Monday, September 27, 2010

Some Food I Made

You were missing the food-based entries, weren't you.

Anyway I wanted to talk about a couple of things I made a while ago.  Honestly, probably a month ago... but I took pictures with the intention of blogging about them.

First, homemade chicken soup.  You guys, if you have ever said "I can't make chicken soup from scratch, that is way too hard!" you are so wrong.  I figured out how to do it myself basically, with a tiny bit of help from a cookbook (reading a recipe to get the general idea).  It's super easy.  Furthermore, the way I make guarantees the best soup for even the pickiest people.  No floaty bits, no skin, and I'm guessing not a lot of fat either because I only use white meat.

I don't use a whole chicken either, but you could.  I just buy chicken breasts with back attached and do one of two things - either roast that with potatoes and carrots and eat part of the chicken but not all of it, or just boil it from the get go.  If you boil it right away you need to remove the meat AS SOON as it is done cooking (like 20 minutes about) otherwise all of the flavour will go into the broth and the meat will be tasteless.  This is why I like to roast it instead, and it's an easy way to get a lot of meals out of 6 dollars' worth of chicken.

Once you've got your carcass, remove the skin and put the carcass in about 6-8 cups of water with some celery, peppercorns or pepper, a couple of garlic cloves, a large onion, a few sprigs of fresh parsley, a couple of carrots, and a teaspoon or two of chicken bouillon.  Also add some salt (but you can add this later too when you taste it after it's cooked for a while).  Simmer this for about 4 hours, then skim the fat and strain the broth so you don't have anything gross in there.

Put the broth back into the pot with some chunks of potato, carrot, celery, and the cooked chicken (you can add the chicken at the last minute too to make sure you don't end up stealing the flavour from it).  Cook some noodles in a separate pot.  Boil the soup until the potatoes, carrots, and celery are just tender (don't overcook the potatoes or they will get an almost stringy texture).  Add the noodles, chicken, and some chopped fresh parsley.  Salt to taste and that's all you have to do!  It's actually super easy, really filling, and so delicious:

You could probably do the initial carcass simmering in a slow cooker during the day while you're out so you don't have to be around for the whole process.  Then you get home and have only about a half-hour worth of prep for amazing homemade chicken noodle soup!

Secondly, you may recall me mentioning sour cream salad in an older entry.  Hands down this is my favourite summer meal, and I had to take a picture of the best one I made this summer.  Everything was garden fresh.

All you need is:  romaine lettuce (or green leaf, any dark garden variety that isn't too crunchy - I don't like using mature storebought romaine for this salad), cucumber, dill, and green onions.  Cut them up, mix them up, add a generous amount of salt (this is the only thing I eat that I ever put salt on) and a generous amount of sour cream and I kid you not this is the most delicious salad in the entire world.

This particular salad was especially awesome because the cucumber and lettuce were slightly bitter, which goes really well with the dill, salt, and sweetness of the green onions.  And the sour cream just brings all of the flavours together perfectly.  How do more people not eat this salad, I am not sure.  But it's amazing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Looking Back

Yesterday I went to the U of S Physics Centennial reunion.  Not that I really needed to go to the reunion to see anyone but the physics department and its professors did a lot for me so I felt like I should go and support the department.  Anyway, a slightly awkward moment happened when everyone from class of 1995-on was supposed to get together and reminisce about the good old days - there were a bunch of people from the late nineties and then a SMALL handful of us from the late 2000s.  We had to go around the circle and introduce ourselves and say our favourite memory.  They made me start so I was put on the spot and couldn't think of any memories right off the top of my head other than just hanging out in the physics foyer with my peeps, and later those peeps basically echoed my same sentiments.

A couple minutes in I remembered that a super awesome time was sitting in the foyer with my friends one day and a girl walked by and puked all over the floor and then ran into the bathroom.  Then suddenly a class from one of the large lecture theatres let out and a bunch of people almost wiped out in the puddle... so gross yet it definitely brightened our day as it gave us something to focus on for a while other than physics.  I didn't bring this up though as some guy from the 90s was already making everyone uncomfortable and awkward by bragging about all the times he got drunk in the physics basement and not letting anyone else talk.

Anyway - one thing my friend Jason said that stuck with me was something like "You look back 7 years and you would never realize at that time that the same people you just randomly get partnered with or meet during a fire drill will still be your friends."  It made me think of all of my current friendships and how they started, and it sort of blows my mind how I remember the first time I met/saw certain people and would NEVER have imagined how much they've influenced my life or just become such important people to me.

On that note, it's kind of fun to go back and trace my histories with certain people.  A lot of people I'm really great friends with now were people I knew for quite a while (several months, even sometimes a few years) before we had some initial trigger (discovering something major in common, working on a project together, etc.) that instantly changed our relationship from acquaintances/co-workers/classmates to full-out BFFs.  With others the friendship started the day we met, while some gradually developed and grew stronger over a course of several years.

It's not as much fun to think of the opposite; friendships that used to exist but don't anymore.  It's something I definitely used to over-analyze but I've since learned to recognize when it's time to (often sadly) let someone go.

Now that I'm just starting a new phase of my life by entering the workforce and being out of school, this is an interesting concept to think about.  Who have I just met who'll somehow change my life down the road?  Thinking back, there's almost always been someone around who turned out to be more significant than I could have ever imagined, and 9 times out of 10 it's never been anyone I've expected.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey guys I'm not dead

I know I haven't made a post in a while but it's because my new job takes up ALL of my time every second week.  So from now on new posts will be limited to a few every second week - don't un-follow or un-bookmark me!  I'll always come back.

Remember how I was so sad about missing out on meeting Dan Aykroyd?  Well it turns out I have AMAZING friends who are super awesome and brought me the next best thing:

Friday, September 10, 2010


I'm not really that into Starbucks but there are a few locations pretty close to where I live, so it's a place I'll sometimes go to to socialize.  This week I somehow happened to be in the same Starbucks two days in a row - I won't say which one but I will say that my friend's Master's supervisor has "blacklisted" this location as one of the "bad" Starbucks in the city.

I've been to this particular location many times and have never really had trouble with the service - Starbucks coffee just has too much caffeine and makes me super wired and buzzed AND it's ridic expensive so I usually just get tea, and usually green tea.  Sometimes iced.

On my first Starbucks excursion this week, it was a pretty warm day outside so I ordered (STRAIGHT off the menu) a "tall shaken green iced tea."  The woman taking my order looked extremely confused and said "So you just want a green tea?" and I was like "yes, a green tea, but iced" and she looked at me like she didn't understand so I said "It's on the menu" and she said "So just a GREEN TEA - not with lemonade?"  NOOO did I say I wanted lemonade in it?  Those are two different drinks.  I'm not trying to be a big complainy pants but I don't understand why there was so much confusion related to me ordering something verbatim off the menu.

The next day I went back and ordered my usual hot drink, a green tea.  The woman said "China Green Tips or Zen?" which was news to me, I guess Starbucks now has two varieties of green tea?  I asked what the difference was and she very irritatedly explained both in one breath.  All I really heard was the tail end, which was "lemongrass and spearmint" so I said "I'll have that one" thinking that she had only explained one, and she was like "which one?  Zen or China?"  I was getting really confused at this point so I replied "The last one you said" and apparently she had forgotten which order she had said the TWO teas in, so she was getting mad at me again and the woman who was going to actually make the tea had to step in and calm her down (SHE had fully understood what I meant by "the last one").

Hey Starbucks, sorry that I don't come in EVERY DAY and know that you suddenly now have two varieties of green tea that aren't explained anywhere on your menu.  Your menu says that "green, black, or herbal" are the varieties of tea and I have never had a choice of two different green teas before, sorry that I am making your cashiers' jobs SO HARD by asking for information on your products.  Next time I can go somewhere else so I don't stress them out so much.  That's one of the reasons I am not really that into Starbucks - the cashiers (baristas sorry) always seem to be hit and miss with actually being willing to explain what things mean if you don't know EXACTLY what you want (and obviously sometimes still get annoyed even if you order straight off the menu).

I have to say though that the Zen green tea is AWESOME.  Too bad I have to get it at Starbucks.

ALSO, in unrelated news:  today I was on the university campus and for the past few years, during the first few days of classes SaskTel has always had a free mini-donut stand.  I saw it today and was so pumped to go get some free mini donuts when I discovered that this year they are FOUR DOLLARS a bag!  What a rip.  I'm not paying four dollars to clog my arteries.  So much inflation jeepers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I am a week away from the end of my unemployed post-student life.  I finally found a job and it starts on the 14th of September.  I'm kind of nervous, mostly because of the major life change that is about to happen... this is the first fall in 20 years that I haven't started a new year of school.  It's also the first time in my life that I'll be able to be in a situation where it's possible for me to be completely self-sufficient and have disposable income.  But with these perks will come sacrifice, and I experienced the first sacrifice today.

My friend Sherri called in the early afternoon and said that DAN AYKROYD HIMSELF was going to be at the liquor board store signing bottles of his line of wine.  WHAT!  We were so excited to line up super early and be first in line to meet Dan and get a picture with him but then it turned out that he is coming NEXT TUESDAY, not this week, and guess what happens next Tuesday:  I fly out of Saskatoon to start my new job. It was the biggest downer of my day, that's for sure.

And so the sacrifices begin.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Really WestJet???

I have generally always preferred WestJet to Air Canada - their flights are rarely delayed, they have nicer flight attendants, and nicer planes departing out of Saskatoon (Air Canada Jazz = the worst).  Today I was really annoyed to get this email:

Ugh, seriously WestJet?  I have actually made a lot of use out of subscribing to WestJet and Air Canada's weekly newsletters, but I don't want to give WestJet a bunch of my personal information so I can continue receiving it.  I'll just check the Air Canada newsletter and as they usually end up copying WestJet's sales and extending them a couple days later anyway.  And if I miss a sale at WestJet because I don't get the news until a few days later?  Sorry WestJet.  I guess you shouldn't have asked me to sign up for a stupid online profile to keep getting your newsletter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


So as promised, this is not a blog post about food.

Tonight was super annoying BECAUSE the spin cycle broke on the washing machine at my house.  I spent my evening wringing GALLONS (literally) of water out of a load of t-shirts and underwear because I was too cheap/lazy to finish the load at a laundromat or friend's house.  Except the lazy part isn't really legit because I got a big workout from all the wringing.  And now my hands are sort of raw and I almost developed blisters.  And halfway through I saw that there was about 4 inches of water at the bottom of the laundry basket, so tried to dump that out into the bathtub, but forgot about the part that it's a BASKET with holes in the sides so I actually dumped all of that water all over the bathroom floor.

Did I ever mention that I'm really smart, because I am.