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Tonight I’m trying “RealGood” pizza. Not a cauliflower crust, at least, but turns out to be a “chicken” crust. That “chicken” is in quotes because it has the texture of something like rubber. I’m glad I baked both servings because I would never have talked myself into baking the second one. I’m not sure I will eat the second one, but at least it’s baked. I can always hope the garbage disposal will eat it. Still I hate to waste food. And it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.

But it’s a fail. At least it’s not cheese on cheese on cheese. And it doesn’t exactly taste like chicken. But then, it doesn’t taste like pizza either.

I still think there’s a chance for one of the #keto bread recipes to be used for pizza crust. I’m still not baking, this was the first time I turned my oven on in at least a month.

first of all…

WordPress apparently has a fancy new editor for media rich content! I will learn about it some other time. Hello again. How about I make no promises but try to jump in randomly, but more often. Our friend Margaret thinks I should write about my experiences with Keto. I see that I mentioned it in my last post… in March. Okay, I am not sure who will be interested but Keto gets a new tag. Or since I’m too lazy to go back and convert categories to tags and I have never really understood the difference, it gets a category. Maybe that’s something I can work on.

I am thinking about including letters in these posts. I have silly things I want to rant about and thought perhaps I could tone it down a bit into friendly letters. Since I think about something almost daily that I want to tell someone, it might help me spend a little time posting.

I still read, and thank you Snoskred for your links and information about your business! I am thrilled for you that it is going so well. I wish I lived down there because it sounds fun and I could use something creative to do.

It’s interesting, cooking has been a creative outlet for me for a long time. I have sort of eased my way into #keto starting last um, February? When I first met Dr. New Guy. I did the whirlwind tour of foods I was going to miss, like lasagna even though I almost never make it since it’s a pain. I have made it with zucchini before and I’ve made low carb pancakes and I liked those things. I gave away many things that I can’t eat on #keto and I ate the rest of some things. I have a little cream of wheat still in my cupboard for when my stomach is too upset for real food.

And I have read and read and listened and watched and read some more on #keto and all the different opinions and ways of doing this. There are the ultra strict “clean” keto folks that I’m not sure how survive. For me, that’s kind of like going vegan. I can eat a vegetarian diet, at least before #keto, but I refuse to give up dairy and eggs. And, there are those, many I guess, who insist you have to give up dairy on #keto. There is lazy keto and easy keto and dirty keto. I’m using an old AA plan here and taking what I can use and leaving the rest. Canola oil may be evil but it is still what I use to season my cast iron skillet. Chicken is still good for me even if I have to add fat – I live on chicken salad over the summer and now I am back to making my own mayo because all the grocery story mayo has canola and soybean oil in it even if the jar screams Olive Oil! at you.

And somewhere in the process of reading and learning, this pandemic happened and bam! I couldn’t cope with the stress and anxiety and figured I’d just wait on this whole #keto thing. So instead of giving away my baking cupboard I used up all my flours and sugars, except for a little brown sugar which I will probably just dump one day when it hardens into a lump. That lasted about three weeks and I was ready to give this a try again. So I am.

What have I learned? What recipes do I have? Erm. I’ve learned that mushrooms make a decent substitute for potatoes in many soups or stews. I’ve learned that you can bite me if you think I’m giving up carrots in chicken soup – but I am only putting a tiny bit in. Cauliflower is not “rice” no matter how you grind it up. I happen to like cauliflower just don’t ask me to pretend it’s rice or a pizza crust. I bought the America’s Test Kitchen Keto cookbook because I thought I could trust them and learned that their riff on the fathead dough for pizza crust was just as ridiculous as any of them. I have not tried them all but ATK’s recipe was like eating cheese on cheese on cheese and made my stomach hurt.

Oh, and I’ve learned that Ole! EXTREME! tortillas are actually very good. I think they’re mostly made out of ground flax seeds but I need the fiber anyway. I like the red ones best. They make me feel more normal when eating chicken salad and, I also learned that #keto chili is really taco stuffing. You can put it in a bowl and dump cheese and whatnot on it, but it’s best in a wrap. We’ll work on that chili thing again. This is a bad time since meat is really expensive. Who would have thought we’d see chuck roast at $7.99 per pound?

I have a variety of recipes for #keto bread which I haven’t tried yet because by the time I was ready to it got HOT outside. Like it’s summer or something. My AC is still limping along and has actually been pronounced healthy but it can’t keep up with both outside heat and oven running. Breads and other baked goods are waiting for cooler weather. This is getting long so next time we’ll talk about #keto ice cream. That may give me motivation to write again. If you have questions about my experience, leave them in the comments. Remember that I’m not an expert, this is all a learning process for me.

The good news is that some of my swelling is going down, even in the summer. My pain level is sort of decreased. It sneaks up on me around bedtime and likes to keep me awake but I sometimes forget to take meds during the day. That can lead to pain getting out of control so it’s kind of a balancing act. I don’t know if I’m losing weight and I’d rather stay away from focusing on numbers or using numbers as a means of defining success. That ends up freaking me out.

Letters to the Editor

Dear USPS:

When I moved, I forwarded my parents mail to my new address as well as my own because I was still in the middle of probate and was responsible for their bills and the house sale paperwork and whatnot. I don’t know how it happens but I know that my universities always find me when I move and I feel sure that comes from some kind of weird database or list that comes from mail forwarding. Unfortunately, the many sales junk mail and magazine subscriptions and charities all get that same update and my parents get more mail than I do. I may make jokes about how that new hearing aid must be fantastic if it guarantees that Mom can hear me, but honestly? It not only gets old it’s hurtful.

So, since I figure it’s your fault, USPS, I think you need a way of taking dead people off that list. But it’s not only you, it’s all those stupid junk mail lists that are sold around the country. Dead people aren’t going to buy your hearing aids, your medical plans, your magazines or your seeds. It’s a waste of trees and money and my time to constantly have to be dealing with all this. Mom has been dead six years and Dad five. It’s not funny, let’s get them off these lists.

Grateful for the good things that USPS does, especially delivering all these extra packages that we are all ordering during this pandemic. But please, get rid of the dead mail.


the road to hell….

…is paved with good intentions. At least that’s how I remember the quote. Seems to me I read something about it once, suggesting that it didn’t mean what we mostly think it means. Perhaps I’ll research it sometime.

I was reminded (thanks Margaret) that writing and staying connected is a good thing, especially in these stressful days. I managed to stay pretty oblivious to the looming crisis as I don’t watch the news. I count on someone else telling me if there’s something I should be paying attention to and well, I live in a bastion of Oompa Loompa supporters so it took me a while to do some research on this virus myself and just as I did, everything exploded and the world is out of toilet paper and we’re stuck at home alone and feel guilty even going to Walmart.

But let’s back up a step. I finally met my new doctor — because my old doctor is having some health issues and retired. I really liked him and he was managing my diabetes meds and pain meds as well as the normal stuff like if I had bronchitis or something. Most GPs don’t like to manage pain meds anymore but new guy is willing also. And actually, new doc spent a long time talking with me and talking me into trying the Keto diet.

Let me be clear. I would never do the Keto diet for weight loss alone. I tried Atkins a long time ago and did not enjoy it. But new doc says that it could relieve inflammatory symptoms and he believes most, if not all, of my medical issues can be traced to inflammation. For that, it’s worth a try. So for the past month I’ve been grieving the loss of bread and potatoes and pasta and done a short food tour of things I almost never make like lasagna and chocolate chip cookies and biscuits and sausage gravy. When not eating indulgent things, I’ve been cutting further and further back on carbs and mostly feeling okay about it. Up until yesterday anyway when my gut reminded me of why I don’t take ibuprofen very often and why I never, never take it without food.

And then in the midst of tummy stress I asked myself is this really the right time to make such a big change in my diet? I mean, I started to follow the news on the virus a week ago. After getting overwhelmed, I decided to stick with The Washington Post as my source of information. They keep that page updated and add new links where appropriate and it is much more manageable to me. And while it’s not Fox news, there is some good news being reported. For example, China is listed as having more than 70,000 recoveries and only about 6700 active cases. They also have an unfortunate 3200 deaths but, while it is not over, progress and treatment are happening.

But I don’t mean to start lecturing about the virus or our government’s response or even the news reporters insisting it is all a Democrat hoax as of last weekend. No, I wanted to write about personal reactions and ask, how are you doing? I’m sorry, Ms. Bean, for weeping a little on your blog. Before I started paying attention to this thing, it was easy to believe it would just go away. Then suddenly it got real and my head went to memories of The Stand, by Stephen King and, if you want something a little more realistic and more horrifying, try The Black Death published in 1977. I haven’t read it in a long time but watching people hoard toilet paper and try to profit off of the crisis by buying up hand sanitizer and selling it on Amazon or E-Bay, or watching all the other things that are flying needlessly off the shelves, it wasn’t hard to imagine a future with vigilantes patrolling the streets and anyone suspected of being sick getting shot.

Now, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is not to time to start reading dystopian novels. Should I find the energy to do so, I will write about what I’m currently reading soon and try to do better than mu usual review.

At any rate, at times in the past week I have found myself near tears or actually crying from stress. It’s nice to have people online or around the country to call or write with or just share the fear a little and to also remember that we will get through this. Remember that progress is not a straight line and there are going to be moments of abject terror during this. Stay safe, stay well, and stay in touch.

well, here we are again

It seems that I am still having trouble thinking of what to write. Or taking the time to write. Or opening up wordpress.

I think about writing. I write posts in my head. Either that or I’m having extended conversations with imaginary friends. But those conversations are kind of silly. Or really silly.

For example, on Chicago Fire last week, the woman former-doctor who just moved in with the fireman and the emt, had a big party and told the fireman not to come. Though he didn’t hear it that way, he thought she was inviting him.

I have several problems with this imaginary scenario. First, you have just moved into an apartment with two people you work with. The first thing you do is to throw a “rager” and tell your roommates, or at least the male one, not to come. Am I the only person who thinks that you ask your roommates if it’s okay with them that you have a party Saturday night? And except maybe if it’s a reunion of your mathletes team, you make them welcome to your party? You don’t just tell your roommate “Hey I’m having a party, go away.” And if there is some valid reason that your roommate shouldn’t come, you make sure you’re clear about why he’s not invited. You don’t just assume that he’s going to figure it out with no clues. Am I the only person who thinks about dumb stuff like this?

I’ve been watching Netflix the past couple days. I’m dropping my subscription at the end of the month. I just don’t watch much on it anymore but I’m checking to see if there is something I want to see. I watched The Tourist, which was entirely predictable. I watched Hancock. I kept meaning to watch it. Now I have. The funny thing is that somehow I had audio descriptions turned on so there was a narrator the entire movie, like Sebastion Cabot in Winnie the Pooh. And I thought it was supposed to be that way. I watched To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar because it is one of my favorite movies but I don’t own it. Perhaps I will buy it one day.

And I watched Tom Papas. He says we are all doing great, we’re doing the best we can. So what if we’re fat? Everyone is fat. We’re either really fat, kinda fat or trying not to be fat. That about sums up my life.

Snoskred has not posted on her blog either. Pug tells me her area is safe now but they’ve had like 50% of the power out. Her blog is back online so that’s good news, at least. We’re still thinking about you and wishing you and the chooks well.