Memetastic What?

I get home from errands this morning, put away groceries, pop an Against the Grain Sesame Bagel into the toaster oven, and sit down with my coffee at my laptop.   I’m scrolling through my feed on Facebook and ‘lo and behold my best friend posted something new on her blog.  Of course I clicked on the link right away.  I may be behind in keeping up with my gluten-free blogger friends, but I manage to keep up with Stick’s blogs – This Side of Typical and Devilishly Idle.  The former is about navigating the world with her son, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder last year.  The latter is all about her creative side.  She does some pretty awesome stuff and I’m not just saying that because she’s my best friend.  She’s creative as hell and I love when we’re able to be creative together.  We tend to feed off each other.

Anywho.

Her post this morning was about the Memetastic Award she received from another blogger.  The award was started by jillsmo of Yeah. Good Times.  I don’t know jillsmo.  I just see her comment’s on Stick’s blog.  As you can imagine from the subject matter of her blogs, Stick and I run in different blogospheres.  Part of the award is awarding 5 other bloggers with the award.  There I am on the list of awardees.  I’m thinking, “Well, shit.”  And think of a redneck drawl when you read “shit.”  The award is all in good fun so I’m running with it.

Here are the rules of the award that I have to follow.  Be aware that I’m copying and pasting it as Stick has it on her blog, which she got from jillsmo’s blog.  I can cuss like they can, I just try real hard not to.  Even if I did say, “shit” twice already.  Make that three times.  Third time’s a charm.

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes (put it in your post, you don’t have to put it in your sidebar, I think that would seriously be asking too much). It’s so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there’s even a little fucking jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom.It’s horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we’re creating here. If you need a higher resolution version… I totally have one!!

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we’ll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we’re just on the honor system here. I trust you. Except for the 4 that you lied about, you lying bastards! But don’t go crazy trying to think of stuff, you’ll see by the example I’ve set below that we’re not really interested in quality here.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don’t like or don’t really have much of an opinion about. I don’t care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don’t really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will fucking hunt your ass down and harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don’t know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I’ll leave you alone. I’m serious. I’m going to do these things. Starting with the 5 of you I’m about to pass this award on to.

Four lies and truth?

1.  I have a green thumb.

2.  I’m a sci-fi junkie

3.  Winter is my favorite season.

4.  I married Prince Charming.

5.  I’m a ninja.

I’m guessing I can’t give the award back to Stick, and she gave one to Silly Sissy.  So, my dear bloggers, I’m awarding you 5 (in no particular order) with this fabulous Memetastic Award just because you are all awesome.

1.  Andrew of Eating Rules

2.  Brittany of Real Sustenance

3.  Iris of The Daily Dietribe

4.  Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom

5.  Shirley of gfe – gluten-free easily

Natto Is NOT For Me

Natto Sushi

I have give myself some kudos.  I’ve become more of an adventuresome eater/foodie since changing my diet over a year ago.  Foods I previously wouldn’t touch or didn’t like I find myself trying and liking now.  I even put lima beans in the pot pie I made last week and didn’t mind them at all.  Not that I’m going out and eating lima beans all the time, but it’s a small step.

I’ve ventured into Indian and Thai food more with the encouragement of Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl.  When you are eating gluten-free, the more you open up your options, the happier you are when you go out to eat.

We go out for sushi about once a month and my options in Japanese restaurants are a bit limiting.  However, the sushi sustains me and is really what I want when I go out for Japanese food.  We always go to Ando for sushi.  My husband found the place when he first started coming up to Cincinnati to do on-site work for a client.  He went about once a week and became friendly with the couple that owns the restaurant and their daughter who works there as well and does some amazing desserts.  Who would have thought of balsamic vinegar ice cream?  She did and despite how odd it sounds, it was delicious, especially since her ice creams aren’t overly sweet.

But I digress.

We tend to sit at the sushi counter in the same seats (as long as it isn’t crowded) so we can watch the husband, who is also the main sushi chef.  He has simply amazing knife skills and I love to watch him butchering the fish for use in the sushi.  Sometimes I become so mesmerized that my husband has to engage me in conversation because I’ll just sit in silence and watch.

Our typical sushi order

We tend to get the same thing each time we go, but we’ll try at least one thing different that we know I’ll be able to have.

Last Friday, my husband was looking over the sushi order sheet and asked me about natto.  I just gave him a blank look.  Then he says, “You’re trying natto.”  Okay.  I’m game.

I never tried it before because it just never appealed to me.  I mean, fermented soybeans.  Not really what crave or even think about wanting to eat.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least try.  And if it’s wrapped up in sushi rice and nori, all the better.  Right?

It was the first piece of sushi I had.  I was struck by the stringy goo that trailed the piece I took all the way to the tray.  Sushi isn’t supposed to do that.  Is it?

I believe if you’re going to try something you’ve got to just jump in and try it.  Don’t sit there and stare at it or nibble it.  Or even cut it down and drown it in some kind of sauce.  I popped the entire piece in my mouth and bit down.

Right then, I thought it would be my last bite.  It tasted like I was eating mold.  I stopped chewing and started looking around thinking, should I spit it out?  If I do, where?  My napkin?  The bowl from the yamakake?  The bathroom?

No.  Suck it up.

I started chewing again, but the taste didn’t get any better and neither did the look on my face.  The couple that owns the restaurant and their daughter were all behind the sushi counter gasping at me in horror.   I think the husband thought he did something wrong.  The wife asked if I needed to go to the bathroom or needed water.  I shook my head and pushed it all to the side of my mouth and said, “I’ll be okay.”  She got me a glass of water anyway.

My husband told them it was my first time trying natto, they all relaxed and started laughing.  He said he didn’t know which was better, the look on my face or the look on the husband’s face when he saw my face – and you know my husband was just laughing the entire time.  I’m not sure either, but I’ll never forget the looks on their faces.

I took a sip of the water and kept chewing.  I finally managed to swallow it all.  Then, I turned to my husband and said, “You need sake with that.”  It would’ve washed that awful rancid moldy taste right out of my mouth.

I know this isn’t a glowing recommendation for anyone wanting to try natto.  By all means, go ahead and try it.  There are a lot of Japanese who love eating it for breakfast in the morning with rice and a raw egg.  My husband loves it.  Now, I know for a fact that I don’t like it.

My husband said that I couldn’t say I defeated the Ninja Sushi Army that night because I wouldn’t have more than one piece of natto.  Screw that.  I owned that piece of sushi even if I didn’t like it.  I didn’t spit it out.  I didn’t throw up.  I chewed that sucker up and swallowed it.  I may have not had another piece, but I did defeat the Ninja Sushi Army.  The Natto Contingent just gave me a run for my money.

Soup’s On!

Turkey Soup

It’s the time of year when I make a lot of soups and stews to keep me warm.  Making my own broth makes it simple and easy to do.  Especially when you have leftovers to play with.  If you think about it and you tend to stock your fridge with veggies like I do, you can always make some kind of soup.  Anyone want to try making an Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup?

I still have turkey broth in the freezer I made after Thanksgiving that I’m using up.  Chicken broth is called for in the recipe?  No problem.  Turkey broth to the rescue!  I have a big container of beef broth in the freezer, too.  That comes in real handy since there is a lot of gluten laden beef broths on the market and I can easily use it for stew or gravy.

I actually made this soup Christmas Eve.  My husband helped out and prepped the veggies for me while I was at work. All I had to do when I got home from work was throw everything in the pot.

Turkey Soup

6 cups turkey broth

2 cups chopped turkey

1 onion chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

salt

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Add all ingredients except salt and peas to a stock pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for an hour or until the carrots are tender.  Add salt to taste.  Add peas.  If using fresh, simmer for 15 minutes more.  If using frozen peas, simmer for only 5 minutes.  This will help keep the peas from overcooking.