It’s Sunday morning, it’s pouring down rain and I’m hungry. But I don’t want my usual breakfast of granola and rice milk, so I look in the fridge to see if anything inspires me. First I see the half empty carton of eggs. “I need to use these before they go bad.” I thought to myself. Then I spy the vegetable drawer, I open it and find Costco sized bags of baby squash, baby kale, and mushrooms. “I need to eat these before they go bad.” I thought to myself.
I sliced up the baby squash and mushrooms and slid them into my olive oil seasoned stainless steel skillet. I chopped up a couple of cloves of garlic and sauted those babies together for a few minutes until they were almost fully cooked.
After cooking all the veggies, I slid them onto a plate, to wait until I cooked the eggs. I have had trouble with cooking eggs in this skillet in the past, but I only remembered that after I dumped the scrambled egg mixture into the pan.
Now that I realized that my eggs were going to stick, I had to improvise my fritata. Once the eggs were cooked to almost done, I slid the cooked veggies onto the eggs and covered to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Cracked a little bit of black pepper and sea salt and the fritta was ready to be served.
To round out the meal I added a glass of pineapple, banana and orange juice. Since all of our small juice glasses were dirty in the dishwasher, I improvised and grabbed a couple of champagne glasses. Faux mimosas and refrigerator fritta, a great Sunday brunch!
Yesterday, I went to my first football game since high school. My university really didn’t have a team, well they did but they were sad, very sad… University of Chicago is known for their “strong academic programs” in other words not their sports. They were probably the most intelligent football players in the country, but they couldn’t play football for the life of them. I always thought my old Tigers from high school could whip the Maroons with their eyes closed.
Why now? Well, I have been adopted by a family that attended colleges with good sports teams. I was invited to attend, as a family bonding experience, to a game of their college against the University of Washington. I was eager to go, both for the bonding opportunity and for the experience of a post high school football game. The game was in Seahawk stadium and I was excited to visit the stadium purchased with my taxes. Note: I will not call it by the “sponsor of the year” name, it will always be Seahawk stadium to me.
We started the afternoon at F.X. McRory’s a famous establishment near the stadiums in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. The eight of us had a leisurely lunch and several drinks as we whiled away the hours before game time.
“I’m excited to go to this game.” I exclaimed at one point. Showing how I was all for family bonding. “I can’t wait to have an $8 pint of beer and sit and watch the game.” I continued.
They all turned toward me in unison with looks of dismay. “They don’t sell alcohol at college games, Rebecca.” They scolded me, as if I broke the first cardinal rule of college football.
“Really?!” I responded, trying not to sound too upset.
I was beginning to wonder how this adventure would turn out. Not only was I wearing the color red amidst a sea of purple, but now I had to do it sober. I took a deep breath and told myself this would still be easier than being stuck on a fishing boat in the middle of the Bering Sea during a storm. I extended the warm buzz I was beginning to feel from a couple of beers with dessert, a bourbon coffee. The warmth of the bourbon coffee helped me face the sea of raging purple people I climbed through as I exited the restaurant. At one point a short female collegiate screamed something up at me and I looked down at her and just smiled. She ceased her screaming. The calm bourbon aura surrounding me must have stupefied her into submission.
Walking towards the stadium, I was beginning to realize the dangerous situation I had subjugated myself. There was purple everywhere, not just on people, but on cars and trucks. For 16 years I had no idea that purple was the unofficial color of Seattle.
As my group of red color wearing people neared the stadium, I felt myself walking taller, a soft smile on my face but a slight meanness around the eyes. I was happy I lifted weights earlier that day so I felt strong, I was happy I grew up in Chicago, my city sense, don’t F*$k with me attitude, rising ever so slightly. I felt relieved momentarily by people wearing pink t-shirts and giving out pink beaded necklaces in recognition of breast cancer awareness month. “My mother is a survivor.” I said as I grabbed some beads. The purple and pink person snapped a glance of surprise at me, then smiled and said they were happy my mom is a survivor. A short moment of bonding between opposing teams.
We found our seats up in the nosebleed area. “Visiting team seating” a sign should have said. I felt more comfortable now as I was welcomed with smiles and two fingered hand gestures (which were for victory or something like that) from complete strangers wearing red and gold. I finally found my adopted tribe, all because I was wearing a red jacket.
As we ascended up to our seats, I only had to pop my ears once. I was amazed that I could still make out the players on the field from this altitude. When the UW marching band began their pre-game show, I watched excitedly as they formed letters, a flag post for the flag of the U.S.A and at one point what I think was the ribbon used to signify solidarity for breast cancer awareness.
I do have to say that attending a football game in person, is far more rewarding, at first, than watching a game on TV. To hear the pigskin smacking the hands of a receiver for the first time, was a religious moment. The energy of that coupling reverberated throughout the stadium – a hush of awe was in the air. It seemed to play in slow motion, because as soon as it was over the stadium was roaring with pleasure. Is this the “12th man” affect I always hear about?
The excitement of those first moments at a football game began to fade by the second quarter. Could it have been because the effects of my pre-game beverages had worn off? Probably. I tried to get back into the game by buying some red vines, the only thing besides beer and hot dogs I crave when at a ball park (although hot dogs are for baseball games not football). After the first half I found myself watching the large video screen to see where the ball went after leaving the q-b’s hands. By fourth quarter my eyes were glazing over and I had to blink several times to focus on the field.
All in all it was worth it. I have earned a badge of honor from my adopted family and that is priceless.
Let’s take a gastronomic trip to a place far from the cold and dreary Pacific NW. Yes, our winter started today, our 3 months of sunshine and dry weather is over. Ho hum. So let us venture south of the border or to the south Pacific with a simple healthy meal.
In the fridge I had two pounds of cold water shrimp harvested off the coast of Oregon.Sustainable? yes! Healthy? yes! Local? yes!
I already had some avocados, and frozen lime and lemon juice at home. So on the way home from work I stopped at my local produce place and got some vine-not-so-ripened-tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, Serrano chiles and garlic.
I’m a no nonsense type of cook. I don’t have any fancy gadgets, like a garlic peeler. My number one tool in the kitchen is my chef’s knife. (Yes, I need a larger cutting board.)
I chopped all of the veggies first, defrosted the lime and lemon ice cubes.
Dumped them, along with the shrimp into the bowl, then mixed them up.
I sliced up the avocado halves vertically and horizontally using my chef’s knife. I could’ve used a smaller knife, but I didn’t want to get it dirty. I used a silicon spatula to scoop out the avocado pieces into the bowl and to gently stir the ingredients together.
I like to serve ceviche with tortilla chips, the crunch and added salt make a great pairing. You can make this into a south Pacific variety by adding seaweed and a drizzle of sesame oil.
2 lbs small shrimp
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 red onion
2 serrano chiles
3 cloves of garlic
Juice of 2 limes and 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
Once items are chopped, mix together, taste, mix one more time, then marinade in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. The longer the ceviche marinades, the more the flavors of the ingredients come together. Enjoy on a salad, on a tortilla chip or alone in a bowl.
The procedure was done in less than a half hour. I was glad that the sedative and pain killers didn’t knock me out. I watched the entire butt spelunking event on the video monitor. I love how curious I am about stuff that grosses most other people out. I admired the pinkish white walls of the colon wall, capillaries zig-zagging their way around the membrane. It was interesting to see the folds and curves as the endoscope continued its journey looking for abnormalities. Although one polyp was found I am glad I saw it, and watched the doctor nip it off for biopsy. To my unprofessional eyes the small white blip looked just like a normal part of the colon wall. I will know the results of the biopsy in two weeks.
Now I have peace of mind and a clean colon… for now…
I slept okay, although I have a mild headache and sinus congestion, but that may be from allergies. It’s funny how not eating and going through a major unpleasant event like a colon cleanse opens up a part of your brain that fantasizes about everything you can’t have.
I went for a walk this morning and felt the glow of memories from outdoor meals had with my lovely friends. The cheese, the figs drizzled with honey, dates filled with blue cheese, apples and of course a glass of wine. I want to immerse myself in fresh foods, cooked slightly with a hint of herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Flowers in my hair as I sit under a huge oak tree near a vineyard, the sun shining on the fall colors along the hillside, enjoying these delights from the earth.
Instead my only luxury is a cup of black coffee made with coffee beans from Maui, chased with a sip of electrolyte water. I’m not complaining, unlike diarrhea, I feel great and I’m happy to have coffee, my elixir of life. Although, I loathe the thought of drinking the Magnesium Citrate at 10:30 am… 3 hours away…
Three hours of pure hell. I arrived home from work, just in time to begin ingesting 2 liters, one liter at a time, of a prescription laxative. The flavor and texture was a cross between a rancid lemon and frog slime fresh from a bog.
For two hours I had to endure drinking this stuff, eight ounces at a time, every fifteen minutes, with a pint of water in between each liter. Some jokester of a pharmacist named the product MoviPrep, and no this isn’t a prep for a stint as a Hollywood actor. The last three glasses, the last liter for that matter was a force to be reckoned with. I figured that I was done when I almost hurled the MoviPrep out my nose, gagging at the rancid lemon/lime slime.
After an hour of shivering and feeling like my gut was about to explode the movement was finally going to happen. I sat on the toilet for a few minutes, feeling my intestines gurgle with the 2 liters of MoviPrep. I passed the time reading a magazine, Cooks Illustrated. Why? Because it was what I grabbed as I crossed the kitchen towards the bathroom. It was a great distraction from my reality, learning a few cooking techniques I could try once this hell was over.
As I experienced the movement, I was reminded of a trip to Mexico or was it Peru. It was one or both of those places where I got diarrhea so bad I pooped liquid. EEEWWWW! Yeah, I know. Well that is what I was experiencing now, self prescribed diarrhea minus the cramping. Yup, you read right, self-prescribed… Well a real MD had to prescribe MoviPrep and he will conduct the procedure too, but all of this, was my idea.
You see I’m only 41, about 10 years away from when I’m supposed to have a colonoscopy. But my aunt died of colon cancer and a good friend just died of colon cancer a month ago and she was only 45. I called my insurance and they assured me that they will cover all preventative screenings after age 22. I had to have a consultation with my physician prior to this adventure, but that was the only thing different than if I was 51 and doing this for the first time.
I’ve gotta go to bed, I’m as exhausted as one feels after defecating their entire gut contents. I’m not sure what’s left, but the instructions say to ingest a lovely 10 ounce jar of Magnesium Citrate, lemon flavored nonetheless, at 10:30 am tomorrow morning. I have a feeling going to work tomorrow morning is going to be an interesting part of this adventure. Here’s to the next movement.