Eating Alone In Half The Time

Eating Alone In Half The Time header image 2

Life is a series of trials and errors – if you’re not making some, you’re not living

January 14th, 2014 · No Comments


Wasn’t going to eat (9:00 at night and could actually go to bed without dinner) – I know how well that type of thinking has worked for me in the past. Then I felt the paws of my cat reaching over from the top of the box next to my legs where she likes to sit when I’m on the computer. And these paws had claws. I told her ‘no claws’ and put the paws back where they had been. Again, the paws, but this time, in fact, no claws. Well I can’t resist that. It’s the little things in life that count. I ask her if she wants to eat, and she jumps down from the box. Perfect communication. So while I’m  forking stuff from cans and putting brewer’s powered yeast on top which she seems to like (other than the fact that it keeps fleas off of her and does a lot of other great things which I should also be taking advantage of), I am thinking of only one thing – feeding the cat, because I’m male and have just been told (by a female) that I have no multi-tasking ability. But, when I finish – yes I had actually finished – there I am starting to cut an onion. Well, one thing led to another, as it usually does, and I have just finished eating one the of the most ‘chef special’ dishes that I have had in a long time. In fact, so good that I have to write it down so I can do it again and take a photo since I have 1000 on my cell phone and that happens to be the limit. Don’t want to eliminate them until I’m sure the drop box has worked successfully and that the computer is not going to be totaled in my attempt to fix the constant deluge of popup ads which make life online miserable.


Have found the solution to that problem:

free very exact instructions on how to ‘Remove Pop-up Ads from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome’  by  which is the first of other problems I have suddenly acquired:  automatic shutdowns (about 5-8 an hour), cursor disappearing all the time in the middle of typing, which means that I will be typing in thin air until the cursor finds its way back to the page and I have lost 2-3 sentences, non-responsive programs which I can only get out of by ctrl/alt (on the left) and del on the right meaning that I lose all of my tabs, sudden loss of internet sites with subsequent inability to open up any net-pages at all, inability to shutdown so that I have to pull the plug (literally since I have no on/off switch), etc.  I have a lot of patience. But it is bus drivers who amaze me. Infinite patience. They should be paid extra. How many time have you heard one of them swear or hit the horn? I heard my first today in a long time, and the deserving driver of the car had done a really stupid thing totally oblivious to everyone else.

But, back to the dish. As I was cutting the onion, a picture came to me of tempeh with the onions (sudden urge to increase my protein intake). Cut some thin slices and put them in with the already cooking onions – there really is no planning here. Thought of garlic, so added 6 cloves, and that was going to be it. Then I saw the swiss chard and cut it, followed by fortuitously seeing the mushrooms sitting there frozen in the freezer. Dumped them into the pan without defrosting, slicing, etc. Decided to add a small amount of spaghetti to give body to whatever I was making, and then started to add the spices: salt, turmeric, black pepper, coriander, sweet paprika and decided to add a small amount of Stevia (about 5 drops) to give it some hint of sweetness. Put the contents onto the plate since they were going to burn, and in the now empty pan added the spaghetti (which had been soaking in boiling water), the chopped up swiss chard, and some bits of cheese. Another 3-4 minutes until the chard had totally wilted and the cheese had almost melted (most of my cooking is ‘almost’ which means more nutrients, and a lot of anti-microbial spices as a result). Great! I get a really great dish once a week, which means 52 a year. Will add a photo when recreated – which necessarily means a lot of planning, and will probably not be done, so don’t expect to see a photo any time soon.




Decided to get a lot of broccoli.

“What will I do with so much broccoli” I ask? “Put it in the fridge”, he says. To which I declined and put it back on the shelf. He said ‘It’s only (round figure here)’. I reconsider the broccoli and added some  swiss chard. “You like green I see”, he says. I found out later the Super sold the broc for half price. So this is only the tops of the broccoli with cherry tomatoes fried together in olive oil. Then, while basically still uncooked, I added an already cut slice of some unknown cheese with holes in it, and wondered what I would put on the other side of the plate. But, too much heavy thinking can spoil your appetite.


It’s sort of cold here, a
nd I have been using a small heater on the floor which has two coils (one for low, and two for high, no gradations, and no off/on button – have to pull the plug out of the wall. Probably the simplest contraption around. So I was sitting there looking in the general direction of the heater, when suddenly, there sitting in front of me, well, over to the side about 7 feet away, was a small something which by its shape gave cold or hot air, I didn’t know. And it must have been there for at least the last five years. How it got there, I won’t go into. But, if someone had shown me a facsimile of it and asked if I knew about this appliance, I would have said that I’ve never seen something like it. And I’m not going senile, except for the fact that I didn’t get the spelling of that last word correct.

Talk about blocking things out! And once I had figured out how it works and discovered that it was a heater AND a cooler, much better then the one sitting beside it and with an off and on button and gradations of heat, etc., I realized that it wasn’t because I didn’t need it. It had just been invisible. An example of our not seeing what we don’t want to see, have no use for, in a different shape than we would expect it to be, or for some other reason invisible (at least to us). And I’m sitting here warming myself and wondering what else in the house I haven’t seen. We don’t have to travel the seas to discover new things. All we have to do is actually look at what has been right in front of us all the time.

An average day

Yeh, I was carrying too much and fell on the stairs. Fortunately up and not down. My cat likes to sit on my lap when I’m getting some sun for 15 minutes in the morning. She can’t settle down and those claws are sharp Someone has advised nail trimming but never declawing since that is like cutting off your toes). Also bought myself an ice cream (deserved it after the car accident) and biting into the cone, my front tooth fell out. Must go to the dentist). Got up from the computer to go to the kitchen with my dinner plate and soup cup in hand. Had my headphones on. Yes, attached to the computer. I’m looking at losing another of my best plates. But fortunately I looked down and saw the cord. Get so used to having the phones on, I think they’re a part of me. And, after the car incident, when I went to get my cappuccino and muffin, the coffee shop owner stood there looking at me and said “Are you OK?” Something he’s never said to me before. I thought I was doing OK, so I must have really looked shaken.


kaleand tempeh2
Tempeh and Swiss Chard
This is without the spices which totally obliterate it.
Five stages
1. Decision time: had to get rid of (urr, use) the swiss chard. Great stuff. Cooks fast, tastes great (better than spinach) and has almost all of the nutrients of spinach, plus.
2. Instructions: just throw whatever is lying around after washing and cutting into the pan.
3. After slightly cooking the swiss chard together with diced stems, onion, and garlic, transfer to plate. Put in the tempeh, mushrooms, and the tomatoes in separate parts of the pan so the tempeh can brown.
4. photograph
5. throw what you see (together with the spices) back into the pan to reheat since it has gotten cold.

Google photos of swiss chard


If you haven’t tried tempeh, you must. It’s like tofu, but fermented the way the Japanese have used it for centuries. Much healthier for you than tofu. While you might find it in some supermarkets, it is always sold in health food stores. Has a slight nutty taste as against the non-taste of tofu. Use it the same way you would use tofu.

Except for one thing. I have discovered that fried together with apple slices is truly fantastic. For a comparison of tempeh with soy, see Soy Wars: Tofu vs.Tempeh


Super Tempeh Dish      
Can be prepared in next to no time. The most costly being getting the hulls off the garlic and then, it’s nice to have the tempeh browned (which takes a lot of time) – it’s best if sort of fried crunchy, the thinner the better (the ones in the photo are too thick).

This is before putting on the spices which as usual obliterates the dish. However, when the spices are all mixed in, it sort of looks like the above but a lot grainier, speckled and whatnot. I could have taken another photo but the phone was charging. What better excuse to give when you’re hungry and have had it with taking photos which given my smart phone is just not going to come out anyway.

Only secrets here are:
chunks of apple to go with the tempeh
super thin sliced broccoli
1/2 tomato and tempeh fried in separate parts of pan and sidelined
greens, onion, garlic added to the pan and undercooked
noodles soaked in two changes of boiling hot water from the coffee maker before adding at the end
7 cloves garlic (that’s no secret after you’ve eaten it)
Spices: turmeric, black pepper, coriander, oregano, sweet basil (think), salt, dash soy sauce (which I forgot).

Google images of great looking tempeh



PROBLEM of getting up during the night and how I solved it. Had a problem. There were nights when I would get up 6-7 times and other nights when I got up once. Because it’s cold here, that once is too much. Multiply that by 7 and you get the reason I had to find out why there was the difference between time A (which is most of the time) and time B.Well, last night was a time B. Out of nowhere after many nights of 7s, I actually only got up once. What was the deciding factor?

Chinese vegetarian
I thought it might be my daughter’s chinese vegetarian dish with rice from last night. Humm, that’s it. Nothing else. So, after this 1 minute bit of research during the day, I ate some more of my daughter’s dish at night.
Nope! Didn’t do it.
So the next night I stood there at the sink to guess what I might like to eat at 9:00 at night which wouldn’t keep me awake, I thought of a buckwheat pancake with oatmeal. Nothing particularly novel. And as I was preparing it, I realized that the one time night had been preceded with oatmeal which wasn’t fully cooked, either with the length of time or the amount of moisture, and it acted like a sponge as it expanded during the night. Problem solved. All I had to do now is wait to see if this logical reasoning actually solved the problem.
Made enough for 2 nights. Here are the ingredients: buckwheat (which is not a grain and easily digested with a minimal turning-to-sugar property of normal grains (carbohydrates), egg (free range), oatmeal, baking powder, salt (actually put it on after cooking), topped with butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, 7 drops of Stevia, a date (from the date palm) spread.
Results: Experiment failed. Got up 7 times.

Both the chinese vegetarian dish and the buckwheat pancake with oatmeal. They are now both reserved for when they might solve some other problem – like hunger.

Probable answer: Green Tea

Today I realized the commonality of the failed nights. I drank green tea (other teas might do it also) after 8:00pm, while on all the nights with numerous trips, I had had coffee much closer to bedtime. So everyone will say ‘We know that!”. Well, I wasn’t thinking and was starting to think I have a real physical problem. Solved, but I will try it a third time regardless of what I eat in order to test the hypothesis under different conditions.


Keeping the Old Working
5 minutes to open up outlook express which normally takes 1 second. You know the feeling. And if not you either are lucky or you know someone who knows what they’re doing. Gives me plenty of time to think about where I’m going to spend my next vacation – right here where it usually is.
Most of our learning is by registering reactions which are usually very fast in coming. If we had to wait minutes or hours for things which normally take seconds, we would not learn very much, mostly because we have forgotten the context.
When you’re willing to wait for a long time before getting a reaction – that’s called science — or love.
But, what I’m experiencing right now is just an old computer.

Tags: one pan cooking

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