Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sure Happy It’s Thursday

Dear readers, tonight I must begin by telling you the truth.  During the work week, I am unable to bond with my kitchen as much as I would like.

I do the best I can, which in my case means that I cook up a storm on the weekends.  During the week, I cook enough to tide myself over until the weekend.  Almost all of my meals are home-cooked, which is a fact of which I am very proud, but you can imagine how much cooking it takes to do that, especially considering that I eat lunch at work every day.  Now add onto that all the things I would like to do each day, and the kitchen time gets crunched into tiny windows in the early morning and late evening.  I really love the late evening hours in the kitchen: the day’s work is done, I’m fed and relaxed, and the house is calm and quiet.  If I’m in the kitchen, I’m probably working on a recipe I’ve wanted to try for weeks.  I’m happy in the midnight kitchen—it’s nice in there, late at night.

I hope you will understand, then, why today’s meals will seem eerily similar to yesterday’s meals.  It’s a typical Thursday event, and it serves to get me really excited about cooking some new dishes on Friday and beyond.

This morning I let myself sleep a little later than normal because a computer snafu kept me up later than I wanted on Wednesday night.  At 8 AM, my alarm sounded its wake-up call.  With sand still in my eyes, I shuffled out to the kitchen to make my new favorite breakfast: a baked egg topped with seasoned almond flour “crumbs” and a mango smoothie.  I brewed a cup of Earl Grey tea (which, by the way, has really grown on me in the last few months!) and added one of Amanda’s Spice Cookies as a breakfast dessert.  It’s hard to go wrong with a breakfast that contains fruit and nuts.

However, I really should have had something stronger than tea at breakfast because I dragged my grogginess around with me all day.  It was just one of those days when I should have been reading papers, and I did do a little reading, but altogether it was not my most productive day.  I’m trying to learn to accept that some days are going to be like that, just like some days are incredibly productive and I get more done than I had even planned.  In the end, I hope, it all balances out.

The weather here in College Station, Texas, was astonishing today: hot, humid, and 40 mph winds, in anticipation of a big rainstorm!  Those winds don’t mess around: I was almost carried away trying to walk from the bus stop to my building this morning!  Some time after 1 PM, I scurried over to “my” cafeteria for lunch, where I read Kath Eats Real Food while dining on an awesome meal: more Tomato Vegetable Soup (just one more bowl to finish tomorrow!), Organic Valley cheese with toasted walnuts, and the rest of my frozen organic mango stirred into some honeyed ricotta cheese.  Ricotta cheese is not a type of cheese that strict followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet are encouraged to eat, but I had a few spoonfuls left over from making my famous Mocha Ricotta Muffins for our first journal club.  (Journal club—it’s an excuse for scientists to talk about other people’s data.  I love journal club, especially when it involves chocolate.)  I also love ricotta cheese, and it was sublime with chunks of sweet, silky mango.

Apparently my sweet tooth was in charge at lunch today, because I also had half of a spice cookie.  Consider yourself warned: they might be addictive!

The afternoon creeped by, and I still wanted a coffee, but I resisted the urge, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to have milk or cream if I did take the time to walk to Starbucks.  (I’m not much of a Starbucks fan, but I think it’s the closest coffee bar to Texas A & M’s campus.)  Instead, I made baby step-sized progress on my many little projects and then nibbled on my afternoon snack: two pieces of Organic Valley cheese and one and a half spice cookies.  More cheese and nuts, please!  A fresh apple would have been a lovely addition to this snack, but my kitchen is all out…I’ve been kicking myself all week for not buying more organic apples when I went grocery shopping at HEB last weekend.

Have I mentioned that my new lab is split in two locations right now?  I’m part of what I call the Texas Branch, but there’s also a Duke Branch, and tonight the two branches were united!  My boss and his wife had us over for dinner and drinks (or was it the other way around?), and this evening I had to take my free pass on SCD so that I could eat with everyone else.  We had a Tex-Mex dinner, complete with lots of crispy corn chips and guacamole.  I got tipsy on a glass of white wine, which happened quickly and easily on my empty stomach.  In fact, I’m a little drunk right now, but I hope you don’t mind.  I don’t like to drink and blog, but since I never built up a tolerance to alcohol in college or graduate school, one glass is all it takes.  Actually, half a glass is all it takes.  You can probably guess that I’m a cheap date!

Fortunately, I didn’t trip over any furniture or make out with any inappropriate men, so overall I’d say it was a good night.  With Friday less than an hour away, I’m looking forward to celebrating my week of SCD cooking with some new recipes and some much-needed rest and relaxation.  Good night, dear readers.  I’ll meet you back here same time tomorrow.

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