Advent Day 13 Running on Ice

OK, so I managed to miss the concert event of the century yesterday by dint of actually being asleep at night for once. And I can’t find any videos online of most of it.  Anyway, you can still donate to the Hurricane Sandy Victims in New York and New Jersey here.  And here’s the set list. I’m going to assume this will be available as a box set sometime soon and I can buy it then. Or maybe iTunes… Until then, mostly all I can find is Adam Sandler utterly destroying Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

It’s for a good cause, so it’s OK I guess.  And Rolling Stone thought it was time, so there you go.

And some video highlights are here.

And here’s Billy Joel singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas which he did yesterday but this is not from yesterday, it’s from last year.

And today I ran for almost 7 miles in the cold and once more battled icy sidewalks and trails to do so.  The Wife, more intelligent than me by half, ran indoors where it was warm, dry, and the footing was non-treacherous. On my run, I saw a total of 3 other runners all after I switched off to one of the main roads and ran along the sidewalk. Normally, between 4:15 and 5:30 I would seen more like 15 or 20 runners. I was wearing trail runners, smartwool socks, longjohns with winter running pants over them, a cycling base layer, my thick winter cycling jersey, my running windbreaker over that, my Hello Kitty buff to keep my neck and the lower part of my face warm, a running hat, and gloves.  Everything was reasonably warm except my legs.  The double layer of longjohns and running plants was good for about 35 minutes, then my thighs started to get really chilled. This was better than Tuesday when I was wearing only one layer on my legs and that only stayed warm for about 5 minutes. Billy Joel also has advice for those of us stupid enough to do things like that:

That was on one of my marathon long run playlists a while back.  Catchy and has the word run in it, so an obvious choice, I think.  And of course I couldn’t end this music selection without Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah.

As for the calendars: AC/DullC was another lightning bolt, which I successfully predicted and Lindt was another predictably delicious truffle with another inscrutable German aphorism containing too many pronouns for my understanding.

On to dinner.  I made homemade eggplant chili today along with Polentacake.  It’s polentacake because you can’t get corn meal in Germany, you can only get polenta, which is exactly the same thing with a different label. Sometime soon, I’ll post my chili recipe, maybe next time I make it.  I usually make it about once a week.

Eggplant chili and polentacake with an avocado and tomato salad on the side.  I love chili nights.  Also, I've really got my mise-en-place working so even without my sous-chef (or the Wife as I like to call her), I could make the whole meal easily at the same time in my tiny, efficient kitchen.

Eggplant chili and polentacake with an avocado and tomato salad on the side. I love chili nights. Also, I’ve really got my mise-en-place working so even without my sous-chef (or the Wife as I like to call her), I could make the whole meal easily at the same time in my tiny, efficient kitchen.

Polentacake:

Ingredients

–        1/2 cup butter (about 110 grams)
–        1/4 cup white sugar (or brown sugar. Or organic turbinado sugar. Or demerara sugar. If you try it with anything that’s not granulated sugar-type product, let me know if it works)
–        2 eggs
–        1 cup buttermilk
–        1/2 tsp baking soda
–        1 cup polenta (or cornmeal)
–        1 cup all‐purpose flour (or wheat flour. Spelt doesn’t really work here, in case you were wondering.)
–        1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F (175 °C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
  4. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Be careful not to make scrambled eggs here.
  5. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan.
  6. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Easy as pie.  Or cake as the case may be.  Pie is actually somewhat difficult to make, especially when you make all your own dough.

A gift box filled with Fudle for the In-Laws.  I tried a sophisticated take on it with red wine and dried cranberries with dark chocolate.  The wine didn't really come through, so it mostly just tastes like fudge.  Hopefully, they'll like it anyway.

A gift box filled with Fudle for the In-Laws. I tried a sophisticated take on it with red wine and dried cranberries with dark chocolate. The wine didn’t really come through, so it mostly just tastes like fudge. Hopefully, they’ll like it anyway.

Devil-cat observes all from his perch high above the city (well, the living room.) He is not in the gift box, in case you were wondering.  That's Captain Dukie's job.

Devil-cat observes all from his perch high above the city (well, the living room.) He is not in the gift box, in case you were wondering. That’s Captain Dukie’s job.

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