Risky Running

My holiday started last night at 5pm. Yay!

Tate met me at work yesterday evening so we could hit the road for West Virginia.  He went to his mom’s, I went to my sister’s.  She is hosting dinner tomorrow and, besides spending time with her, I wanted to milk the holiday for all it was worth and be involved in all the prep.

Speaking of prep, the preparation for my run today took at least three times as long as the actual run!  Most of the prep was mental.  By about 1pm I convinced myself that a run was exactly what I wanted to do and off I went!

…like a snail.

I was literally running with rocks in my pockets to fend off the neighborhood dogs.  They were ferocious and plentiful.  Judging from the look in their eyes their preference is for thigh meat!  Ugh.

About 10 minutes into my run I had an “oh s***” moment.  It’s hunting season and I was essentially wearing camo (brown pants and forest green shirt).  I was running on the road but it is really more of a country lane and I do leap rather gracefully, like a deer, as I run. 😉

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I decided to run along the “main road” instead of the country lane.  On the two-lane I only had to contend with cars that seemed to get CLOSER to the shoulder as they whizzed passed me at 55mph.  My sister said it’s because they wanted to see if they knew me.

45 hilly, not-so-scenic, and potentially life-threatening minutes passed with relative ease but I must say, this was definitely one of those runs I appreciated more once it was OVER.  I don’t know that I will be repeating that route tomorrow.  I brought Jillian (Michael’s workout dvd) and a set of hand-weights with me just in case.

After a long, hot bath washed away all thoughts of dogs, hunters, and speeding cars it was time for food.  I was ready to get down and dirty with preparation for tomorrow but my sister had a better idea.

Lunch!  Gotta fuel up before you cook, right?

Yarrow made this delicious Shrimp Fried Brown Rice and I threw together a green salad (lettuce, spinach, arugula).

And then…

Stuffing!

I LOVE making stuffing, there are endless options and it’s so damn tasty!  Like all things I make, this year’s version is low-fat,  “stuffed” with veggies, whole grain, vegetarian, and delicious 😉 !

My cute little sous chef and I  started by chop, chop, chopping.

Stalks of celery, whole carrots, pungent onions, and an entire butternut squash didn’t stand a chance.

The onions went into a nonstick skillet with 2 tsp of butter, 2 tsp of sugar, and a generous sprinkle of salt.  Once soft the onions were added to the bread cubes (half a loaf of whole wheat and half a loaf of raisin pecan) and the sauteing was repeated with the squash, carrots, and celery (minus the sugar).  Also added to the mix, a small can of water chestnuts and a chopped Granny Smith apple.

In with the spices!  Generous sprinkles each of thyme, marjoram, rosemary, pepper, garlic powder, and sage flavored the mix.  A few splashes of of mushroom stock and a lot of mixing and voila!

Vegetarian stuffing!

The mushroom stock was made by putting a dozen dried shitaki mushrooms in a glass quart jar and filling it with boiling water.  I made this stock on Sunday and let it brew in the jar for the last few days.  I am going to use the rehydrated mushrooms in the veggie gravy tomorrow.   I needed a little more stock for the gravy so…

Nope, that’s not compost, it’s the making of veggie stock.  All of the veggie scraps from the stuffing went into a stockpot with a few cups of water and boiled away for about 20 minutes.  I’ve never made veggie stock but I read that this is a great way to go, you just strain it and use it up.  We shall see, I have a feeling it will be pretty mild but that’s alright.

My sister and I just finished up a little yoga sesh with Shiva Rea.  My niece started out with us but got bored after a bit and opted to watch from the couch with a handful of pickles.  🙂

Time for a glass of wine and more cooking!

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