Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Somethings

It’s August! The hottest month of the year! Which is a little unnerving, considering June and July averaged in the 100’s. Hoo-boy.

But there’s hope. The averages through this week are in the high 80s. Am I talking about the weather on my blog? Yessir I think I am. It’s all anyone in the South can talk about. This is the hottest summer I can remember in the ten years I’ve been in Winston. I usually gauge this by how nauseous I feel when running at 7 am. I am so thankful for the wonderful folks in Buena Vista who keep sprinklers on automatic timers.

Today was a nice break though – Lauren and I went running around 8 am, and it was only 70 and not nearly as humid as it has been. We ran 4.5 and it was the most comfortable, easy run we’ve had since probably April. To contrast, my long run on Thursday was probably one of the top five worst runs I can remember. I didn’t eat enough dinner on Wednesday night, it was super muggy and I had poured all my water on my head too early and had none left to drink. I felt okay for the first five miles, but the last two were slap miserable.

This is the actual conversation I had with myself the last mile:

I need to stop. I’m going to pass out.

You’re not going to pass out. Keep going.

No really, I am going to pass out. I should probably at least try to make a few more yards, where there’s grass alongside the road instead of this parking lot.

Shut up.

I wonder if I pass out if one of these cars would stop and help me. I wonder if I’d be able to fall slowly enough to not hit my head on the sidewalk.

Seriously? You’re being ridiculous.

Whimper.

Look, just keep moving. One of two things will happen: you will either pass out or you won’t, and if you don’t, then you will finish this run. Just. Keep. Moving.

So. Who wants to pick up running as their new hobby?

Fortunately, yesterday’s run was one of those trot along, admire the scenery, feel the cool breeze and sigh happily to yourself “I loooove running” type runs that erase all previous memories of bad runs like Thursday out of your mind. At least long enough to convince you to keep going for another week.

On my way home from dropping off Lauren, I went and picked up a gas station coffee (my fave) and Sunday’s paper. After a shower, I sat on the couch for almost an hour and perused the Sunday inserts and clipped coupons. Target ads have such a relaxing effect on me.

Then I set about trying to be a Pioneer Woman (no, not THE pioneer woman, just A pioneer woman) and make homemade bread. I’ve been on a baking kick, which is unusual for me. I much prefer cooking to baking – less precision required and generally healthier. But in the last two weeks, I made blueberry scones, blueberry muffins and a peach-blueberry galette. That might possibly be more baking than I’ve done in our entire marriage. So I decided I could make bread.

It seemed pretty straight forward, and I thought I followed the recipe to a T. I measured (a big deal for me), I stirred, I kneaded. I covered with plastic wrap and put it in the warmest part of our house to rise.

IMG_5486

Noodle dog will keep your bread warm.

(Just kidding. I put it in the laundry room.)

But after I baked it, they were like rocks. Not inedible – I could cut into them. But dense. From a quick Google search, it sounds like I didn’t knead them long enough. I read one blog where she said she sets a timer for 8 minutes to knead. Ha. I definitely did not do that.

IMG_5508

I’m embarrassed to even post that picture.

I sadly threw the bread out, after eating a slice and realizing I couldn’t subject anyone else to it. We were having our friends Zac and Jamie over for dinner, so I set about tending to the rest of the sans-bread meal. I made a paste out of onions, garlic, oil, jalapeno and ginger to cover a pork tenderloin and cooked some Trader Joe veggies, sweet potato fries and a salad. Dessert was my favorite – homemade whip cream (I could eat this by the spoonful. And by could, I mean do) with blueberries and mini angel food cakes.

IMG_5514

It was so nice to finally be able to sit outside. We bought patio furniture back in May, and it’s been nearly too scorching to sit out there and enjoy it! I think we’ve eaten out there just a handful of times since we bought it. We sat outside long past the sun setting and caught up for hours with our longest-in-Winston friends. We used to be almost-next door neighbors for nearly two years, and sharing dinners with each other was probably a weekly thing. Good friends are what makes turns a city into a hometown, you know?

I’m looking forward to August. We have our wedding anniversary, as well as some weekend plans to look forward too. It’s still summer, but you can feel things starting to slow down from the frenetic “squeeze everything into summer vacay” pace of July. And maybe, just maybe, it won’t be 100 degrees every day.

2 comments:

Kathryn said...

I would really love to be THE Pioneer Woman. She's amazing.

I don't do bread either. But my friend Erin's bread? I think I can do it (haven't braved it on my own yet without her).

http://wirewhisk.blogspot.com/2010/04/erins-simple-bread.html

I had something else to say...

Oh - I remember the feeling. The passing out from the humidity feeling while running in the summer. It's miserable. But now, since I'm waddling & not running, I kind of miss it. I'm doing a half marathon next spring. I just have to.

Meg said...

I'll give that one a try! I was really excited about the one I had attempted - it was a honey whole wheat. I think I can still pull it off, will try with more kneading next time.

I think PW is every blogger/cook/foodie/photographer/wife's idol.

And you're right, when you're not running you miss it...even a day later I'm like "Really megs, was it THAT bad?"