An Aversion To Crowds

I don’t like crowds.  Luckily living in a relatively large country ( land mass wise) with a relatively smaller population helps a lot.  I’m not claustrophobic, but something about jostling people for oxygen and a marginally greater amount of elbow room really isn’t my thing.  You know?
In my effort to avoid the crowd at the subway I decided to walk home in the rain.  Although I was soaked I didn’t really care because I had these:
A not so small package of Maynard’s fruit salad sour candy.
Picked up from this lovely jaunt after work:
I absolutely love candy so I was in heaven.  I’ve even spotted a few chocolate free varieties that I’ll be sure to sample the next time I’m there :).
Candy aside, today wasn’t a bad day.  Got up this morning kind of late again and didn’t have the time to run for 1/2 an hour. So I tried running 1 mile spurts as fast as I could timing myself after each mile.
Mile 1:  8:00 min
Rest (400 metre walk)
Mile 2: 8:06 min
I really need to improve my speed so I’m glad I pushed myself through mile 2.  My lungs were seriously burning (no surprise since I’ve been known to run at a speed of 10 miles per minute when running outside).  I think my next goal would be to complete this activity 3 times (running 3 miles) AND getting a time of under 8 minutes per mile.   But all in all I think it’s a good start and I’m a lot stronger now that I’ve been working with Marcia.
In addition to ingesting fruit salad candies I did have some real food as well:
The last of the vegan carrot cake cupcakes.  I’m making more of these soon!
1 full pita with roasted turkey, bruschetta, spinach, cucumber, hummus and sunsprouts.
One of the pita halves had a big hole in it, so I ripped it apart and assembled it like regular sandwich bread.  The jury’s out on which half held more stuff.   The half that remained intact was fuller along the top of the pita while the other had a more even distribution of filling.  Either way, I still think eating it pita style was more satisfying and made for easier cleanup and assembly.  I just need to learn the secret of protecting my pita from ripping!
Sweet tooth hit me, and I tried to calm it down with celery sticks that I’d precut.  Unfortunately the fridge at work is a little strong and froze the poor guys.  I ended up having ryvita and more sunbutter:
Love the retro plate (we have a couple of funny things kicking around my department’s kitchen).  For example I know there’s a Holly Hobbie mug somewhere and some Swiss Chalet plates that look like they’re from the early 90s.  (Having gone to Swiss Chalet recently I know the plates have since been re-released to look more modern :)).  Sometime this week the Hollie Hobbie mug will make a guest appearance.
After visiting the candy store, walking in the rain and blog lurking, I heated up the liquidless chili and added a few sprinkles of Daiya cheese:
Despite being liquidless this chili was really good!   (See Recipe below).  Note:  I used half of everything because I live alone.
Beef Chili
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (Along with crowds I have an even stronger aversion to ground beef.  I used stewing beef cut into cubes instead)
1-2 tbsp canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small sweet green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can  (28 oz, 796 mL) tomatoes, diced)
1 cup beef stock
1 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in frying pan and brown beef over medium high heat until no longer pink.
Lower heat to medium.  Add onions, garlic, celery, green pepper and spices.  Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
Stir in tomatoes with juice and the stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.
Add beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes more (I like my beans a little bit firmer, so I added them in without simmering them).
Recipe courtesy of the The Comfort Food Cookbook by Johanna Burkhard.
Time to relax now.  But not until I iron my clothing for tomorrow morning (a big time saving tip!).   If only all my clothes were wrinkle free.   I would save so much time!  Granted there are a few items that don’t require ironing, but they tend to be the more synthetic and less comfortable fabrics.   A definite tradeoff, but I think synthetic loses on this front!
Good night!


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