Monday, August 8, 2022

Weekly Round Up: BLT Nirvana


A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition the universe aligned for a rare BLT, I made a bold move to shake up our dinner routine, and I'm figuring out the fitness thing.

I love, love, love a good BLT.  The required ingredients are: toasted bread, mayo, bacon, lettuce, and a garden fresh tomato.  It's literally been years since I've had one since thanks to dud tomato crops but early this week I saw two ripe tomatoes on the vine begging to be picked.

I did an inventory of the rest of the ingredients: yes we had bread, yes we had mayo, yes we had bacon, and miracle of miracles, we still had lettuce left over from burger night.  I got busy in the kitchen and then sat down to my epic lunch.

Only to realize that I had forgotten to toast the bread.  Sigh, it had been too long and I was off my game.

The next day I toasted the bread and achieved BLT nirvana.  And that's it since that was all the tomatoes we had.  If the garden throws any more of them our way I'll be ready for them.

Here's what's happening on the dinner front:

 Monday: ravioli

Tuesday: leftover pulled pork sandwiches.  These were amazing the first night and a little "leftover-y" on their second run.

Wednesday: the menfolk had Costco chicken skewers and rice, and my chicken aversion is at an all time high so I raided the freezer for my stash of spinach artichoke pasta

Thursday: stepson #2 made us tacos.

Friday: standard issue take out pizza

Saturday: the best food day I've had in a long time.  I've been on a local tourism spree this summer and this was the rare weekend when the rest of the fam was free to join me on an adventure.  We brought PB&J sammies for lunch and hit up McDonald's on the way home.

Sunday: was the day that I put my foot down and escalated the Family Diner Revolution to Phase 2.  Phase 1 was that all members of the family pitch in and rotate cooking dinner cooking responsibilities.  That went over amazing well on the first week and every since it's been a repeat of the same old same old.  There's nothing wrong with anything that we had for dinner this week, except that we've had practically the same menu week in and week out.  In the meantime I'm seeing amazing food everywhere that I am dying to eat but the rest of the family won't touch...enough of the madness.  I threw together a lovely riff on Mark Bittman's Thai Shrimp noodles from How to Cook Everything and let everyone else chow down on chicken parm.

I don't exactly have a plan going forward, but I feel like I need a few weeks of "me" dinners to clear my system and then we'll figure it out from there.  Once school starts back up (oh hey, that's soon) I imagine that I'll take over most of the weeknight cooking again.  


This week was delightfully different on the fitness front.  

Monday: I keep hearing about Caroline Girvan fitness videos so this was my morning to dip my toes in the waters.  I know lots of people who love them and oh yeah, they're on Youtube and completely free.  I picked a 30 minute full body video and liked it very much.  It felt effective without being devastating.

Then I did a two mile treadmill run followed by a one mile outside run and holy yikes my legs felt wobbly and I realized that the video had been deceptively easy in the moment.

Tuesday: my legs were very stiff but since I'd already taken the trouble to get up and into workout clothes of course I was running.  I fired up the treadmill and 10 seconds later conceded that it was going to be a rest day.  I went out for a nice gentle walk instead.

Wednesday: family fitness at its finest!  As you may recall, last fall we demolished our dilapidated garden shed (my part of that was hauling the cinder block foundation two blocks at a time from the back yard to our driverway dumpster).  The complication on getting a new shed is that the old one was built over a bunch of tree roots and hubs couldn't find anyone who wanted the job of clearing all of it out.  After a good six months he gave up and started tackling it himself.  He and the steps finally cleared it out and the final step was to fill in the foundation with gravel.  On Wednesday afternoon we had four tons of gravel delivered in the front yard and on Wednesday night we moved it shovelful by shovelful into wheelbarrows and took it to the backyard.  Fun fact: when four people set their minds to it they can move four tons of gravel in two hours.

Thursday: surprisingly I wasn't too much the worse for wear after the Great Gravel Haul and was ready to face Caroline again.  Same workout, lighter weights.

Friday: 3 mile treadmill run.

Saturday: same weight workout before our family adventures.

Sunday: off!

The tentative plan from here: I'm going to get in 2-3 full body weight workouts per week with some kind of cardio after them (either a short run or a treadmill incline walk) and do longer runs three days a week from now until the half in September.  After that if I'm in a better place with running then I'll run and if I'm not I might do one of Caroline's programs which would mean 5 workouts a week.


Nothing much!  All of the gravel hauling and family traveling really cut into our TV time this week.


Bluff by Michael Kardos. 

Question: does anyone eat different meals than the rest of your family?  If yes, does everyone cook for themselves?


  1. Thanks for introducing Caroline Girvan. I've never heard of her. Her videos look very similar to those of my favourite fitness guru, Pamela Reif.
    She's German and her sleek videos last between 10 - 30 minutes. Best of all, she doesn't talk! :-)
    A great idea to introduce strength workouts to your fitness regime. I think with three longer runs a week you should be fine for your half next month. When is it exactly?

  2. Well, I don't eat meat and the rest of my family does, but we all eat the same meals in a way. For example, I'll make a stir fry and have a separate pan for chicken that they can add. Pretty much all of their meat - except for Sunday dinners when I make a roast and then I just eat all the side dishes - are "on the side," if that makes sense. So, kind of?
    Your Wednesday reminds me of when the boys were small and I was involved in getting a new community playground built. On the big day we were all volunteering for setting it up and for reasons unknown, I was assigned to the job of shovelling and unloading wheelbarrows full of gravel. That was a workout!

  3. Oooh I am excited to try Caroline Girvan! I love that you have instituted this everyone-shares-the-dinner-burden plan, but yes -- sounds like some new ground rules are in order. I love tacos with all my heart and I still think I might grow weary of them after a few weeks. Even if everyone chose three meals that they could rotate, that would be better! Good luck!

  4. Since there are only two of us, we just cook one meal. However, my husband is super picky and if there's something he doesn't like about a dish, he won't eat it and it's up to him to figure out an alternative.

    I love the update that everyone has their one meal figured out and that's what they're cooking each week. I understand how that could happen. I also understand how you might get a bit bored with it!

  5. Well, you had a very strength-focused week! Between the actual workout video and the gravel hauling... it sounds intense. I've also been focusing on strength more and it feels good.
    Well, my son will be leaving on Sunday and then we'll be back to our lazy ways. Over the past year I've basically given up on making great dinners. My daughter is super picky and often eats her own thing, or a variation of ours. I'm happy to eat a Dr. Paeger's burger any night (the rest of the family can't stand those) and let my husband fend for himself. I know it sounds dysfunctional, but I cooked family dinners every single night for years and years till I finally snapped. I can't do it anymore!

  6. My life improved greatly when I stopped trying to cook dinner for both me and my husband. We just don't like the same things. I got increasingly frustrated with only having the same 5 things over and over and finally just stopped, and now we each just gather and graze our own "dinners" (really just grabbing a sandwich & apple for example). I'm so much happier now. We still eat "together" watching TV but different food.

  7. Oh, i love a good BLT too. Haven't had one in ages.. maybe I'll do a homemade version sometime (I usually eat BLT's when we eat out because I don't like dealing with the bacon at home).

  8. You know, the one thing I miss, not eating meat, is good vegan bacon. Sigh. I've tried. It doesn't come close. And I LOVED BLTs as a kid. I'll just have to keep looking, I guess. Glad you're rebooting the dinner effort - it did seem like tacos were showing up frequently. :)