Sunday, November 18, 2012

And she's time for Thanksgiving!

Well, after several months of cooking and not blogging, I've finally come back to my blog.  Why was I away so long?'s been a busy and stressful time for a variety of reasons that aren't really worth going into.  Thankfully, none of those reasons has stopped me from cooking.  Not cooking's not an option, since Steve still brings home all the produce he sees and likes. 

I guess I'd also been in a funk as far as the "Clock-Racing" part of my blog title goes, since injuries seem to be my lot in life.  Two of them this calendar year, and the first one (a recurring case of metatarsalgia) actually forced me to break down and join a gym.  The second one was a case of IT band syndrome with which I came away from the Columbia, SC Marathon in March.  I really didn't lose that much fitness (since I could still work out at the gym) or time away from running, but I still wasn't sure, two years into the blog, if I'd ever get back in the shape I was in before all the injuries started.  Well, in early October I ran the Habitat for Humanity 15K, on a wicked hilly course, and finished in 1:09:14...first overall female!  Two weeks ago I ran the Governor's Cup Half Marathon and finished in 1:38:29 (second in my age group), just four and a half minutes off my PR!  And just yesterday I ran the Runway 5K at Columbia Metro Airport in 21:39, which is about how fast I ran 5Ks in years past without having trained for one.  (Windiest.  Race.  Ever.)  They say it's not nice to brag, but I'm so happy to feel like I'm finally getting back to where I want to be as someone who races the clock for fun!

Here's a picture of the snazzy wicking socks that all of us age group winners got at the Runway Run.

Once the race was over, Steve and I enjoyed the rest of the day by having lunch at the Good Life Cafe and then going to a vegan Thanksgiving potluck that was put on by the Columbia Veg Meetup group.  We've belonged to the group since last summer, and if you live in the Columbia area you should check them out on their Meetup site and/or Facebook page!  They're a diverse and generally great group of people of all ages.  Last night was Steve's and my first vegan Thanksgiving experience (I was still lacto this time last year), and it did not disappoint!  Rosemary, the hostess, made a wonderful seitan dish as well as a nice chunky mushroom gravy for mashed potatoes, and someone else made a vegan macaroni and cheese that was absolutely divine.  If you brought the vegan mac and are reading this now, *please* email me the recipe!

My contribution to the affair was a vegan do-over of Emeril's cornbread and andouille sausage dressing.  This was pretty easy to veganize, since I've been making vegan cornbread for a while now using soy flour paste in place of the eggs, soy milk in place of dairy milk and an extra pinch of salt to help balance the flavors and keep it from being too soy-ey.  The only other substitutions I needed to make were to replace the andouille with vegan kielbasa and the chicken broth with veggie broth.  The dressing itself didn't need the eggs for binding; for that, all I did was moisten the mixture with a little extra veggie broth before putting it in the oven. 

How did it go over?  Well, despite arriving nearly an hour late and after most guests had already filled their plates, about two-thirds of it was gone by the time we left!  I'm also happy to report that the leftovers made a nice meal all by themselves for lunch today, after Steve and I spent nearly two hours raking pine straw.  It's amazing how much can accumulate in two weeks' time...

It was nice seeing a few of you yesterday, whether at the race or the potluck.  I've already planned Thanksgiving at home and bought everything I need, so expect to see another post come Thursday or Friday.  Until then...vegan, vegetarian or traditional omnivore, I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings - not the least of which is every day you get on this Earth!

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