Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm a failer, oh well.

Looking at my 30 for 30 list, I've miserably failed at some, and I've thrived with others.

I have managed to make non-work friends. Not close friends yet, but ladies with whom I can have a real conversation and enjoy food without judgment. I appreciate that.

I have tried new fruits and veggies, and at the end of this post I'll list fall fruits and veggies that I plan to try. I've even come to like one unlikely green suspect: the brussel sprout. It's H's favorite veggie and I've been denying him all this time, just because I had never prepared them myself. I find I much prefer them from fresh. They should be getting better now that they are coming into season. Summer was hard to come up with things I haven't already tried that were in season. Fall and winter veggies and fruits aren't as difficult as we usually just subsisted on canned and frozen summer veggies back home during the cold winter months haha.

I had to buy new clothes, and I'm not exactly on track to fit into my old clothes, either. However, unless I wanted to look like a homeless person in the classroom, then I had to buy clothes. I shopped the sales as well as I could (hello, Land's End Overstocks and sales! And Ross!) and came up with a reasonable work wardrobe that fits reasonably well and was reasonably inexpensive.

I have lost weight, especially since my yearly check up when my doc started to give me a little side-eye. I still have to wonder why it's so damn hard for me to lose weight. I feel like there is something working against me. It's not hypothyroid, but there are other things that have gotten me thinking. I'm not going to get into it here, but if I'm right, it sure would explain a lot. I hate to be the person who thinks something is wrong and blames that for weight gain and then it turns out nothing is wrong and the person is just a fat-ass who can't say no to brownies. Harsh words, I know.

I'm still in progress of controlling my crazier tendencies. I had a total meltdown today when the sink backed up and H managed to splash me with liquid-plumber-laced back-up water. *shudders* I freaked out and stripped off my clothes on top and started washing off my arms where it had touched me. I still smell of bleach. Granted, it was nearly noon, I hadn't eaten and had been up for nearly four hours and was feeling shaky, and the PMS is in full swing. But man, that was crazy. It was my second outburst of the week but I've been feeling financially frustrated and some things have happened at work that have royally rubbed me the wrong way. A girl's gotta vent, somehow.

Anywho, here's my list of fruits and veggies that I haven't tried:

Artichokes produce a second, smaller crop in the fall (the first go-around is in the spring) that tends to produce small to medium artichokes. (I haven't cooked with them)

Beets are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else. Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Belgian Endive are mostly "forced" to grow in artificial conditions. Their traditional season (when grown in fields and covered with sand to keep out the light), like that of all chicories, is late fall and winter.

Broccoli raabe, rapini is a more bitter, leafier vegetable than its cousin, broccoli, but likes similar cool growing conditions. (I've never found it here)

Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut. (I have seen them this way! I'll be trying them more and more)

Celeriac/celery root is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you'll find it during the summer and early fall). (not really looking forward to this one...)

Chard like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot. Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions.

Chicories are cool weather crops that come into season in late fall (and last in temperate climates through early spring). (how am I going to use this? and can I find it?_

Chiles are best at the end of summer and into fall. Dried chiles are, of course, available year-round. (I need to try some of those Asian chiles in stir fry...yum.)

Fennel's natural season is from fall through early spring. Like most cool weather crops, the plant bolts and turns bitter in warmer weather.

Figs have a short second season in late fall (the first harvest comes in summer) just in time for Thanksgiving.

Jerusalem artichokes/Sunchokes are brown nubs, that look a bit like small pieces of fresh ginger. Look for firm tubers with smooth, tan skins in fall and winter. (not sure I've seen these, except on the food channel)

Kale is like all hearty cooking greens – cooler weather keeps it sweet. (had it in soups but want to try other ways)

Kohlrabi (late fall) comes into season by the end of fall, but stays at its sweet best into winter.

Okra (early fall) needs heat to grow, so a nice long, hot summer in warmer climates brings out its best. Look for firm, plump pods in late summer and early fall. (I've never cooked with it)

Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the variety and region. (I will try baking with these...didn't care for them fresh)

Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter - look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits. (sweet! I wonder if I will find them)

Quinces area most under-appreciated fruit. Bright and tart, quince jellies and desserts are a fall and early winter favorite. (available in Ok? I wonder...)

Rutabagas also known as "yellow turnips" and "Swedes" are a sweet, nutty root vegetables perfect in stews, roasted, or mashed with plenty of butter.

Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes with a light green papery husk. (definitely looking forward to this)

Turnips have a sharp but bright and sweet flavor. Look for turnips that feel heavy for their size. (turnip gratin by Pioneer Woman? I think so)

Winter squash of all sorts comes into season in early fall and usually last well into winter. (butternut squash risotto on the way)

If you can think of any fruits or veggies that I should try, let me know! The Asian and Mexican markets are something I've not explored yet and I might be pleasantly surprised.

So, that's the update. Been enjoying time with friends, but work has been crazy-busy. This week should be a bit...calmer...hopefully :/

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