Friday, July 19, 2013

Good News, Bad News

Well, the good news is...I bit the bullet and bought Mr. Hippie and I triathlon suits this week. The better news is that they arrived today. The best news is that they (mine at least) fits. I can get it on and zip it up. The getting it on was remarkably easy considering the style and shortness of the zipper. And, I am pretty proud to say that it zipped up quite smoothly.

The bad news is, it makes my leftover baby belly look rather barrel-esque. Hmmm. I guess it is a keeper. Thankfully triathlons aren't a fashion show, 'cause I'd lose. And thankfully the tri is still 7 weeks away, so I can do lots of flip turns and sit ups to make the barrel less barrel-ly.

The good news is that you can make up any number of words based on the word barrel, if you think hard enough.

The good news is that I have spared you any pictures of myself in said tri suit. You can thank me later.

The good news is that summer has arrived temperature-wise here in the mitten. It is HOT this week, topping 90 degrees several days in a row.

The good news is that our city pool down the block is open for business since it is July. The kids and I were able to cool down there a time or two this week.

The bad news is that the pool I use for lap swimming is closed for 3-4 weeks. This week it is closed because the building that houses it has no ac., thus it became a virtual oven in there. The next 2-3 weeks the pool is closed for pipe maintenance.

The good news is that several high schools around here have pools, and are open for early bird swimming. The bad news is that they cost $3-$4 a pop. Nevertheless, we are going to pay that fee a few times in the next 3-4 weeks. The tri is creeping up on us. Now is not the time to not be swimming.

The good news is that we have the opportunity to do a practice tri tonight (in our new suits btw) with a group full of regular triathletes. I am relieved that the first time I put the 3 disciplines together won't be our race.

The bad news is, Mr. Hippie has only swam in a pool since I taught him to swim, and I am scared to death he is going to drown if he can't put his feet down. Sigh...Dead Man's Float anyone? (for non-swimmers, this is a legit thing, for alive but tired swimmers.)

The good news is that this heat wave is making my garden produce veggies. I have 3 Roma tomatoes that are ripening even as I type, and I picked my first handful of green  beans this week. Each of us get approximately 2 beans for dinner. But more are coming.

The bad news is that we have had very little rain, so I have to water daily to combat the heat and keep my plants from withering.

The good news is that it is blueberry time. I am picking early next week because it is supposed to be cooler. Looking forward to coffee cakes, pies, muffins and jam.

The good news is that I had my second day out yesterday. I planned my school curriculum for 2013-14. The good news is that we are switching to a more unit study/classical education format set in historical periods. The bad news is that 1600-1800 was a very busy 200 years. Can anyone say, "bitten off more than you can chew?" At least we won't be bored.

The bad news is that it is HOT. The good news is that I have ac.

The bad news is that I have no desire to cook or bake in this heat. I always buy bread once or twice in the summer-this week was one of the times. The good news revolves around 2 words...leftovers and crockpot. Yes, that is the only way the Barefoot Hippies are eating this week.

I have a crockpot recipe for you today. It is unusual for these parts in that it contains BEEF (!) and is Indian. Have I ever shared an Indian recipe here? I don't know. I make two Indian recipes. Both simple, both in the crock pot.

Today's recipe is Rogan Josh, a Northern India dish. It traditionally is made with lamb, but can also be made with beef. The key ingredient is the rogan josh spice mix. I have no idea what is in it, but the place I buy it is Penzey's Spices. Have you ever been in a Penzey's? I love that store! It is all herbs and spices, beautifully presented. If you don't have one in your area, you can buy the rogan josh mix online.

For ease in preparation, sometimes I purchase stew meat beef.
I forgot to take a "plated" picture, so you get the leftovers view

Beef Rogan Josh
2 pounds beef or lamb, cut into bite size pieces
3 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, minced
2-4 Tbsp Rogan Josh seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the beef or lamb and brown. Pour the meat and juices into the crockpot. Brown the onion. Add the rogan josh seasoning and salt and stir one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the water and yogurt. Pour over the meat in crockpot and stir all together. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. During the last hour, vent the crockpot lid so the rogan josh can thicken.

Serve over rice with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup yogurt
1/2 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup peeled and diced cucumber
sprinkle of salt

Mix together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

How are you surviving this heat? What is your family eating? What do you have in the way of good news/bad news?