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queen's ears

Keep on keepin on.

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm
Mood: 2
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So... been a while. Oops. Moving on...

Winter break turned out to be very low key and sleepy for me. After a while I kinda gave up. I'd wanted to go out and do things, but eventually I justified it to myself- I *have* to go out and do things 5 days a week, normally, b/c work. How often do I get to stay home and veg for a week at a time? And then the blizzard hit after New Years and I just gave up. But I said I'd be OK with a vacation of sleeps. And I did go to two friend's New Years parties, nice and geeky, so I wasn't a total hermit.

The Xmas part was OK, but a little stressful. Not b/c of drama, but b/c dad had a really bad chest cold, and the bed in the guest room is awful and tiny, and my brother unfortunately had friends-of-friends visiting that didn't seem to care his family was trying to sleep at 2am. He *did* tell them to not be noise-jerks, and is thus mystified at why they're even friends of his friends. And then once it was day, Dad could be heard coughing from anywhere in the house, so still no sleep. After a few days of not really sleeping, and being extremely germ paranoid, I was very happy to come home.

Once again I made the mistake of buying a ton of extra groceries for winter break. A lot of cooking experiments did happen, but in the end a lot of stuff had to get tossed for spoilage. Meh.

I did try out a lot of new and revised recipes, with mixed results. But it was nice that I could try new recipes without *having* to eat them for the next week if they didn't turn out to be edible.

Lamb curry stew, dutch oven braise. Win!

Duck, via crock pot. Surprising if messy success. Many hours in the pot, then 20ish mins in the oven to crisp up. Couldn't finish my dinner portion that late at nite, but it didn't give me heartburn either. And the drippings were pretty much duck stock concentrate, which I'd mix with a bit of water and then drink like tea. Mmm protein tea.

Beef curry, via crock pot. Not as great, but I think I know what went wrong. The meat was just about to turn when I finally used it, and I found out that coconut milk will curdle in the crock if it hits the boiling point, so sauce-fail. But I also read that adding cornstarch will stop that from happening.

+5 Brownies (should recalculate) with gf flour instead of almond butter. Win! Will probably do that for Arisia.

Homemade waffles, almost win (took three tries and still don't have the batter quite right).

Banana bread, new low-oxalate recipe. Almost win. Still not quite right, but definitely better. Coconut flour will eat all the moisture and make it grainy, but then too much wet ingredients makes it soggy.

Cocoa meringues, with confectioners sugar instead of honey. Eventual win. And it works better for me to dump it all in when the whites are frothy instead of doing it gradually. Tho it would probably retain more fluff if I had cream of tartar, need to pick some up. And compared to the ones made with honey, the cocoa didn't get oddly bitter, and the cookies didn't absorb all the moisture from the air and get sticky. IMO, sugar is sugar.

Coconut cocoa macaroons, from failed meringue batter. Win! Meringue batter failed when I added the sugar gradually, so when it refused to stop looking like glue I added cocoa powder and coconut shavings. They bake a lot faster too, that was nice.

Mayo with avocado oil. Partial win. Tastes better than with avocado oil, but I can't get the texture right. Its almost more like velveeta than mayonnaise. Just this weekend I finally figured out how to make it in my stand mixer, I just need four egg yolks if I want the whisk to be able to reach them :-P

Leg of Lamb, in crock pot. Actually I did that this weekend. It really does seem to be the best way to cook that cut of meat. Omnomnom.

So that's ten new or revised recipes to start the new year (and continue the low oxalate diet :-P). Some of which actually worked. Yaaaay.

And then I came back to work, and tried to give up chocolate. Particularly solid chocolate, b/c oxalates. Ugh. Actually, white chocolate isn't that bad, and its easier to keep in portion control b/c I don't like it as much :-P. Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to find non-dairy white chocolate. And on top of that, the 'white chips' in the normal grocery stores don't even contain cocoa butter. Just lots of weird oils and sugar.

That was part of why I wanted to try the meringue recipe again. Its annoying to have something take up oven space for that long, but it means lighter at-work desserts, still able to portion control. And I did add cocoa powder, but as oxalates are a numbers game, I think 4 Tbsp (double batch) spread out over 8 servings of cookies won't be as bad as 2oz of chocolate chips every day.

I wish I'd experimented with more cookies over winter break, but I just ran out of steam. Obviously, with 10 food experiments to work on.

For all the food-work, I really don't seem any better in the tummy region. And in some ways its worse. But I have an endoscopy scheduled for next Tuesday, and hopefully the GI will find something she can diagnose and fix. I did binge a lot on dairy over break, and that caused me more congestion, so I need to not do that anymore. Once in a while, OK, but not two weeks straight.

I also went to my pcp last week, and she couldn't really think of any other ways she could help me. Tho that means I'm back to yearly appointments. And she approved of my theory that the tummy problems may be causing the sleep problems, so fixing it might cause a nice domino effect. She also gave me a referral for her practice's nutritionist, but I'll make that appointment after the next tummy procedure.

Oh, and I've gained about 20 lbs since September 2012. And I'm annoyed, not for vanity but b/c I DON'T want to have to purchase a whole new set of clothes. Again. Brainfog and exhaustion are still the main priorities, but I'm going to see if a slightly more restrictive diet (as if it wasn't restrictive enough :-P) will stop me from gaining more weight. Ugh. I weighed myself b/c I wanted to know if pants-tightness was due to inflammation or actual weight gain. At least now I know. *shrugs* I really don't care how I look, I care far more about how my brain doesn't work.

Far more exciting than medical procedures, Arisia is this weekend! And my friend and I are taking the train to Boston, so I don't have to starve myself or deal with travel sickness. From researching and asking questions on the forum, I've found that most of the hotels restaurants have gf options, so if I can just fit some brownies in my suitcase and find a CVS in town to pick up chips and tuna, I should be fine for noms all weekend.

Ima do my best to treat it as a vacation, and just relax, and do the things I wanna do. And wear pretty things and geek out. Or monopolize the bathtub b/c tired if I have to. But its a new con, so I'm trying not to get to invested in a certain sort of con experience, b/c ultimately I don't know what it is yet. But I'm not vending either, so already score one for me.

Not much else going on. Between germ fear and pre-con preparation (extra rest so far), I haven't gone out much since getting back to work last week. But I did set a Geekolution- Ima watch as much Classic Doctor Who as I can this year. Tho having added 100 DVDs to my Netflix queue, I realized that doing one a week won't finish the series. But if I *only* watch 50 I'm OK with that. And I'm going to try watching them in order, or as much in order as the supply will allow.

Not really setting any actual/normal NY resolutions. B/c anything I want to do is contingent on my health improving, which I've been working on all along anyway. Sitting on my comfy couch and watching DVDs every Saturday nite? That I can probably do, as long as I don't space out and forget to send my discs back.

I think I've decided to get back into sewing, but no more deadlines (except DCon, but that'll get done early). Tho I set out some projects to finish/fix this weekend, and ended up watching DVDs and vegging out instead. I don't consider that a fail. I just miss having some kind of project to work on, and quitting sewing didn't improve the volume of my writing at all. So I'll work on these crafty projects until (hopefully) my brains come back to me. Am also fine not pushing myself on projects right before a con vacation. Fabric can wait.

Also got some Twilight Alchemy Labs oils for ritual work last week. Sadly, it looks like STFU isn't actually helpful in quieting loud neighbors, but White Light is pretty and relaxing, and Radiance of Ra is pretty and energizing. In fact, they all smell really nice (even STFU), so it'll be hard reserving them for ritual use only. Cuz I've totally forgotten the giant box of BPAL (TAL is actually a sub-company of theirs) I already have. I'm silly. And now I need to reorganize my ritual oils box :-P May bring Ra with me for Arisia, in case I need a boost, along with my perfumes.

Less fun, last week served to remind me about how many of my friends are moving forwards with their lives, in a variety of ways and directions, and I'm still just ... stuck. Like I have been for 2.5 years, and 1.5 years of actively trying to dig my way out of zombie-mode. All the weird diets and lifestyle changes may look crazy and time consuming, but they're really all I have to feel like I haven't completely failed yet. So Ima keep on with those :-P

<3 Chrysilla

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, http://chrysilla.dreamwidth.org/

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