Monday, May 31, 2010

What's your excuse for not exercising?

My new excuse for not exercising: Since yesterday, I have a blog. That means, in addition to my other excuses (cooking, knitting, brushing my cat, baking, watching Say Yes to the Dress, homework [ha]), I can rationalize keeping my flabby butt on the couch by telling myself the world needs to know about my life.

Since I only have school two days a week, I have recently taken up hobbies again. This trend seems to be contagious as GP is now seriously interested in bonsai cultivation. He spent most of his day yesterday trying to find a ficus plant (a failed mission, unfortunately). Anyway, I actually do have quite a bit to do for school. I have to finish reading a novel for tomorrow. I'm around 1/3 through, so this would actually be a possibility if I stopped writing this right now and didn't want to start the front right part of the cardigan I'm knitting and didn't want to play with my cat.

One procrastinatory (oooh, new word!) tool I have in my arsenal of many is cooking. Last night, in fact, GP tried to ask me if I had "too many pots and pans". He said he had "never seen anyone actually use the drawer underneath the oven for storage on a regular basis". Clearly he also doesn't know anyone who worked at The Bay for longer than she cares to admit and, consequently has a lot more "homemaking" devices than most other 20-somethings do. I told him if he tried to get me to get rid of my cookware I would castigate him on my blog. However, as you're the only one who reads this, GP, (and only because I told you to), I doubt this is very much of a threat.

What do I write for a blog whose audience is the person who knows everything about me already? I will think on that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do you suffer from premature blog ejaculation?

I just have one more thought for now:

I think people who are not involved in religion need to have other ways of punishing/torturing/disciplining themselves, which is the only reason I can think of that my boyfriend (henceforth known as GP) and I are doing P90X. For the uninitiated (lucky...), P90X is an insane DVD series aimed at sculpting your body into a lean mean muscle machine. It is 3 months long and includes a strict diet that participants must follow by rote if they want to see any success at all. (GP had 2 very strong screwdrivers last night, not that I'm keeping track of who's falling off the bandwagon faster or nothin'). In the first month of this diet participants (read: pathetic flabby underlings) are allotted a million servings of protein, very few servings of fruits and veggies and basically one serving of carbohydrates per day.

In the spirit of low-carb living, I'm making vegetarian (vegan, maybe?) wontons for dinner tonight. I know, wonton wrappers are made of carbs, but fuck. I'm already pretty skinny and I haven't eaten carbs yet today, so given that there are 5g of carbs per one wrapper, I can safely feel good about gorging on these tasty morsels tonight. I tried and tried to find an intriguing, easy, tasty, healthy, protein-rich recipe for vegetarian wontons but unfortunately the internets let me down. Thank goodness that the human mind (mine especially) is infinitely inventive. For posterity, here is my wonton recipe:

For the filling:
350g extra firm tofu, pressed
1/3 cup soy sauce (or more, or less, to taste)
1 Tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger
4 small cloves of garlic, (or three big ones, or whatever), finely grated
about 1/3 of a red onion, finely grated (or use 1/4 of a white onion if that's what you have)
a handful of minced water chestnuts

To wrap them up:
one package of wonton wrappers (the small variety)
egg wash

To cook them in:
2.5 litres (2.5 quarts) broth/stock/flavoured water

To eat them with:
Assorted delicious veggies of your choosing

Put the above in a Cuisinart, except for the chestnuts. If you don't have a food processor you should beg/borrow/steal one from someone. Seriously, this is a lot easier with a food processor. You could try doing it in a blender, but it might all get stuck at the bottom and not want to move around unless you have one of those super duper fancy humongous two-blade deals. And if you can't do that, then you're on your own on that front. You're smart, you can figure something out. (If anyone ever reads this and finds a way to do this without using a Cuisinart or a blender, please let me know!)

Anyway, when you're done processing it, it should resemble a sticky kind of cookie dough. Or at least something suitable for sticking in a wonton wrapper. Taste it. You should like the taste. If you don't, add more of a flavour you like until it's palatable. Mix in the chestnuts after taking the tofu-mix out of the processor.

I don't know what you can use as a sticking-together agent for the wrappers besides egg wash, but if you're vegan you're probably crafty and have figured this out already. Read on!

IMPORTANT (ha, almost wrote "impotent") NOTE: Filling these little puppies takes a while. I thought it would quick and easy, and it certainly was easy, but quick it was not. It took me the better part of an hour to wrap up all my filling using 3 sheets short of a 260g package of wrappers. Anyway, lay the wonton wrappers on the counter with one corner pointing to you and place about 3/4 of a teaspoon (or half, or something, I don't know, you'll figure it out) of filling in the middle. Don't put too much filling in there or they'll explode. Wet two sides of the wonton with egg wash and fold the dry sides onto the wet, to form a triangle. Then fold the opposing points into the middle to form a tortellini-type shape.

To cook the wontons, bring around 2.5 litres of your preferred broth (I use Better Than Bouillon because they make a delicious vegetarian "stock") to a gentle simmer. Avoid a more vigorous simmer because that will break the delicate little wonton skins. At this point you will want to talk like Rachael Ray and say things like "Drop the kids into the hot tub". Avoid that; it'll make your wontons taste bad. Leave the wontons in the "hot tub" (ugh) for around 3 minutes, then remove them to the bowl(s) in which they will be served. Dump your choice veggies (I used bok choy, water chesnuts, baby corn, and carrots) into the broth, reserving the less robust veggies (bok choy) for a shorter cooking time. I simmered the veg. for around 5-6 minutes, or until the carrots were al dente. All you have to do when you've cooked the veggies is ladle the soup into the bowls over the wontons and season the broth with soy sauce and slurp it all up greedily. I can't wait to have leftovers today.

Oh! And I froze the rest of the wontons because there were so many. Good for when I am lazy and/or sick.

What's your name?

I kind of hope this post is one of those many "first posts" that people curse for having taken up a blog name they want really really badly. This is exactly what happened to me just now, as I was trying to think up a name for my blog. I don't intend to have a "theme" for my blog, even though I have several popular (maybe even "trendy") hobbies. I want this thing to be about whatever the hell I want it to be about on any given day. I'm reading, or supposed to be reading for my Contemporary Canadian Fiction class, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. One of the characters keeps a keepsake scrapbook (well several do, actually, the novel being in the Victorian Era and scrapbook-keeping being a common hobby for well-to-do women with nothing to do, kind of like it is now, come to think of it) in which only newspaper articles of murders are kept. Anyway, I don't want my blog to be "themed" in that way, besides the fact that that is totally gruesome and morbid.

I have another hope: that people will try to find a blog with this name and misspell "ceiling", or that I'll stumble upon the incorrectly-spelled blog, waxcieling, and be able to tell the unfortunate blogger thereof that MY blog is the correctly spelled one and he/she is a dummy for not having spell-checked beforehand. Or maybe she/he is simply being ironic and the joke will have been on me. In any case, I wanted this blog, which is (hopefully) going to be about nothing and everything, to have a suitably random but endearing name. Obviously, I got to thinking about Through The Looking Glass and "shoes and ships and sealing wax". As endearing as that song (or poem? Speech? Soliloquy?) is, I don't want my blog name to start with "shoes". I like shoes enough, but I feel as though enough blogs are written by brainless idiots who have unfounded obsessions with shoes that adding one more to the pile would be the straw that broke (etc). Everyone loves Alice in Wonderland, so I wanted to continue in that vein. shipsandsealingwax was already taken as were most derivatives, even ceilingwax, which as we all know is the incorrect homophone of the original "sealing".

So, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that my blog name is outrageously witty and inventive, which is more than I can say for what I hope will be a long and promising blogging career.