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The Friday Five

A belated Friday Five on Monday. These questions come to us from miss_s_b on Dreamwidth

1, What is your favourite food? Pasta - any type, really, but I love old-fashioned spaghetti and meat sauce.

2, What is your favourite food preparation method? Probably stir fry because it is quick, and my daughter likes it so it’s a good way to get vegetables into her.

3, What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking? I like many cuisines - Brazilian, anything Asian (except the really spicy Indian foods), Central American/Mexican, Middle Eastern, German, Central Asian/Iranian/Afghan/Turkish. Heck, I even like some of the finer British foods.

4, Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they? I dislike clams but no real restrictions.

5, If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why? Cumin? It is a spice that adds richness to so many foods.

The Friday Five: Cheese

1. What was the first type of cheese you ever ate? I have no idea, but given when and where I grew up, it was probably something innocuous. I lived in France and then Germany from the time I was two until I was seven, so I can wish it was something more exotic than the cheddar or Velveeta that I probably had.

2. What was the type of cheese you ate most recently? I had a lovely Brie type with breakfast this morning. Before that, it was a fondue two nights ago, made with local Gruyere.

3. What is the most unusual cheese you ever ate? Define unusual. For many people, I suspect it might be a Gorgonzola or Stilton, both of which I like a lot.

4. What is your favorite cheese? What kind of question is that? That’s like asking which is your favourite child, or favourite cat. If I had to pick, I would go with the category of super old and sharp cheeses. One I remember really enjoying years ago was a Dubliner cheese that was so full of flavour bursts in my mouth that it was the equivalent of Pop Rocks, but in cheese. I don’t know if that makes any sense as Pop Rocks are quite horrible, but the cheese was amazing.

5. What is your favorite dish made with cheese? Seriously? What dish is not made better with cheese? Among my favourite comfort foods are homemade noodles and cheese (with spinach and a pinch of nutmeg), and a savoury bread pudding that uses whatever cheeses and vegetables happen to be on hand. For decadence, you can’t go wrong with Gorgonzola and leek soup. And this week’s fondue was yummy - a legitimate excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of melted cheese.

On my way to Geneva

The flight is hugely delayed but we are finally pulling out of Montreal. Will post more on the other side. I’m in need of a. Break from election coverage but I can’t stop watching. The enforced airplane mode is a good thing!

The Friday Five

Today's questions for Friday October 26, 2018

1. With Halloween coming this next week, do you have any seasonal activities you're planning on doing for the holiday? I will probably sit out front with my neighbours and hand out candies to any kids who come by. Three middle-aged women with wine - we’re scarier than any decorations we could put up!

2. What is your favorite Halloween or dress up party costume you've had? When I was in university, I painted myself green, dyed my hair purple, dressed up in a purple leotard and braided my hair on a clothes-hangar frame so it looked a bit like antennae.

3. Which do you like better, apple cider or pumpkin spice flavoring? I like both but they are for different things. I drink apple cider and I eat pumpkin spice in pie. It doesn’t belong anywhere else.

4. What is your favorite scary movie and why? I don’t watch scary movies, not even the kind aimed at little kids.

5. What traditionally "scary" monster or fear do you think is the most overrated and why? Probably all of them. I’m not interested in scary monsters and fears as I think they are all rather lame.

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In completely unrelated news, my daughter’s team will be playing in the quarter finals at Ultimate Frisbee university championships tomorrow. It will be live streamed starting at 9:55, I think. I’m going to miss a bit because I’m going for a swim first.

I finally did it (thanks to Susan Dennis)

Susan is always going on about her tech adventures, trying new things, and being ruthless with services that don’t make her happy. I have watched in awe for ages. This week, she posted about switching her internet service, and came at just the right time for me. I had just gotten my latest bill, which was ridiculously high considering that it is for a home phone, internet and a mobile phone. I don’t even have TV. So today, I switched plans.

My home phone has gone from $50 a month to $10, and my internet has gone from $110 to $30 (it will go up to $60 in a year, but I can live with that, unless a better deal comes along). My internet speed is also doubled. The new service doesn’t do mobile phones, but the price for that plan isn’t horrible for now, and I’ll look around for something better once I stop hyperventilating about having made such a huge change.

I’m the kind of customers businesses love to have. As long as I am reasonably happy, I am intensely brand loyal. Bye bye Bell - I told you a year ago I wasn’t happy and you gave me a slightly improved deal for a year, but no warning when it was about to expire, and my package cost more than standard packages with better service. Seriously? You wanted to keep me? It would have been easy.
The plumber wasn’t too horribly expensive, thank goodness. The furnace guy will be here Tuesday. The call itself won’t be horrible but the guy hasn’t told me what it will cost to repair or replace the furnace. Miraculously, I am surviving the heat. Every fan in the house is running, and I manage to get cooler air in at night, so it’s not awful.

Recipes for July

July 9 - Juicy balls. I have no idea what is in the original recipe, but they are inspired by a recipe that Constance makes for her food group while camping. They smell like they are made by cooking meatballs in onion soup mix and water, so that’s what I did. I used about 1 1/2 lb pure ground beef and browned it in the frying pan. Then I added about 1/2 a package of onion soup mix and some water, and allowed everything to cook down. When the soup was getting to be almost like a sauce, I mixed in cooked noodles (Constance served hers on the side because some people had gluten issues). It turns out that Constance now makes them with beef broth and desiccated onion because some instant soup mix has sugar (another no-no for part of the food group).

July 18 - Cherry pie filling (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218432/cherry-pie-filling/). I have no idea how this turned out because I gave the pie to my dad. He said it was good.

Carrot top pesto (http://www.organicauthority.com/3-carrot-top-recipes-because-carrot-greens-are-not-poisonous/). I accidentally left out the garlic, which is a shame because I had planned to use up some garlic scapes. However, I really liked the flavour without garlic. It may have been the lemon-infused olive oil I used when I ran out of my regular stuff.

July 23 - Swedish meatballs (https://addapinch.com/swedish-meatballs-recipe/). I really liked these, but my daughter thought they tasted funny - perhaps because I didn’t use pork, and possibly because I used garlic scapes instead of garlic.

Book challenge:
July was a book tied to your ancestry. I don’t know much about my ancestry. My mother’s family is German, via the USA and somewhere in Turkey or Russia. She said my birth father was of Norwegian background, so I chose Peer Gynt, because it was on the shelf. Trust me, the occasional music written by Edward Grieg is way better. This is one of my favourites: https://youtu.be/dyM2AnA96yE. This month’s challenge is to read a book with a yellow cover. It may be time to re-read The Art of Possibility.


Staycation - Day 4

I'm on the bus to my folks' house to weed their garden. I'm on the bus because I have completely lost control of my car. Today the girl is going for a ride. Tomorrow she has a riding lesson and then plans to shop with a friend. I put my foot down to claim the car for something I wanted to do on Saturday, and I'm allowed to have it on Sunday as long as I get it to her workplace by 3 pm and then bus home. 

I didn't go swimming this morning because I wasn't sure what her plans were so I hung around waiting for her to wake up (she worked 14 hours yesterday so was a very sleepy bunny). Instead, I washed windows and watered plants. Sadly, I discovered that my last borage plant accidentally got decapitated when I was weeding yesterday. So much for those suckers being indestructible!

Yesterday was nice. We went out to our leadership coach's place, which turned out to be a gorgeous custom-built house facing a golf course. We had a lovely visit over beer-butt chicken and grilled vegetables. Barbecued radishes are the bomb!

I'm starting to worry that I won't come close to getting all my planned projects done. I had two specific things to work on and haven't touched one, while the other has gotten only minimal attention. I have eyed starting some new things (foolish me) and am working at others that are not time sensitive. If only vacations really were about relaxing instead of family and other obligations. Sigh.