Category: Explorer Blogs
I had some ground lamb in the refrigerator to thaw and make meatballs with. I also had some parsnips patiently awaiting their fate, and planned on making creamy parsnip soup to go with the meatballs. It's been a while since I really cooked though, and I didn't realize I had no onions. I couldn't make keema either, because I had no onions. I was at a loss, and running out of time.
So I pulled out a great cookbook (I have many, and rarely use them). This time it was the Cook's Illustrated Perfect Vegetable cookbook. Parsnips... they recommend steaming and pureeing (with a few other ingredients, including cream), or roasting them (with just olive oil, salt, and fresh parsley). I chose the easier recipe that would require no substitutions (other than having no fresh parsley on hand, so I substituted curry and ginger powder for that). Chop them a uniform size, somewhere between 1 and 2 cm, after removing the core from the large ones, toss it all together, spread on a cookie sheet, and cook for about 30 minutes at 425 (shake the pan or turn them a couple times to prevent too much browning).
Then I started the meatballs. I usually put onions in those, but the kids always complain, so oh well. I just added salt, puffed millet, a little sweet rice flour, and a bit of curry powder. I started these in a cast iron pan on the stove, then moved them to the hot oven to cook through once they were a bit browned.
The parsnips were almost done, and I still hadn't devised a carb. I pulled out another cookbook for instructions on how to cook quinoa, and that was done 20 minutes later. The whole thing only took me 40 minutes. Now for the taste test...two picky children.
My six year old hates parsnips, so I just told him it was roasted root vegetables. He loved them! Any vegetable is good if it's prepared right, and roasting them really takes out that bit of a flavor zap that they can have. This is good; a potato substitute for a kid who, despite my shielding attempts, always asks for potatoes.
The meatballs were great too, the best lamb meatballs I've made so far. I combined all three together, and it was much like a couscous meal I once had. This was followed by a basic salad with some pine nuts and radished tossed in. (The pine nuts would also be good in the couscous-like combination)
That should fuel my busy day tomorrow, Thursdays are always crazy for us.
I'm doing well, my immune system seems to be improving. I'm attacking the new year with a somewhat new plan, and think it will do well for me...
So I am now on the explorer diet along with being casein (dairy) free and gluten free. I've only had dairy once in the last month (mozzarella), and it made my nose run within 10 minutes, so fairwell dairy. I think this diet combination, with compliance, will make my white lines improve. Once they improve, showing that my intestines have healed, I may be able to have a little dairy again, but that will most likely be a long time in coming.
When I look back at my healthy, strong, times over the years, they are when I've been eating the least amount of dairy.
This month I've also been working on my spiritual strength. I often just go along, and float with the current, but it's very rewarding to actually put more effort into it, with personal study and family home evening (when we have a lesson, song, activity, and prayer together once a week). I've also begun attending the temple much more often than I previously had, and that is a great source of strength and direction. Looking back again, my life just goes better, including my health, when I put forth some effort in spiritual things.
Physical strength has also been improving with continued taekwondo, and a good bit of snow shovelling. My arms have been sore for about a week, thanks to working them two tkd classes in a row, and the heaviest snow I've ever shoveled coming down this weekend. That is a good thing, because my shoulders have been a point of weakness for me in the past. My kicks are all coming along well, but my side-kick still needs work (my body has never moved like that before, and is stubbornly resisting, it was a lucky day that I was able to break a board with that kick last month).
All in all, I'm feeling strong and hopeful, and have faith that this year will be a better one than the last.
One bit of good news: I hadn't measured myself in a while because I hadn't lost weight in a while, but I discovered today that I recently lost an inch off my hips.
This is a great cake! Explorers can have tapioca, so I'm enjoying adding that to my baking, it makes up for the loss of eggs. I made these in muffin and bun pans, but I think it would work in larger cake pans (I always start small, to get things cooked through without falling, as those can be problems with gluten free baking)
Explorer Applesauce Cake
2 Cups applesauce
3/4 or 1 cup agave (use the lower amount if applesauce is sweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking power (I forgot to put this in, and it still worked)
2 cups flour mix (about 1/2+ cup tapioca, 1/2 cup sweet rice, 1/2 cup teff and 1/2 cup amaranth)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup dried fruit (optional, I left out)
1 cup chopped macadamias or pecans (optional, I left out)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil and/or melted ghee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare pan with oil or ghee and a dusting of flour (I like teff's color for this cake)
Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry ingredients in another, then blend together. (the original recipe has more detailed instructions than this, but I liked the results I got, perhaps adding the fruit and nuts makes the other steps necessary.)
Bake cake size for 45-50 minutes, smaller muffin sizes for 20-30 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
This should work with pureed pumpkin or similar purees, just use the higher amount of agave. So if you can't have apples, try it with something you can have.
I figured last night that it would be better to be sure than sorry, so I remeasured my upper and lower legs. What I remembered to be almost equal, lower 1/4 inch longer, turned out to be upper leg longer by an inch. I guess I wasn't too careful once I figured my ring finger was equal, because that sealed my fate. All the times I said to myself, "wouldn't it be nutty if I were an explorer" but ignored the actual possibility, are over.
My body type matches explorer best, I'm more muscular than a gatherer, but nowhere near lanky or ectomorphic. My index fingerprints don't match, though I don't have a radial loop, only the more common ulnar loops. My incisors are a bit spade-like, and I have no carabelli's cusp. So, I can hunt a bit, I can gather a bit, but mostly I will explore.
I don't know why I didn't think I could be an explorer. Without BTD I'd be too sensitive to do just about anything, I know that much. There would be migraines, dizziness, spaciness, weakness, headaches, and more dizziness. BTD has helped quite a bit, but there's still a sliver of remaining problems, and I'm hopeful to be able to be comfortable in a house with air fresheners or scented candles (though mine will never have them), or around heavily scented people (though I may never be one).
There seem to be a lot of explorers in may family. We can't have a large family gathering where everyone can eat the same things (and not because anybody but me is following BTD or GTD, because of severe allergies and intolerances). Family gatherings are also quite sparse on the fragrances added to the mix. Gallbladders are disposable in this family, and I'm one of the few who still has one. Anemia is also fairly common and long-term. The celiac disease among more than half of us is more of a hunter trait, but entirely possible in an explorer as well. Adverse reactions to medications are also commonplace in a few of us.
I'm not as athletic as an average hunter. I enjoy working out, but the coordination for sports does not come naturally. I can be clumsy, especially when hormones are fluctuating, and it's not uncommon for me to have some accidental injury here or there on me at any point in time.
This is a big shock to me, even though I see it clearly now. I'm still in shock, but eager to get on track with my new plan. I'm unsure of my new identity, where I fit into it all, but after my immune system downturn, I'm eager for exploring the truth. And hey, if they tell me I'm something different at the clinic, I won't have any trouble adjusting to the other two possibilities. Without this realization today, they might have a fainting explorer in their office when they break me the news. I'm ready for anything! Well I would be a bit surprised to be a Nomad...