Advent Blogging 2013 Day 1

I didn’t think I was going to do any Advent blogging this year because I couldn’t find any Advent calendars as utterly silly as last year’s AC/DC Hell’s Bells one so we have just a regular one this year. I’m also having some trouble getting back into a regular training schedule post Ironman and have subsequently been a bit under the weather for the past few weeks.

But luckily for you, my 5 or so readers, I couldn’t stay away from the Advent blog, so here is Day 1, just a few hours late…

This year, the theme will be food, ultimately culminating in my famous Christmas Eve Lasagne. I’ll throw in some cat pictures, a few musical selections, and maybe a workout or two as well.

Yesterday, on the first day of Advent, the Wife and I ran 9 miles along the river. It was a lovely run which we followed up by a visit to the local Christmas Market where we supported the local clubs and charities by buying homemade gifts for people, eating fried potatoes and steamed doughballs, and drinking Gluhwein out of coffee mugs. All in all, a good day.

Advent Recipe #1 is the soup that the Wife made on Friday, the leftover portion which I am going to eat for lunch today. It is vegetarian and lactose and gluten free 🙂

The Wife’s Asian Fusion Pumpkin Soup


  • 1 medium‐sized Hokkaido pumpkin or similar orange squash or pumpkin
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind (2 teaspoons if using concentrate)
  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml or 14 oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Strip the pumpkin of its skin and seeds, chop into small chunks.
  2. Crush the garlic and sauté lightly in olive oil at the bottom of a large‐ish pot.
  3. Add pumpkin, veggie broth, ginger and tamarind and simmer for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin chunks are tender.
  4. Add salt and coconut milk, then mix with stick blender until smooth and unbelievably orange.
  5. Serve with chives or cilantro on top. Enjoy.

And as ever, cat pictures to warm your day:

Picture of a white cat on a yoga mat

Captain Dukie stretches with me after a run.

And to start your December off right, here’s Elvis Costello with a song that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but it happened to show up on yesterday’s running podcast (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me with Chris Hadfield) and if I have to be earwormed, then you get to be as well, after all it is the season of giving…


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