9 weeks Paleo.
Friday night was ‘family night out’. Only Nando’s was open at Westcity. So we had chicken. And chips. Then we got tickets for Skyfall, with orange chocolate-chip, chocolate dipped icecream in a waffle cone. The only healthy food item in there was the chicken – barely. And yes, there were the expected results, in northerly and southerly directions. But SKYFALL WAS AWESOME!! With lots of shooting and explosions and fire and bloodshed, and semi-naked Daniel Craig. Ok, initially, I was pretty meh about him, as compared to Pierce Brosnan. But, then, upon reflection ... considerable reflection ... what’s to complain about.
Saturday was another sleep in. Oh yeah. Till 1100. Love those sleep-in’s! Then paddling.
I had forgotten how much being on the water feeds my soul. Despite the rain during the week, the stream level had fallen, as can be seen on a couple of the photos, where there are lines of blossoms on the banks.
I went in off Fitzwater place in Henderson, down the Oponuku stream past Pak N Save, and around past Westwave, to where it meets the Oratia stream. Then I went up as far as Westcity. I was out about 4 hours, which was lovely. I didn’t really want to come home. This last photo shows the rail bridge at the Great North Road/Henderson Valley Road intersection.
I had to get out about 6 times, to either drag the boat thru deadfalls, or over shallows. No deeper than my knees, thank goodness. While there are some fairly deep pools – maybe 4-5 feet, most of it is very shallow. It doesn't pay to get distracted, there are too many deadfalls just under the water. You’ll be cruising along quite happily, then THUMP, as you hit ... something ...
But then my shin got bumped as I balanced on a slab of concrete below the Great North Road bridge. The council, at some stage, thought it a good idea to dump slabs of concrete into the rivers, under the bridges. When one stands on these, they move. Oh yes, they do. If one’s other leg is UNDER the edge of said moving piece of concrete, it can really hurt. As it did. There was a visible dent in my shin. Fortunately the water was pretty cool, so it took a while before it hurt. Now there is a visible graze, and a not so visible bruise. I decided it was probably time to go home at that point.
I really needed a decent paddle, as well as playing about in the shallows, hence the extra distance. The water and stream bottom were an interesting green/orange. This is from the exudates from old landfills further upstream. Not sure how toxic it is, but don’t really want to be drinking or swimming in it. There are lots of shopping trolleys, street cones and signs, cans and bottles, and so many BALLS! This is where every ball in West Auckland goes to die! I tell you. I brought a gold Christmas ball back (which I unfortunately crushed when I emptied the water from the kayak), and an orange ball. Tara popped it on the first game. Sigh.
This is my first outing for a couple of years. A wonderful day.
I was trying to explain it to David later, why I had needed to do this. I’m going away next weekend on an Art Workshop in Kerikeri, staying with strangers, to meet a bunch of people I don’t know, in an unfamiliar place, and learn how to do something new. A lot of the stuff we do, we do together. Yes, I go to work by myself, and shopping, but that’s all familiar territory. When we go out socialising together, it takes me a while to integrate, even with people I know well. I just feel too far on the outside.
So this trip to Kerikeri has been causing me some anxiety. A heck of a lot less since going back on the happy pills. (I stopped at the beginning of December, possibly the most stressful time of the year. I lasted till 20 December. The anxiety/panic attacks were becoming overwhelming!) Yes, I know, it’s all in my head, but I needed to do something relatively challenging, by myself, to prove to myself I could. Maybe it could be classed as ‘brave’ as one of my fb friends commented. And yes, I could do it, and have a whole heap of fun, all by myself. So now, I’m (almost) looking forward to next weekend!
I've had a lovely afternoon pottering. Yes, afternoon, because I had another big sleep in. Admittedly with the help of paracetamol. But I don't ache as much as I thought I might. There are some interesting bruises tho, lol.
David was out role-playing last night – GM of his own Traveller Game. Becca, her friend Eli and I made chocolate cupcakes (how much mess can two girls make????), then watched Bond movies – Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This was because we’d gone to see Skyfall on Friday night. Oh yeah! Bond. James Bond. Becca is now hooked. It was a very late night. With lots of shooting, and explosions, and bloodshed, and fire. Oh yeah!
And suddenly, it was Sunday. So we slept in. Yes. Yes we did.
I've made a couple of loaves of Paleo bread. I think the best you can say for them is they will be edible. Darn husbands who want sandwiches for work. Oh, and expensive. 2 loaves for $25-ish. Because I used a whole packet of almond flour. Expensive almond flour. And it’s no different to the stuff in the bulk bin at Pak n Save.
I was working off Sarah Paleo Mom's recipe, which is for a breadmaker, but we know how that turned out. This lady has some great recipes!
So I looked at a couple of cookbooks for breadmaking hints. Edmonds (our constant friend), and a 1950's 'Everyday Cooking'. They, of course, are working with nice, gluten-rich white flour.
My concoction looked like a runny brown mess, so I added more flour (almond and tapioca that is). Then it became a windowless building.
So I walked away. Google is my friend, and a bit of research showed that bread made with non-gluten flours is just not going to do the 'elasticity' thing.
Oh, I hear you say, you could add guar or xanthan gum, that will help. Oh no, I say. Xanthan is made from fermented corn syrup and husks (off the Paleo food list); Guar is made from a legume, and is a known gut irritant and has been indicated as a trigger of colon cancer. Nope, not going near that.
Evidently, according to pictures, it SHOULD look like a gooey mess. So I added more fluid. It spent some quality time outside, 'proving'. Yes, it has risen, so into the oven it went. Photo's to follow.
In the course of my googling, I found a ‘Gluten-Free’ bread recipe, (which is where I got the picture showing what mine should look like) that was more like a toxic soup recipe.
The basic flour mix contains: brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, chickpea or soy flour, xanthan or guar gum. Then in the actual bread recipe, egg replacement powder, agar powder, instant mashed potato flakes, sugar, soy or rice milk flour and more xanthan/guar gum. There were some golden flax seeds and olive oil. All in all, while it actually looked like ‘real’ bread, it’s not something I want to be eating. I've been reading Dr ? Davis' Wheat Belly book, and his blog, and this is the sort of crap he says people shouldn't be eating - I couldn't agree more.
So, in between bashing ‘bread dough’, I’ve tidied and typed up some of my new recipes, trying to turn them from American into English.
I now have a bread recipe, a couple of stock recipes (and about 5 litres of chicken/pig stock in the freezer), a home-made coconut milk recipe, and the one for Chocolate cupcakes from Saturday night.
And it’s already 5.00pm on Sunday night. The bread is out of the oven, and it TASTES GOOD!!!!!!
As well as Sarah Balantyne's blog, George, the Civilized Caveman - an about to be ex-Marine, is a rather cute guy who makes some really awesome dishes, and a great read.
Amelia Earhart ATC's.