Musings from a Seattle personal chef
Archive for September, 2006
Wednesday’s are my tempo run days, which means I’m running at a slightly faster pace than what I hope to run for the half marathon.Â Since I’m just starting my training for the Seattle half marathon, I’m not doing a lot of mileage.Â Yesterday I was scheduled to run 4 miles at an 8 minute, 47 second per mile pace; not a big deal.Â But I got a late start and didn’t get home from my client’s house until a little after 4 p.m.Â I always like to unwind a bit before hitting the trail, so it wasn’t until almost 5 p.m. that I even began to think about putting on my running shoes.Â
My darling arrived home just about then, and although he agreed to join me on the run, he first needed to pick up a prescription.Â Our pharmacy is right next to our grocery store, so I decided to join him since I hadn’t figured out what we’d have for dinner.Â (Basically this is all leading up to my bagging off my run, but I digress).
As mentioned in an earlier post, now that the weather has turned I’m craving hearty soups and stews. To me, there’s nothing better on a windy, cool day than to wrap yourself in a quilt and curl up on the couch with a steaming bowl of goodness.
Originally I was going to prepare a Moroccan-themed dinner for my darling on Friday — Tunisian vegetable & bean soup, or Hlelem; spicy carrot salad and Moroccan lemon chicken — but the ganglion cyst on my right wrist had other ideas. Actually, it was the lack of a cyst that caused the problem — I went to my doctor to have it aspirated and she advised keeping my wrist immobilized over the weekend. So much for cooking! Instead my darling prepared a simple Thai steamed mussel dish with rice.
Clear blue skies; crisp, cool weather and caramel apples in the fridge. Who could ask for anything more?
Honeycrisp apples have begun their far-too-short season, so that’s what I used. I love how crisp and sweet-tart they are. The caramels? Kraft!
My neighbor, the elite triathlete, had mentioned I should enter a race as an Athena sometime since, “I’d be surprised how well I’d do.” You see, some races have a special division for the big boys & girls — Clydesdales: men 198 pounds and over, and Athenas: women 150 pounds and over. Seems like a rather low weight for the women, but as long as it works in my favor, so be it.
The Subaru tri didn’t offer that division, but the Kirkland tri did. I figured what the heck! At 160 pounds, I am indeed an Athena. Much to my surprise, I finished No. 1 in my division (Athenas 40 and over) at 1 hour, 42 minutes, 45 seconds! Okay, so there were only 10 of us in the division, but STILL!!! If you grouped all the Athenas together (25 total), I’d still come in No. 4 (just don’t ask what my overall place was; it wasn’t that great!)
In preparation for the Kirkland Tri (race report in a separate post), my darling and I got our fill of carbs. Fall is in the air, so my thoughts turn to hearty fare. To celebrate my first triathlon on Sunday, we headed to Central Market for two 2-pound lobsters. We enjoyed them on our deck with a salad of fresh corn and red potatoes in a lemon-tarragon vinaigrette. Yum!
On Monday I prepared lowfat red beans & rice for a client using turkey kielbasa, and since I only used half the kielbasa for their meal, I prepared the dish for us that evening (using up the bell peppers leftover from the barbecue). I was a bit heavy-handed with the Tony Chachere’s, but I think the spice helped blast out whatever remained of my cold. It was the perfect meal after our 1/2 mile Greenlake swim.
I was warned that this might happen — triathlons are addicting!Â In fact, about an hour after I got home I was online signing up for another tri this weekend.Â What’s even cooler is that my darling is going to do this one with me!Â (It’s our 6-year wedding anniversary this Saturday, and even though he’s not one to do organized races, he figured it’d be an easy way to get out of buying me a gift :))Â Now for a recap.
I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…
Last week was SUPPOSED to be a rather rigorous one for training, but my body decided otherwise.Â I came down with a nasty cold on the 25th and am just now able to shake it.Â I managed to summon enough strength for the Chateau Ste. Michelle ride (which thankfully was cut down to a 16-miler), but collapsed on the couch immediately after.Â I also was able to do my 1/2 mile swim on the 28th (forgot my watch YET AGAIN — double D’oh!), but my cold took a turn for the worse and I was couch-bound for the next three days.Â
I lost a client today.
After 12 long and difficult months, dear sweet Donnie lost her valiant fight with ovarian cancer. Even though I knew the end was coming, the hurt is still very raw. I knew her merely a year, but she affected me deeply. I only wish I had the chance to make her favorite blueberry pie.
I’ve been cooking for her daughter and son-in-law for almost two years. I catered Donnie’s 75th birthday in January 2005, but didn’t get the chance to meet her because I prepared everything in advance and left before the party started. Last August she called me; she was starting chemotherapy again and wanted her husband properly fed. She battled breast cancer a few years earlier, and knew the all-consuming ritual of her chemo treatments would impede their ability to enjoy a proper meal. They needed some sort of respite for this round.
Continue reading Blueberries for Donnie…