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San'ka's Journal
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Date:2013-09-29 21:42
Subject:Split pea soup with pork

For the first time in a long time made split pea soup. Used pork hocks to make the stock - turned out quite nice for an experiment.

1 pork hock
1-2 lb pork
4 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 kg split peas (green, yellow, or mixed)
potatoes (3 large or 5 medium)
2 carrots
1 large onion
1/2 tsp olive oil
salt to taste

1) In a large pot bring 4 L of water, 2 bay leaves and the pork hock to a boil.
2) Cook for 3-4 hours, salting to taste about half way through
3) Remove hocks from broth, separate the meat from skin and bone. Discard bay leaves, skin and bones and put meat back into the pot. Add 2 fresh bay leaves.
4) Dice raw pork into cubes and sear in a olive oil (any vegetable oil will do). Add to broth. Cook for about 30 minutes
5) While the pork is cooking, dice carrots, onion, garlic, and potatoes
6) Add garlic, carrots, and onions to the broth, cook for 15 minutes
7) Add peas, cook for 15 minutes.
8) Add potatoes, cook until potatoes are tender and peas are squishy.
9) Optional: separate meat from the rest of the soup. Use the immersion blender to blend the soup or use the conventional blender to blend small batches. Return to pot and put back the meat.

Serve with a small dollop of sour cream :)

Times are approximations, I mostly went by poking ingredients and guaging their state of done-ness. If I make it again, I'll try to nail down the times and will re-write the recipe. Also, might also be good to add something smoked - like polish sausage or smoked turkey. I think a smoky taste will add to it.

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Date:2013-08-19 20:07
Subject:Curried Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust

Tomorrow is my hubby's birthday, so yesterday we went over to my folks to celebrate. I made a recipe that I've tried before and we absolutely love. Originally it came from the "The Garden of Vegan. How it all vegan again" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. Lots of recipes in that book call for Bragg's (which is a type of soy sauce as it turns out), but this one doesn't. Anyhoo...

1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
1 1/2 cup flower
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/3 vegetable shortening or margarine
3 tbsp water

2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tsp curry powder
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp peanut butter

My notes:
1. If using dried chick peas, to get the required amount for both, the crust and the filling, put 1/2 cup of dry chickpeas to soak overnight. They will approximately double in size, then boil for 1.5-2 hours.
2. The first time I made it, I accidentally used 3 tbsp of curry powder instead of 3 tsp and it came out very yummy, so I keep doing it
3. I found that 3 tbsp of peanut butter holds things together much nicer than 2.
4. Proportions of veggies for the filling are a guide - feel free to play with them or substitute ingredients.
5. Don't have to use vegetable stock. I just use water.

To make the crust:
1. Puree chickpeas in food processor. I found this quite hard to do, as chickpeas stick to sides and blades and I end up with a lot of whole ones. Potato masher (one with solid plate with holes, not the zig-zaggy wire) works quite well. Use the fork or even your hands if you need to, just mash 'em up good XD
2. Combine flour, salt, and cumin. Mix
3. Add chickpeas, margarine, and water. Knead in a bowl until combined. Knead on the counter for 3-5 minutes or until no longer lumpy. Cover so it doesn't dry out and set aside until needed.

To make the filling:
1. In a large frying pan cook together onions, celery, pepper, and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent
2. Add cauliflower, peas, chickpeas, garlic, and curry. Cook for about 5-7 minutes
3. Add tomatoes, stock (or water), salt, and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter.

Divide the dough into two parts - one slightly bigger than the other. Roll out both pieces, one large enough to cover the bottom of the 9-inch pie dish. Spray the pie dish with non-stick spray then put the first piece on the bottom of the dish, put the filling in and then cover with the second piece. Pinch the edges together and make a small hole in the middle of the pie for steam to escape.

Bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes - the edges will harden and top layer will be somewhat stiff.


I highly recommend the book this recipe originally came from, as well as it's predecessor (How it all vegan!) and sequel (La Dolce Vegan).

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Date:2013-08-02 18:38
Subject:I'm baack
Mood: amused

About a month ago I got a message that my account was deleted due to disuse. I promptly undeleted it, but now I'll try to post here regularly. The problem is, I get caught up in things and I don't have time to post. Also, looking back at my posts, I seem to bitch about life a lot. Despite hicups with my health, I have a pretty good life. I have a wonderful husband (yes, we got married last May :D), I have my family, I have a great job with lots of people who drive me bonkers whom I totally love, I have a pretty, purry, absolutely crazy kitty who thinks Andrew's toes are an essential food group (breakfast, to be specific, around 5 am).
So I decided to write about food. Cooking, to be precise. Ever since I got my own kitchen I've been experimenting with different recipes and making up my own. I find the recipes I like and try to adjust them to have less fat/sugar/salt, but still taste good. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I just do the recipe as is, because it's just too good to adjust and deal with the guilt of having it XD I just need to figure out how to post pictures here. Oh, well. Internet knows everything O.O

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Date:2011-12-12 08:06
Subject:Monday morning
Mood: sleepy

I'm totally with Garfield on this one - I hate Mondays. That cat is the greatest philospher of our time, if you ask me.

It's amazing how easily the weekends can get filled up and there never seems to be enough time. I mean, what did we do this weekend? Put up my folks' christmas tree, put up our own tree, I made jam-filled pirogies (which exploded when I baked them - oh, well, I'm still experimenting). Oh, and we went to see "Arthur Christmas". It was awesome!!! It was hilarious, witty, whimsical, sweet, and warm. In a word - Christmasy. When it comes out on DVD it's so getting added to our Christmas movie collection. If you have a chance this holiday season - go see it.

Anyway, I gotta do the Secret Santa anouncement about clues and then work work work!

I hate Mondays...

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Date:2011-12-04 17:59
Subject:Still alive and kicking
Mood: content

Looked at my last post and it was more than a year and a half ago. Lessee... What's happened? Well, I got better from my illness, got engaged, moved in with my fiancee, and got a job. Well, the job's temporary, but still - life's been pretty good to me.
It's interesting how life can turn on a dime. And how the worst thing that happened to you can sometimes work out for the best. My illness was very hard on me and on my family, but because I couldn't do much besides stay in bed and play World of Warcraft, I wouldn't have started talking to my future husband. If I hadn't been hit by a car in my last year of high school, I would not have had the settlement and would probably still be up to my ears in debt with OSAP. If I had been accepted into grad school right off the bat, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to work for a year and build up a bit of a nest egg for my studies.
In any case, I'm happy with the way my life keeps turning out, even if it does throw me a curve now and then. I'm happy. I look to the future with hope. And I think that's the best place to be in life :)

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Date:2010-07-14 16:33

For a few weeks now my dad and I have been going for a walk in the evening (me trying to build up my muscles after a year of inactivity). Our walk takes us to a bridge over a little stream. Around 8 pm there are a few duck families feeding there. So last time I was there, I brought some food. Boy, did we make an entrance! It seemed as soon as the pieces of bread started falling the number of ducks doubled magically. We made the pieces small and spread them out so that everyone would get some, even the little ones and it was so much fun :) At this point most of the ducklings are almost the size of full grown adults, so pretty much everyone was on equal footing. It was neat.

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Date:2010-07-01 16:02
Subject:We're painting the roses red!
Mood: amused

Actually, we're painting the grass green.

This monday Her Majesty, the Queen is coming to Waterloo to visit RIM and they are closing down the street. My dad just happens to be working across the place where the Queen is scheduled to visit and today he was witness to certain preparations. They are painting the lawns green!! I kid you not. There are some patches in the lawn that went yellow - I mean every lawn gets that once in a while -and they are painting them XD The sad thing is, the paint color doesn't quite match the faded lawn, so, instead of a green-and-yellow polka dot, you get a green-and-darker-green one. I wonder what they use for paint? Some special blend? I suppose if I had to do it, I'd use some sort of food coloring and pray that it doesn't rain.

It would have been nice to see her in person at least once, not on TV. But I have a feeling it would be looked at askance if I perched on the roof of my dad's office with a pair of binoculars.

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Date:2008-10-04 15:01
Mood: busy

So, fall is in full swing now. I love the weather - not too sunny, but not rainy either. Cool, but not freezing - just enough for a light jacket.

Wanted to wash the windows today, but decided to wait until we get the AC out, don't want to drip in water.

Watched Ironman yesterday and it was soooo funny!

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Date:2008-09-14 20:49
Subject:evening ramblings
Mood: tired

This is the first year, when I don't have school or prospect of school in the near future. There's been one september - 2004 - when I didn't have school (it was after I graduated from UoG, but before I started Ryerson), but then I already knew that I'd be going next semester. Since I graduated this time, there is no certainty in anything. Even if (and it's a big "if") we win the contract for the Ottawa project, it's only for 5 months. Yes, it's still something and I'll have something concrete to put on the resume, but I'll be in almost the same boat as before at the end of February.
Another fly in my ointment is this collider debate. I don't know who to believe - people who say that it can produce black holes that can swallow the earth, people who say it can't, people who say it can but won't, people who say if it does we won't know what hit us, or people who say that if it does we'll have the opportunity to appreciate the sheer horror of the prospect. It's an empty worry and my stressing about it won't influence the outcome, but I can't help it. I wish anxiety came with an "off" switch.
And I wish I wasn't such a coward...

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Date:2008-08-24 19:14
Mood: curious

Trying to make healthy muffins. First try (currently in the oven) - raisin bran whole wheat muffins. I wonder if they'll be edible... 

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Date:2008-08-20 12:34
Subject:maybe... just maybe
Mood: unemployed

Got offered a position on an environmental project. Well, "got offered" is, maybe, too strong a word. "Am being considered" is more like. No guarantees, though. It's a contract that still needs to be won and even if they do win it, don't know if they'll still go with me.

Otherwise, life is fine. Dealing with some health stuff, but that's nothing new.

Reading the Stephanie Mayer series and will reserve judgement until finish the entire series, but not too bad for now.

So, yeah, no real news :P 

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Date:2008-02-22 17:52
Subject:Eulogy for Jewel
Mood: crappy

Jewel was a little scrap of white fur who like to run in a wheel, eat carrots and dried bananas, and to bite yours trully. She was, however, quite affectionate with and (will be sorely missed by) her dear friend, Ginger. Though she gave no indication of this (and quite likely never understood), she was probably quite happy that she got to live six months more than she would have, had she stayed at the pet shop in her capacity as a feeder mouse. Jewel passed away suddenly, from a heart attack, in the loving hands of a vet after she contracted an infection on her muzzle. I'd like to think she didn't suffer much.
Though I know that for her I was associated with the more traumatic events of her life (such as moving), I loved her. Although it was tragically cut short, I tried to give her and Ginger a happy life, free of human meddling and full of seeds, carrots, apples, and dried bananas. As she looks down now from the mousy heaven, I hope she forgives me for not being able to protect her any more than I have.

"For every one that falls, one stands above ground"

Jewel, you will be missed

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Date:2007-12-16 00:54
Subject:Just FYI...
Mood: giddy

This past Thursday, December 13th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm I successfully defended my masters thesis. 

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Date:2007-12-05 10:34
Mood: frustrated

Who would have thought that condensing 2 years of research into 20 minutes would be hard, yet it is! Working on the presentation and there is no way it's 20 minutes and I have no idea what to cut. I have a trial run with my supervisors today, so maybe they will have some suggestions. Personally, I'd rather have a longer presentation and fewer questions, but no one is asking me...

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Date:2007-12-04 12:02
Mood: annoyed

In the lab again, working on my presentation. The trial run is tomorrow. Have an exam invigilation at the Metro Toronto Convention Center at 3, so will have to leave soon. I used to love invigilations in the beginning, but that wore off in a hurry. They are so boring! Just standing around for 3 hours making sure nobode cheats very obviously. They never do, BTW. We have a university-full of gooddy-two-shoes. I am very glad for this fact, but it makes the invigilations oh-so-boring.
Was kicked out of the house again. Can't go back until after 8 because the agents are showing it. Poo. Oh, well. I can't understand why the sucker hasn't sold yet. It's a very nice townhouse, downdown Toronto, PATIO ON THE ROOF!!! Huge garage. Solarium. Compared to other stuff for sale in the area, very reasonable price. AND the land transfer tax doubles in the new year. So what are people waiting for? We had so many people come through the place that if we were selling tickets, we would have already made as much as the house. Well, probably...
Anyhoo, it's just frustrating. And annoying. Oh, well. The house has to be sold and there is nothing for it. I just wish it was OK for me to stay in it while they're showing it.

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Date:2007-12-03 12:57
Subject:I'm baaaack!.... Well... Kinda...
Mood: productive

Yet again I've been woefully absent from the splendor that is LJ. In my defense, I've been REEEEEEEEEALY busy. I just handed in my masters manuscript on Friday (after 2 allnighters and countless "why me?"s addressed to the silent cieling. I am now working on my presentation and will be defending on the 13th at 2 pm. So, any of you, if you suddenly remember me on the 13th, do cross your fingers :)

Sad to say, but that is all my news. School was pretty much my life for the past 2 years, so, really not much else to say.

Will check back in after the defence... Powers that be willing... Gaaaaaah!!!!!

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Date:2007-06-04 14:34
Mood: cynical

Went to see Shrek the 3rd with Dad and sis this weekend. Can't say that I was impressed. At least not as much as by the first two. Feel sorry for Charming, actually. He got screwed up royally (no pun intended), plus he lost his mother whom he obviously loved very much (although I acknowledge they had major issues) and everybody just keeps making fun of him. I totally don't blame him for snapping. The movie has it's nuggets, but unfortuantely it does not make up for the faults.
It seems it is the "summer of thirds". Next time I'm home I think we are planning to go see Spiderman 3, and then NEXT time, it's Pirates of the C-arrrrr-ibean :)

Anyhoo, back to work :P

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Date:2007-04-14 23:03
Mood: nervous

Heh... I never did finish that post about the conference. Oh, well. Long story short, we came, we presented, we left. I got second plance in my session, another student with my supervisors got first in hers.

Now I'm preoccupied with a different thing. In may (the week of may 7th) I'm going to Dorset for a field course for a week. I've never done anything like that (I don't like traveling unless someone else does all the planning) and now I have to plan the entire trip. It suuuuuucks!

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Date:2007-03-18 12:38
Subject:Con Report (1)
Mood: busy

That would be "CONference" not "CONvention". I just got back from the Great Lakes Consortium conference last night. Well, I must say, it was certainly event-filled couple of days.
I got up at 5 am on Friday morning (I'm not a morning person). I had packed the day before, so I got to spend the next half hour in a zombie-like state dressing and shoving the last few things into the overnight bag. The day before I called a cab to pick me up at 5:40 and drive me to the Union station for the simple reason that THE SUBWAY DOES NOT RUN UNTIL 6!!!! And I had to be on the 6:13 train to Burlington. 
Got to the station, met up with Leigh and Joe (my fellow students) and we set off to Burlington. Joe and Leigh slept, but I had to present that day at 4, so I was a bit nervous. Also, to periodic anouncement and a lady talking quite excitedly on the phone a few seats from us made it difficult to sleep without headphones.
Lynda and Andy (our supervisors) picked us up in the parking lot of the Burlington GO station and we set off on the 5 hour drive to Syracuse.

Now I have to go do some work, so "To be continued..."

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Date:2007-03-14 14:28
Subject:Another conference coming up
Mood: busy

Quite rapidly, as it happens. This Friday, to be exact. It's in Syracuse and is called the Great Lakes Consortium. We are leaving very very very very very early on Friday, I present at the conference at 4, we go eating. Then we go drinking (St. Patrik's day and all that). Then the next day my fellow student presents at noon. Then we have lunch and go home. Should be home late Saturday evening.
Made a poster from the slides in my presentation of CCIW and got it printed really cheap in the University. The only snag was that when it got printed, I realized that there were two typo's that PowerPoint didn't pick up (even when I ran a spell check!!!) So I had to go back and re-print it. Cheap, sure, but still 20 bucks down the drain. The new poster now hangs on the wall outside our lab and I'm going to take the other poster home (Waterloo).
Tomorrow need to go get tickets for the GO train and order a taxi. Still marking stuff for the course I TA, but the labs are now over.


V p'atnitsu uyesjayu na conferenciyu v Sirakuzy. Eto v shtatah, tak chto nam nado budet yehat' cherez granicu na Niagare. Ya tam presentuyu v 4 chasa dn'a, tak chto u vas budet... *polnoch'* Potom u nas vylazka v chest' dn'a sv'atogo Patriciya, tak chto moi kollegi budut pit' i men'a podsujivat' po tomu ka ya ne p'yu.
Sdelala poster moih resultatov i poveseli yego na stenku okolo laboratorii. Pervaya versiya byla s oshibkami, tak chto ya yego napechatala op'at', a staryi otvezu domoi - roditel'am :)

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