here is how it looks when it is properly fit on to an avocado…

You can see where I push in with my thumb there is actually quite a bit of space where the pit is. The Food Hugger itself got a really good seal around the peel of the avocado, thought it was a bit of a battle getting it on there. I say battle like it was this big epic thing when really it was me, cursing under my breath as the avocado kept almost slipping completely out of my hands while I tried to cram it inside a green sorta stretchy avocado condom.

I guess the air in the pit area didn’t matter too much because the next day that half of the avocado looked like this…

avocado 3

Not bad at all. Sure, I lost some of the avocado to the inside of the hugger, but not too much, and yeah there is some browning of the avocado but c’mon, you can’t expect magic to happen, this is just a green silicone food hugger, not a fairy sprinkling fairy dust over everything.

The second avocado I ended up leaving in the hugger, in the fridge, for a couple days. Oops! It didn’t end well. When I took the hugger off the avocado there was mold around the edge of the pit where it meets the flesh of the avocado, there was excessive darkness to the avocado, basically, it was not edible and in to the compost it went.

That was a sad day for me. *sniffle*

In general I think the Food Hugger for avocados is fine, it sure makes the half of the avocado you put in the fridge look cuter than if you wrapped it in saran wrap, and there is less waste since it is washable and I don’t know about you but I tend to throw out saran wrap once I take it off of whatever I wrapped it around. So yeah, environmentally, it is probably the better option, but sadly it didn’t extend the life of my avocado past what the saran wrap was able to do.

It did however give me a good excuse to buy avocados; for that alone I think I am happy I bought it! πŸ˜‰

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

13 May

Note to self:

When you decide to make your banana chocolate chip cake in to muffins check to see how many muffin trays you have before committing to that choice.

I baked a double batch of my banana chocolate chip cake / bread last night after work but chose to make them in to muffins. Sounds great right? Well it would be except it turns out I have two muffin trays, each makes 6. The muffins take 20 minutes to bake. So at max capacity I was able to bake 12 muffins at a time.

A double batch of batter. Twelve muffins at a time. Twenty minutes for each dozen. I was baking for-freakin-ever!

I mean yeah, totally worth it, but eesh. *rolls eyes*

I think my next baking investment will have to be another muffin tray…

banana chocolate chip muffins

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