Thursday, 4 April 2013

Slow week

As you all know, Easter weekend has been and gone, and we're now venturing into the thick of April.  Boy, this year is zooming by!  However, this week feels a little slow and sluggish.  Allow me to start back up where I left off last week...

So Thursday arrived, along with my bike trainer.  Yay!  Happy dance!  (No impact, shuffling happy dance).  I set it up in the lounge, dragged my bike inside and gave it a quick once-over with a cloth (it had a few cobwebs!), and jumped on.  Half an hour later I had to stop because my knee was really sore.  Gah!  Frustration!!!  I popped some anti-inflammatories and iced it for 20 minutes, then went and did something else for a while (I can't recall what exactly, probably cooking.  I believe we had lasagne for dinner).  Throughout the rest of the day I did little 15 minute stints on the bike, and by the end of the day I think I'd clocked up about two hours total.  And my knee was feeling perfectly fine.  Perhaps it was just the initial shock of "OMG, exercise!" that got to it that first time.  Who could say?  Either way, I was quite happy to have something to do to get my heart pumping.

On Friday my mother-in-law arrived for the weekend, so the bike trainer went into the upstairs bedroom.  I baked a batch of delicious hot cross buns for lunch with fruit this time (oh dear, the poor neglected children had to miss out... sad face.  Yeah, right.)  They were just as scrumptious as I remember them being, and the entire batch of buns disappeared before I could say boo.  Luckily, I had made an extra loaf the same as last time, so we had fruit bread for breakfasts as well.  I snuck in a half hour on the bike in the afternoon, then made the much-loved favourite meatloaf for dinner.  I have no idea where this recipe originated from, but Deane's friend's mother used to make it.  It was his favourite, so when he came to live with us many moons ago, his mother shared the recipe with us so we could make it for him.  Everybody loves this meatloaf (except my children, because they are weird), so I will share the recipe with you here:

500g mince
500g sausage meat
1 onion, finely chopped (or grated, if you have onion haters in the family)
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 dessertspoon curry powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Mix together well, shape into a loaf and place in a baking dish.  Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes.  Simmer together for five minutes:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
25g butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Take the meatloaf out of the oven and slice most of the way through into 1/2" to 3/4" slices, depending on how thick you like your meatloaf slices.  Then pour the sauce all over the meatloaf, and continue to bake for a further 45 minutes, basting frequently.  Serve hot, with sauce spooned over the top. 

This makes a large meatloaf (perhaps something to do with the kilo of meat in it...), and it is excellent heated up as leftovers.  It goes great with potatoes (baked or mashed.  Mmm, mashed potatoes with meatloaf sauce...) and makes a fantastic sandwich.  Yum!  Sadly, with extra people visiting, there were no leftovers this time around.

Saturday was... Saturday.  Nothing special about it.  Managed another 30 minutes on the bike, which was fairly early in the morning since everyone was still asleep.  Well, the boys were awake and watching YouTube videos on the TV in our room upstairs while Deane carried on sleeping.  I say early, but it was about 9.15am.  I guess everyone needed a sleep in that day.  I made some banana walnut maple muffins (which were fabulous with butter, icing sugar and maple syrup drizzled on top!), we had yum cha at Hees Garden for lunch, and some friends came around for dinner that evening - Deane cooked a barbecue.  If I remember right, it rained that evening.  Whether it rained while Deane was outside cooking, or whether it rained much later once we had all gone to bed, I don't really recall.  I got a little drunk on wine while watching Breaking Dawn Part 1.  Oops...

Sunday morning was a little wet (that's how I knew it had rained the night before.  Excellent powers of observation and deduction I have.  Probably wouldn't be much chop against Sherlock Holmes though).  I was pleasantly surprised to find I was not hung over, and cooked everyone scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast.  Unfortunately, not long after breakfast, we discovered that we had been invaded.

By ants.  Most of those ants were carrying eggs, which means they were attempting to move their nest inside.  I assume they were drawn in by the rain overnight.  Some had set up camp in my MIL's bags and clothing (to the right in the pictures).  I phoned the landlord who went in search of ant bait, and I doused them with almost an entire bottle of ant spray.  We left it at that for the time being.  The kids chowed down on some chocolate Easter eggs which is the norm for Easter Sunday of course, and I headed off to knitting.  Rather than try to follow the cable pattern for my Cassidy cardigan (I have now completed the left front and made a start on the right front), I took some sock yarn, 2.25mm needles and a relatively simple pattern so I could cast on something that didn't require a lot of brain-power.  I managed to knit the toe and two pattern repeats before my mind started wandering and losing focus, since by that time I had developed a slight headache.  Wonder why... ;-)  I caught a lift home with a friend, cleaned up the multitude of now-very-dead ants, then got stuck in to making naan bread for dinner to accompany the ridiculously yummy lamb curry that Deane made.  Again, there were no leftovers.  Bummer.  My knee was a little stiff and sore so there was no biking, but my MIL and I watched Breaking Dawn Part 2 so there was a good end to a rather up-and-down day.

Monday was a relaxing, plod-along day.  My mother-in-law headed home, so the bike came back downstairs.  Another 45 minutes was spent cycling away, while Deane and the boys watched more YouTube videos.  I'll admit, some of the stuff they watch is ridiculous (y'know, like videos of people playing online games such as Minecraft, Happy Wheels, etc), but others are incredibly fascinating, educational videos.  We've discovered Vsauce and a multitude of other geeky-yet-informative science channels.  Loving it!  Mind blown on a daily basis.  Our world is quite amazing. 

I made some sushi for Deane's lunches, and some German chocolate fudge bites for snacks.  I also managed to get a bit more of the sock knit, to the point where I am past the heel and onto the leg:

And of course, such is the way with these things, since taking the photo I have noticed an error smack-bang in the middle of the top of the foot.  On closer inspection, I have discovered that it is a dropped stitch, which I will now have to remedy in some way.  Sigh.  That would explain the problem I was having with the pattern not matching the stitch count earlier...  In any case, the socks are the Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy Johnson (published in her books but also available online for free), knit in Needle Food 'There's Flowers In My Salad!'.  It's a beautiful colourway, and this photo in no way does it justice.  In fact, this photo doesn't do the pattern any justice either.  I'm such a terrible photographer!  Hopefully I can get a better one once I've finished the socks.  Some time during the day, I managed to drop my phone into my cup of tea.  It was a full cup, and a large one at that (in my Vancouver Starbucks mug, which is a nice big 16oz, or a pint, or 473ml, depending on where you live).  I fished it out quick as a flash, then had to wait for it to dry out before I could use it again.  Thankfully, it appears none the worse for wear.  It won't turn off any more, but I never really turned it off anyway so that's not a biggie.  Although it doesn't hold a charge quite as long as it used to, which is a little annoying.  Note to self: do not drop phone into tea. 

Moving on... to Tuesday.  Deane had work, but the kids were home from school so we had a lazy day of doing not much at all.  I spent an hour on the bike while listening to a Knit 1 Geek 2 podcast (almost caught up, yay!), then fluffed for the rest of the day baking more sprinkle cookies, some bread, and dinner.  Some knitting and reading was thrown in for a bit of variety.  I was eagerly awaiting Wednesday and felt like I was just filling in time.  I received an email for the Auckland Marathon with my final entry form attached (because I signed up and paid for the Unitec Run Walk series and the half marathon last year), and it reminded me that I really need to start training for it soon.  I have a little time up my sleeve, but I have a 5km on 14th July, a 10km on 4th August, a 12km on 25th August, the North Shore half on 1st September, a 14km on 15th September, a 16km on 6th October, and the Auckland half on 3rd November.  Phew!  That's a bit of running...

Wednesday finally arrived, and the kids went back to school (hooray!!).  I went to physio and was told "No, you still can't run.  But you can get back into doing some strengthening exercises and we'll see how you are next week" which is a whole lot better than nothing!  Cue Nike Training Club!  I did a half hour on the bike, and two half hour NTC cross-training sessions.  Man, that felt good.  My knee was a little displeased by the end of the evening, but it held up okay.  In an attempt to explain the feelings surrounding this lack of running, it's a bit like running is the addiction, and cycling and cross-training takes the edge off but doesn't fully satisfy the need.  Hmm.  Good thing, or bad thing? 

Having the kids back at school and my house empty again gave me the chance to catch up on all the housework I had managed to avoid over the long weekend.  So much for the cleaning calendar!  Not to worry, I'm all caught up again now (except for the gardens, which I will do tomorrow if it's not wet).  Next week will be time to get a wriggle on with my study.  I'm still ahead, but I'd like to be further ahead since school holidays are coming up very soon and studying with the kids at home is near-impossible.  Today though, I'm catching up on random little things (like this here blog).  The boys are home, and I've just taken a batch of bread rolls out of the oven.  Oh my, do they smell good!!!  I wasn't overly concerned with making them all the same size this time around and told the boys it was like a little bun family, with the adults in the middle and the children all around the outside:

I can't wait to eat these later - we're having lentil sloppy joes for dinner!  And there will most definitely be leftovers :-)

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you might be allowed to run soon! At least you are getting some action on the bike. I entered the half marathon yesterday, and will probably do a few of the Unitec run series too. Exciting!