On cohabitaiton

Have you ever noticed that grocery shopping with your significant other is a lot like having tea with enemy soldiers? No?

Perhaps it’s just me.

No. I refuse to accept that I’m the only person who struggles with this. You just don’t want to admit it.

When I moved to Toronto, I had a roommate. He was a good roommate, but eventually we parted ways amicably, and I moved to my very own place in the city. Which was glorious. Total privacy, grocery shopping for just me and the cats, decorating to please myself alone. At times I felt a bit lonely, but I focused on being free, for the first time in a very long time.

There is something about buying groceries that I find ridiculously satisfying. I shan’t even try to explain, just know that I really enjoy it. Some of the stupidest, passionate, and most infuriating fights I’ve ever had revolved around groceries. Now that I live with Boyfriend, I am trying to remove the stick from my ass on this topic, but oh; it’s hard. How do I struggle with this? Let me count the ways.

1. Learning to share – combining two households into one means you have to put each other first. That lone waffle tempting you from the freezer? No longer can you just grab it. You ought to ask if the other person wants it, while secretly hoping they say no. I am convinced that sharing is one of those traits we like to think we have mastered, but take away the audience of friends and family, and we revert back to jungle law: leggo my eggo.

2. Learning to compromise – a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but compromise is a sanitized way of saying two or more people are in conflict, and to “reach consensus” at least one person must give in. When you like one brand of a particular food, and your better half prefers another brand, you’ll either spend double to buy both, or one person leaves the store unhappy. The battles we had over brand name ketchup versus generic were ridiculous.

How generous I felt on the day I announced that the budget would survive Heinz ketchup. And how infuriated I became, when Boyfriend spurned my gracious offer and said, “It’s okay, the PC ketchup isn’t that bad.” It took me a year of cohabitation to reach that moment and by the time I reached that selfless place, it did not matter.

Some time ago, as I was puttering around the kitchen, I noticed a dirty dish on the wrong side of the counter. Oh yes, there is a right and a wrong side, and I knew I hadn’t put it there. This transgression immediately opened the floodgates to mentally cataloging Boyfriend’s sins against the harmony of cohabitation; the ketchup fight, why is he a toothpaste fascist, is the convenience of pre-sliced bulk mushrooms was worth the expense, is the difference in said price actually worth a knock-down brawl in the grocery store? (This is not the first time I have clashed with a man over mushrooms, who knew they were so inflammatory?)

I had a brief sulk and got back to straightening up the kitchen. The only thing left to do was put away the huge bag of flour we picked up the other day. I hate transferring flour from the bag into the bin, it gets everywhere. I turned around to pick it up. And it was gone.

I looked all over. It wasn’t under the sink, or the microwave. It wasn’t in the living room where I left it. It wasn’t in the closet. I opened the pantry, and there is was, sitting in the flour bin. He must have done this while I was out.

My petty thoughts dissolved in a warm fuzzy glow. The happier you are with life, the more silly things you find to pick at.

 

 

The pie that dared not speak its name

So after today, we’re never talking about this again. I made a pie crust with spelt flour, which has provided good results for my muffins, and terrible results in my cookies. Add pastry dough to the list of items I will never make with spelt again.

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The dough was very thick, and tore terribly while I was rolling it. I had planned to make two pies but gave up after rolling out the first. It was just way too difficult to work with.

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This pie was doomed from the start, Boyfriend Unit had a tough time coring the apples, they were very hard. The taste of the pastry wasn’t to my liking.

It’s not bad, I mean it’s apple pie so GET IN MY MOUTH, it’s just not what I’m accustomed to producing.  Back to the drawing board.

Patty’s vegan muffins 2.0

This is the same recipe as the first vegan muffins with two minor additions. They turned out great for a healthy and delicious breakfast.

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I used the organic lemon extract I purchased at The Spice Trader, and added ground cinnamon. These were so good fresh out of the oven, Boyfriend Unit just woke up as they finished and we ate them for breakfast. The smelled so amazing.

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Healthier banana muffins, experiment # 1

I went back to the drawing to work on the treasured banana muffins.  I opted to cut the Splenda by 50%, eliminate salt, use red palm oil in lieu of butter, use egg whites, and spelt flour again.

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Unlike blueberry trial # 4 which had a very thick batter with spelt flour, this batter was quite runny.  They took an extra 2 minutes to cook through, and they do feel very moist, with a chewy consistency.  These muffins did not rise very high.

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Boyfriend Unit noted that this time, he can’t detect the Splenda aftertaste that was present in the 2nd blueberry trial. Perfect!  These muffins clock in at:

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I am quite pleased with these muffins, but not ready to post a recipe.  I’m still looking into cutting the sodium so stay tuned.

Healthier muffins experiment # 3

Well this looks… appetizing.  But looks can be deceiving.

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Research into a healthier muffin continues, and now only one more ingredient needs to be replaced.  These muffins were made without butter.  The fat is provided by unrefined red palm oil, sold by Nutiva.  Before you rush out and buy some, something to consider.

PSA:

Not all red palm oil is created equal.  The production of red palm oil is responsible for rain forest destruction and destroying the habitats of orangutans in Southeast Asia.

Nutiva’s oil is grown and produced in Ecuador on small family farms.  They partner with Natural Habitats to ensure the growth and production of their product does not contribute to deforestation or habitat destruction.  Before you buy please look into where and how the oil is produced.

I searched around to find the substitution ratio, and found two different options:

  • 1:1, for 100 grams of butter use 100 grams of oil
  • use an 80% and 20% split to mimic the water content of dairy butter

I went with the 80/20 split, and it turned out great.

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The baking time was the same.  The texture was light, and soft.  There was no weird flavour.  They were an unpleasant shade of greenish-yellow, but check out that nutrition content!

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Boyfriend Unit also enjoyed these!  I asked him if this tastes like a weird health food, he said no, it’s a bit different from the muffins I’m used to, but it’s really good.

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This is starting to get fun.  I like figuring out how low can I get those numbers while still making it taste good.