Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Appliance woes

Sigh. I really need to be in the kitchen at the moment, but I had to get away. The breadmaker is on its knead cycle and is emitting loud squeals with each turn of the paddle. The noise is enough to make my fillings vibrate. I fear this development does not bode well for its future. It's only 18 months old, heavens! OK it's probably done 5 loaves a week average since then, but I hoped it would last a bit longer.
Back in the kitchen I've had a run of appliance blowouts. My rice cooker (10 years old) blew up, so I got another. And now my much loved electric frypan (5 years old) has also gone the same way.
I should point out that I rely a lot on appliances, as I only have a two burner stove. I actually have three burners (Why only three? I don't know!I didn't build this kitchen), but the wok burner also blew up about two years ago, and the quote to fix it would buy me a new stovetop. But that would also mean a kitchen reno, which I am disinclined to do. So I muddle along in the kitchen with careful planning, bolstered by appliances. And you know, 99% of the time it's not a problem. Maybe we don't need the full palaver anyway.
What annoys me though, is not so much that these things break, but that it is almost impossible to have them repaired. The sheer, utter waste of it really gets my goat!
Meanwhile, next door in the laundry, my 10 year old Fisher and Paykel is churning out yet another load of washing. It hasn't missed a beat in all that time. I love my washing machine. (she writes with fingers crossed, not a bad achievement).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday night soup - Potage Bonne Femme

I've explained before that Friday night is soup night around here, served about 5.15pm just before we head out to swimming club night. AM and the kids swim, I take up my post in Lane 4 and timekeep.

Soup fills a hole, but not so much as to weigh the swimmers down.

This soup is described in one of my French cookbooks as Potage Bonne Femme - Good Woman Soup - which I rather like over the more prosaic Vegetable soup.

I use whatever's around and ready to eat in Potage Bonne Femme - this one had leeks, potatoes, celery, silverbeet and zucchini, all sweated off for 10 minutes slowly in a bit of olive oil, then water and salt, and 5 minutes at low pressure in my beloved pressure cooker. Then add lots of pepper.

Thanks for the comments on my last post on my recently discovered Vitamin D deficiency.
Achan, I've heard of a couple of people with the same thing since sharing this diagnosis. I've never heard of it as a problem here in Aus but obviously things are changing. As Belinda points out, it is now a screening test in pregnancy - I don't recall this when I was having my kids 13 and 11 years ago.
Africanaussie, I don't think I'm diabetic. The blood test was a comprehensive one and blood sugar was good.
Anyway, I am feeling much less tired, and I think that my summer activities will help top up my levels, so hopefully I will keep on top of it now.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vitamin D Deficient! Who knew?

I've been feeling rather less than perfect lately. Tired, so tired. The sort of tired that had me craving 10 hours sleep after a ten hour sleep.
At first I just ignored it. You know, I'm of a certain age, with kids, a job, a dog, 5 acres to look after, a (neglected) blog, parents and the whole palaver. Life's tiring, after all.
Well, I just got sick of it. I hauled myself to the doctor.
"So why are you here to day?" says my charming German lady doctor.
"Well, I've been feeling very tired lately.."
"You are of a certain age..."she says.
"But I can hardly haul myself out of bed in the morning".
Being charming, she agrees to do a blood test.
And I am Vitamin D deficient. Very much so. And tiredness is a symptom.
How can this be? I live in Australia after all. Everything's about staying out of the sun- melanoma, you know! I thought the only people who had Vitamin D deficiency in these partswere the very elderly frail folk, Goth emos who sleep during the day and Muslim ladies who wear hijab.
But no, it seems you can be of a certain age, walk your dog daily, work in the garden often and still have Vitamin D deficiency.
Admittedly, while I do these things I am obsessively covered up - long pants and sleeves, hat, sunblock. I don't want skin cancer (and ok, I am trying to avoid the wrinkles too).
So now I am on Vitamin D supplements, and have been ordered to get into the sun for ten minutes morning and afternoon without sunblock.
So I've been on 3000mg of Vitamin D a day, and have been out and about without sunscreen, which I don't enjoy frankly(the sans sunscreen thing- not the out and about. I swear I can feel myself cooking).
I feel better already.