Thursday, 10 January 2008

More Exercise, More Recipes

Ok, I don't want to turn into Fanny Craddock here, but I was very proud of my supper tonight. The cupboards are surprisingly bare, considering I recently did a Tesco shop, but I managed to rustle something up that tasted extremely fine. But more of that later. First, the doings of the day.

I started the day by double booking someone for dog-sitting. The poodles, Molly and Ben, are due to come to us next weekend, and a woman phoned to ask if she could book her two mongrels in for Thursday to Saturday. I thought it would mean a single day's cross-over, but then the Poodle Owner phoned to say she would drop them off on Friday morning - meaning two full days with 4 dogs. I asked Poodle Owner what she thought of the arrangement, and she said her big old male dog is getting grumpy in his old age, so she wouldn't be comfortable with it. She did offer to take the dogs with her to see her parents, but I couldn't have that so I had to phone the Mongrel Owner and crawl.

I hate crawling.

Luckily, Mongrel Owner turns out to be lovely. Funnily enough, I thought she was One Of My Ilk when a woman who wasn't her answered the phone and talked about 'their' trip. Ha! thought I. So Fisher and I aren't the only Hell-Bound in Scotland. Then, when I phoned again and got Mongrel Owner, it transpired that the woman staying with her was just a friend ... but she turned out to have a be-boobed partner anyway. Huh! Fancy that.

Actually, we had a nice chat about the weather, as you do. She's an American, and was bemoaning the misery of it all.

"It's got to brighten up soon, right?" she asked, pleadingly. "I mean ... just a little?"

"First time in Scotland?" I said sympathetically, to which she agreed. "Well, you may well find yourself in for a long haul," I told her, thus crushing her poor, shivering spirit. Dammit. This is why I never became a counsellor. Still, I don't know what she was complaining about. There was a full 30 minutes of sunshine over Guardbridge today. I know because I could see it out of my window, through the snow.

Seriously, though - I agree. If we don't get some clear, sunny, crisp weather soon I may just have a little tantrum.

Once I'd managed to sort the dog situation out, thanks to Mongrel Owner being incredibly understanding and not giving me the earful I deserved, I turned my thoughts to more serious things - like finding a nice wee cottage in the country for Phid, who's moving soon.

5 hours later ...

There ARE no nice cottages in the country. Seriously. There isn't a single one on the market - at least, not in Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, or any other Shire. I sent off 3 pathetic offerings that may or may not suit as a stop-gap - and then went to the gym with Fisher.

Hurrah! The running machines were free.

Hurroo. That meant I had no excuse not to use one. I did a few weights to warm up before hopping on:

3 x 12 pull down, 35kg. Sort of. Doing it at the front means I use my back too much, and not my arms, so I think I'll have to admit defeat, put it on 30kg and acknowledge that Phid has superior strength in this. Bless her little pint-sized muscularity. I swear, I'd pick her up and cuddle her for being so mighty, if I didn't think a) it would freak us both out, being non-demonstrative types and b) she would then snap me in half with a smooth, pull-down motion.
3 x 12 bicep curl, 30kg

Then came the run. I managed 5k in 32 minutes dead. I'm not sure, but this might be my fastest 5k to date, and it fair knocked my socks off. I'd forgotten to eat anything since breakfast, so the muffin with honey I'd had all those hours ago gave me scant fuel. (I've just checked back over the ol' blog, and while I didn't find out whether I've done a faster one, I did discover that the last time I did a 33 minute 5k - outside - I'd also not eaten anything. Maybe I need to be as empty as possible, relying on burning my ample fat stores for sustenance and the fact I'm a couple of pounds lighter than normal and can therefore haul myself around the course just that little bit faster?

Hm. I doubt it. Also, I thought I was going to faint at one point and had to drop right down to 5.1 mph - just as a bloke got on the treadmill next to me, glanced over and adopted an expression of such scorn I felt like vomiting on his shoes. He must have looked at me as we looked at those old women t'other day. Still, those old women didn't have faces the colour of stewed beetroot and sweat dripping between their bazoongas.

5k completed, I then did another 12 on the pull down machine, this time at 30kg. Then I did:

1 x 12 chest press, 35kg
2 x 12 chest press, 40kg - although I had to do 6 & 6 for the last set of reps, with a short pause to catch my breath.
1 x 12 leg curl, 50kg, followed by another 6. I just couldn't get comfortable on the bloody thing - plus, I was really bored by now.
3 x 12 horizontal leg lift, 110 kg. Better. Fisher 'spotted' me for the last 12, which helped.

So that was that. Pleased with ourselves for a good workout, we headed home to feed the pooches - and ourselves.

The only thing we had in the fridge was a pack of venison sausages, which Fisher pooh-poohed as we'd had venison so recently, and some smoked salmon. As it was my turn to cook, I ransacked the fridge and cupboards and came up with this recipe:

Savoury Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Salsa

1. Make some pancake mix with half plain, half self raising flour. Add sprinkling of pepper. Leave to stand, 20 mins.
2. Peel and chop 4 medium tomatoes.
3. Peel and chop 2 spring onions.
4. Cook up the ol' tomatoes and onions in a saucepan. Add teaspoon green peppercorns in brine.
5. Grate 50g cheddar. Add to tomatoes.
6. Add quick slosh of cream. Not too much, as you don't want it to be too wet. Stir until a sauce.
7. Keep the salsa warm as you cook up the pancakes in a large frying pan. When each pancake is done, line it with smoked salmon, pour over half the salsa on each, fold the pancake and serve.

Yummy. It was good - and much more filling than I thought it would be.

Which, full-bellied, brings me to this point. Fisher wants an early night tonight, as she slept in like the lazy tart she is, this morning. Tomorrow, Chopper arrives for weekend fun. Looking forward to it very much! It's been ages since we saw her.


Ruth said...

But you can still kick my arse at every single other weight. And arm wrestling. I appear to have freakishly strong back muscles but tiny wasted twig-like arms.