Food for those who don't like food.

Monday, November 06, 2006

All at Once

So. This Picture has nothing to do with the post, but I refuse to waste it, now...

I really want to be selfish. It's true, I really want to be mean and spiteful and full of hate, anger; I could go so EMO right now it's not even funny. Unfortunately though, in this situation It just wouldn't be right.

So this post is about my sister, first a congratulations, because she is getting married. I really hope that my sister respects me and doesn't read this because despite the fact I know where her blog is, I won't read it. It's something personal, and a side of my sister that isn't for me to see. Knowing this, you have to know that despite me not reading the rough equivalent of her open paged journal, I still do know something. I know when she has trouble, I can tell. I know when she feels ganged up on, and when people think everyone is against her. I know everyone of her little ticks she does when she's aggravated and I can call it to the second when she'll break down.

Truth is her and me are both painfully alike in that aspect. We each have different insecurities, we both had different problems growing up, but we are both very visual. Creatively and annoyingly we tell our problems before people can even ask. We tell it by our pained expressions, our upset looks, our posture, our silence. Who needs words with all of this glaring you smack in the face. The worst part though is that when it comes to confrontations, we have somehow managed to be opposite types. If someone really does bother me, I will go up to their face at any point and tell them the best way I can that they need to do something about it. My sister, when she's mad she goes away. She retreats until she knows what she wants to say. I process things aloud, sometimes while walking around. She processes things internally. Now---put these two in a room and let them disagree---GO! Many of our friends can attest to this monstrous and immature display.

Despite our fighting sometimes we still can't really understand each other. Currently this is the situation.

My sister is getting married. My sister is getting married! You have no idea how happy I am for her; despite this though I have a predicament. I don't think my sister is quite ready personally to join with another in holy matrimony. She knows she has issues, but I just don't know if she's open to seeing them all. Her roommates can seem them, her family can see them, but why is she is blatantly unaware. When I look at how her and Mike get along I trust they want god to be a big part of their relationship, but I also think that they're strong emotional attraction has but a bias on their views of each other. I know I seem skeptical. Maybe that's another big character flaw on my part, or maybe I'm just being a brother. I just had to ask myself, Is this the best thing for her at this time, or will she need more time?

Bring in more to this equation my sister has set the date for her wedding in March. When she is married she will know her fiance Mike for one whole year. One whole year. What do I know really, what experience do I have in dating and relationships? The real answer is none, which further adds to a malicious motive some may skew me towards. Truth is by my sister having a wedding it further puts me in a financial straight shot situation of not knowing what to do. I want to go to a school in January. I need my parents to help me with that. Key Words: I want. What I want doesn't really matter at this point, except for the fact that I want my sister to be happy.

" 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (NIV)

This is phrasing that was quoted through somewhere, I'm not sure where, but I remembered it involved patience. I remember that it talks about dying, where at times it's honestly what I felt was happening to me. I could relate to that feeling of dying, of part of you thoroughly wasting away with every heaving step. Yet we live on. It seems I've been saying I'm sorry a lot lately. Now though, I need to say again...but to god. I keep telling myself that I'm ready. I keep telling people around me that I have changed and grown enough that I can do this again. I keep remembering things that made me so sad to see, like when I was in Manitoba. I was so sad to be there and not have that connection everyone else had. I was jealous they had the freedom to move on while I had still more work to do. I was jealous of a connection I lacked amongst them. At the very same time I was ridiculously happy, I saw them moving on with their lives and I saw that they were affected. It's frakking beautiful. However there is nothing I can particularly do now except hold on and wait. I love god, but dang him for making me wait.

It better be worth it.

So. Back to my sister to end this annoyingly hovering and long long entry full of depressing typed diarhea spewed on to the page. My struggle with her is that, I wish I could be more happy for her. So to do that, I'll pretty much have to wait a little longer for my stuff to happen, at least until god tells me something else. I want her to have the best wedding she can, because you only do get one...if you do it right and make it count. So my parents shouldn't have to worry about my school and the wedding at the same time. It's annoyingly easier, which makes it harder for me to do.

Now. Someone please, knit me a sweater, it's COLD.
"Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (the Message)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Food Makes All Apologies a Little Bit Easier...

It should be known that for any sort of apology one must present an offering of sincerity...which is usually food. In all honesty I couldn't think of a sweeter (pun intended) way of saying.

I'm sorry.

Might I also add I'm new in hopes that I can salvage my grand audience of two?

How about an explanation. I've been blinded by Wedding Bells, and my sister has decided to get married---in five months! God Bless Her! Now I congratulate her for this great step forward in life, but at the same time this caused me to shrink back and realize I really don't have much in my bank account. So I was faced with one of those whats-a-ma-call-it "life choices" and regressed to my ignore my blogging ways. Really, It was wonderful almost to not cook for three whole weeks. Then I realized I really really wanted to cook, because cooking is for lack of a better word, therapeutic. What was missed was a Chili with too much spice and Muffins that while sweet and lasted a whole day unfortunately were so complicated it made me scream. In other words true failures that I just wasn't ready to admit too. Am I in denial? Probably...I mean, yes, but that doesn't give me any excuse. In fact I make a lot of failures but every once in a while I hit a streak of pure gold. It just so happens that recently that streak of gold was from the flesh of some sort of slow-roasted vegetable. So enough with the sincerities and time for the real presents!
I don't know why, but this time of year...I am obsessed with squash. Maybe it's just us Americans or an obscure diet staple of upper midwest americas or what, but anywhere you go this time of year you will see a variety of fall-hued stemmed monstrosities. Children Carry around Plastic versions of the more popular ones, while our grocery aisles suddenly have endcap aisles devoted to Libby's Moneymaker. Our Coffee Shops create drinks devoted to them, our bakeries thrown them in cheesecakes and muffins and cookies, oh my! You cannot go anywhere without running into them, that's because any grower knows that when they really go to fruition they breed like happy bunnies and gerbils.

So I present a gift, orange and sweet and studded with crunchy pecans, this is loaf that is it's simplest form, frakking awesome! The best part is that it is from an old Cooking Light so it's almost good for you...well, admittedly eating a whole loaf in one sitting won't help your wasteline. I'd like to note I really couldn't bring myself to add water to a loaf recipe when you can really add something more flavorful, after a try I opted to add buttermilk to balance the flavor. (Which for a quarter cup it adds about 30 calories to the whole loaf and very little fat...which I should really look up)

I hope in the future after a stunning amount of butter consumption in preparing my first recipe I can actually slim down in the future. Think of this as a positive step in the right direction, a new effort, a season resolution so to speak.

AND Maybe...just maybe I'll figure out how to use my gorram camera some day too.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf (Adapted from Cooking Light - November 1995)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
(or Sub 3/4 tsp Ginger, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon,
1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp cloves)

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Vegetable cooking spray

5 x 9 Loaf Pan
Wheat Germ or Flour for Dusting

Preheat your Oven to 350 Fahrenheit, (someday I will look up Celcius, but until then remember I am american and we all run on the "our system is the way" measuring system) and spray and dust your pan with whatever your choice of dusting items and fat. I use good old Canola Oil Cooking Spray. I spray the bottom, then add a fitted piece of parchment paper followed by more spraying along he sides. I usually dust with wheat germ, just because I think it really marries well with muffins and loafs (and my mother told me too), again I say use whatever you normally do.

Now, before you really do anything else, seperate the three eggs and leave the whites in a medium size bowl for later. Now Measure and Whisk Together all of the spices, the baking powder, salt, flour and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Now stop and clean up before you go any further because if you're like me---you just don't want to do this later. Now back to those egg whites; whisk them until right before they form those soft peaks; you want a thickness but not a meringue. Now fold in the pumpkin (or butternut puree if you're feeling bored yet adventerous), buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Create a well in the middle the dry ingredients and add the wet to that well and fold lightly. Now just after the dry really starts to marry to the wet (but while there are still large streaks of flour) throw the cranberries into the fold. There should still be large some streams of flour when you decide to walk away. Just walk away. Let this baby rest and clean up any residual messes amongst your kitchen.

Spread the batter into that already coated 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, gently. Sprinkle the Pecans Evenly over the top and using whatever you used to spread the batter to just gently tuck in the pecans. Bake at 350° for 54 - 58 Minutes depending on your oven, I typically take it out just a little bit early. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack; remove from the pan, and let cool almost completely on wire rack before slicing. Resist the Temptation to eat it all the minute it comes out, a burnt mouth really ruins the experience, and that added in-pan cooking time seems to help it set.

Each Slice depending on the size from a twelve piece loaf will have around 225 calories, and about 6 grams of fat. Mostly Good fat, and there is nothing better than good fat.

12-16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)