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Whaddayaknow! I actually got some exercise tonight! There was no way I was going to convince myself to go out in the rain for a run, but I came home, chucked a DVD on the telly (“we all use math every day!”) and did 40min on the exercise bike.

Now, I have been tagged by joanne (too lazy to add a link but not too lazy to be deliberately antagonistic, jojo)

1. Where is your cell phone? silent
2. Relationship? marvellous
3. Your hair? curly
4. Work? morphing
5. Your sister? identical
6. Your favourite thing? sleeping
7. Your dream last night? bodybuilding (seriously)
8. Your favourite drink? wein
9. Your dream car? pensionerworthy
10. The room you’re in? lounge
11. Your shoes? fakecrocs
12. Your fears? bored
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? fulfilled
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? hub
15. What are you not good at? navigating
16. Muffin? mc
17. Wish list item? homegym
18. Where you grew up? yarrambat
19. The last thing you did? cooked
20. What are you wearing? trackies
21. What are you not wearing? makeup
22. Your pet? monsterdogs
23. Your computer? not an apple (and it never will be!!)
24. Your life? multifaceted
25. Your mood? relaxed
26. Missing? space
27. What are you thinking about? changes
28. Your car? battered
29. Your kitchen? cooking
30. Your summer? stressed
31. Your favourite colour? blue
32. Last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? ads

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Kind of. I have mentioned a couple of times that things are pretty insane with me at the moment. Multiple things are happening which would fit into the top ten stressful things. Imagine public speaking while your house burns down and you are giving birth to triplets. The only difference is that the changes that I am involved in are hopefully positive developments (notice how I slipped having triplets in there with the negative stuff?).

Anyhoo, I haven’t run for a while and was finding it easy to talk myself out of it. I am trying to get back into it this week, starting with a few short sharp ones. I am still trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing and hope to be back in shape to do something at the Sri Chinmoy Princes Park. But I might be low on posting here for a while.

My name is deege and it has been way too long since my last blogpost.

Camping was good if tiring, but everything seemed to go well. My life otherwise doesn’t bear a lot of comment.

Remember when I said that no matter how busy I got I could at least manage to run for 15K per week? Turns out not so much. Actually I could have moved off my arse and done something resembling exercise this last couple of weeks, but I have just felt too shredded to even follow a conversation. As some of you know, the nature of my work means that things get this way sometimes.

Among other things still househunting and trying to make sure all of our options are reasonably situated close enough to running trails to interest me. Checking out one tonight which looks promising and just near the river.

There is a little light at the end of the tunnel so hopefully I should be feeling a bit more human in the next week or so. Here’s hoping.

First a word of explanation. Camping? In Winter? Yes, it is dreadful.

Every year there is a big youth event held on this long weekend where thousands of young people get together and camp on the side of a hill and play sports against each other and attend rallies and activities at night. They love it and it is a great weekend, but it does involve camping in tents on the side of a hill in June in Warragul where the temp gets down to 6 degrees overnight and it rains a lot.

And I am cooking/catering for our bunch of about 23 young people.

So last night I went to do the shopping for supplies and went to the coles because the supermarket I normally shop at was having renovations and down on stock. So I didn’t know where stuff was. So I went up to one attendant and said “Can you tell me where the dried beans are?” First I was pointed to the canned beans. No, thanks, I prefer not to lug more tins than I need to down to the site. With that the question proved worthy of escalation to someone more senior. Who pointed out the lentils to me (no, I want beans). So after telling me to “wait here”, the guy goes off to explore.

Given that they weren’t with the lentils and I had already checked the health food area I suspected that there were none. But the question was escalated to someone who was evidently the head box packer, whose authority was demonstrated by his ability to say “Dried beans? Never heard of ’em” in a tone of voice designed to reveal to me the error of my eays in even suggesting that such a thing existed, or indeed that people have been using this strange mystery product for centuries.

I almost slapped him upside the head, but I refrained. Then I stopped off on the way home at my normal supermarket and picked up some dried beans (kidney and borlotti).

Geddit? I slay me.

So I kind of have a lot on my plate at the moment with work, sick family members and helping out with a camping extravaganza on the weekend (in the cold and wet). So last night I was home late from work and I had already arranged to meet someone at our church to organise what we need to take on the weekend. I still needed to organise dinner for Hub (aforementioned sick family member) and it all seemed too hard. I walked through the door and told him about my day and slumped on the couch saying “maybe I shouldn’t go for a run”. His response (bless him) “I think this means that you should go for one”. So I made him some toast and a cup of tea so he didn’t expire from hunger before I got back, pulled on the running clothes and incorporated my run into my errands.

Ran about 3.5K to the church building, spent an hour or so completing my planning and packing stuff, then ran another 4K back to the house. Marvellous. Ended up getting a nice little jaunt in when it seemed difficult. Will take the shoes and try to get in a couple of runs in the cold while camping, but may not have time. Unless I have to pop to the milk bar, which would be a good 5K from where we are staying…

This is a swede:

swede.jpg

This is a parsnip:

parsnip.jpg

This is a turnip:

turnip.jpg

Why is it that every checkout attendant I have ever come across has to ask me what these vegetables are? It’s not as if they are rare or new or anything. I can sympathise with people who mix up their choys (bok, pak etc). I can sympathise with mixing up your fashionable lettuce. However. These vegetables have been common staples for generations. And they are yummy.

When they find their way into my trolley it is a sure sign that I am making either my grandmother’s award winning pasties, or a big pot of soup. And given that it is one of those cold afternoons, soup it is – this time my favourite chicken soup. Yummy and bursting with flavour. I made this for the family one time and my mum spent the meal trying to wheedle out of me what *else* I had put in the broth. She wouldn’t believe that the only additions are a little bit of salt and pepper.

Okay, like all good soups it takes a buttload of time to make properly but it is incredibly easy, freezes well and just as simple to make a big pot than a small one.

You’ll need a big soup pot with a lid (mine is about 14 litres which cost all of $10 at the market). Then you’ll need some soup vegetables – a couple of parsnips, a swede and some turnip (check photos above for reference if you aren’t sure), a couple of brown onions, some carrots and half a bunch of celery. I try to make the ingredients in roughly equal proportions. You’ll also need a whole chicken as large as will fit in your pot.

1. Put a drizzle of olive oil on the bottom of the soup pot. As much as I would like to be Jamie Oliver with my ingredients all in little bowls, it ain’t gonna happen, so I prefer to just chuck everything in as I go.

2. Peel the vegetables that need peeling and chop finely or dice. Try and make all the little bits of different stuff roughly the same size. Chuck vegies in pot.

3. Remove the skin from the chicken. This is a bit fiddly and slimy but not too difficult. If you can’t get all of it off, don’t worry about it (partic around the feet and the tail). Feed the skin to your dogs who are no doubt drooling on your shoe. Don’t put the chicken in the pot yet.

4. Put the pot on a decent heat and stir the vegies until they start to sweat evenly (it looks like what it sounds like).

5. Chuck the chicken on top of the vegies in the pot. Fill with cold water until chicken is just covered. Bring to the boil.

6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for ages (at least an hour) stirring occasionally – until the chicken starts to fall off the bones. House fills with yummy smells. Skim any fat off the top of the soup from time to time.

7. Remove chicken from pot. The wings or legs might have fallen off so fish around and make sure you get it all out. It will be very hot so be careful (or just swear a lot as is my technique). Pop it in a baking tray or casserole dish – something with a side on it. This is the best way I have worked out not to get stuff all over the kitchen. Remove the meat from the bones, shred and return to the pot. Chuck the bones out (dogs can’t eat cooked bones).

8. Heat through, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Happy winter eating.