Altering Habits

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Scotty's Place





Progress on all fronts
2004-11-01, 11:19 a.m.

Day 64 - More home cooking

Got one of my most & least favorite chores done yesterday. It's a most favorite because of what I get out of it. It's a least favorite because of one of the by products. See, I had a peck basket full of peppers. Jalapeno, Portugal and Habanero. Of the bunch, the Jalapeno is the mildest by far. The habaneros are so hot they almost hurt at times and the portugals are right smack in the middle - hot enough to get your attention, but won't cause any bodily harm.

So - I have this peck basket full. Been collecting them for the last couple of weeks - since we stopped making salsa. Been drying them some, but if they dry too slow they seem to sprout a fungus. To cure the slow drying problem, I fired up the smoker, dropped in a nice hunk of hickory and let the peppers rest in the smoker for a couple of hours. They soaked up a nice amount of smoke and let go of all their moisture.

Now for the fun part. Got out the Braun Boat motor with it's little mini food processor. Did up the portugals & jalapenos and store them as a mix in the same large container. The habaneros get their own processing batch and separate container. Now I have a rather large spice bottle (probably would hold 6 liquid oz) of habanero flakes. Also ended up with about 10 liq. oz of the portugal/jalapeno mix. Realistically, this amount of pepper won't last me till the end of next summer. It will provide a nice touch of warmth over the coming winter though. I also hear the active ingredient (capsaicin) helps to reduce cholesterol. Hope it's true, considering my 254mg/dl reading

The least favorite chore part comes when one takes the top of the processor after grinding the habaneros. Man, that'll bring tears to my eyes every time. Starts up a sneezing attack too. But the reward - home grown smoked habanero flakes. Nothing lights up a bowl of chili better than that. Chili made with venison that grew up in Chili (pronounced ch eye lye) too. After I cut all the mini steaks I could out of the back straps, the remainder got chunked up and frozen, marked specifically for use in chili.

Nobody knew it, but they weren't supposed to be holding their breath from that last paragraph to this. Kinda got sidetracked. For a week. Yes, now I'm at day 71 & counting.

Survived the attack of the habanero pepper flakes. Made significant progress at work with my new board. That is now in the wrapping up phase - no new inventions or design work required.

Struggled at bowling again last week. Nice start, 13 straight frames - no opens, then the dam burst. 3 straight opens in the middle of the third game, 5 straight opens to start the third game. I haven't had 5 straight opens since I threw a 12 pound ball (like when I was 12). Maybe I should go back to drinking beer while I bowl. Not drinking certainly isn't helping.

The wiff & I actually had a little chat about how I'm doing with quitting smoking. Happened while we were avoiding the early Trick or Treaters Saturday night. Went out to a local restaurant for dinner, tipped a couple of beers while waiting for a table. Somehow it came up that I was nearing 10 weeks of non-smoking. She actually asked me how hard it was to do - are some days worse than others, how often do I think about having a smoke - all sorts of questions. Maybe it took this long to convince her that I might actually stick with this. I think she was also fishing for a little recognition of how she has really cut back on her own smoking. I know I've mentioned it here before, and I made sure she knew that I noticed the change. Also slipped in a little comment about how not smoking has also decreased my desire for alcohol. I'm sure that hit home, and not in a bad way. I actually saw a bit of recognition flash through her expression as I said it. There is some hope. Plus, I think taking that header down the cellar stairs a couple of weeks ago helped too. Maybe it took a shot like that to knock some sense into her. Sure didn't help the wall any though.

Made a new agreement. I am now the chief cook and meal planner. In order to relieve a more or less constant gripe the wiff has, I am assuming the responsibility for evening dinner cooking - including making sure that what ever is required is pulled out of the freezer. I certainly don't mind the cooking, and I think the wiff was tired of assuming that the whole meal deal was on her. Now I need to plan out this weeks meals. So far we're looking at:

Sunday - home made Minestrone soup. Will also serve as lunches at work through out the week.
Monday - left over beef stew - sitting in the sink thawing right now. The wiff has a dinner thingy for work happening, so the stew is mostly for me.
Tuesday - Chili Rice Pilaf. Already have everything out for that. Nice one dish meal. Add a salad and call it done.
Wednesday - the start of the great unknown. Looking like grilled pork loin chops with roasted sweet potatoes & brussel sprouts.
Thursday - Bowling night. Quite often do Arby's. Might have to stop that due to my cholesterol situation. May have to let the wiff cook on Thursdays, or ai need to come up with crock pot meals
Friday - Fish fry @ Pineapple Jacks?
Saturday - home made pizza or calzones? Not exactly diet friendly.

Guess I'd better work on my meal plan.

71 days down. Countless meal plans to go.

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