This is a celery root. I am not familiar with it. It arrived in my box of vegetables last week (the week before?), and I have been ignoring it. Jake sliced some of it up and threw it in something that had celery and onions and it worked -- sort of like water chestnuts or sunchokes. But I have no idea what to do with the rest of the thing. And am too uninspired to look into it. Too many root vegetables and not enough time.
Speaking of roots, yesterday's Nature's Last Stand box came with carrots and potatoes and beets. I still have carrots and potatoes and parsnips from last week. So, determined to 1) use carrots and 2) not buy anything else in order to use the carrots, last night I made a carrot pumpkin raisin loaf to bring to this book club I just joined (crashed, really,a nd they very nicely let me). Today I made a beet, carrot and parsnip salad--which had the added benefit of letting me use a big bunch of parsley that was starting to wilt. Both went over well. I adapted the bread from some recipes I found on line (recipe below), and the salad was the first thing that came up when I googled all three words. I only just now noticed that it's from a Canadian supermarket's website. Go Canada. I used honey, some water and lemon instead of apple juice, but basically stuck to it.
Both were quick, which was good, because I blew a lot of time at the gym and at book club. I'm trying out a new gym called Cross Fit, which involves things like kettlebells, pullups, fast jerky motions with your hips, jumping repeatedly onto a tall box, and doing workouts that have names -- Kathy, Fran, Helen. I'm not sure I'm a fan. It was hard, but some of the motions feel awkward and uncomfortable: swinging a heavy iron ball by a ring from between your legs and up over your head. I have bruises, but I'm sure I'm doing it wrong. The instructor did not have bruises. Or body fat.
Coincidentally, the couple that brought me into the bookclub--who are both in great shape and pretty normal people--also use kettlebells, albeit with a different style of workout. There are apparently competing camps and philosophies of kettlebellers. The Cross FIt folks doing things to exhaustion, and incorporate swinging and jerky-seeming movements to use momentum to their advantage (see Kips and Swings). It feels odd, but the instructor runs 50-mile races so the man knows how to work out. I can't decide if it is more challenging than weird or more weird than challenging. I'll try to stick it out for a few months and see if I can get into it. I lost some weight this summer -- 12 lbs, which is kind of pushing it. So I am trying to do more strength training and less cardio (without taking a Madonna turn for the sinewy muscular weirdness). As luck would have it, my friend and favorite gym instructor ever is taking off for a few months to do an internship in Olympia, so it works well to have a fill-in workout to try while she's gone. There are a lot of depressed people at Gold's Gym at the moment, trying to guess how big their asses are going to get while Madelyn is gone. We should start a pool.
Kettlebells yesterday+1 hour of Madelyn's class tonight+15 hours at the office+carrot bread and carrot salad-making=no gym tomorrow and no (involved) baking. All day. Tomorrow is about task-mastering my way through this writing rut. (Thank you Dave for the pep post about just focusing on steps ... I am going to try to do that, and to let the bigger issues rise to the top along the way).
Carrot pumpkin raisin bread
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups white flour
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1 can pure pumpkin
2.5 cups sugar
.5 cup oil
.5 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
.5 tsp cloves
.25 tsp ginger
1 packed cup grated carrots
1 cup golden raisins
Mix the flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
Beat the sugar and wet ingredients together until just blended, then fold into dry
Fold in the carrots and raisins
Bake at 350 for about an hour.
It will make two large loaves, or several mini-loaves. I made one large loaf and four mini loaves to freeze or bring to work. I added pepitas and oats to the top of some, which look nice.