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2003q1-finalist.jpg (22857 bytes)Thank you so much for your nomination of my entry, Time for a Rant for a Diarist.Net award in the "best rant" category.  If you have an on-line journal and are so inclined, I'd thank you even more for your vote!   Congratulations to my buddies for their nominations too... MarnSunshyn, Michael, and Terri...and a BIG congratulations to Steve on being nominated for a well-deserved "Legacy" award.  Check out all the entries and vote your conscience!


LAND OF PLENTY

19 May 2003

It wasn't until I visited Olivia in Boise, recently, that I began to truly appreciate living in California, especially living in the central valley, which produces a lot of the food that folks will be eating around the country.

As she took me through the (teeny) produce section of her (large) supermarket, and as we visited the (teeny) farmers' market where she goes once a week to see what has been imported for sale that week, I realized that I have been spoiled all my life. I live in a state where fruit and vegetables are available in abundance year-round, and most of them—or a good percentage of them—grown within a 100 mile radius of my back yard. (None, of course, actually grown in my back yard, as that would imply "gardening.")

Since I became a jockette, we've been biking to the farmers' market, which is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Wednesday, after the weather turns warm, there is entertainment. Food vendors set up booths and it's a wonderful place to have dinner on a warm summer evening and listen to music by one of the local performing groups. On Saturday it's a good place to stock up on produce for the coming week.

As we walked through the farmers' market yesterday, I remembered that as I got into the heart of this new lifestyle last year, we began visiting the farmers' market on a regular basis and I started appreciating ... savoring ... fresh-from-the-farm produce. It's what got me through the first many months of "dieting" without ever once feeling deprived.

Juicy cherries, flats of rosy red strawberries loaded with flavor, crisp apples, nectarines to die for... I'm a fruit fan. Vegetables less so, but even then, I became a fan of tomatoes fresh from the vine, and asparagus picked that morning.... I became spoiled.

My dietary slips of late seem to have begun, as I review the past few months, as the summer produce disappeared and the selection available at the farmers' market became more limited. Still fresh and delicious, but the summer fruits disappeared and I realize now that I replaced all those nectarines and strawberries and cherries with peanutbutter and freshly made tortillas and the pounds began to creep back on again.

cherries.JPG (77621 bytes)Well, spring is here and the first cherries have made their appearance. Who wants peanut butter when you can bite into a fresh cherry or strawberry?

We made our way through the market yesterday and loaded up. We're somewhat limited in what we can buy by the space in the canvas bag that I attach to the back of the bike (I used to have a basket on one side and the bag on the other, but that was on the old bike, URL, which I've loaned to a friend), so we have to choose a bit more wisely—or make two trips.

But we walked up and down the aisle, just savoring the smells and tastes of spring—a riotous display of sweet peas (the flower kind). I love sweet peas. They are some of my favorite flowers.

cherries2.JPG (45488 bytes)Several vendors were selling cherries. We filled a plastic sack. Walt bought his usual 6-for-$5 avocados and we got 3 baskets of strawberries so sweet it would be a crime to dip them in chocolate or any other coating.

One vendor had mushrooms and we bought two huge portobello mushrooms and then some asparagus.

That about filled up the canvas bag. Amazing how much more like "work" it is to ride home when you've added 10 lb or so of food to the back of the bike. (Funny how that doesn't occur to me when I've added 10 lb or so of fat to the back of me!)

Last night we had a vegetarian dinner: I marinated portobello mushrooms, and then broiled them. I had mine plain; Walt had his with a toasted English muffin, since I didn't have any hamburger buns (I'd checked points at the store and they were all too high in points so I didn't buy any). I cooked the entire bundle of asparagus and it was so flavorful and so tender that I didn't even miss having any "dip" for it. In the past, asparagus, for me (like artichokes) has been a vehicle for eating lots and lots of mayonnaise. But this didn't need anything. Just the asparagus itself.

And then for dessert those beautiful strawberries.

At the end of the meal, I was full of good food, full of good nutrition, full of fiber, and didn't have the slightest craving for anything else. I'm going to have to remember to keep the fridge stocked with fresh produce, since there are several produce markets within a few miles of here on non-farmers' market days.

I've also started yet another hair-brained attempt to keep me in line, food-wise. I grasp at all the straws I can (though right now, at this very moment, I'm not feeling the need for a "crutch."). Since Fotolog has become an obsession with me in the last few days (great photos on some of those sites), I decided to set up a food photo log, to complement the log I'd set up for other photos. So at MyFoodLog, I'm going to start taking a photo of every meal I eat. This may end up being horrendously boring—and I have no idea how long I'll keep at it, but I'm already starting to try to think of ways to make it more interesting, of ways to present food so that it looks a bit more "photogenic" (my "TV dinner" lunch of today is no indication of what I hope to do as the days go by!)

Judging by the new produce that is now appearing at the farmers' market, I suspect that this won't be too difficult.

(thumbing my nose at Olivia...nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah)

Quote of the Day

Life is just a bowl of cherries; don't take it serious; life's too mysterious.

~ Lew Brown (Lyricist)

Today's Photo

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May 18, 2003
(notice how I am sitting on the ground....wouldn't have done that a year ago!)

One Year Ago
Older than Dirt
(Where I discover I'm old)

Two Years Ago
Walking and Gawking
(walking thru London)

Three Years Ago
Where is God?
(A Steve concert)


Please visit My Fotolog
and My FoodLog


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 ;
Pounds Lost: 58.6
(dammit)

On the Odometer

Blue Angel Total 960.7
2003 YTD Cumulative:  461.5

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