Jan 20, 2013

A Weekend of 50 to -9

Third Sock

Friday afternoon, two days ago, I ran a neighborhood seven mile ring in shorts and 47 minutes.  50 degrees and dripped salt at the finish.

Same route tonight, a north front blowing -9 wind chill, I fought ice for bite and shivered most of the route.  I realize this blog is mostly read by women, so you won't understand...but there's this painful shrinkage thing going on with the cash and prizes on these bitter days.  Windies help a little, Martin usually just dons a third sock.  It ain't pretty.

Iowa winter and summer mercury swings 130 degrees.  I guess it toughens us up so we're ready to toe the line anywhere.  Running Colorado trails at 10,000 feet a couple summers ago was less effort than a July workout in Des Moines with a 95 temp and 80% humidity redlining the blood pump.

Forecast says 50s again in the 10-day, I'll take it.

Pho Fighters
Pigtails and Theresa hang out nearly every weekend.  T's mom owns a Vietnamese restaurant and boils scrum-diddly-umptious veg' and rare beef pho soup.  I finally convinced Curls to try some.  She gave it the nod, especially after hearing less than 300 cal's per.  The broth blows flavor, simmered beef bone, shaved ginger and charred onion cooking hours for each batch.
T was over playing today, the girls claimed the house was freezing.  I leave the 'stat at 64.  Let's stoke a fire.  Fresh out of newspaper kindling, what's a dad to do?  This will work.

The yellow jersey was good for a 10 degree bump.  Girls warmed up, time to stack blocks and build a prison/playground for Hermy the crab.  At one point they built slides and a tunnel for the crustacean to claw through.

Hermy pooped a lot.
I think he was scared from aggressive play.

The girls decided to put down 5 layers of paper towels (generic branded Brawny, "Scrawny"), since the crab was scatter bombing turds like a B52.  

Pigtails needs a sibling or dog or something.

The girls later agreed it was time to jump rope in the snow.  An inch of flakes fell.

I went outside to join them.

Leo saw me, wagged and barked once.  Then rolled back on his haunches, red ball loaded and ready.  He's a good boy, only a single yelp to get my attention, patiently waiting while a full grown mans skips rope in the snow.  

It seems like dogs smile a little, don't you think?  Wish I could borrow him for a day, I want to take him on a long trail run.



Hot tea's always on boil, I sip four pots of green or oolong leaf on weekends.  I've written two posts how to shop and brew this frilly-froo cancer fighter.  Search up top if you'd like to learn more.

Looking to get back on the fish train, I bagged a $13 traditional Chinese clay sand pot and swai whitefish fillets to make it happen.  First cut the flanks into bite-sized cubes to make it less fishy for Pigtails, then browned it on cast iron and olive oil to add some crispy crunch.

Brought the clay pot up to 350, added a spoon of butter, dillweed, Cajun powder, red chillies, salt and pepper.  Ten minutes is plenty, paired with slow-cooked wild rice and apple wedges.  Daughter was happy, Curls didn't wince.  I'll do this again. 

I've been eying a terracotta tajine and giving Moroccan stews a go.  Do any of you own one and like it?



  1. Debbie1/21/2013

    i see your measly -9 windchill & raise you a ND ACTUAL AIR TEMP of -19 & windchill of -43 when i went to work this morning. not fit for man nor beast. i have a tagine that i got at ikea. its ceramic dome & cast iron on the bottom. less than $30 & that thing works like a champ. chicken, lamb, beef...its a once a wk staple at my house in the winter.

    1. Actual dropped to -2 and chill of -25 this morning. We hit -20 sometimes, but not often. Trouble is we do well over 100 in July, the swings are a killer. Stay warm, and keep it cool when we do the Fargo marathon in May!

      What types of food do you cook in your tagine?

    2. Oh, Debbie...now, that's cold. But alas, I must announce I'm off to get my (outdoor) run in for the day. My weather app tells me that the high is now, a "toasty" -9 degrees with wind chill. I've been waiting for this! The high of -9! It took me 10-min to strategically place the layers, after convincing myself that no addt'l bathroom breaks were necessarily before departure. Wish me luck! I'm sure by the time I warm up, I'll be back inside.

    3. I wimped out today and took Pigtails with me to the gym at work for treadmill, a game of H.O.R.S.E and lifting. She won at hoops.

      Curls, did your nostrils freeze shut?

    4. Ha, not quite. The worst part was that my sunglasses kept fogging over. :) Other than that, definitely not as bad as I anticipated. Yee-haw!!

    5. Your smiley is missing a nose, I can only surmise your nose froze off out there.

    6. Debbie1/22/2013

      butter chicken is a standard. i use a lot of harissa & a lot of preserved lemon (both bought on amazon because fargo is a culinary wasteland). golden raisens are another standard ingredient (i use those a lot if im making something like pheasant or other game bird in the tagine). you can find a lot of pre made bottled sauces for tagines @ world market if youre not sure about flavors. there are tagine cookbooks out there, but basically its a moroccan slow cooker. so you throw meat, veges, something to make gravy, lush spices (i use a lot of saffron)together & serve it over rice (or sometimes i use mashed potatoes to make it super hearty). its really super easy.

    7. That helps, thanks. I'll cheat early on and check what World Market offers bottled before going hog wild on original stews.

      Haha, a culinary wasteland, good thing you don't work on Fargo's visitor bureau. Nothing but crickets in that town, see you in May at the 'thon.

  2. I love making Moroccan food, and do so without a tagine... I am curious how different it would taste with a tagine. Anyone know?

    1. Can you help a brother get started, what Moroccan dishes do you like?

    2. Probably works a-okay in a plain old crockpot or skillet. I bet the funny looking wizard hat on clay tangines helps recurculate moisture for tender marination on lean cuts.

  3. Melissa1/21/2013

    Haha...burning a Lance Armstrong book...too funny. My husband is an avid (rabid?) cyclist who has spent years racing as an amateur, primarily in our region (New England). He was racing on the road, in crits and cyclocross when we first got together (14 years ago this weekend...yikes! I don't feel 14 years older most of the time). His true cycling passion is cyclocross (much more spectator friendly for me). He's always been in tune with the professional community, even worked as a mechanic for a pro US team, worked some US and Euro races but was happier when he wasn't living out of a suitcase. He's never had a good opinion of Armstrong. I was on the fence/didn't really care until I read "It's Not About the Bike" for a book club. I thought it should have been subtitled "It's About Me, Me, Me." I hope this recent turn of events sets the cycling world on notice so that there's real change. The sad thing is that he and other top riders still would have been the top riders because they are such strong athletes. As soon as one starts riding dirty, the rest do it to keep up. Such a shame.

    So, long story short...too late...I'm not sorry to see his book used as kindling. Stay warm!

    1. I gave Lance the benefit of the doubt for a long time, mainly because his hundreds and hundreds of blood tests came back negative. If he was guilty, why the clean results? I relied more heavily on clean scientific tests than hearsay by others accusing him of doping. What is most troubling here is we find out not only was he shooting dirtly, but he sued and ruined the careers of others that spoke out about him and told the truth. That's terrible.

      He's sorry for getting caught, not for cheating.

      That's pretty cool your husband worked for a pro US team. What an experience having that opportunity for a year or two!

  4. No need for sauce. A few swirls of oil, pile veggies on bottom (potato, carrot, onion, garbanzos, etc) protein on top (we love chicken or fish), a cup or so of water, and a ton of spices. We do it differently every time, but salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, cardamom, safron, garlic..usually at least a quarter to half cup all told. The flavor permeates and makes a great sauce. Love it atop couscous! Happy cooking!


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