You put WHAT in there??

Cilantro.  Yes, I know, I HAAAAAAaaatte Cilantro… 

Well I did hate Cilantro.  There’s a strong divide in the food community (of which I am most certainly NOT a part of) over Cilantro.  In layman’s terms, (since I did a lot of internet reading and don’t expect you to also go and read fifty articles on cilantro), it’s basically that the brain of the ‘haters’ detects the aldehydes (the smell of the broken down fat molecules) which are similar to the aldehydes that soap, cleaning agents and bugs exhibit.  The hater’s brains tell you it’s a poison and to avoid it.  The ‘lovers’ detect the same aldehydes but reference them from a positive place (companionship, food culture, good experiences) and it’s not detected as a poison.

A NYTimes article says this about converting ‘haters’ to ‘lovers’:

The senses of smell and taste evolved to evoke strong emotions, he explained, because they were critical to finding food and mates and avoiding poisons and predators. When we taste a food, the brain searches its memory to find a pattern from past experience that the flavor belongs to. Then it uses that pattern to create a perception of flavor, including an evaluation of its desirability.
If the flavor doesn’t fit a familiar food experience, and instead fits into a pattern that involves chemical cleaning agents and dirt, or crawly insects, then the brain highlights the mismatch and the potential threat to our safety. We react strongly and throw the offending ingredient on the floor where it belongs.
“When your brain detects a potential threat, it narrows your attention,” Dr. Gottfried told me in a telephone conversation. “You don’t need to know that a dangerous food has a hint of asparagus and sorrel to it. You just get it away from your mouth.”
But he explained that every new experience causes the brain to update and enlarge its set of patterns, and this can lead to a shift in how we perceive a food.
“I didn’t like cilantro to begin with,” he said. “But I love food, and I ate all kinds of things, and I kept encountering it. My brain must have developed new patterns for cilantro flavor from those experiences, which included pleasure from the other flavors and the sharing with friends and family. That’s how people in cilantro-eating countries experience it every day.”
“So I began to like cilantro,” he said. “It can still remind me of soap, but it’s not threatening anymore, so that association fades into the background, and I enjoy its other qualities. On the other hand, if I ate cilantro once and never willingly let it pass my lips again, there wouldn’t have been a chance to reshape that perception.”
Cilantro itself can be reshaped to make it easier to take. A Japanese study published in January suggested that crushing the leaves will give leaf enzymes the chance to gradually convert the aldehydes into other substances with no aroma.
Sure enough, I’ve found cilantro pestos to be lotion-free and surprisingly mild. They actually have deeper roots in the Mediterranean than the basil version, and can be delicious on pasta and breads and meats. If you’re looking to work on your cilantro patterns, pesto might be the place to start. 
Now, I couldn’t classify myself as being in the ‘lover’ camp and I would probably decline Cilantro in most things if I could, but I think my ‘food map’ is being altered.  One of my closest friends makes salsa with cilantro in it (because he wouldn’t dream of changing a good recipe because of my ‘irrational hatred’.  And I love every moment I spend with him and everything he makes (except oatmeal!).  

And that gets me to the moral of my story.  I made a crockpot today and the recipe called for Cilantro.  Normally, I would avoid this, but the chef is known to make amazing food and I wanted to make her recipe as written (except I couldn’t find liquid smoke… grrr!).

And I’d write out the recipe for you here, but no one does as good a job as she at photographing and describing her creations, so go here to find it.  And then put her on your rss feed or your blog list because she’s pretty amazing and her entries never fail to amuse, cause hunger and inspire.

Way too much

SUN!  P’cess got WAY too much sun today!  I feel as tho I might barf… While I wait for my baby Gravol to kick in and take myself to bed for a MUCH DESERVED Saturday night sleep into a Sunday that I don’t have to work, I will leave you with these pictures.

I worked at the Harmony Arts Festival today for Indigo Moon. Totally fun, totally love the woman, so tired and pukey!

 Henri took some time out to contemplate the scenery
 Henri and the Lion’s Gate Bridge
 Henri and Trish Moon of Indigo Moon
 Henri was trying to convince me he wanted a blanket for Christmas
 Hanging out in hand dyed Canadian Merino
 Trish and her lovely booth
 Henri auditioning for a job as the mascot.
 Henri shows off the new yarn I’m getting for my work.  It’s called Wildberries.  YUM!
 Henri snuck to the booth next door…
Hanging out with the 100% silk laceweight

It’s here


A firedrill.  – Well, not exactly a fire drill.  More like an actual ‘fire’ incident, complete with fire truck, seven fire fighters in full gear and oxygen tanks and a very angry captain.  7:35 in the morning, I was in the kitchen at work about to put knife to peach and make my breakfast when the fire alarm went off.  I’m a fire warden (one of three on our floor) at work and I know that the other two girls don’t work till closer to 9, so I gently set my peach down and ran for my desk where my Fire Warden gear is. (vest, flashlight, post it notes and whistle).  I also put my iphone in my handbag and grabbed that too, on the previous advice that if it’s a real incident, it will be a while before you can get back in the building and as a woman, all your stuff is in your purse.  I did my rounds on my floor, checking all the rooms and closing the doors behind me.  At first I was in a bit of a panic but I stopped for a second and realized that there was no smell of smoke and no obvious problem on our floor, in a concrete building.  When I was the last one on the floor (a bit creepy), I headed down the stairs and outside to find two other fire wardens standing outside.  When I asked what was going on, one of the guys said ‘There’s an incident on the 2nd floor’.  I had to DRAAAAG the rest of the information out of him, including whether the fire department had been called.  The ‘incident’ turned into a gong show.  Our fire ‘marshall’ (the guy that is supposed to talk to the FD, know where everything is and give direction to the wardens (who’s only job is to clear their own floor) was a pansy!  Seriously, I think the FD scared him or something because he sort of turned into a pudding brain and was completely unhelpful.  I ended up ‘taking over’ because even tho I also knew nothing, we all looked like a bunch of fools and at least they needed someone competant to talk to.  90 min later the captain came out of the building in a bit of a rage.  They went up to the 2nd floor, investigated everywhere, including in the ceiling and found nothing to report.  Like NOTHING!.  So we found the woman that had pulled the fire alarm and called 911 and she said ‘I heard a noise and smelled something funny so I called you guys’.  Uh, what?  Seriously?  At no time did you decide maybe you should get up out of your office and LOOK AROUND?  Seriously?!?  It was SO embarassing!  We (as the fire warden/marshall team) did learn some good lessons and we’ve made changes to some of the procedures based on the call, but it still is going to cost the department the $1000 fire call and she broke the glass in the pull station.  I hope she feels like an idiot.  In a concrete building at 730 in the morning, when there are MAYBE ten ambulatory adults on each floor, you can stand to investigate a bit before you go full throttle at the fire alarm.  Also, we have dialysis patients on the ground floor of the building… what a dummy!

Quitting
– I’ve temporarily quit my yarn store job.  I have the next five weeks off and then we’ll revisit and see how I feel and what the scheduling might be like.  I’ve worked 6 days a week for the last 7 months (and a few times in there I worked 7 days a week, which made for some very long distances between days off).  Don’t get me wrong, I like my job there and I LOVE the owners and Amanda!  They’re just fantastic people!  The problem is that I am in a strong requirement for some down time and I need my two days off to get through the next little while.  I will revisit working there (hopefully in the evening) in September.

A book review
– The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  A. MAY. ZING!  Seriously excellent!  I borrowed it from my friend Tara (www.tarable.blogspot.com) and it was almost impossible to put down.  At first I was a bit put off by the language and grammar used, but quickly realized that it was respectfully an integral part of the book and the story was told with such emotion and passion.  Highly HIGHLY recommend!

Finding an old friend – A LONG time ago in a far off land (northern BC) I accepted a job to be a supervisor and keyholder of a large chain grocery store in the interior of BC (think 7 month winters, -40c before the wind chill and NOTHING to do).  Prior to moving there, I had to go to even more north in BC to do my training.  There I met a few of the people that would end up making up the management team.  I distinctly remember HATING it there and realizing that the managers that were moving to my new store were less than impressed with me.  But when I GOT to the new store, I made fast friends with the Grocery Manager (I being the Front End and Cash manager).  We were pretty much inseparable and our friendship (to me) felt like we’d known eachother for ever.  He looked out for me (like when I stapled through my finger, or had a mental breakdown in the cash office) and I think I would have ended up in a much worse position than I did if he had not been there.  (the Manager took great pleasure in picking on and bullying me).  Anyway, the evil that is Facebook reconnected us and as it turns out, we’re both sort of in the same boat relationship wise.  I really enjoy getting friendships back together and this continues to remind me that when relationships grow apart, it’s best to let them go and not force it.  If they were meant to be (friendships I’m speaking of, not romantic relationships, altho maybe them too), then they’ll come back around.  I’m sure there’s some cliche floating around about that!

You might need a coffee to get through this!

Wanna know a good way to scare the ever loving shit out of yourself?  Fail at updating your iphone, have it lock up to be a useless piece of poop and then have to spend until midnight restoring it.  Find out after you have restored it that when iTunes said you should sync it first to get all the stuff off the iphone into the library that you bought from the app store while on the fly, you SHOULD DO THAT!  I lost quite a bit of stuff… including my Smurfs game. 😦  Not so sure I’ll start it again.  It’s kinda anticlimatic that I just reached a milestone on the game and now I have to start from the beginning 😦
 
I took transit to work today for the SECOND day!  That’s right!  I now take transit to work.  Some of my closest friends have already phoned me up and basically asked if I was ill or possibly hit my head.  My distaste for transit is quite well known.  Actually, my distaste for BUSES is quite well known.  I don’t mind the train.  I do mind when people breath on me, stand in front of the doors like stantions and otherwise act like jerks, but it’s a VERY short train ride!  In fact, it’s only about 6 min according to google.  I’d say that’s pretty accurate.  So my commute has gone from almost 20KM and an hour of driving to 5.5km of driving and it takes about 19 min all together, including the two LONG block walk from my car park spot to the train.
 
Today is the 15th day without caffiene.  I don’t see anything different about how I feel or behave when not consuming caffiene, so not sure how long I’ll keep it up.  Maybe till the end of the month, just to see how a month off the stuff feels.
 
Yesterday I drank 3 litres of cucumber flavored water.  It’s my new favorite thing!  I like plain water, but sometimes it gets boring and then I feel I want to go in search of something else, either additives (which while not terrible for you, aren’t exactly awesome) or worse yet, juice or pop.  I don’t like lemon water very much because I find it hard to get it perfect… I don’t like it too lemonny, contrary to what some people who know about ‘lemon lettuce’ might think.  So I thought I’d take the plunge and experiment.  It turned out remarkably well!  I cut a 3″ chunk off a large field cucumber ( I understand it works with English cucumbers as well, but since field cucumbers are locally grown and for sale right now, I thought I’d use that!), cut it into chunks and then threw it into the pitcher with 3 litres of water.  The skin stays on, and gives the water a bit of a citrusy flavor and the flesh of the cucumber gives it the distinctive subtle flavor.  It’s very refreshing!  Next time I’d probably scrape the seeds out before I threw the bunch in the water because it’s kind of a pain to have them floating after you strain out the chunks.
 
I just downloaded Jason Aldean’s new album.  It’s fantastic.  He has a voice similar to that of Dean Brody… one I find to be like salve for the soul.
 
I found the kitty sleeping on the deck chair when I left for work today.  He spent the entire evening and night outside.  Not sure what he was doing, but I’ve gotten a lot less anxious when he does that.  Altho, in the summer it makes sense for him to be outside… I would sleep outside on a deck chair too if I could!  In the winter is when it’s bothersome because it’s never ending rain and wind… what does a little kitty need to be outside in that for?
 
And for the last thing in the most boring blog update to date, I started knitting again.  I picked up the Bestee’s birthday present and knit three rounds!  It’s so close to being done!  Wednesday evening I’m going to go with my friend Glenda to her beginner knitting class!  More as moral support (for who I’m not sure…) and maybe I’ll get the pressie done.  It’s going to be about a month late, but I’m sure well recieved when I’m finally done.  I had such big plans to be done by her birthday and I started so early, but who knew life would take such a turn!  It’s funny because I LOVE knitting!  I like seeing the item come to life between my needles.  It’s given me comfort, entertainment, friends and many MANY finished items.  When I started to really feel low, I couldn’t bring myself to pick up a project… almost like I didn’t want to contaminate something I loved with poor feelings… and then it got to be so long that it was like trying to call up a friend after it’s been just a little bit too long… it’s awkward and difficult but just needs to be powered through.  I powered through and I’m BACK BABY!

Random…

 
1.  I have not drank caffiene for the last week.  This started out unintentionally and now I’ve decided to keep it up for a while.  The coffee shop I go to makes a red espresso, which is made with rooibos tea.  It’s very fine and they pack a bunch into the espresso cup/brewer/thingy and then force out rooibos tea and add hot water.  It’s very yummy with a tiny bit of brown sugar and a splash of cream or almond milk.  I can’t feel any difference between drinking caffiene and not drinking caffiene, but it’s probably better in the long run.
 
2.  I think I either dislocated my shoulder or dislocated my rib… I can’t move my right arm or turn my head… in fact, my head is so imobilized from the pain that I can’t drink water from a glass or bottle because I can’t tip my head back… good thing I like straws!  Anyway, I’m thinking I might have to get an emergency appointment at Dr. Ed’s but I don’t really want anyone to touch it.  It’s excrutiating to move, lay in bed, sit on the couch and stand.
 
3.  I didn’t go to work on Sunday because I hadn’t really slept and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get dressed.  Plus, the yarn store is a pretty dynamic environment and not being able to move your head and arm makes it pretty impossible to help people.  I first thought I could just cashier, but the keyboard/mouse set up is quite low and I have to bend to use it… and bending is just not an option.
 
4.  I got new HD tv and my hdpvr on Saturday!  The TV I bought last month sure looks pretty now!  I don’t have very many channels… Just the regular network ones (global, ctv, cbc) and then I got Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery and Discovery World and Spike.  I already have a long list of things to pvr already scheduled so it doesn’t seem like I’ll be channel deprived.
 
5.  The cleaners came to my house on Saturday.  They’re amazing!  They moved all the furniture out of the way to vacuum, cleaned the oven (I presprayed it), washed the floors, scrubbed the tub and toilet!  And vacuumed with a DYSON, which means that there must have been a LOT of cat hair in her canister when she was done!
 
6.  For the third week in a row, I’ve brought both my breakfast and my lunch and snacks to work!

What’s up…

I’m so conflicted at the moment that I can’t even think about writing down what I’m feeling.
 
I was under the miguided impression that as soon as Pat moved out, I’d be ‘back to my old self’.  I’d be running every day and eating very healthy and feeling like a new woman.  Ya, that was rubbish!  I’m sad.  I’m lonely and I’m depressed.  I don’t mind getting up in the morning by myself (besides the fact that I have to PRY myself out of bed (thanks mild depression!  Very helpful!) and I don’t mind coming home to my house alone… I don’t mind going to bed by myself… I was almost always first in bed and first up in the morning when Pat lived here.  It’s the evening that I don’t much care for.  I haven’t knit, I don’t read… I just sit on the sofa and stare and talk to the kitty. (not like crazy cat lady talking!).
I am not used to having so much silence.  On the one hand it’s nice but on the other hand it reminds me that I haven’t yet really mourned the end of my relationship.
 
For the six weeks that we lived together after we broke up, we both pretended (rather successfully actually) that everything was ‘fine’.  The day he moved out, I busied myself with making my new duvet and making dinner (from scratch!) for my friends and sister who came over to keep me company.  I took the rest of that week off work and sewed, cleaned and organized both by myself and with a variety of people helping me! (THANK YOU!).  I worked four days last week and every night after work did some sort of project or another.  On the weekend I had the big Karma party and was suitably distracted from any thoughts or feelings by the shear amount of work and people around.  On Sunday I went and hung out on the sofa at my friend Sam’s house and by Monday had nothing left to do to distract myself. 
 
Now the silent sound in my house reminds me with each passing minute that I have not reconciled this at all.  I’ve spent two months distracting myself, pretending to be fine and otherwise faking it.
I’m living in fear of actually sitting down and thinking about what’s happened in my life.  I have big plans for the ‘new’ me… jogging, good eating (altho to be fair to me, I am eating well and healthy!), new positive things to replace negative things that have come before.  But I can’t seem to get there to them because there’s a huge wall of grief that I have to get around first and I’m avoiding it like the plague.  It’s like when you don’t want to rip a bandaid off because it will hurt, so you figure the longer it stays on and the more showers you take, the glue will weaken and it will just slide off.  That never works!
 
So for the time being I’m stuck.  I’m afraid to cry because it’s going to hurt.  I’m afraid to even talk about my feelings surrounding it (aside from superficial stuff) because it will make me cry and as mentioned, that’s going to hurt!
 
And I feel that everyone was so encouraging to me that it will be ‘different’ when he’s gone and that it was ‘for the best’ that I should be expected to be well over it (it’s been two months!  but really, it’s been two weeks) and have moved on.
 
And I haven’t moved on.  I’ve cleaned and organized and made plans that are no where near being near fruition.  And when I go home I lay on the sofa or in my bed and stare into space completely numb until I fall asleep.
 
I haven’t finished my bestee’s birthday present (which is terrible since I started it so early… not knowing that this ‘minor detour’ would have come along), I have a million things I want to start, finish and work on and no ambition to do any of it.
 
The most ambition I’ve had in the last few days has been to discern where the lovely mint/lavender smell in the living room was coming from.  As it turns out, my whole bottle of Element Botanicals essential oil smashed in the bottom of my notions bowl.  At least it smelled good!

Not quite as planned

Dear Diary;
 
I’ve been very busy lately and the moments and days that I’m not busy, I’m catatonic… My plan to be ‘ready to go’ this week has been dropped in the toilet.  I’m so tired and out of sorts that I can’t even think of what to eat when I’m hungry. I doddle around the house like a woman without a brain and yesterday I spent the ENTIRE day laying on the couch with the kitty.
 
At the very least (and it was by no means least in the LEAST!), I now have curtains in the kitchen, a teal blue wall in the living room, my chandelier actually works and I put the crystals on it and the giraffe is now blue.  The railings outside were scrubbed and polished, the chairs were cleaned, wild flowers were planted and the kitchen cupboards were scrubbed!  I cleaned the top of the fridge (EW!) and the microwave got cleaned and everything was dusted!
We also drank and ate a lot and had some awesome laughs!
 
Here are some rather crappy iphone pictures.  More (better) later, I promise!
 Taking his Monday nap outside
 finally with the crystals and POWER! That was a six year project!
 Kitty was so happy to have his blankie back (it went out to sister’s for washing)
The color in this photo is hideous… I’ll get a better one.

Don’t fall asleep!

My period of acute mourning for my relationship is almost over.  How’s that you say?  How can you predict when you will feel better?  When you will stop feeling sad and tired?  Well, let’s be honest, while I think I’m superwoman, I am not and therefore I can’t predict these things.  What I can do is say that while I’m sure I will have some bad days, I will no longer allow myself to be submerged in it.  So, you’re done today, you ask?  Well, no.  I have a four day weekend coming up (including not working at the yarn store!  Holy cow!) which will entail a great deal of ‘nice things for me’.  At the end of that, I will enter into the next week ready to take on the world.  Some of the ‘nice things for me’ include a trip to my Accupuncturist (and best massage therapist in the WORLD!), grocery shopping for food for the next week, a trip to Dressew with my friend Glenda  to get the fabric to make a waterproof picnic blanket! (YES!  It was Glenda’s idea, but such a good one that I’m borrowing with her blessing!) I’m going to make curtains for my kitchen, have people over to help clean the rest of the place up and do the last odds and ends and then it’s back to real life for me!
In other FASCINATING news, it’s been determined (by me) (last night) that I can NOT take allergy pills.  I was having was I presume was an allergic reaction to something last night and was itchy EVERYWHERE.  Between my toes, my knuckles, my knees and other parts that you’d rather weren’t insanely itchy!  I took a Reactine because it’s the only anti histimine I have and it worked.  The problem is that I’m completely stoned today!  My head feels like it’s full of cotton stuffing and stainless steel scrub buds!  It’s wobbling back and forth on my apparently insufficient neck and making me feel like I was out all night partying (which I was not!  I was in bed playing with my smurfs!)  I knew that taking allergy pills on an ongoing basis during allergy season made me feel run down and not at my best, so I generally didn’t take them but I DIDN’T know that taking one pill would make me stoned for 24 hours!