Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Blame it On My Youth

From this Side of the Pond
1. What does productivity look like to you? 

I guess that depends on what species you are. A productive little ant or bee isn't the same as a human. Having been self-employed for the last dozen or so years, my husband and I are still trying to figure out what the right pace of things is to stay productive but not burn out. I think, whatever you're doing, you have to get a sense of the time something will take. If you know that you want to have a project done by the end of the month, then "being productive" means getting a certain piece of it finished each week, and you might even be able to break that down to getting a certain amount done each day. But since real life isn't always like that, and since some projects just go better in spurts, you might work really hard for three days, then take the next two off. And that's still productive.

2. What was your fondest (or one of your fondest) memory of High School? 


3. What did you do the summer after High School? 

I had gotten a first-year scholarship to university, so I somehow took that to mean that I could afford to spend the summer not making any money. Paying jobs for teenagers were a bit scarce right then anyway, so it wasn't a terrible idea.

So. The first half of the summer, I volunteered at a camp up north. Most of the time I worked in the kitchen, but towards the end I did one-on-one support for a couple of campers with special needs. 

Then I went to a social justice "work camp" in Toronto, with a group of young adults coming from several different countries. I didn't really know what to expect. At all. Which is probably a good thing because if I had, I might not have gone. Part of the time I did clerical work for a conference and met my first Macintosh computer. In between that, I went to a couple of protests, learned some Italian, and saw Paul Gross (a now-famous Canadian actor) performing Romeo and Juliet in the park. We also went up to the Canadian version of The Farm for a few days, and learned to make giant blocks of tofu.

Well, you did ask.

4. June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day...are you a fan, and if so will you celebrate? How do you make yours? Have you been strawberry picking? If so what do you do with all those berries?

We had some strawberries last night to celebrate a friend's birthday. But really, that's about it, we just eat them. 

5. What's something you always splurge on? 

Good cocoa.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We had a couple of bananas going soft, so I suggested to my husband that we make Smitten Kitchen's double chocolate banana bread together. I melted the half cup of butter in the microwave and left it in there, thinking I would pull it out when my husband, doing the wet ingredients, asked (as I was sure he would) "where's the butter you're supposed to put in now?" But he somehow missed that in the list, and I was doing the dry ingredients and didn't notice what went in the bowl.

So,  the three mini loaves went into the oven without any extra fat at all. I didn't find the bowl of melted butter until half an hour later.

Now, I've had extremely low-fat health food cafe muffins (not usually by choice), and they're usually either very tough or very crumbly, or both. This is the weird thing: this banana bread actually baked fine. I think there must have been enough high-fat ingredients even without the butter (see #5, plus there were the chocolate chips), plus enough moist things like the bananas, to make up for the oversight. It's not like I'd do it again on purpose, but I think we will probably at least cut down on the butter next time.

Anyway, it's nice to know in case you're either very forgetful or just out of butter.