Five on Friday: Week 16, Experimental Week
This week has been all about trying something new and learning new techniques. While a couple of them are food-related, the rest are just generally life-related. It’s always good to get out and learn something new, right? Keep on learning, keep on growing.
1. Making runny American yogurt edible
I have been trying to get back into eating yogurt and dairy regularly. First I started buying milk for my morning coffee, and then I started buying yogurt and fruit for breakfast. I don’t usually eat a lot of dairy-based foods, but for some reason I started craving it! Who knows… I bet it translates into some kind of vitamin deficiency when it comes down to it. I am not the sickly type, I swear!
But anyway, I usually eat Fage Greek yogurt, which is thick and creamy and lovely. Since I’m a little cheap, I ended up buying one tub of Fage and one tub ofregular old runny American yogurt at the store. I finished the Fage quickly and started eating the runny American yogurt, but found that it was just SO runny I couldn’t stand it.
Then I did a little online research (and asked my part-Greek friend for advice too) and found that I can Greek-ify runny American yogurt using a sieve, a paper towel, and a lot of patience.
So I did.
And it was thick and creamy and wonderful.
2. Just like regular cooking, but it’s s-l-o-w-e-r
Inspired by a friend who has recently taken up learning to cook, I decided to poke through a few recipes for the slow cooker and found this one refreshingly simple recipe for chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce. As you can probably guess, it uses condensed cream of mushroom soup, chicken, and a few other vegetables. You toss everything into the slow cooker, leave it for 8 hours on low, and come home to dinner.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out, but I think next time I’ll use pork and add some spices. It was rather bland for my tastes, but it did the job.
3. The winding path
I haven’t been riding my bike to work that much lately because of my incorrectly zoned train pass (I have to buy zone upgrades every time I ride, which is annoying and expensive), so it has taken me a while to figure out the best way to get to and from the station up in San Francisco. The ride isn’t too bad in the mornings, since there aren’t that many cars on the road when I’m out, but I think it’s a little dicey in the evening and I should really work to find a better route. Or I should grow some balls and not be so afraid of cars passing so closely. I’m just not used to it yet.
On the ride home, the nice thing is that I can now ride all the way from work to Menlo Park to catch a train up. I think at some point, I will make the ride from work to Redwood City since I seem to get to Menlo Park too early and have to wait at least 15 minutes in the burning sun. I’ve discovered that waiting off the platform is much cooler and nicer.
Oddly enough, I would like to point out that the way the train schedule works out, I get to work 15 minutes earlier now that I live farther away.
I am getting more and more interest in my little Bike2Lunch outings. I think the grand plan is to get a lot of momentum going for it, start my own Google Group, and open it to anyone who is interested. Eventually, I’d love it if I could get people who aren’t even in my area to organise their own Bike2Lunch outings.
And then I can take over the world!!
5. The gooey, sticky red stuff
I gave blood today. It was pretty hilarious because I felt like I was going to be turned away at any moment! In case you don’t know, I usually get turned away at blood donation events because of low iron. A couple times, they actually took a blood sample from each hand and centrifuged one of the samples, only to reject me after all. Well, today was my lucky day because even though I was disapprovingly borderline for a few of the preliminary tests, I still made it through by the skin of my teeth!
One really interesting thing I learned this time is that the blood center will turn away people with less than 90 systolic pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. I usually have low blood pressure, about 110/60, but today I measured in at 98/64, which warranted a disapproving look. The lady did end up saying that in the end, it’s okay, but I should make sure to drink plenty of water so that my blood will flow better (the better hydrated you are, the faster the donation goes).
Oh, and I look totally bad ass because I have bandages on both arms (the first arm’s vein rolled around and was completely unsuccessful). And I also have a cool sunflower sticker too. Yeah. Giving blood is AWESOME.