When we turned onto our street last night, we saw that the live oak trees were brown, and one of the brownest was in our front yard. Our hearts sank. First impression was that after hauling gallons of gray water last summer during the drought, we had still lost a beautiful native tree. Then we laughed. Spring arrived in central Texas while we were in Oklahoma. The live oaks are supposed to lose their leaves and put out new growth as soon as the danger of a hard freeze is past. This morning I see that a few wildflowers are beginning to bloom. When I walked the dog I passed a lovely patch of verbena.
We left DG and EG in Oklahoma City and went to visit DB and NB in Tulsa. Tulsa appears to be one of those outdoor-oriented cities. There were bike and walking trails everywhere. We saw lots of signs pointing to green belts along the river. HH and DB first became friends when they were in college together and found that they not only shared a love for engineering but a love for hiking as well.
We went to Swan Lake and took several laps around the lake. There really are swans at Tulsa’s Swan Lake, and the sunset was beautiful. We had dinner at Los Cabos. The menu was lower carb and more BTD friendly than the Tex-Mex food that is prevalent at home.
We didn’t have WiFi for the last part of the trip, but I had to find a way to send work files to clients, and we both had to check e-mail. We started off going to McDonalds for lunch because they have free WiFi. I would pack a meat and veggie bowl in the morning and would eat my lunch in the car. That way I could log onto the laptop while HH ate a grilled chicken sandwich. He could check his e-mail after he finished his lunch. The grilled chicken sandwich was adequate for him, but McDonalds fries proved to be too much of a temptation.
The third day on the road we stopped at a Subway, and were told that most Subways not only have WiFi, but offer a free secure connection. You get the code when you buy your meal. This is a much healthier choice for HH. I can even get a salad, though I prefer to make my own meat and veggie bowl.
We stopped to see DD and HH’s Mom on the last night of our trip. Drum Roll…..I want you all to know that DD and ESS are engaged. She has bought her wedding dress, and she modeled it for her grandmother and me. I still have the smile on my face when I think about the moment. I’m sure I will be blogging about wedding food choices as the summer wedding date gets closer.
We are staying with our friends DG and EG in Oklahoma. My Honorable Husband and DG served together in Vietnam. Our conversations are always lively because we all share the same views about politics in both the 1960s and in 2012. We also share the same love for Jesus. We laugh a lot and we solve all of the world’s problems…if only the authorities would listen to us.
The first night we were there DG grilled hamburgers. They were wonderful. HH had not had a hamburger in many months, so this was a treat for him. Not something he will indulge in often, but one hamburger will not hurt him.
For lunch yesterday EG fixed one of her Mom’s old favorite recipes. I’ll give you the original version. It’s not bad for any Blood Type as it is, but it can be tweaked to make it a little better if you are seeking a higher level of compliance. As with many recipes that are handed down, there are no measurements – just ingredients. Use your creativity. EG used a very small amount of dressing – so small that at first I didn’t think there was any dressing at all.
Mrs. C’s Salmon Salad.
Canned salmon, celery, English peas, green onion. Make a dressing with mayonnaise, soy sauce and lemon juice.
After lunch we went to the Oklahoma City Zoo to see the baby tigers. There were four of them, born 7 months ago. They are getting big, but they still play like kittens. We stayed for a long time watching them and laughing at their antics. This is a city zoo and there is an exhibit of wild animals native to Oklahoma. HH and I saw white tail deer and said, “But we have those in our back yard.” People around us looked up with surprise. A little further we saw wild turkeys. Again we said, “We have those in our back yard.” It is a peculiar feeling to see animals in caged habitats that you are used to seeing running wild and eating your landscape plants.
EG’s father was a pastor in India, and she grew up there. On previous visits she had introduced us to Indian food. Last night we went to Gopuram, an Indian buffet. I tried many delicious foods, but two stood out because they were new to me. One was fish curry. It was chunks of boneless white fish in a spicy curry sauce. The other was carrot pudding. This was on the dessert bar and I’m going to try to find a recipe. It was made of shredded carrots. EG thought it tasted like rose water was one of the ingredients.
The nice thing about my Honorable Husband being retired and me being underemployed, is that we can take little trips at odd times of the year. As long as I have my laptop with me, I can keep working.
We are on our way to visit friends in Oklahoma. We packed up the car and headed north, but we didn’t get very far. A major accident brought the highway to a complete stop. I turned off the engine to save gas, and we sat completely still for 20 – 30 minutes. When traffic began moving again we saw the scene of the accident about a mile in front of us. Skid marks were across all three lanes. Ambulances and tow trucks were still parked on the access road. We never knew what had happened, but it was sobering to think that the last annoying delay before we started might have kept us from being in the middle of the wreckage.
We were thankful to arrive safely in the Metroplex where HH’s mother lives and where DD works. HH’s mom has passed her 91st birthday. She lives with a lot of pain from osteoporosis and arthritis, but she is happy to have wonderful caregivers and neighbors who make it possible for her to be remarkably independent.
DD and ESS joined us for dinner and a power walk. We picked up food at Fuddruckers and brought it home so we could all eat together. Fuddruckers has two things on their menu that I like to eat: salmon salad and hamburger with sweet potato fries. Last night I went with the hamburger. I tossed the bun, but got enough lettuce and tomato from the produce bar to have a salad. It was delicious.
Most of the time the servers at Fuddruckers cooperate with DD. She orders a side salad without cheese and croutons, but with extra egg. Because she is taking off two ingredients, they usually don’t charge her for the one add on.
For HH we ordered a turkey burger, and for his Mom (also Type A); a grilled chicken sandwich. Fuddruckers is quite friendly to those of us on the BTD.
Our power walk was a rapid 30 minute walk around the neighborhood pumping 3 pound weights as we went. We will sleep well tonight!
I have written many blogs about summer fruit. This year I have been enjoying winter fruit. Our grocery store has carried fresh guava and fresh persimmons all winter.
I love adding guava to my breakfast mix. It tastes especially good with pineapple or pineapple juice.
I buy several persimmons whenever I see them in the stores. I let them ripen on the counter until they are soft, then cut off the top and scoop the fruit out with a spoon.
Imported cherries this winter have been less expensive per pound than summer cherries. I have kept fresh cherries in the refrigerator almost all winter.
We received a box of ruby red grapefruit as a Christmas gift. We just ate the last one a few days ago. They are always delicious eaten out of the rind with a spoon. I also like them chopped up in my breakfast mix, especially when I add a scoop of vanilla flavored egg white protein.
Mangos this year have been disappointing. I don’t know a thing about growing mangos, but the growing conditions must have been less than ideal. The ones I have bought have been stringy and not very sweet.
On the other hand, pineapples seem to have been especially good this year. Sweeter and juicier than I remember from previous winters.
My husband and I are not the only ones enjoying winter fruit. We put all of the cores and peelings out for the deer to eat. They love persimmon, mango, and pineapple. I sometimes wonder what Hill Country deer think when they are munching on tropical fruit. Probably their taste buds are just as happy as mine.
Three bits of background before starting this blog.
1. When I first started the BTD, I learned that kale, a vegetable I had never heard of, was highly beneficial. I ate it often at first, but because my family wouldn’t eat it and it smelled terrible when it was cooking, I gradually stopped buying it.
2. I was in a health food store and they had free samples of a new product. Kale chips. They were delicious, outstanding, crunchy, yummy! I said, “I’ll buy a bag of those.” Ouch. I didn’t look at the price: they were really expensive. Double ouch. I didn’t look at the ingredients: they were coated with lots of salt and nuts.
3. DD has been dehydrating vegetables in her oven to take to work as a snack.
So, I decided to make my own kale chips. I bought kale, washed it, dried it, and broke off chip size pieces. I sprinkled on onion and garlic powder. I put it in the oven according to DD’s instructions. It did not stink up the kitchen while it was cooking.
When it was finished, I popped a chip into my mouth. First impression made me smile. It was light and crunchy. As I kept chewing, the tougher it got and the more it tasted like. . . kale. I think the thing that made the packaged chips so delicious was the nuts.
I decided to cook the rest of the kale with onions like I used to. Pew! The kitchen smelled terrible. But kale cooked with onions tastes good. I added ground turkey and had a nice lunch.
I hope I will continue to buy kale, even if I am the only one who eats it. I’d like to experiment further with kale chips. There is potential here, I just haven’t put it all together yet.