iscribblings

Charting life's circuitous path


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House Dreams

“you are searching everywhere
you want the sun
find your home
between your eyes”
― Žiga Stanovnik

I’ve been desperately wanting a house to call our own.  My houzz ideabooks are stuffed with greys and blues, plush rugs, stone steps and beautifully tiled laundry rooms.  I’ve been trolling trulia for all of the houses up for sale in our neighborhood (and culling all those that don’t fit my exacting criteria) even though it’ll be at least another 8 months before we can leave this apartment.  We’re not filthy rich, so most of what I dream will stay in my mind.  But that’s okay.  We’ve got time to make the house our home where dreams are realized.

Some people say that home isn’t a building but the people in it.  I’d love for that to be 100% true since it would make waiting with my hubby at a dirty bus stop be like putting our feet up on a cushy ottoman, tea in hand. In reality, while the people and animals you share your home with are the most crucial part of what makes up a “home”, there’s no escaping the long sigh that escapes when you finally sink into your own bed and bury your head into your own pillow after weeks of being away.

Nothing beats familiarity.

I’ve “left the nest” for some 12 years now.  We’ve had our fair share of apartments and a good bit of luck with our current setup.  Having only one neighbor above us beats the surround sound situation of college life – pounding feet, arguments and drunken music.  I can’t believe we put up with so much for so long, but I suppose that’s one of the long held rites of early married life – the “what we had to do back when we first got married” story is firmly written.

Going back to my childhood home, however, was never the same the minute I stepped off the porch.  The fact that my bedroom was replaced with tatami mats and kotatsu and all of my favorite foods were suddenly absent from long stashed cupboards meant that while my heart might never leave family, my actual presence in the house was now that of a stranger.  Or a friend.  But certainly someone that now felt like she had to ask to use the milk or to borrow the fan.  It’s jarring when you fully realize how easily distance can occur.  One day you’re the child who doesn’t even blink to switch tv stations and demands pizza for dinner, and the next you’re politely agreeing to whatever everyone else wants to eat and sitting neatly on the couch.

And it’s not like my parents are all about rules, either.  It’s just a sense of otherness that seeps into the carpet.  Suddenly you see the house as an outsider might and all of its flaws and beauty are laid bare.  Funny how when you’re in your own home we become blind to everyday living.  Currently, I have laundry hanging on chairs after being ironed and a pile of paper sitting on my kitchen table.   By Saturday, when my parents come to visit, all of that will be cleared away and the floors swept.  “This is my home and my life,” the neatly placed coasters shout.

I’m hoping to find a house that we can truly customize to match our personalities and dreams.  I want our home to be somewhere people gather, laugh, eat and relax.  I want it to welcome us with open arms, bright with the warmth of the sun and the solidness of earth.  I want our home to reflect the life held gently between its walls.

And these lovely pictures?  Not our home.  :) They’re ideas taken from houzz of what I’d love to see in our future home.  Dreams, all of them.

misoeggplant


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Miso Glazed Eggplant – A fitting end to an experiment

duskSeptember has been a good month.  I’m starting to feel like I can really love September, if the looming threat of snow and cold weather wasn’t apparent in every brown leaf scattered across my doormat.

I’ve been able to get in a lot of great runs so far this month and while I’ve yet to topple the 5 mile mark (I do get really close with 4.5 mile jaunts), I’m not worried about breaking or setting any records.  The random surprise deer spotting, the (sometimes) invigorating music beating away each stride and the crisp air cooling my breath make running one of my favorite ways to unwind.  The spectacular summer evenings are also a good reason why I am an evening runner.  :)

dorayakiThe whole “what can we eat?” question is also starting to become clear.  Here’s what we think we’ll stick by until further notice (or headaches get worse, whichever comes first).

  1. Gluten is “okay” IF (and that’s a huge, Kilimanjaro, IF) we only have it rarely and in small doses.  Pizza one night a month is fine.  Sandwiches and other gluten items from restaurants once a month or so is “okay”.  I know that large doses of gluten sets my tummy aching and even small doses make me crave like I’m going to have twins for days afterward.  I’d rather not crave or ache so we’re keeping the gluten to “special” times (aka restaurant trips where non-gluten items are hard to come by or that piece of cake begging to be eaten). Our house, though, is gluten free.  And you know what?  That’s actually just fine with me. :)
  2. Soy is “fine”.  Neither of us saw any reaction to soy, so it’s back on the menu!
  3. Dairy is “okay”.  My hypothesis about feeling blue once eating dairy didn’t pan out the other times I’ve had it, so I’m bringing it back in.  We’re not chugging it down like we used to (now we get through 1/2 a gallon of almond milk a week vs the gallon of milk), but we’re having things like yogurt or the odd slice of cheese here and there. We don’t really react to it, but I’d like to keep it in moderation.
  4. Chocolate is “OUT”.  We’re going to give it one more test later this month, but the hubby’s had a “test” day twice now and both times have landed him with 3 day migraines.  :'( That seems pretty definitive to me, but chocolate is the hubby’s first love and it’s hard to give up.  Personally, I don’t react at all except to the craving the sugar inspires.  It’s fine with me if we do give it up, but it does make baking non-chocolate goodies a bit harder. I didn’t quite realize how much chocolate based food there is out there.  We tried to go to a local coffee shop to have an iced drink and NONE of the options were without chocolate.  :/ Still, I’m managing to bake yummies for us that fit all of our diet needs.

This little experiment is about to come to a close and I’m so glad we did it.  Our menus are more varied (I made delicious gluten free dorayaki for dessert the other day) and we’re actually eating and buying better balanced food (like the miso glazed eggplant below).  I’m especially happy to see the hubby getting more “normal” headaches from time to time (like stress, dust, etc), than the repeated migraines.  People might think we’re crazy, but at least our lives are happier for it.

misoeggplantWe don’t have a lot planned this month, but that’s okay. I’m soaking up as much cool air as I can before the weather turns and scarves come out.  It’s also pie season soon, so I’ll be brushing up on my gluten free crust making!  :)

Miso Glazed Eggplant

(Note: Recipe is adapted from The Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning.  All of the ingredients I used in this recipe were gluten free and it came out beautifully.)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large eggplant or 4 Japanese eggplants

Directions

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Cut eggplant into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Quarter each slice.
  3. Turn on oven broiler.  Move rack close to the top of the oven.
  4. Place eggplant cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Brush half of the glaze over eggplant and place in oven.  Broil for about 5-10 minutes until it begins to brown.  Watch closely as it might burn.
  6. Turn eggplant slices over and brush with the remaining glaze.  Broil for about 10 minutes, again, watching carefully so as not to burn.  Once nicely browned, take out the pan and serve eggplant with rice.


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Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip – Gluten Free

Blue cupcakes, curely wurleys and jammie dodgers.

Throw in a trivia game, big screens and a lot of people and we’re talking Doctor Who Season 8 Premiere!

What did you think?

I liked Capaldi.  Obviously, I’ll have to see more to get an idea of how he’ll develop, but in all, his performance was what kept me watching.  The rest of it?  Not sure I really cared an awful lot. :/ I really wanted to see more Capaldi and less of everyone else, even though there were some really funny scenes (Strax’s fall and Jenny’s posing scenes got a big laugh out of our group).

This was definitely an episode that was FOR the audience.  It spoke directly to us and it wasn’t ashamed to do so.  We were Clara as she  watched this new (older) man who was “not our boyfriend” anymore dash about and act so much differently and yet familiarly like the “old” Doctor (the phone call scene was well done and sweet).  It told us that we need to accept change, to help and be there for others as they go through change and that relationships aren’t just one dimensional.

It told us to re-evaluate who we are and to question our expectations.

I quite liked that. :) It was refreshing, maybe a bit preachy at times, but very much befitting a first episode.

And the intro sequence.  Can we just say it was fantastic? :D I LOVE the intro and while the original black and white intros are still the best, in my book, this one was right up there as one of my top intros.  SO much better than the time tunnel effect.  Blah!

I took this wonderful recipe from Joanne’s website to the party and it was delicious!  I changed it up a tad by using quinoa instead of the bulgur and I omitted the mint (not keen on mint) and swapped out half the lemon for half a lime. :) It was a fast and really pretty dish to bring to the party and one of the healthiest items at the table!

hummus

Bring on the Doctor!  I think we’re ready to see how he stands up to the Daleks. :)

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water with a dash of salt
  • 12 oz container of regular hummus (Joanne uses Pacific but I used Lilly’s)
  • 12 oz container of roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded

Directions

  1. Add water, salt, and quinoa to a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 15 mintues (or however long your packet says).  Set aside and let cool (I popped mine in the fridge to speed up the process).
  2. Mix together chopped parsely, juices, tomatoes and quinoa.
  3. In a serving dish (about the size of an 8×8 pan), layer regular hummus, half the tabbouleh, the roasted red pepper hummus and then the rest of the tabbouleh.  Serve with your choice of chip.

 

 

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