Do you agree? I do. What do you think Virginia Woolf meant by “dined well”?
We’ll never know, but I think of dining well as having a meal in a serene setting with fascinating company. The food must be delectable, but that is subjective. Champagne is a plus.
Asking people their favorite food is something I do often. Most people say, “I don’t know.”
Why does this question catch people off guard?
Most of us eat multiple times daily (if you don’t, we can’t be friends, sorry). Surely we know what our favorite thing to eat is.
Perhaps the “I don’t know” response translates to “stop asking silly questions and leave me alone.”
Whatever. I press, “Think! Think about it and tell me”.
Food is a passion of mine. I like to eat it, but more than that I like talking about it, thinking about it and considering its impact on our overall health.
THIS WEEK with Gigi 2 June 2017
Just a reminder, this is not sponsored content. Just our coffee talk chat to catch up at week’s end.
This week was meatless for me. Specifically, it was a pesco-vegetarian week. Fish plus the usual vegetarian foods, with the exception of dairy.
Vegetables make up most of what I eat always, but lately, my meat portions seem larger. Portion control is something to pay attention to, isn’t it?
For several months, I’ve noticed an inverse relationship between my meat consumption (increasing) and my energy level (decreasing). I know, I know. It could be a million other factors (my lack of sleep, increased work load, etc.). But just like you, I know my body best and it’s that “know it inside” knowing where you just… know. You know? ;-)
We tried jackfruit for the first time. It’s a giant fruit in the fig family of plants. You eat the inside flesh, which is actually about a gillion “meaty” flower petals. It’s wild! We like it. I did my own thing with it, just shredded it and added homemade barbecue sauce and sauteed onions (yes, the Vidalias I went on so about last week). I didn’t write a recipe; what I did amounted to a riff on this recipe from Minimalist Baker. (PS – not all the recipes there are GF, so you’re warned.)
Next, I want to try using jackfruit to make Reuben sandwiches. Have you tried jackfruit? What did you think?
Backing up to Memorial Day (how was yours? what did you eat?), I made veggie burgers (above). On Instagram, I saw this recipe from an account I follow, so I modified the heck out of it (no gluten, more veg, more patties). It was stellar! We are remaking it this week so that I can share it with you soon. Here’s a pic I shared on IG of the ingredients.
Side note: I had a few emails about what the heck am I doing on Insta. I touched on that last week.
Last Friday, Ma Petite and I tried a new-to-us shabu-shabu joint. I mention our connection with Korean culture and language here, which is why we are always on the search for new Korean restaurants.
If you don’t know, shabu-shabu is Japanese hot-pot. The resto we tried is in Koreatown, so it’s shabu-shabu with a Korean twist. Here’s the gist of how it works:
There is a cooking pot made into the table in front of you. Each person has their own hot-pot. Broth is poured into the pot, heated and you cook the other ingredients as you wish.
The broth we had was vegan, made with 10 vegetables. It was kind of lavender colored, hinting at purple cabbage as one of the veggies.
You order from a menu of vegetarian, meat and seafood options. We had lamb. Accompanying veggies were: pumpkin (I know it’s a fruit), corn on the cob, Shanghai bok choy, large green cabbage leaves, chunks of purple cabbage. There were dok boki (Korean rice cakes) and a raw egg in its shell wrapped in aluminum foil. Interesting.
Me: What do I do with this?
Server: You cook it in the broth. Take off the foil.
Seriously glad he told me that was OK because I was going to remove it anyway. Boiling foil in broth I’m going to eat? No thanks.
Our table was messy, folks. I mean, we are placing raw veg, egg, dok, meat and who knows what else in broth that’s at a raging boil. With chopsticks. It was a riot. It was also very tasty.
The manager made a special sauce for us because of the gluten and soy issues. It contained sesame oil, S&P, sriracha (yes, the GF brand we use at home), green onions, garlic, cilantro, some hot peppers – delish!
I’m going to show you the egg pic, which is a most unappetizing picture, but you need to see that I boiled an egg in broth and extracted it with chopsticks (just kidding, they gave us a little ladle). But I did eat it with chopsticks, which was (not) pretty.
The egg, corn, dok and pumpkin go into the boiling pot first. They take about five minutes to cook. Everything else takes about a minute.
The process of assembly is to place a steamed large green cabbage leaf on the plate, top with cooked veg and/or whatever meat or seafood you’re having, a bit of sauce, then (skillfully using your chopsticks) wrap it up into a neat bundle, then eat.
We eat with chopsticks at home often; however, we do not wrap things into neat bundles with them. Practice makes perfect.
There were also yam noodles on our platters of veggies. They’re made from white sweet potato. We were told to save those for the end. They cook in about a minute and mixed with the sauce our server made, they tasted great!
By this point, we are stuffed and our faces hurt from laughing (mostly at me for lack of skill in the chopstick department; possibly at “losing” some food in the hot-pot). Two hours of eating, it was time to go. But there was more food.
The last course was porridge. It’s rice porridge made at the table in leftover broth. Sesame oil, pepper and an egg are added. THIS is Korean comfort food. I could probably eat this dish every day. So simple, yet so good. It’s warm, mildly nutty (from the sesame oil), a bit salty and creamy.
Needless to say, I thought well, loved well and slept well after this meal.
One thing I didn’t do was garden well. We’ve had so much rain, everything is soggy and steamy. I was hardly able to be out with the plants. However, post-rain is great picture-taking time. The Meyer lemon tree is bursting with these fragrant blooms. I stop every time I pass by to take a quick whiff.
And the lemons are growing fast! If they actually turn yellow, I will likely cry tears of joy. And make this lemon tart.
But you can only hear about the lone Meyer lemon so much, right? But check this out – I’m growing ginger!
Yes, like the root you buy in the grocery store. Very cool. I decided to spread my horticultural wings, to expand my horizons and cultivate my very own ginger plant so that I can just step out onto the patio and dig up a bit whenever I like. HAHA! Just kidding. I accidentally left a small bit of unpeeled ginger root in the veggie bowl and it sprouted! Talk about neglect.
I was so impressed by the tiny (less than 1 centimeter) sprout poking out the side, I couldn’t toss it out, so I planted it. At first, inside in a tiny pot (or maybe a teacup). It grew and made more shoots, so I read about what I should be doing to/for it. Ginger needs a trough type planter so that the root can grow long (makes sense, no?).
At the far right of the above shot you can see a tiny germander plant. I have quite a bit, so I moved a couple to each end of the ginger planter. Germander is a natural remedy for gout – did you know?
Here’s another “can’t believe I’m growing this” specimen. We have a couple of palms in giant pots. This is a Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa). I love the pink-coral inflorescence (above). Nature amazes me.
I didn’t read much in the other two books I told you about last week, but You Are the Universe (Chopra) is tickling my brain. I like thinking about what was before Big Bang and how we are our own reality. Does a tree make a noise if it falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it? Questions we can answer a number of ways – none right, none wrong. Philosophy has long played a role in my continuing education and this book feeds the need.
You might disagree with the belief base behind that book; that’s OK. What works for me might not work at all for you, and vice versa. That applies to everything, including our fitness routine. However, one thing on which we are likely to agree is we need to keep moving.
Last week, I logged about 40 miles last week in five days. It felt balanced in the context of the week. I continually seek balance in all aspects of life.
Yesterday, we added some new upper body resistance work to our routine and there’s always yoga. These are some of my favorite yoga workouts on YouTube.
Did I tell you a few years ago my YouTube channel was hacked? Long story, but it amounted to my being locked out permanently. At first, I was bothered by it, but then, I let it go.
My sweet friend and colleague started a new channel for me. Now, granted, that one hasn’t taken off, but maybe this will be the year I get back to making more videos for you. If I did, what would your topics of interest be?
And One Last Burning Question:
What’s your favorite food? Tell me in the comments. No, really, tell me. :-)