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Squash and kitchen safety

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recently I decided to experiment with zucchini. The more I have it, the more I like it. I also tried butternut squash fries. Followed the acorn squash fries recipe on SP, which hasn't worked out for me. Butternut was better, but still pretty complete failure. It gets nothing like the traditional french fry texture, which it should. It's all gooey. So that's no good.

While that was cooking, I heated up a little olive oil and breaded some zucchini. Then, smartly, I went to put in some laundry. That would've been fine, but the machine on this floor was broken, so I had to go to another floor, ended up taking a lot longer than I expected...

and when I got back, the oil was on fire. The flames were a good four feet, licking at the stove's fan.

I thought, "dammit, why did I have to learn about kitchen safety so early? Now I don't remember what puts out an oil fire because it was so long ago!" I grabbed the pan and lifted it off the burner. Step 1: remove from heat. But then what? I waved the pan over to the sink. Oil sloshed over the side and onto the floor. Remaining on fire while on the floor, for a brief and terrifying second. Similarly the pan sloshed liquid fire into the sink. Which was wet. The oil and the water sizzled, and it occurred to me that pouring the oil down the drain might not be healthy. I took the pan in one hand and went to the computer, where I had a window open talking to my boyfriend. With my left hand, I frantically typed something like "quickk how to putout oil fite". My boyfriend, bless him, decided to give the issue some thought so he could give me a well-reasoned, careful answer. I didn't have that much time, and certainly couldn't type anything more to him! I'm holding a pan with freaking four foot flames. So it occurs to me that I don't want to burn down the building. I look at the balcony. And run for it, none too carefully. I slosh a little more burning oil on the carpet. Lots more on the balcony, which seemed to catch fire for a second. Then threw the pan into the grill and shut it. It was still on fire, but no longer going to set anything else burning.


1. Baking soda, flour, almost anything granular that would soak up the oil
2. Cover it up.

Really. That easy.

Please remember this if you almost set your home on fire!

And do your best not to spread the burning oil about your building.

I got out of it with a very minor burn on one toe and some carpet damage. So that's okay. Just somewhat terrified at how easily I lost my head. That's not like me!

Anyway, when I (gently) heated up more oil, the zucchini came out *wonderfully*. It may be the most underrated vegetable in this country.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYLAUGHS247 5/19/2011 4:18PM

  OMG! I was laughing so hard as I read this! (I did assume that because you were blogging, you were fine) It reminded me of an episode of Frasier when his brother, Niles, was trying to get ready for a date. He ended up fainting.

I'm so glad you were able to put out the fire safely. I'm going to review fire safety at home tonight. Thanks for the reminder!

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LKISINSATIABLE 5/19/2011 11:16AM

    How terrifying, but glad you're OK. emoticonWe had a grill fire a month ago and the flames were over 4 feet, blocking the door so we couldn't shut the door to smother it. Thankfully, we do keep a class ABC fire extinguisher for emergencies like this so everything turned out ok. I don't think we would have had enough baking soda to put out that one!

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PSALM42 5/19/2011 8:14AM

    How scary... glad you are okay! I have trouble reacting good when in a stressful situation. I totally freeze and my brain practically stops working.

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_CYNDY55_ 5/19/2011 1:14AM

    Thank You for the Tip! I am Glad that You didn't get hurt.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 5/18/2011 11:35PM

    WOW!! What a story. So glad you are okay and now remember how to put out grease fires not be a bad idea to post how to put out fires on your cupboard door. In the panic and fear, everyone thens to forget what to do!! So glad everythong worked out well for you!!!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 5/18/2011 10:34PM

    Praise God you and your home is okay. emoticon That is so scary.

Salt is good for smaller fires.

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Ha ha.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So I was riding in an elevator with an older lady. She was probably about my size, yeah. She turns to me and asks, "Where did you get those jeans?"

I think - hmm, these are my oldest pair. They're so old that they've had permanent stains that have since faded away. Do I look that good in them? I tell her that I have no idea where they're from, as they're so old.

Then she elaborates,

"It's just that I can't find any jeans that fit with all this enormous fat I have blubbing around now."

Oh. I muttered something about how jeans always fit weird around the waist. Then, leaving the elevator, I realized what just happened.

She compares her body to mine, calling them blubby. She meant it perfectly innocently, of course. I am, thankfully, amused and not irritated at this one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BADAMS86 5/30/2011 11:28PM

    Haha. At least you shrugged it off. Maybe they just looked like really comfortable jeans. :)

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TINY67 5/19/2011 9:57AM

    One thing to remember, those were your old jeans and you fit in them! She was asking to get some new jeans that fit, so she's going the wrong way and you're going the right way - down.

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JACKIE4019 5/18/2011 11:02PM

    It's funny how we see our own bodies. I see myself alto heavier than I am. I used to ask my daughter, "am I the same size as as that woman?" She would say, "no, your smaller." Maybe she was being kind. Of course she doesn't know what I'm hiding under my clothes.

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YVETTE444 5/18/2011 3:26PM

    It's like "Thanks alot!!" huh? I know how that feels! A friend of mine told me she was glad that it was only me going to the beach with her, instead of the other girls who were supposed to go, because she wouldn't feel so fat if she had to compare herself next to them all day. Sheesh!!


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Time for a boost

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Any simple motivational ideas for me?

For some reason I'm having a hard time lately with myself. I've done very well exercising, up to an hour some days. I've noticed that my lungs don't struggle as much as when I began, which is a good sign that it's become a habit. But nutrition is much harder right now. I'm just so tired of food generally. But rather than just eating something healthy, since I feel neutral about it anyway, I go for old standbys.

I was laid off from my job. Apparently my work product was far above expectations, but they pretty much had no more work for me to do. So now I'm a full-time housewife (looking for work). A very different lifestyle from just six months ago, when I working and lawschooling. Still, I'm thrilled that I was laid off, as it was getting hard to look busy with only about an hour of actual work each day and my coworkers secretly seething at me for eating up company resources. So this is a nice break right now.

But my self-confidence isn't great. I should say, it's horrible. I don't think it's any one thing, although I'm sure that my job loss is a subconscious contributor, as well as the fear of not being able to find another one. I also had a dream recently that I was looking at myself 8 years ago, and thinking how wonderful my legs looked (that was at my lowest weight). When I remembered I had that dream, obviously I recalled that my legs don't look that nice. And that sums up how I've been feeling. Every time I see some part of myself, I notice some little puff of fat that I hadn't seen before. Not to mention issues I have about my arthritis, skin, hair, etc. Frustration is normal, but these sort of feelings are definitely unhealthy. So I'm hoping I haven't suddenly lost control over my brain again and have to find new ways to deal with my depression....

Well, the good news is that right now I actually have ample time to handle all these things. My apartment has never been cleaner. I do like being a housewife!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACRBUNCH 4/30/2011 11:34AM

    I agree with KEEBABE1. Keep a schedule. Knowing you have things that need to be done at a certain time helps give a direction to your life. When I was laid off I spent two weeks getting nothing done, because I thought I had all day to do it, but I never started. Once I started scheduling my day I was amazed at how much I got done and how my attitude changed.

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PHEBESS 4/18/2011 1:24PM

    I took my worst photo and stuck it on the fridge. It reminds me to shut the fridge door.

Really, find a photo where you look bigger than you think you are - amazing how depressingly motivating that can be. (I swear I looked like Jabba the Hud in my pic!)

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KEEBABE1 4/18/2011 12:08PM

  I know exactly how difficult it can be sitting at home all day every day. Keep concentrating on the positive and successful aspects (i.e. clean house). Be sure to keep a schedule and routine even though you may have all day. Personally, it was really easy for me to say, "Eh, I have all day to workout and wash those dishes." Next thing I knew, it was dinner time and the gym was closed and I never got anything done. Keep up the hard work. :-)

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I have the pre-made food blues

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This is the problem I've been having for a couple weeks. Unfortunate, because it's following a really wonderful first success at weight loss (and no, I don't think it's rebound/bad celebratory behavior, just a coincidence).

On weekends and maybe two nights a week I get fresh (ie, made right then) food. Three nights a week plus lunches are reheated/carry along/cold pre-prepared food. I'm actually getting really good at this making meals ahead thing. I have a number of tasty recipes that keep well, can be carried in bags or tupperware, can fit into a healthy diet, don't take too much time to make, etc, etc. I make meals for both of us (me and the lovely boyfriend) the day before, meaning that I can usually whip together four meals in half an hour.

Quite an accomplishment for somebody who once kept a tally of housefires due to cooking, and even once lit water on fire. No joke.

But...it's getting old. The problem's not variety or lack of flavor. It's really good food. It's just plain and simple love for just-made food. I'm a little neurotic about food freshness, maybe. For example, my boyfriend likes to get take-out food, but I don't like letting food sit and cool even for long enough to get home. I like it right out of the pan! Piping hot!

So that explains my behavior lately, I think. What behavior? Well, I've been just utterly uninterested in any food I bring along. Even if it's something great, like fajitas - I'd rather have a freshly prepared chicken breast with plain brown rice. I have the same feeling/attitude towards pre-packed food as I do towards a rock or a telephone. It doesn't feel like food. Resultingly, I've skipped a few prepared lunches and then binged around dinner time. A couple times I've picked up a sandwich or some other fast food. And don't even mention my willpower to resist the call of Indian or Thai food lately...stupid tikka masala!

My plan must be to start following the plan again. It allows for going out to eat (to a real restaurant) every two weeks, when I get my paycheck. That's not a bad way to live at all! I must find my way back on track...there's no way to eat well calorie wise in this decline healthy food/pick up fast food/binge cycle!

Apart from my willpower though.....is there anything you think I might be able to do to alleviate the pre-made food blues??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIERYSPARKED 4/7/2011 4:31PM

    I don't get the food blues...I pretty much eat whatever I think is healthy no matter how it tastes or looks. lol

But, I totally understand what you are saying.

It's a great idea to let yourself have a restaurant dinner every two weeks! That's what I do and I'm happy to have that choice every two weeks. It makes me feel like I'm not depriving myself of anything.

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    It sounds like you're doing a great job, but maybe you should look into ways to have freshly prepared food more often. What about chopping your produce and measuring ingredients ahead of time and cooking dinner more days during the week? That's what I do when I talk about "premaking" meals. Lol, never occurred to me to make stuff all the way through on the weekends and reheat during the week. It does take me 15-30 minutes to get dinner on the table during the week, but I'd say it's worth it. Sometimes I also take all the ingredients for salads, sandwiches or quesadillas to work with me and assemble and heat it in the microwave at lunchtime.

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PJMATH 4/7/2011 3:46PM

    That is one of my problems with cooking - I have a hard time eating the same thing for more than a few meals at a time. One thing I have found that helps is finding recipes that actually taste better cold than reheated. I have one for a bean/tomato/cheese dish that actually tastes better out of the refrigerator than it does out of the pan. Maybe mix in a few of these types of meals to keep your motivation up.

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LINDAJ0621 4/7/2011 3:22PM

    I feel the same way! So, I try to only cook enough for hubby and I to have ONE leftover meal. He usually carries his to work and if I don't feel like eating the same food again, I freeze it to stop desperation eating on another day.

I think there is just something highly satisfying about the actual preparation of the evening meal. For me, it's very reminiscent of when I had a family of four to feed every night. I cooked every night and we sat down at the dining table to eat (and I worked full-time outside the home). It was the high point of our day! (Except my kids were mad because they didn't get much fast food..LOL)

Hubby doesn't like to eat out a lot 'cuz the food is not steaming hot enough for him and he likes my cooking better. However, we do try to go out for dinner together once every 2 weeks. That keeps me from making any little fast food stops (plus, I don't really like fast foods)!

You will find what works best for you. I also keep a couple of Healthy Choice meals & Lean Cuisine pizzas in the freezer for the times I am totally ravenous at lunch and have nothing "good" to eat.

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/7/2011 3:18PM

    Well, unless you win Megabucks and can afford to eat out on a regular basis; you're going to have to learn to love your home made, need to be heated in the microwave, meals. It's either that or bring a crock pot to work if you want hot out of the oven food.

Do you have a microwave you can use at work ? I find our microwave heats up my meals quite nicely. Of course, maybe you just enjoy the experience of eating out. I could understand that. I'd prefer to eat at a nice restaurant than at my desk too.

What to do ? Since you're learning to be a good cook, why not make your own chicken tiki masala ??? I'm sure the Spark Recipes section has a big selection of healthier versions you could make at home. And instead of eating your meal out of a plastic container (like me) get a plate and create a pleasant presentation i.e. nice plate, silverware, napkins, etc. That might get you over your pre-made food blues. It'll be extra work, but it would save you money.

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Good news

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The day after tomorrow's my first new goal day (since restarting SP this spring). I'm certain I haven't hit my goal, which was meant to be very ambitious. And that's totally cool! Having an ambitious goal has been encouraging me to lose weight, and that's the point. I'm also going to emphasize every THIRD goal, rather than the end of each month. That way there's a bit of flexibility for a bad month.

I also don't have access to a good scale. Mine broke! I'm going to get one at the end of May if I'm still sticking to my exercise goals, but until then it's all about the non-scale victories!

And here they are, the first and in some ways, most important victories.

1) Some of my clothes fit better! This (my health situation) got to emergency status in part because I was running out of things to wear. Even my trusty hoodie that I've had for eight years and a range of 100 pounds was suddenly not fitting. Since I'm way too poor to buy new clothes, the decision was to lose weight! I'm not sure I'm quite ready to try on my hoodie yet, but soon I will. And I already have a lot more clothes that I can wear each day again.

2) Specifically, undergarments are fitting better. This is crazy stuff, but a big motivator was also that my new, super-super large underwear were squeezing my upper thighs and, of course, leaving those delightful imprints on my belly. And I just can't stand undergarments that don't fit right. They should be something you only have to think about once a day! And that situation has definitely resolved as well.

3) Even though I'd estimate I'm down only about 8 pounds (on an over-250 frame, that's a tiny difference), I get a different feeling when I look in the mirror. I think my face has a *slight* difference. My chest area's definitely lost a few ounces.

4) My pants are loose! That's right, release the balloons. I love these pants, but I'll be thrilled to get rid of them when they fall off my hips. They have that lovely way of hanging too low that could be mistaken for bad tailoring. But I know what it's from. It's because I'm rocking the healthy lifestyle.

As soon as I get on a (reliable) scale, I'll let everybody know what the official determination is (I know you're all on the edge of your seat!). But for now, this is really enough to keep me going. I've barely gotten started, and I already feel this much better...imagine how awesome I'm going to feel in a few more months!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRAN0426 3/30/2011 9:12PM

    The eight pounds is certainly a good step in the right direction. If you can feel the clothes being loose, it may even be more than the eight pounds. Be happy, yes we all want bigger weight lose numbers, butbeing realistic, that still is a nice pace that can stay off instead of a large lose that finds its way back. emoticon

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JACKIE4019 3/30/2011 6:41AM

    Don't under evaluate the 8 pounds. That's great. Have you taken your measurements. I'd bet you'd find a big difference there. Sometimes the scale isn't the best gage.

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ATHALIANA 3/29/2011 8:35PM

That is good news indeed. :-)

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Keep up the great work! I can understand the whole pant hanging thing! If I had some balloons, I would release them for you!

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FIORENZA 3/29/2011 3:57PM

    Great attitude is all that it takes!

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