Dog days of October

It’s a full week into October. Yet, the temperatures in Kansas are still topping off near 90 degrees.

In stark contrast to the infamous October 1997 snowstorm that struck the Midwest, these dog day temperatures just seem so strange.

Not that I’m complaining, though. I know I’ll get my fair share of winter when the cold does set in.

And, when the chill does come, it’s always nice to have a stand-by warm, comforting breakfast. In preparation for this, I’m already pulling out classic peanut butter and jelly oats.

Consumed: 1/3 C oats cooked with just less than 2/3 C water. 1 T sugar-free jelly, 1/4 C frozen blueberries and 1 T peanut butter stirred in. Topped with granola, for an extra bit of crunch.

Although I didn’t really need my breakfast to warm me up this morning, it was still a delicious start to the day. However, after finishing getting ready, I snapped back to reality by walking out into the warmth.

Regardless of the weather (except in monsoon conditions), I walk to and (usually) from class every day. On average, this amounts to nearly an hour and half a day of walking.

Which means that on the good days, I get a lot of quality time in the weather. And, on the bad days, I get a whole lot of crankiness.

Fortunately, today was of the former variety…

Just for the sake of really soaking up as much sunshine as possible, I gave myself permission to take a little day trip…

Come on, now. You had to know that wasn’t true… The water is just too clear to possibly be in Kansas! (Fun fact: This was a little lake just outside of the town I stayed in this summer in Germany.)

Reality went a little more like: class, class, newsroom, workout, newsroom, class project, advising session and home.

Ironically, the only word in that list that actually included the letters “w-o-r-k” was my biggest break of the day.

That’s right, my 45-minutes on the elliptical, flipping through a fitness magazine were actually my moments to relax, step back and put life in focus.

On one hand, I feel bad about being away from the newsroom. Then I ration that I will be a much more productive, happy and motivated person if I give myself that time to exercise.

However, working out (and showering) made me a little more pressed for time. Considering the advantages of breaking a sweat, this is definitely a trade-off I’m willing to deal with.

Thanks to some well-developed multitasking skills, I got right back on track by working on my class project while eating lunch.

Immediately after finishing up my project, I met with my adviser to map out my last year and half of school.

(Good news, Dad! I’m going to graduate!)

The sun was still shining and the temperatures were still rising by the time I walked home at 2 o’clock. I truly could have content to spend the rest of the day enjoying the weather, but school work was still beckoning.

Rather than studying alone while thinking about Dan, I decided to study with him while seeking glances at his cute face. Truth be told, I’m probably more productive at getting things done that way.

What do you bet is the likelihood of Dan being allowed to hang out in the newsroom all the time? Hmm…

I digress.

Since I was already at Dan’s, I just had dinner over there, which is always a gamble. On the menu was grilled chicken (no), grilled eggplant (yes) and garlic toast (yes).

Basically, things were looking good… That is, until the food was laid out. The toast was burnt and the eggplant was greasy.

Looking for a quick alternative, I decided to tap into the ample supply of fresh broccoli that was chilling in the refrigerator.

Lemon Sautéed Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 T lemon juice, zested first
  • Olive oil for pan (Approximately 2 T)
  • Season salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Wash and tear up the broccoli head into bite-sized pieces. (Hint: Don’t waste the stalk! Simply use a vegetable peeler to scrape off the skin and then chop up the tender stalk.)
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large saute pan.
  • Add broccoli and evenly cover with olive oil. Then, put a lid on the saute pan to steam for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Remove lid, douse with lemon juice and continue cooking without lid until desired tenderness is achieved. Season with season salt.

This was a tasty, easy alternative to the food that was served. But, I did manage to round out the meal with some rice and salad.

The temperatures were finally dropping when I packed up my books, said “bye” to Dan and headed home. Even though it was much chillier than the peak of the day, I still had a craving for something cool.

Banana Soft Serve

Consumed: 1 frozen banana, blended until really smooth with 1 or 2 T soy milk.

I had mine atop a peanut butter swirl brownie, for one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations.

Unless scientists were really underestimating the powers of global warming, I am expecting the temperatures to drop before too long. But, really, there’s no rush…

Questions: Are you experiencing unseasonable temperatures? What are your favorite flavor combinations?

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2 responses to “Dog days of October

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