Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon and the other is YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle by Heather Crosby. Not that I'm either gluten-intolerant or a vegetarian, but I like variety, and my DB would prefer to eat as little meat as possible. Both books are written by successful food bloggers whose recipes I've tried and enjoyed, with lovely appealing photos. Funnily enough, both women came to veganism after years of eating extremely badly resulting in increasingly poor health that popping pills did nothing to cure.
The YU book is a guide really on how to incorporate more plant-based food into the average diet. It has sections on the importance of soaking beans, grains and nuts to remove anti-nutrients, how to sprout, how to cook with new ingredients, how to make it all happen. It's quite a challenge to change habits and it's only by taking it in small steps that you avoid reverting to the old ways after a few months.
She gives recipes for homemade spice mixes (Ethiopian, Chinese, Taco, Chai etc.), different sauces and vinaigrettes (Kale and Walnut Pesto, Cashew Sauce, Sweet Potato Sauce, etc), sandwich ideas (Smoky Lentil and Dill, Crispy Eggplant, Sprouts & Tomato, etc.), snacks, and so on. This weekend I soaked some mung beans and amaranth to start sprouting them, and I've just put some pumpkin seeds in a jar of water as I add them to salads almost every day and didn't realise they should be soaked.
here. It looks really simple, but the flavours blend together beautifully. I also made her black bean burgers which I forgot about in the oven so they came out rather well cooked, but crumbled perfectly over a kale salad that my DB was delighted to eat after driving back from his Zen retreat in Toulouse.
Talking of Zen, my yoga classes are going well, but I don't think I'm ready for one of the full-on weekends they organise. My DB is taking a couple of Zen courses in town and has been on two Zen weekends. One was too religious-based for his liking while the other concentrated more on meditation. I enjoy yoga for the physical element and the peace, but the group yogi is president of the southern France yoga association and she gave me a magazine to read to encourage me to join and go further into yoginess. It was a bit too much for my superficial taste...!
To help us in our pursuit of regular walks, I bought a couple of blue 1/100,000 IGN maps of the region - the ones that show GR routes and other paths. I love maps and spent some of the weekend poring over them. In searching for the link, I came across a site called VisoRando where you can create an itinerary based on these maps! Just what we need!
At the other end of the health spectrum, we spent part of the weekend the other week at Domaine Puech at the Weekend Cave en Fête where we ate charcuterie, cheese, and oysters, drank the Noémie red wine and were très merry. The producers of the cheese, charcuterie, oysters, champagne, and Alsatian wine were there all weekend and available for tastings. We ended up buying... cheese, charcuterie, wine and oysters. The oysters were 7€ the dozen, so I bought two (dozen). We had a feast on Sunday night!
On a sadder note, last week I had to take my cat to the vet after he developed an abscess in his mouth. He was kept in overnight to have it drained, and came home wearing a plastic Elizabethan-style collar to stop him scratching. He's not pleased at all. It comes off on Thursday, and not a day too soon as far as we're all concerned.
When I bought my sofa a few years ago, I didn't expect it to be so badly made that the back would be falling apart after a bit of rough treatment from the boys... I paid about fifteen hundred euro for it so it wasn't exactly cheapo crap. This weekend my youngest and I turned it on its front (where you put your legs) and I cut the material underneath to reveal... bad quality wood held together with STAPLES! Honestly, it looked like an amateur had thrown it together on his first day at a furniture-making class. My son got out the No-Nails glue and, while I held the sofa up, he gunned the glue into place. While he was working away, we had this conversation:
Me: "Oh it's so nice to be doing this with you. It's really cool that you volunteered to help and didn't have to be press-ganged."
Him: "It's only because I didn't have anything better to do..."
Me: "Hey, don't spoil it...!"
That put me in my place! We left the sofa upright with the packet of cat litter, a dictionary and four books weighing it down over twenty-four hours. Today, we put it back in place, and lo, the sofa-back is no longer wobbly! Result!
So that's what's been going on in my life. Living on the edge as ever...