It's also Jet's Spring Break, so there's no reason to have an alarm in the morning on the most part, and I've been sleeping in. The odd thing is that I don't really want to get up, and I feel like I've been fighting a cold most of the mornings. This morning, in particular, I had absolutely no desire to get up out of bed, at all. I felt exhausted, depressed, and just out of it.
When John proposed a four mile hike into the Longmont Reservoir in and out of the Lazy Lion Trail I thought he was a little crazy, but I went ahead and did it anyway, even though I fell asleep in the car on the way up to the trailhead.
The hike was very nice, out in the woods, by running water, and at the end is a 500 foot climb up to the reservior, and then down again along a slope that used to just be loose big rocks. They'd put in a new trail. The five of us, John, George, Jet, Isabel, and I all did just fine, and I got many fine pictures of pine trees that were sinuous like dragons. There was a bit of wind, but the sun came out, and we had enough layers to be well protected from both sun and wind.
I did about 16,000 steps, and actually felt far more awake when we finished than when I started. That was good.
We had lunch at Oskar Blues, a local Blues and local good eats place. The fried chicken was delightful, but a three-piece meal was a bit too much for lunch, and I brought the thigh home for lunch tomorrow. John also thought that maybe I should go get my allergy shots, which I had actually planned to do tomorrow. But since I had some time, I went ahead and did it and after my eyes felt a lot less like they were being sandpapered, so that was probably a good idea.
My eye condition feels a little odd, as the steroid drops are keeping the inflammation down to manageable levels, but all it's doing is hiding the fact that they are inflamed and continue to be so. It isn't addressing the root cause, at all. Between the allergies and the dry eye, while I can do a little to manage them, and keep them from irritating my eyes more, there's still inflammation on top of what they're doing that just won't go away with the drops. My allergy doctor murmured, at my last check up, that I'm going to have to stop the drops sometime. And he's correct. It used to be that my eyes started getting irritated in the fall, and then would stop in the spring.
And this last winter has been the driest in a very long time, so maybe it's just the humidity, but all this started in August, when it was still pretty humid and warm, which was odd, but... *shrugs* I'm starting to run out of possibilities other than the fact that I've been doing a lot more computer time in the last year. Bleh. And that my eyes were getting worse while I was working, but got better after I retired.
It just makes me cranky.
Anyway. My eyes feel better after the shots, so actively managing the allergies helps.
I also got a 20 minute nap between the shots and starting to make dinner with Jet. I am really low on sleep, I guess, as I just fell fast asleep in less than a minute or two after I set the alarm, woke up exactly five minutes before the alarm went off, consciously went back to sleep, and only got up after the alarm went off. *laughs*
Jet and I have been reading the Iron Wok Jan series. It's a little over the top, and it's about a kid that learns Chinese cuisine through getting beaten half to death by his grandfather. The grandfather loses his sense of taste, kills himself, and sends the kid off to his biggest rival, the owner of the Gobancho restaurant. There Jan, the kid, pisses everyone off with his attitude, and his desire to compete against and beat everyone he comes across.
In volume 15, one of the tests Jan passes is the steaming of sui mai, which are a pork, onion, and shrimp filled dim sum. And Jet really, really wanted to make them for dinner. Just them (which is very untraditional, as they're dim sum, supposed to be part of an array of little snacks), so John added some asparagus. Jet and I mixed up the filling, and we were both taken aback by the fact that there are more onions, by weight, then pork in the filling. Significantly more, and I really had to work pretty hard to mince four whole onions for a single pound of pork. Given my eye problem to start... add the power of cut onions and I was crying pretty hard. *laughs*
Jet tried to help, but he found it got to him pretty badly, as well, but then I realized that the recipe called for a very large amount of corn starch to be put on the minced onions, and when I added that, it actually kept the juices on the onions instead of in the air! It helped a very great deal, and with all the corn starch, the mixture came together very nicely, with cooking wine, soy, salt, pepper, and a lot of finely minced ginger.
We used won ton skins to wrap them, as they were readily available at our grocery store, and the wrapping was a lot easier than with pot stickers. You basically just stuff the stuffing into the skin and make kind of a cup with a flat bottom and leave the top open. The whole thing gets plopped into a steamer basket and it's done. With five sets of hands, the wrapping went very quickly.
At altitude it took a good 14 minutes for them to steam thoroughly, 10 minutes at sea level. And they turned out juicy, tasty, and sticky. They stuck to the steamer, each other, and were a bit of a pain to get out of the steamer, but they were very tasty. I might want to use the filling for potstickers next time, as they were so good, but they'd be a bit more manageable in the pan than in the steamer.
Everyone liked them very much, and we have leftovers that we froze to steam/microwave again. Might even pan fry them to see if they'll develop a crispy crust on the bottom for Jet. *laughs* Very untraditional, but tasty nonetheless. I'll admit that without Jet I would never have attempted the recipe. I like my local dim sum place enough to get them there, but wouldn't have thought to make them. As it is I'm glad I tried! They were very tasty and far easier than I'd expected, and the surprise of having the onions really work well in such quantity was very nice to find out.
Spent most of the rest of the evening playing Apples to Apples and just talking with Isabel, it's been a while and it's nice to catch up. I'm still a little apprehensive about going to Biloxi when I'm also obviously worn out, but I'll try and catch up a bit more on sleep tonight and tomorrow night before we go. Been gradually getting together all the things I need to pack for the trip, and that's been really nice to do, as I remember what I needed last time. It's also going to be in the 70's and 80's down there while we're still in the 40's. So it's going to be a welcome, warm change.