It was a lovely anniversary!…Pizza night!…An exciting addition to Marloth Park!!!…

Off-putting to some, I was intrigued by all the parts of the fresh fish used in cooking in Morocco from this post here. As mentioned in the ten-year-ago photo, I managed to sneak a few pictures before being caught by the photo police.

It’s been a busy morning. I did half of my walking and prepped the pizzas for tonight, consisting of one sizeable three-night pan for Tom and two small pizzas for me, made with less cheese and chicken instead of sausages that will also be enough to last three dinners. Also, I made a salad, as always.

Tom’s pizza is made with a cheese and egg crust, baked atop parchment paper in the oven before adding the toppings, which include Italian sauce and sausage, onion, mushrooms, sliced green olives and mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

My pizza is made with coconut flour, baking powder, and egg-white crust, cooked in a non-stick skillet to resemble a giant pancake that I top with sauce, sliced baby bell peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, and a lesser amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Mine is about 60% less fattening than Tom’s and easily fills me up with a few slices and a large salad.

Then, I made two cooked eggs topped with Wholly guacamole, Pace Hot Picante sauce, and a dollop of plain Fage Greek yogurt for breakfast. Lately, I have been having this same breakfast each day. It’s a great way to start the day. All of the above is all I will eat today. If I’m hungry after dinner, I will have a bowl of keto-sweetened plain Fage yogurt topped with ground flax seeds.

Keto meals can be as enjoyable as any meal one may prepare using starch and sugars, keeping one’s blood sugar in check and preventing weight gain. I can’t believe I’ve been eating this way for over 12 years, and love every meal I make. On the other hand, Tom craves sweets (donuts) and desserts (popcorn or ice cream). He doesn’t eat breakfast other than two plain cake donuts with coffee and then doesn’t eat anything else all day until dinner.

Yesterday, our 29th wedding anniversary was a quiet day. We stayed in, had a great dinner and streamed a new show on Netflix, “The Gentlemen,” which was very entertaining. There are two seasons to keep us busy over many evenings when we wind down from our busy days and relax on the sofa until bedtime.

Since I quit drinking coffee about a month ago, I’ve mostly been drinking water at room temperature. Never much of a fan of plain water, I’ve found I feel my best without any other beverages other than my one glass of red wine at happy hour that I finish during dinner, followed by water throughout the evening.

Oddly, I haven’t been able to find any decent low-alcohol wine while in the US. When we return to Marloth Park in three months, I will enjoy the many options of delicious low-alcohol wines readily available at the grocery store.

Speaking of grocery stores, we can’t wait to see the Spar Market opening very soon in Marloth Park, only a three-minute drive from our holiday home. I can’t imagine it will be large enough to have everything we use, but we could drive to the further away Spar in Komatipoort (25-minute drive) once a month to stock up and supplement weekly at the MP version.

May be an image of 3 people and text
Yesterday, this photo of a Spar delivery truck was on a Marloth Park Facebook page. It was exciting to see that this is happening!

This is very exciting for all of the residents in Marloth Park, more so than short-term holiday renters who don’t cook as often, mostly buying meat, potatoes, bread, fruit, and snacks. But for us long-term visitors and the locals, this will be a considerable time and petrol saver.

We’ll head to the new market within hours of our arrival, buying enough for a day or two since we’ll be too tired to shop for enough for a week. Then, after resting, we’ll return and have a better perspective of what’s available. We’re both looking forward to this convenience.

That’s it for today, folks. I have to return to my walking and exercises in the app BetterMe. This is going so well; I couldn’t be more pleased.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 8, 2014:

I managed to sneak a few pictures in the market to avoid being accosted by the photo police in Marrakesh, Morocco. These are steaks with all of the fat removed. In South Africa, fat is a delicacy left on the meat. That is not the case in Morocco, where all beef appeared lean and free of visible fat. For more photos, please click here.

Tom’s favorite dinner!…Check out this photo…Gagging over food?…

Yesterday, I made Tom’s favorite dinner, low-carb pizza, made with a cheese and egg crust, sausage, onions, green olives, and mushrooms. It was delicious!

Making homemade pizza is time-consuming. Not only does all the quality cheese have to be hand grated, both cheddar for the crust and mozzarella for the topping, but also, the sausages must be pre-cooked, sliced, and drained. Chopping the yellow onion and making the pizza sauce from tomato sauce and Italian spices is quick and easy. Then, if lucky, we can find sliced olives at the market along with sliced mushrooms (which we did), both of which save a lot of time.

From time to time, I eat offal due to its nutritional benefits. In all, making two pizzas like the one shown above easily took me 90 minutes in the kitchen. Then, I made a big tossed salad and my dinner of sauteed chicken livers, chicken hearts, and chicken gizzards with onion, garlic, seasonings, and a splash of red wine.

Why don’t I eat the pizza? I do, but only a tiny portion since it’s just too fattening for my tastes. Although I always eat low carb, calories do count, regardless of the perception that one on a keto diet can eat all they want. It’s just not true. A person can gain weight on keto, which I do from time to time when I overindulge and then have to struggle to lose it. It’s just not worth it to me.

I didn’t include a photo of my food since it doesn’t look very attractive and might make some of our readers gag. Many people despise liver and offal from any animal. Tom used to get nauseous from the smell of liver cooking, but he’s gotten over it after all these years of smelling it when I cook it for myself. He won’t even give it a try.

Often I make separate dinners for us. I don’t care to eat pork chops or pork roasts. Wonder why? When I make those for Tom, I usually have fish or chicken on those nights. Recently I’ve been buying big bags of frozen prawns available at the meat market at the bush center. They are cleaned, deveined, headless, and slightly blanched, although I always cook them to be safe. Having these prawns on hand is perfect for those times when Tom has something I am not interested in eating.

Shrimp scampi is one option. But, most often, I prepare a shrimp salad with avocado or stuff avocado halves with shrimp salad made with onions, celery, hard-boiled eggs, and homemade sour cream dressing. Now that I mention this, I think that’s what I’ll make for tomorrow’s dinner for myself. Tom will have pizza for three nights which he’s thrilled to do.

Let’s face it. Food is a big part of most of our lives. When we celebrate an occasion food is always a part of the celebration. When we gather with friends, food is incorporated into the event. Every meal may become a special event if a bit of time is spent putting something special together, many of which only take short periods to prepare.

But, making Tom’s pizza is quite an undertaking, especially in the humid weather. I stopped what I was doing several times to walk and spend a few minutes in the bedroom cooling off. The temperature wasn’t high, but the humidity and dew point was over the top, leaving me sweating in the process.

Today, I have leftover offal and only need to make the salad for tonight’s dinner. That’s a welcome relief! So yesterday’s hard work is rewarded by not having to cook for a few nights.

As for the walking, as of yesterday, the end of my most exercise-intense week, I managed to get in over 51,000 steps. Since I am only walking indoors, often in place at a high pace, I am pleased and strive for this amount each week. The only difference will be the speed at which I get this accomplished. My Fitbit is highly instrumental in helping me to achieve these goals.

That’s it for today, folks. Sorry, no new wildlife photos. It rained, and few stopped by.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 31, 2021:

A tiny baby mongoose with mom or dad on the pool steps. For more photos, please click here.

Lost in the minutiae…

If we hadn’t had over six months to plan our travels for the next five to ten years, it would have seemed impossible, bogged down in the details. So far, I keep taking deep breaths moving closer each day, some days at a crawl, others days a marathon.

Unloading our home and everything we have accumulated in a lifetime, except for a few totes our kids will store, the six suitcases, two carry on bags, computer bags and handbags (Tom’s murse), could be overwhelming in a shorter time frame.  

Not only must we continually address the travel planning, the shots, the doctor appointments, the insurance policies, the retirement board, but also the mounting piles of paperwork to prepare, scan or shred.  

In the interim, we have “life” to live, dinners to cook, clothes to wash, flowers to water, everyday errands to run and most importantly, family to see as often as possible. Fit in time with friends, daily walks, answering email, Facebook lurking and time rapidly flies by, two months and eight days until we walk out the door, leaving Minnesota and everyone we love behind.

Oh, I’m not complaining. Actually, I love every moment. This in itself, is a joy filled time, complex with never ending challenge, hopeful solutions and tons of new information flooding my brain. I didn’t know “it” had room after the “information load” environment in which we live.  But, it does, grabbing every tidbit of new data flooding into it’s mushy cells.

Yesterday, we took most of our grandchildren to Train Day, a family picnic provided by Tom’s employer.  The little ones had a blast exploring the gigantic train engine, a bright red fire truck; bouncing on the huge blown up contraptions, eating overcooked hot dogs while hanging out with us, PapaChooChoo and GrandmaChooChoo, We had a memorable day.  

(BTW, I don’t post photos of our little grandchildren online.  Maybe I’m old fashioned, fearing online predators.  When they grow up, I will. Not now.)

Several months ago, I posted a note on my calendar (one of many) to apply for new debit cards. They’ll expire at the end of January after we’ve already left the country. Since debit cards cannot be forwarded, this would have caused undue stress.  Our goal, as always, is to prepare so much in advance that we don’t often have to “kick ourselves” for forgetting to do a task such as this.  

On our way to Train Day, we stopped at the bank to order the new debit cards. While the banker ordered the cards, a thought popped into my head: we must set up a wire-transfer account in both of our names, providing us with easy access to our accounts (via a phone call as opposed to email for security purposes). This was on my list for this upcoming October but why not get it done now?  Two more of the minutiae out of the way! 

Returning home, I immediately ran around the kitchen making the crusts for our low carb, gluten, grain and starch free pizza for Friday Night Pizza, our favorite dinner.  Later today, I will make homemade salsa and cornbread to bring to one of the last of a few parties we’ll attend tomorrow. (Recipes for all of these items are on my earlier posts.  Simply hit the search filter).

This weekend, we’re planning to put all of our empty suitcases in the back of Tom’s SUV to ensure they’ll fit, along with the two totes we’re bringing for my son Richard Lasica, a successful real estate agent in Henderson, to store for us in Henderson, Nevada.  If they don’t fit, which I suspect they will, we will price rent a small trailer to haul behind us or, bear the cost of shipping the totes.  More minutiae. It seems to grow rather than diminish!

We can’t wait to be sitting in a lawn chair overlooking the ocean in our little beach house in Placencia, Belize, starting on January 28, 2013 which is five months and seven days from today.  Oh, oh, while in Belize we’ll have to prepare our 2012 tax stuff for our accountant as soon as we receive (online, of course) the W2’s.  Yuck!  Minutiae!  You can run, but you can’t hide!