Just a Happy Sunday Night
One’s destination is never a place, but another way of looking at things. ~ Arthur Miller
Originally posted on July 26, 2020
So for my weekly post tonight, no lessons, no attempts at wisdom. Tonight just some personal reflections on my weekend. Technically my weekend starts at 5PM on Thursday, but COVID 19 has thrown more than a few wrinkles into my job, and so as I was working at 6PM and quite frankly, not happily, working on finishing up a project when I got a text. It was from my brother, it was a picture of my little nephews looking amazed. This made me incredibly happy, my propaganda campaign was obviously working. You see, by training I’m a scientist, I love science. It comes from having a curious nature, I want to know why, about everything. I guess given that, it was inevitable that I would end up in science. So, partially selfishly, but mostly to share my joy of science, since their birth, I have engaged in a propaganda campaign to instill that same joy in them on the hopes of getting at least one scientist out of the eight. The campaign has been most successful when they are little. And my brother’s children are 1, 5 and 7. Happily the older two are also very into books. So I had sent them a couple of astronomy books and a surprise. That surprise was a star projector, I own the same one and thought they would dig it. The image of them when it was first turned on was them staring wide-eyed, mouths agape staring at the ceiling. That image made me incredibly happy. My littlest niece had some peaches and when you’re one year-old, peaches win!
My mood has been slowly tanking lately. Work has been insane this summer, there’s really been no break. And while I’m thankful, in an economy with over 30 million out of work and a real unemployment rate of 20%, I’m tired. For over four months, the workload in my office has been at least double. My assistant has been under this gun as well, and she’s also working from home, but with three children. She’s been juggling twice the workload and learning how to be a teacher as well. The stress has not been overwhelming, but it’s been constant and at a high level. I don’t make any claims that I’m alone in this, I think all of us have been feeling it. Because above and beyond our personal situation, we are currently seeing 1,000 people a day dying from coronavirus. The political divisions of our country are so deep that they have spilled over into making protecting your very health a political issue. Our economy is on tenuous footing at best, we’re at least restricted in our ability to travel and see others. Add to that protests in many cities, some violent, and people are anxious. I can see it by the lengths of lines in front of a local gun store. People are scared and stressed and they are buying guns and ammunition I think, to do something they can control. All of this weight that we are all feeling, I’m feeling as well and it’s weighing my mood down.
So this weekend I needed to just do some things that made me feel good. For me, both for the good and the bad, a lot of that surrounds food. When my mood tanks I need to eat well, and feel satiated, one way to do that is with good deserts, comfort food and my drug of choice, Coca-Cola. However, in trying to control my blood sugar, those aren’t really options beyond my weekly cheat meal. So I’ve been on the lookout for new recipes that are healthy and would satisfy my desires. I found a recipe recently that I really wanted to try, a recipe for zucchini fritters. It’s low carb and does something really good for me, and that is it’s a side dish. I’ve been making a lot good low carb entrees, but my side dishes have been limited to cooked and raw vegetables and I’ve been missing having something else. The fritters, here’s the recipe, were easy to make, the only ingredients I needed to pick up were ricotta cheese and almond flour.
So here’s a little review of the process that I went through. First off, I rarely make a recipe as is. First, I found the recipe to be a little bit bland, so I decided to add some things to spice it up. So in addition to the shredded zucchini, I also added minced red bell peppers, scallions, garlic and some jalapeno peppers. I also used liquid eggs instead of whole eggs, for me that works better if you have to adjust amounts and turned out to be a good thing with this recipe. Here’s what the batter looked like:
Then you heat up a thin layer of oil and drop them in:
The first batch that I did had two deficiencies. First, they didn’t hold together very well, so I added more eggs and almond flour. Second, although good, they needed a little salt and pepper. So I decided to, once I dropped in the batter, salt and pepper each fritter and that worked very well, I just did it on the first side.
After that, they came out very well. The only issues were getting the heat level right, I had it a little to high in the beginning which over cooked them a little. You have to wait for them to cook a bit before they are solid enough to flip. If the heat is too high they get over cooked on the first side. The second was getting the oil level correct. You want a really thin level of oil. I made five batches in all, and the last three came out really well.
I’ve enjoyed them twice so far, first as part of a Mexican food dinner. I make what I can only describe as a Mexican stew, pork stew meat, beans, black olives, scallions, peppers, jalapenos, spices and a can of my favorite commercially available salsa, Herdez Salsa Taquera. I topped the stew with some cheese and instead of making the dipping sauce from the recipe site, I used a little salsa verde.
This morning I enjoyed them with a veggie and cheese omelet and some sausage.
I am really happy with the way they turned out and being able to make a big batch and store them through the week means I will get to mix up my vegetables with another side dish.
Finally this weekend I did a little dreaming. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of five years until I retire. And over the last year or so I’ve started thinking about my living situation once I retire. I’ve decided that I’ll likely be leaving California. I’m hoping to buy a home in the east, hopefully within a few hours of family, waterfront property and something that’s got a little land, is a little remote but within a reasonable distance to a city. Rhode Island is becoming a focus of my search, as are lakes in the Adirondacks and Southern Maine. I spent a good amount of time looking at homes for sale Friday night. There were a number that fit my criteria all under $300,000. Some at even half that price, so that gave me some hope to accomplish my goal.
My retirement plan at this point looks like living in that home from Apr/May to Oct/Nov. I hope to spend three months a year in Oaxaca City, Mexico like I did a couple of years ago. That means February to May each year is available for travel and long-distance hiking. I tentatively hope to celebrate my 60th birthday the same way I did my 50th, by attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Now of course all of this depends on my health and the universe not throwing any major curve-balls in my direction. That has rarely been the case in my life, which why I have always said, my planning consists of picking a direction, and the universe will give me a final destination. Have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane