Another day, plus dinner with friends
Too. tired. to write full sentences, except to say that my camera is dead and i forgot the battery charger in China, so I’m going to post this temporarily without pictures.
Also had some hot apple cider with cinnamon.
I biked down to school to take my French 5 Advanced final to see if I could test into AP! It was only 3 pages, and really not that bad at all… the only parts I found hard were the passive and active voice, and it was only because I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do. For example, I would have to switch “The vegetables will not be cooked in this pan” to “We (on) will not cook the vegetables in this pan.” All-in-all, it went really well! I was originally supposed to do some kind of oral test afterwards, but when I asked about it, Monsieur Farver (most awesome teacher ever) said that we didn’t need to, since we had been speaking in French the whole time and it didn’t seem like I had any trouble. He and Mme. Collet, the 5A teacher, still need to go over my test, but he told me not to worry. SO I THINK I’M IN! YES YES YES…
I got home around 11 and was kind of hungry, and I had to eat early because swim practice was a 12:30 bike ride on the lake. I had a great salad, made with lettuce, leftover salmon and potatoes, an artichoke heart, blackberries, a scoop of whipped cottage cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette. I also had kashi crackers and the leftover pumpkin mixed with some yogurt and pumpkin pie spice, the usual.
We met at school to go biking at 12:15. We didn’t end up going that far– just to the planetarium, because some people got lost. This was due to the fact that the exit to where we were supposed to meet was closed off for construction, so people split off in totally separate directions. The exciting thing was that on the way there (I was trying to push myself without dying) I was in a close 2nd, and there was a pretty big gap between me and the 3rd person. On the way back I took it a little easier. I LOVE BIKING. The thing about swimming is that your surroundings don’t change, whereas on a bike you feel so free. It was gorgeous today, even though we all thought it was going to rain– the harbor was bright blue and the air felt so fresh.
Luckily, my house is as close to the lake as it’s possible to be, so I just went straight home to start DINNER PREPARATIONS! Of course, I was starving from the workout, so I had to have a snack: a bunch of different cereals with banana, berries and soy milk. I probably eat too much cereal, but at least it’s whole grain and low sugar, and better than just eating energy bars every day.
Originally, I had invited my friend Page and her mom, but her mom was too sick to get out of bed! We definitely have to have her over at some point, but I invited some of my other friends instead. Here is what we had:
Chilled cantaloupe soup with cucumber-ginger relish: I really couldn’t decide if I liked the soup or not, never actually having had fruit soups. It was so intense (too much lime) that it would have been better in a shot glass, but the combo of flavors was great: the sweet melon, basil, mint, lime, spicy ginger, and cucumber. Lately cucumber seems to make me nauseous though. I couldn’t finish.
Chickpeas with spinach and roasted peppers with paprika– This was a simple, satisfying dish, but what made it good was that I used the chickpeas that Patrizia bought me from Italy– I had to soak them all day, then parboil them, then simmer until they were tender. Until you taste real chickpeas, which aren’t mushy, as opposed to canned, you have not lived. I roasted the peppers first, then sauteed an onion with basil and fennel seed, and simmered everything together with paprika and Chinese cooking wine (I didn’t have sherry).
Apple cider-braised Kabocha squash– Once again, I just can’t get enough squash. The problem is that kabocha squash is IMPOSSIBLE to peel and seed– I got quite a few injuries in the process. Still, this turned out to be my favorite dish– then again, how can you go wrong with squash? I browned it in some olive oil, then simmered it until tender in apple cider. Strangely, the apple cider made it much too acidic, so i added a sprinkle of brown sugar. I finished it with some fresh sage.
The special California brown rice I got for my birthday– this is the nuttiest, chewiest brown rice I’ve ever had. I could easily eat it by itself.
DESSERT: my mom threw together some peaches, sugar, ginger and apple cider in the oven to make a compote to go with our PEACH GINGER ICE CREAM. Unfortunately, we had to wait for more than an hour for the ice cream to soften enough to make even a dent in it with a spoon. We really should have taken it out earlier. We finally had to end up soaking the bowl in hot water, and it was still too hard. Delicious, though, although it tasted more of ginger than peaches. The peach compote also had ginger, but highlighted the peachy flavor of the ice cream. We garnished it with mint.