Tomato sauce

My grandmother has an awesome garden. Which means we’re lucky enough to end up with lots of veggies sometimes and there was a basket of tomatoes left over this weekend.

Me: What are we going to do with the tomatoes?
T: Why don’t you make tomato sauce?
Me: like to can? We have 1 basket of tomatoes. That’ll make 1 jar. If I’m lucky.
T: but it’ll be an awesome yummy jar.

So there you have it. Clearly, I’m easily swayed by Toby.

fresh ripe tomatoes

fresh ripe tomatoes

Take some tomatoes. Rinse them off. Then quarter them and throw them in a pot:

smushed tomatoes

smushed tomatoes

Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Bring to a boil. Stir often. Wait about 10 minutes. Everything should be pretty soft.

Then put them in a food mill thing. It’s that thing on the left. I hope I’m using it right. It’s been ages since I’ve even assembled it. A fine sieve would work just as well.


Pour the liquid back into the pot and heat to reduce:

tomato juice

tomato juice

Once the thickness is to your liking, add 1/2 tsp citric acid to the bottom of each 500 mL jar. Fill to 1/2 inch of the top. Clean the lip, add the lid, add the ring. Tighten to just tight and then add to the canning pot. Once it comes to a boil, wait 35 minutes. Hopefully you had more than one basket of tomatoes and you ended up with more than one 500 mL jar of sauce:

one lonely jar of tomato sauce

one lonely jar of tomato sauce

Well, one jar of sauce and not nearly enough for another jar so Toby bought some tortellini and we used the extra tonight. First he fried up onions, garlic, and pancetta:

IMG_6804Then added the sauce:

IMG_6807And let it all cook together for a while before adding the tortellini:


Yum! Served with some freshly shaved parmesan and there’s enough left over for me for lunch!




I’ve got a cold so you get some babbling…

I think. A really really bad cold. It hurts to swallow (my neck is actually quite tender) and my sinuses are all plugged up. I am definitely not going to run a long run today so now I have to figure out what I’m going to do in Edmonton in a couple of weeks when I am supposed to run a 1/2 marathon. I’ve run every day – at least a mile – since February 13, 2016 but I haven’t had a run of more than 10-14 km in months. Seriously. I think it’ll be a game-day decision.

edmonton marathon medalsFrom the Edmonton marathon facebook page

I was so looking forward to that coffee on Friday and instead I’ve had nothing but tea and honey. Or whisky 😉

Tea from Victoria, BC:

And I stumbled across this on that “this day in history” thing on Facebook from two years ago. I still find it pretty funny.

Q: what’s that?
Me: blueberries
Q: no, that
Me: a plum
Q: no it’s not. Plums are purple.
Me: it’s a yellow plum
Q: plums are tricky

I’ll spend some time today planning out the week assuming that I’m better tomorrow…and maybe a version where I’m not better until Wednesday.

What’s making me happy this week

So what’s making me happy this week?

Civic Holiday

Well, it was a short week this week thanks to “civic holiday” Monday. So, I’m me. Hi! And I went off to find the law that makes the August civic holiday an actual civic holiday. You know what? IT ISN’T! What the heck?! I started looking at the Government of Canada – Justice Laws Website. There is a Holidays Act. It recognizes THREE holidays. THREE! Can you guess which (answer at the very bottom).

So then I go down the rabbit hole….Christmas isn’t there. Nor Labour Day or New Years Day or Thanskgiving or Boxing Day. Where do they come from? And where can I find the damn August Civic Holiday?

The short answer is – it’s not easy. And I’m a lawyer! How crazy is that? First off, it turns out that “August Civic Holiday” is a social convention. We all just made it up out of whole cloth and everyone just keeps the charade going. It’s definitely not a national holiday – it’s not a day off at all in Quebec, Newfoundland or Yukon. And it’s not a stat day in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario or PEI. Seriously. It’s only in 4 provinces and 2 territories that it’s an actual statutory holiday!

Anyway. Happy Simcoe Day! ‘Cause I’m in Toronto and that’s who we picked to honour. John Graves Simcoe. The first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and he who abolished slavery in 1793. That’s pretty cool.


Second thing making me happy this week is Q. He’s awesome. He’s decided to grow his hair. He really wants a pony tail. He’s got this weird combo of my hair and Toby’s hair. It matches Toby’s colour now exactly and my thickness/curliness. When my hair is long, most of the time it’s in a pony tail. When my hair is short, well, it’s short. I remember nothing about growing my hair from one to the other but right now, Q’s hair is ridiculous. So I made an appointment for him to get his hair cut by the guy who cuts my hair.



Not the best before-after picture but Daniel cut a huge chunk of hair off the back of Q’s head. AND kept him entertained in the seat long enough for a decent hair cut. He cut lots off the back and left the top mostly long (except the bangs). As the top catches up to the bottom, well, then pony tails happen 😉


Coffee. Oh sweet sweet….okay actually amazingly yummy and slightly bitter coffee. There is a long-standing joke in my family about the amount of caffeine I need to consume just to maintain sustenance levels. My folks have Q tonight and all I was thinking was “So happy they get time together AND I get to sleep in tomorrow and wake up to awesome coffee.” Except then I came home. And realised I was out of coffee beans. And then I checked the mail.

IMG_6765I am fortunate enough to have some pretty awesome sisters-in-law and one of them is the lady who married my brother. I adore her and she and I have a lot in common including a love of coffee. While we might differ on the whole temperature thing (she will drink it scalding hot while I add an ice cube or 3) we both like rich, full coffee. So for her birthday (and poor George’s too) I bought a 6-month subscription to a coffee-of-the-month thing from Toronto-based Birds and Beans. They only sell bird-friendly beans. My brother and SIL will get a pound of coffee a month for the next 6 months and I told the shop that she loves bold coffees so I’m hoping she gets loads of those. And I got my first one in today’s mail. The coffee maker is all ready for tomorrow. Beans in the top, filter in the filter. I’ll throw the water in before bed and just have to literally press “go” in the morning.

So. What’s making YOU happy this week?

ANSWER – The Holiday Act establishes the following days as legal holidays and observed as such throughout Canada: Canada Day (July 1), Remembrance Day (November 11) and Victoria Day (first Monday before May 25). And I still don’t know why December 25 is a holiday but I’m tired and will keep looking later.

Slow cooker oatmeal – ver. 1.0

Even Q liked the slow-cooker oatmeal! Of course, once you swirled it around, his became chocolate oatmeal. I added in a banana and he polished off the bowl.

IMG_6689So version 1.0 is very simple:

1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
a few grinds of salt from the salt mill

Stir it all together in a slow-cooker, set it on slow and go to bed. Or work. Or otherwise ignore it for 6-8 hours. Mine was about 7. Add in what you like in the morning. Mine has some cinnamon on it. Q’s is the one on the right.

Left overs are in the fridge in a ziploc container. I’ll reheat them in the morning and maybe try a different spice combo for mine.

I think ver. 2.0 will be a flavoured batch – apple cinnamon maybe 🙂

One foot in front of the other

I found a website called Nerd Fitness. And tomorrow, Tuesday August 2, 2016 will be Day 1 (yes, it’s probably my 52nd day 1 but hey, at least it means I’m still trying right?)

I’ll get Toby to help take pictures and do measurements tonight AND I’ve made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow so I have an official, unbiased, third party that I’m going to report in to in about 5-6 months. I need that accountability right now and I’m good with that.

My Big Why

Part of the groundwork for Nerd Fitness is coming up with your “big why” – the reason I’m doing this. Right now my “big why” is just that I’m tired of being overweight, of not fitting into my nice clothes, of feeling squished on the streetcar. I want to not be too tired to run around with Q. To be able to continue to run. That sort of thing.

Me in 5 months

Next is to think of who the new me will be a short time in the future – I’ve picked 5 months ’cause that will take me to the end of the year. I’ve decided that my new me will be  someone who is (physically) stronger, faster, and more flexible.  Personally, I’ll be someone who doesn’t procrastinate (as much) and who makes taking care of myself a priority.

Which leads to the creation of five smaller goals – things to do to get to where I am going to be by the end of the year (so 5 months really)

1.     I will continue to run every day. At least once every two weeks I will run faster (at 10k race pace (about a min or two faster than my current easy pace); at least once every two weeks my workout will incorporate running up one of our local hills.

2.    I will strength train 2 – 3 times a week and do yoga 1 – 2 times a week. I haven’t done strength training in ages and will start off small. Right now I have a lunch time yoga once a week and will incorporate the NF yoga too.

3.    I will cook one healthy meal a month with enough left over for a couple of lunches. I will help Toby plan meals. This should be fun. Y’all know I don’t like to cook – so I see a lot of casserole or slow cooker things in our future.

4.    I will get 7ish hours of sleep a night; cutting down on “screens” so that by the end of October (3 months) I won’t be on my phone/TV/Computer within 45 minutes of bedtime.

5.    And one I think of as most important – “I will make considered choices.” Meaning, if I want the beer I have the beer but it’ll be a damn good beer not just a beer ’cause it’s there. Same with other foods or spending time online or hunting Pokemon etc.

The first bit food-wise is just tracking food. Not necessarily changing anything really but tracking what it all is. So back to My Fitness Pal I go and because tomorrow is Day 1, I’m making plain slow-cooker oatmeal tonight to have for breakfasts this week 🙂