Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Regular ol' update!

Apologies for the utter lack of posting of Zimbabwe - I have no excuse! I just haven't done it, but I will. I should warn you that almost all of them are taken from a moving car, but c'est la vie, I didn't have time to sight see!

Next week I head off to Angola and Namibia for two weeks. This will officially be the longest period of time spent without Mr. Will since our wedding. Boo! I'll actually be in Namibia over the weekend and will hopefully find something fun to do during that time.

So what have I been up to... Will has been sick lately, which is quite the experience in SA. They keep all sorts of meds behind the counter and everything has different names so you just wind up giving the description of the sickness to the checkout person and they hand you bunches of stuff. Luckily, medicine is inexpensive here, and even better, Advil-CS works like a charm for a sinus infection.

I had some exciting and interesting cooking adventures this week. On Saturday, Beth and Adam invited us over to watch the USA vs. Canada baseball game (ah, baseball! love it!). I decided to make rosemary foccacia because (1) I just wanted to try and (2) I have a massive rosemary bush in my yard begging to be used. I searched online and found this recipe. After making the dough, I realized I didn't have the requisite 10x15x1 pan needed nor did I have the hours and hours of time it said the dough needed to rise. Undeterred, I proceeded using a 9x13x2 cake pan to put my dough and reducing the rising time to 30 minutes on each go. I also added a tbsp of minced garlic to my olive oil/rosemary mixture to brush on top of the bread.

I must report - it was fantastic! It was a bit thick, but it actually ended up being great for dipping in the marinara sauce I had made on Thursday night. Yummy.

On Sunday, we tried our hand at making Chinese food. It was a big fat FLOP. I made horrific fried rice out of brown rice - it was nasty. I have no idea why I made it as I'm not a fan of fried rice anyway - I guess I just wanted to try. We made General Tso's chicken but apparently added too much cornstarch as it was like eating chicken covered in snot-like goo. G-ROSS. The only saving grace was the veggie stir-fry I had made. We've now agreed that if we need Asian food, we should just go straight to Simply Asia, a fantastic little stir fry place where the two of us can eat for under $10.

Since Will felt yucky, we also watched two less-than-stellar movies this weekend: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Casino. Indiana Jones had dialogue so bad it was funny and Casino was just way too depressing and gory to watch before bed. I had nightmares that night!

We're also on to season 6 of The Sopranos. Each episode gets better and better than the last, but I'm also dreading coming to an end of this TV show.

That's it for now! More as I travel...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I'll be the first to admit it: for the bulk of my time in this country, I've been quite lazy. Granted, when I first moved here, it was at the busiest time of the year and I was lucky to just get my work done during the day and sleep. Working out wasn't fitting into the scheme. Plus we didn't belong to the gym and I didn't feel comfortable in my surroundings to take the streets on a good run.

Over the past 7 months (I still can't believe I haven't seen you folks in 7 months!!! or more!), we've joined a gym and I received a WiiFit that told me in so many words I needed to get my booty moving. I enjoy the gym but going after work means its crowded with everyone else that went after work too. I like the classes - they force me to work out in ways I wouldn't otherwise work out. However, there's something icky about being inside all day long and then going to work out inside when its a beautiful day outside. Even if its just a walk to the grocery store, I want to be outside after being inside all day long. Will and I have recently started taking walks to the grocery store, feeling oh so environmentally friendly as we stroll there with our own grocery bags - plus with the crazy hills in our neighborhood, its a walk that will leave you winded.

For the past two weeks I've finally put my worries aside, strapped on my Nike+iPod system, and took the streets (after carefully detailing my exact route to Mr. Will). It still shocks me that even now, I LOVE TO RUN. I really really do. Its a feeling I never thought I would have in my life, but here I am. There's just something about being outside, breathing in fresh air, and going through the motions of running that never fails to put a smile on my face.

I'm also a HUGE fan of the Nike+iPod system. If you are a runner, BUY THIS. For $29, it is oh so worth it. I plug in how far I want to run (2 miles) and it tells me as I'm running and listening to my favorite upbeat songs "0.5 miles completed..." so that I know exactly how far I've gone and when I should turn around. It calculates my average times, my pace, and even how many calories I've burned. It could only be better if it targeted my heart rate.

Today I'm pleased to report that using my Nike+iPod, I got my fastest mile time ever (according to the iPod): 9:40! Woohoo. I usually run along listening to the iPod and sprint the choruses, which results in a solid 10-11 minute mile. Today I noticed that I had completed the 2 miler in under 20 minutes so I knew something good had happened.

Anyway, just my two cents on how awesome the Nike+iPod is. I officially love going out for a run and being in the sunshine and returning to my WiiFit to do yoga in the comfort of my own home (while Muddy inevitably tries to stay underneath me while I hold "downward facing dog").


As I've mentioned previously, it is the custom of our office to bring a cake on your birthday. Today is my co-worker Sippho's birthday and he asked if I would bake him a cake since my cupcakes were so good. Since I happened to have leftover frosting and a box of yellow cake, and because flattery for my baking is very rare, I said yes.

I get home after work, pull out my ingredients, and prepare the batter. Realizing that I have extra chocolate chips leftover from holiday baking, I decide to pour them into the batter to make a chocolate chip cake. I pour the batter into a greased pan, realizing only after I've slid it in the oven that I didn't follow the high altitude directions. Ooops. I putter around the kitchen while the cake bakes, only realizing about 20 minutes into it that wasn't I raised to walk gently when a cake was being baked? And haven't my dogs run all through the kitchen, doors been slammed, and who knows what else? Ooops.

When time is up, I pull the cake out to find a distinct valley in the middle of my cake with some charred edges around the side. Ooops. Did I not calculate 375 degrees farenheit accurately to celsius?

Baking genius that I am, I decide to transfer the cake to a long tupperware, thus removing crispy edges. This is when I realize that all the chocolate chips floated to the bottom of the cake pan, making a chocolate crustiness on the bottom of the cake. Ooops. I coat the thing in frosting and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips, making what looks to be a 5 year old's attempt at baking a cake. Enter a husband doubled over in a fit of laughter here.

Regardless, Sippho was ecstatic about the cake. It was gobbled up before 9:00am and everyone raved and raved about my baking prowess. If only they had someone that was a good baker making treats for them!

A Zimbabwe post coming soon, maybe even tonight! I just need to upload pics.