Monday, February 21, 2011

from epic to epicure

What an epic day: a high point for running, for Reiki, and for the judicious use of Gruyère cheese. Can’t get much better than that.

I was originally going to do my week’s long run yesterday – Sunday – but instead, Best Beloved and I headed out to the back of beyond to my dad’s house to give it a good cleaning. It’s not on the market right now (it’s resting up for another crack at the hordes of VT summer visitors), but apparently somebody out there is house hunting in the middle of February and wanted to see it. And God bless ‘em, I say. Many prayers are being sent up to heaven for a speedy sale, and naturally I was pretty psyched when the realtor got in touch with us to arrange a showing. Please, please, please….

Thus, yesterday’s nine mile run was moved to today. Naturally, it was snowing when I woke up at 7 to cram a peanut butter English muffin down my pie hole. I started off on the treadmill and got 3.3 miles out of the way before heading out to enjoy the inch of snow. Hey, did you know that in 18°F temperatures, the nozzle of your water bottle will freeze? It will indeed. Also, the delicious Cliff Blok Shots, which are my mid-run refueling vehicle of choice, are not as satisfyingly melt-in-your mouth at those temperatures either. On the bright side, the roads were clear of ice under that inch of snow, and the run went great.

Nine, count ‘em, nine miles.

This is the point in the half marathon training where I sincerely hope it All Works Out, because geez, nine miles is plenty, but 13.1 is plenty more. Gulp. I’m not too worried, though. a) I’ve got til mid-May  b) I’m right on track  c) I’ve done this before.

Next up, Reiki.

Today I performed a Level 1 attunement for Kevin. Translation: Kevin can now channel Reiki energy as well. This is the first attunement I have done since becoming a Reiki Master last September. So THAT was wonderful. If any of my devoted blog fans want to hear me try and describe what Reiki is, let me know, via an email or a comment, and I’ll do my best. I’m finding that I’m more inclined to focusing my energy on giving treatments, rather than describing it, whether via this blog, or in more concerted or formal efforts to drum up business.

Suffice it to say, it was a great privilege and honor to pass on the ability to give Reiki to another person, particularly Best Beloved. And – let’s be honest – this now means that Kevin can give me treatments! Heh heh.

Moving on to the Gruyère portion of the post, I made potatoes dauphinois this evening.

  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes - sliced thin. I didn’t bother to peel them. As to what 2 pounds is – well, just slice them thinly. You want enough to be able to layer a decent size gratin dish twice over. So I used four fist-sized babies.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • About 11 ounces of Gruyère, which is maybe a couple of cups, grated. Mind you, this is a boatload more than what Julia Child says to use…and for God’s sake, and no offense, Wisconsin, but use the real stuff. From Switzerland.
  • 1.5 cups boiling milk   

Butter a shallow dish. Layer half the potatoes, salt/pepper, half the cheese, dots of butter. Lather rinse repeat, for two sets of layers. Pour hot milk over the whole thing until potatoes just covered. Julia called for one cup; I found I had to use a bit more.

Bake at 350°F – uncovered – until potatoes are tender, the milk has been absorbed, and the cheese is golden and bubbly. Reports vary as to how long this takes. Start checking it after a half hour; you may find it takes quite a bit longer.

“Serves Six”. Yeah, that’s a laugh. Serves one hungry runner two big servings at dinner, and probably two more modest meals after that.

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