141231 New Year's EveI worked this afternoon. It was one of the very best days I have had in so many days.
Nearly pain free! I want to find out what makes the difference so I can make it happen. But I got to work, and did the work, and truly enjoyed life today.
Leftovers! That's right folks, leftovers make a new years party! Thank you to Richmond Mark and Aussie for leaving so much of their Japanese take out lunch today.
Our many guests! It was busy, then it was quiet. That means it was average, if we smooth it all out. Our guests were as sweet as pie. They were all glad to be with us, and we were glad to have them too.
The transit! Every year, the TTC endeavours to find someone who will pay the cost of running transit from 7pm to 5am on New Year's Eve. This year it was Corby Wine and Spirits. I have a pass, so I'm not ragging on about how much I saved. But the driver, and all of the passengers were just in a good mood, and happy to be in the bus.
Overheard! Some rowdy (but friendly) riders came into the bus offering "Holy Sprite", "Rum and Coke" and "Rum and Ginger". This was the first time I've heard about Holy Sprite. I can only guess they poured Vodka into the Spronk bottle. The other bottles they had were probably pre-mix as well. I didn't accept anything. I like to have all of my wits when crossing Sheppard Avenue. They asked for some advice on how to get to King and Wellington. The lady next to me was trying to answer them, but they were too busy hosting Holy Sprite to hear what anyone had to say.
Turkey! Uncle Seeley prepared this before leaving. A package of gravy with three cups of water (today I chose French's Chicken). To this I added one turkey thigh. It poached for an hour before I left for work, and for another 30m when I got back home. Just lovely turkeyness. It made about 16 slices, and the big bone in the centre. Instead of using the gravy, I drizzled it with fruity Japanese spring roll sauce.
New Year's Drink! Was it ten years ago? A room mate I had took me to The Keg. It was the one downtown Toronto called The Mansion. We didn't have any steak. Just Bailey's Irish Cream. It was on sale that day! Buy one, get one free. We each had a couple of drinks, and just talked. So now I buy Cream Liqueur some years around this time. Bailey's costs a fortune. Panama Jack's costs 20.00 for something that tastes similar. It's not as thick, but just as nice. My American friends will note that it's much cheaper there. Our alcohol is heavily taxed. Perhaps US$10.
Bread! Maybe I'll bake a bread tonight. It takes me a few tries to get the Zen of baking. I don't really like to follow a recipe when cooking. Instead I prefer to know the rules of the road, and get results. That's how I make meat, soup, stew and vegetables. Baking this way hasn't been as easy. Another problem has been the recipes online are too big! A loaf prepared with 3½ cups of flour is just too much bread at once. Warm bread is great as you take it from the oven, and good the next day, but is a chore for subsequent days until it's all used. So I have a current standard recipe (eep, I just said I hate recipes) I start with.
Start with a cup of lukewarm water, 4oz of flour and a spoon of yeast. Stir that up so it looks milky, and let it alone for (say) ten minutes. If it has developed a bit of foam on top, the yeast is still good. If not, discard the yeast and the milky stuff, and start again with fresher yeast. Put 1½ cups of flour into the bread machine, and add the wet stuff once it starts. My bread machine sucks, so doesn't mix the flour in the corners unless I help it out. Use a wooden spoon to help mix while the machine goes round and round. I choose the dough setting because I prefer to bake in a real oven. (make it hotter, or turn it off if you smell smoke) At this point add an egg, a spoon of oil, a small spoon of salt, whatever seems right. Last time I added a whole package of roasted seedless sunflower seeds at the very end. I'm trying to understand Baking Powder and Baking Soda, so last time I added a teaspoon of these with the seeds. When the machine beeps, pour it into the broiler pan I use for baking everything, and let it alone for an hour. Then bake it at 350F for 40m, and leave it in the turned off oven for another half an hour. It comes out looking like home made biscotti, but very light and airy, with small bubbles and an interesting European crust.
Plans! Jeff and I are planning Fat Phill's on Yonge Street for lunch tomorrow.
2015 is upon us.