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How to Lose Weight – The Strawberry Diet

I lost 2 pounds last week. I’m not sure where they went, but I won’t be sending out a search party to find them. How did I do it? I’m going to claim it was because of my Strawberry Diet.

It I had an ounce of Entrepreneurship in me, I would write another book about this diet (I’m not the first person to eat a boatload of strawberries and write about it). But the procedure is so incredibly simple, and I’m all for the free sharing of ideas (and Garage Sale Stuff), so I’m going to tell you my secret.

First, you need a bargain hunting husband like mine who bought a very big container of strawberries from Costco because it was so much cheaper than a small container at the grocery store. Then, you need him to wash and hull and chop them all up for you.  My spouse also came home with one good size watermelon which he also cut into bite size chunks.  Since he doesn’t really like strawberries all that much, he overdosed on the watermelon, leaving me to use up the strawberries.

Day 1 – Breakfast is a good time to start eating the strawberries. A good size bowl full of them and a chopped apple, with granola sprinkled over top, and a big dollop of yogurt – I ate it with enthusiasm. Lunch – more strawberries, more yogurt, and a spoonful of peanut butter on the side for a bit of protein. Afternoon snack – a bowl of strawberries, a banana, and a small spoonful of ice cream. Dinner – a bit of meat and a bunch of vegetables, then dessert – a bowl of strawberries, and a squirt or two of chocolate syrup. (A bit of exercise is good too – I painted a bedroom.)

Day 2, 3 and 4- Pretty much a repeat of Day 1 as far as the strawberries were concerned. I varied the other foods, just to keep it from getting too boring. (Keep up the exercise! I painted the dining room, weeded the flower beds and cleaned the house.)

Day 5 – Coming down the home stretch on the strawberry front – I finished them off by bedtime. I didn’t like strawberries all that much by then. My enthusiasm for painting, cleaning and weeding wasn’t all that high either.

So there it is – The Strawberry Diet. Of course, I should call it the Strawberry, Yogurt, Other Foods, Painting, Weeding and Cleaning Diet, but I don’t think that would sell as well.

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Macro Photo – A Study in Scarlet Wine Dregs

Don’t be alarmed! This isn’t a photo of blood, but I did think it was interesting that the quotation below discusses scarlet, and in this photo the scarlet ran over a colourless object. No more clues – what is this a photo of?

There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.
– Holmes, in “A Study in Scarlet”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The photo is a close up look at dried wine in the bottom of a wine glass!

 

Quotes about Wine: The Quippery – From the Vintners Cellar

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One of These Veggies is Not Like the Others

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong …
– Words and Music by Joe Raposo and Jon Stone –

You will recognize this ‘One of These Things‘ song if you spent any time watching Sesame Street. My photo today is going to demonstrate this song, so go ahead and start humming. First, I’ll explain why I chose these four items – they are roughly cylindrical in shape, and they are all in my kitchen right now.

One of them, however, is clearly different. Have you chosen which one? My pick is the mystery vegetable – the white one that looks a bit like a fat parsnip. But it isn’t a parsnip, and I really don’t know what to do with this newcomer to my kitchen.

There is a disconnect in our house between the food that is purchased and the food that is cooked and served. This is to be expected, I suppose, when the buyer is one person, and the cook is the other.  Most of the time I figure out what to do with the groceries The Car Guy comes home with, but this week he brought home this white root that isn’t a parsnip. Fortunately he remembered  that it is called a Lobok. I’m not sure how well Lobok will fit in with the rest of the food in the kitchen. It is said to be radishy, and that isn’t my favourite flavour.

The banana, however,  could be the thing that isn’t like the others because it is the only one with a sticker on it.  I normally don’t pay any attention to the sticky labels on some fruits, but while I was working with this photo I realized what the label actually says. If I didn’t already like bananas, the sticker would make me feel much more inclined to have a few in a bowl on the counter. Very cheerful.

But what about the spaghetti squash? It is odd man out too, because it is the only one with seeds inside it. I like spaghetti squashes because they are the sort of thing that can sit on the counter for several months and still be as good tasting as the day they were picked. They don’t threaten to expire if they aren’t used within a few days of arriving at my door. The downside to the squash, in my opinion, is that it takes great muscles and a knife the size of a machete to get one open. I have to be feeling particularly brave to tackle a spaghetti squash.

This leaves the carrot. By virtue of the bright orange colour, it could be ‘not like the others’. I’m very fond of a good carrot, particularly because it is very simple to eat. It doesn’t even need to be cooked. Not much waste to it either. Very easy to grow – willing to cosy up to all sorts of other foods without being overbearing, yet willing to stand alone when required.

Now that I’ve spent a bit of time pondering the vegetables and fruits in my kitchen, I’ve come to the conclusion that this Sesame Street song isn’t really very nice. While it is quite appropriate to point out all the wonderful ways that one thing differs from another, it seems very wrong to suggest that these differences mean that something doesn’t belong. I have therefore made a promise to The Car Guy and the Lobok that I will find a way to make this radish wanna-be feel at home until such time as it gets eaten (or dies a natural death in the fridge crisper.)

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Line Up the Usual Suspects – Gingerbread Men and Pyrogy

We decorated the Gingerbread Men on Boxing Day. In Canada, Boxing Day is December 26th, and at The Red House, it is the day that we normally cook The Wokadoo. And just what is a Wokadoo, you might ask? Many years ago, one of our young nephews was having trouble saying, or perhaps even remembering, the word ‘turkey’. But he was sure, when the bird was still alive, that it made some sort of noise and he was equally sure the sound was ‘cock a doodle doo’. But again, he couldn’t put his finger on that word exactly. The very best he could come up with, was that the bird I had in the oven was a ‘wokadoo’, and that is what I have called a turkey ever since.

It was an Open and Shut Case. The Confectioner had no trouble identifying the culprit who was making off with the Candy Canes…

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This year, however, we didn’t cook a Wokadoo, opting out for a ham instead. A ham is quick and simple, and compliments the rest of the meal which was prepared by all the guests – pyrogy and holopchi (Ukrainian staples that have many names that can be spelled many ways.)

Our kitchen was a bee hive of activity with no less than 14 people mixing, rolling, stuffing, cooking. 20 pounds of potatoes, a big bag of flour, 2 big cabbages, pounds of bacon, onions, cheddar cheese…

And sinks full of dirty dishes. Bowls, platters, cookie sheets, pots, pans… all were washed over and over again, just to keep up with the pyrogy assembly line.

Once the pyrogy were stuffed, boiled and lined up on cookie sheets, they made their way out to the giant deep freeze, which is the snow bank on the back deck. When they were well chilled, some became dinner that night, while the rest were bagged and sent home with the guests.

Later that night, when the last dish was done, I surveyed the kitchen.  A plate full of Gingerbread Men were on the counter, their candy eyes imploring me to turn out the light and let them get some sleep.

Question: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
Answer: A cookie sheet.
– Author Unknown –

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How To Make Breakfast More Fun

I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time”.  So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
– Steven Wright –

While there are many interpretations of Breakfast, I’ve chosen to photograph the food I eat most mornings!

I start with the exact right bowl. It has to be the correct size – not too big and not to small. More importantly though, it has to have a happy group of animals dancing around the rim. This one has horses, camels and elephants – quite appropriate because I bought these dishes when we lived in the Middle East!

I put some fruit in the bottom of the bowl. I used bananas, but some times I use an apple, or an orange or some berries. This is the dangerous part of making breakfast  because I had to use a sharp knife to cut the bananas into the exact right thickness.  Like the bowl, the bananas can’t be too big or too small.

Next, I added some cereal. I used granola  with whole grains, fruit and nuts. You can use any type of cereal you want, but it has to compliment the fruit, not fight with it.

Last, I added yogurt – plain, low fat, high calcium yogurt. See how carefully  I spooned it on so that it formed a happy face? Two eyes, a nose, and a big grinning mouth.

The last detail is the spoon. Like the bowl, the spoon has to have some character, and it has to be not too big, and not too small. Today I chose a shiny new spoon, but some days I use a spoon from the set of cutlery that were a wedding present almost 42 years ago!

Remember the days when you let your child have some chocolate if he finished his cereal? Now, chocolate is one of the cereals.
– Robert Orben –

When I am done eating, I will have one small square of very dark chocolate…

How about you – how do you make your breakfast fun to eat?

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