Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let the (Beet) Chips Fall Where They May

Oh, hi there. Do you want to know where I am?

That's probably a good hint. Yeah, I didn't go back south for school. The person who was going to replace me couldn't make it, for various reasons. I didn't really want to go to school and the one course I'd signed up for put me on a waitlist I couldn't seem to get off of. The theatre company couldn't be happier that I was able to stay. I couldn't be happier to still be here. Win-win. This is one of the reasons why I'm happy to be here:
Meet Jack the Cat.
I am house-sitting again. House Number 4 this summer. Suddenly everyone's decided that I'm reliable (hah!) and I get to drift from one beautiful, funky pad to the next. It gets me out of the somewhat, erm, shabby rental accommodation that I'd otherwise be in, and although I love my roomies there, it's bliss to be on my own for a bit. Hey, I went from a 14-year relationship to living with 2 (very messy) room mates in Vancouver, to constantly sharing a house with 3 or 4 other people up here. It's high time for some alone time, if you ask me.

"Who sez you're alone?!"
We also ended our main season at work, which means that I get 2 days of this week (!!!), and only have to do one show a day except for Saturdays. I did the Shoulder Season (as they call it) 2 years ago and it was wonderful. Gorgeous weather, light schedule, less staff which means that those who stay get very close. I love it. Plenty of time to go on excursions, hang out with friends. And oh yeah, cook.

It's Zucchini Season around here, which means that everyone is in a flat panic. Even folks who love 'em get overwhelmed. Me? I hate them, always have. Memories of grilled zucchini with parmesan cheese can still make me want to gag. So why do I have not one, but three Sugar-Free Zucchini-Banana Loaves baking as I type this, filling the ground floor with their heady scent? Well, because the lady I'm house-sitting for gets a veggie box, as many do around here. And in the veggie box are beets (yum!), cabbage (yum!), corn (double yum!) and... you guessed it. Hence the loaves, the only way I can stomach squash. And the sugar-free part? Well...

Last week I had a birthday. I can't believe it was only a week ago, because it feels as if so many things have happened since then, but it was. I celebrated in a very low-key style this year, involving some close friends, The Dark Knight Rises, and Caramel Bacon Popcorn. (I wasn't sugar-free way back then in August.) I'm working on a list of 40 things to do before I turn forty next summer, and one of the things was to try and go dessert-and-alcohol-free for September. Sugar-Free September has kind of a nice ring to it, don't ya think? So the zucchini had to be used up, but the loaves had to be sugar-free. I found this recipe online, a great way to use up old bananas and the ever-present zucchini.  I made one loaf yesterday, and found that while I didn't really miss the sweetness, there was something... lacking. Today I put in the allspice, which I'd been missing yesterday, and added more applesauce, more banana, and an egg. Much better. Now the oven's heating up to 400 for Beet Chips.

With all this cooking, it's a good thing I'm getting out for some exercise! I ran 10k last Friday, and while it was great, the running I've been doing this summer has done a number on my poor feet. Plantar Faciitis, in both feet, especially the left one. So it's back to biking, at least for a while. Yesterday I biked 30k along a gorgeous, remote road that would have had my Ursa-phobic mother in fits. Luckily for me, no bears were spotted; the biggest wildlife I saw was a bevy of beautiful butterflies.

Today is for cooking. And sloth, something that a cat can always teach you about. Happy Fall!