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In retrospect, it seems like a dumb idea

Thinking back on my childhood, I can’t remember a time when I might have muttered the words, “gee, I think I’ll just pop out for a run.” I don’t even think the words, “cross country. yay!” ever passed my lips. I do remember playing soccer (badly), and being on the track and field team, but my track and field area of expertise was the dash. I could dash 100 yards (somedays even 200) like nobody’s business – and that was during a time in my childhood that was not awash with fears of a zombie uprising, and the need to save my brain. Truthfully, my brain was probably at the bottom of my list of priorities. But dash I could.

I could even short dash; full-contact volleyball and basketball with little bursts of speed to stand all sporty-like, asthma gasping aside, on the other side of the court.

And dodgeball. I liked me some dodgeball. I’m not sure if it was the hunter instinct in me, or the unconscious knowledge of having to dodge the walking dead, whilst throwing things madly in their way, sometime in my future.

Or, it could have been that our gym teacher had us play with a medicine ball; builds the abs and upper arms, don’t ya know. (apparently, it doesn’t last into your 40’s tho. damn). I have to tell you, you hit someone in the gut with a medicine ball and and they are going down!

Now I am in my <<cough>>fourties<<cough>>, and I have made a very public announcement about learning to run.

Dumb.

Because I can’t.

Except, I refuse to accept that. So I walk, with the hopes of one day, upping it to a trot, and then to a run.

My shin splints seem to be getting better, but I will keep walking for a bit. My walking partner and I started out at around 3K. We are now doing just over 5 with a plan to push it up each week. I am walking faster and seem to be having no problems with my plantar fasciitis. And, I am loving my barefoot 5 finger Vibrams.

I wonder if I can get up a game of dodgeball, tho….

 

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some days you just have to yell, “it’s butter makin’ time!”

Today was, you guessed it, butter making day. Tho, maybe, next time I’ll try to limit the butter eating so as to not have to make butter while making yogurt. The confusion, you know.

I love making butter. Almost as much as I love telling people that I make butter, because, you know. everyone thinks making butter is hard.

Everyone thinks making butter is long.

Everyone thinks I make butter with a wooden churn by candle light.

I am super-woman-butter-maker! Hear me churn!

And I am.

Only.

Not so much.

Why, you may ask, do I make my butter. Well, it’s not for the cost savings. The savings – the way I do  it – are minimal and not really worth the gas, but you could do it for the savings, if that’s the way you bend.

I do it for the freshness. (ok. also so people will call me super-woman-butter-maker. should i get that on a shirt?)

Eating butter made fresh is like having a whole buttery party in your mouth and you’re the only one invited.

Only better.

And I don’t even really like butter.

whipping cream about to be whipped

I start with organic whipping cream. – this is where the not so much savings comes in – I do catch a bit of grief from friends for buying organic dairy, as in Canada there are no antibiotics and such used with dairy cattle. But, who knows what they are fed, I always say!

Also, organic whipping cream is the only whipping cream I can find with no fillers. So if you want your butter to be pure, use organic. If you are doing this for the savings, feel free to buy regular whipping cream; you will still get a fresher taste, and you  may save tonnes of cash if you can buy it on special. Hint: this super fresh butter freezes well.

See my wooden churn! See how much work I have to do to make this butter!

After pouring in the whipping cream and turning on the one speed food processor, stand and stare for a bit. This is going to take some time. maybe even up to 7 minutes of your time. Seven minutes standing there, watching. Frankly, I don’t know how I even manage.

Be patient tho. My thoughts often runs like this ….

Butter! (pre-washing)

ok, here we go …. mmmmmmbutter.  poured it in …. mmmmmmmbutter, oh yeah, on. ok whip baby whip. lalalalalalalalalala. oh! look! whipped cream! maybe i should just stop here and just ….. no! be strong. lalalalalalalalalala …. hey, that doesn’t look right. did i mess it up. oh crap, i messed it up. damn, there goes 8$ worth of organic whipping cream. well, ok . i’ll give it a few more minutes. lalalalalalalalala ……BUTTER!

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

The next step is to pour off the buttermilk, and trust me, this is the best buttermilk you will ever taste. We use it to make pancakes, but please, let me know what recipes you end up using it for.

pouring off fresh buttermilk

Use a wooden spoon to press the butter (in the mixer), pressing off and pouring out as much buttermilk as possible.

Then, wash the butter.

Add coldcoldcoldcoldcold water to your mixer and blend for about 30 seconds. Using your wooden spoon to press the butter, pour off the liquid (butter water?) into your sink or compost collecting container.

Wash the butter again.

Pour off, again.

butter!

Then, using wooden spoons, remove the butter and press out as much liquid as possible while shaping. I use cute little ceramic butter dishes, but if I ever stumble across some old wooden butter forms, watch out!

It’s important to get out as much liquid as possible. The more liquid out, the longer your butter will last on the counter.

I then wrap any extra containers up in waxed paper and toss them in the freezer.

One container will last on the counter for a couple of weeks. And by last, I don’t mean “last”, it gets eaten pretty fast. I mean “not go bad”. The stuff in the freezer is good for a few months.

butter and buttermilk, ready for use

So, for my 8$ of organic whipping cream, I get two containers of butter, and almost 2 cups of buttermilk.

I guess there are some savings after all!

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From zero to, uh, zero

Well, you might as well kill me now and chop  me up into little pieces for the Zombie stew, because if the uprising were to occur tomorrow, I would be nothing more than a zombie taster plate; a prelude to the big brain nosh.

Why?

Because not only do I have asthma and plantar fasciitis, I have discovered I also have shin splints. Big ol’ out of shape princess-y shin splints. And these shin splints reared their ugly heads (?) on my second day out, causing much pain and more walking than jogging.  And lots of stopping. And much patience from my training friend.

I think this is one case where my princess-i-ness comes in handy as there will be no chance of me “running through the pain” and causing any kind of permanent damage to myself. And while my not-so-inner princess was tempted to toss in the towel on day two, my getting-old-and-decrepit self beat down the princess and started icing and stretching. I’ve taken a few days off, and we start back tomorrow, knowing there will be more walking than jogging. It will take us much longer to get to full on jogging, but it will be worth it in the end.

Because, come hell or high water, I will not be zombie kibble.

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Running, Week 1, Day 1

Well. That Sucked.

So.

I have quickly learned that “running” on my not-actually-mine-treadmill is just not going to happen. I am, essentially, a princess and if the opportunity presents itself to hop off the treadmill and knit, well honey, I’m going to do just that.

So I used my call a friend option. Good friend that she is, she agreed to start run-training with me 2-3 mornings a week, prior to her heading off to work. (my logic being that even if I stop running, I’ll still have to walk home)

I purchased an app called Couch to 5K for my phone (just 0.99$ for my iphone), borrowed toe socks from my 9yo, and head out into the -7C  morning to start running. The app, using intervals, is geared to getting one off the couch and running 5K in 9 weeks.

We shall see.

Due to the cold and my complete out of shapeness, I required two hits of my rescue pump but after that, breathing wasn’t a problem. After a 5 minute “brisk” walk, the app alternated between 1 minute of jogging and 1.5 minutes walking, and finished with a 5 minute walk cool down.

We only paused the program once, to walk up a hill, as we knew we were not going to run up, and pausing meant we still had to do that 1 minute of running once we hit the top.

The end result? I’m totally out of shape, but ….

3.11km with an average pace of 9.37 min/km.

Slow, but more than I’ve ever done. Ever.

Yay me!