A few more things I’ve recently discovered that everyone has known about since 2001…or earlier.
Sometimes you get a saucepan set that includes a steamer basket thingy. If you’re like me, the steamer bit lives in the back of the cupboard and you steam your vegies in the microwave because hello, that’s how you steam vegies in this day and age. Right?
When I started giving Emma solids I would steam her vegies in the microwave. She needed them to be soft enough to chew without teeth, so I just steamed them longer than normal. Have you ever seen a carrot stick steamed for 4+ minutes? It’s not pretty. And in fact it didn’t end up soft, it was kind of rubbery and super floppy. Mmmm, appetising. So I busted out the steamer. Did you know you can steam a whole bunch of stuff at once? You can steam potato plus carrot plus pumpkin, all at the same time! Just like you do when you roast them. You can steam them until they’re soft enough for a toothless baby to chew, or soft enough to puree together, but they don’t end up looking like a fossilised bone. Genius! The other genius thing about the steamer basket? You can steam eggs. Here’s a tutorial. I steam a few once a week and then leave them in the fridge to mash for sandwiches – perfect for a vegetarian. I just stick them in the basket next to whatever vegies are cooking. I can’t believe my steamer has been sitting in the cupboard all this time.
When I was training for my 10km fun run I was spending a lot of time listening to my running playlist. Much as I love the music on it, and much as it’s been specially chosen to help me run, I was getting bored. Once I started being able to run 10km that was over an hour of dancey pop stuff, all of which I’d heard before, and it got pretty old especially since the ‘shuffle’ button must be one of the biggest cons ever. I told my awesome sister about the boredom being the hardest part of ‘long distance’ running and she suggested podcasts.
Of course I’d heard of podcasts, because I don’t live under a rock, but I’d never downloaded or listened to one, because I live pretty close to the rock. Did you know there are approximately 1 billion podcasts in the world and no matter what you’re interested in, there’s one for you? My sister had a couple of suggestions and to add to that I just googled ‘best podcasts’ to see what was around. I now have loads of podcasts on my phone which I will never listen to because now the fun run’s over I can’t imagine when I’ll listen to all of them – people must listen to them in their car I guess? Otherwise I have no idea when you’d get to listen. I’ve also been listening to them at the gym when I’m doing weights because it really does help the time go much, much faster. Here’s what I’ve listened to:
Freakonomics. This was one of Jude’s recommendations. I haven’t read the book but it’s on my Goodreads list. This is a crazy podcast because the topics sound kind of lame but they are fascinating. I once listened to a whole hour about car parking and it was awesome. They have really different lengths so if you just want 10 minutes while you walk the dog that’s ok or if you want an hour they’ve got that too.
Wil Anderson. Also Jude’s recommendation. He usually has a guest and they just sit around being funny.
This American Life. This came up on lots of ‘best podcast’ lists. I recently listened to a two-part one from a Chicago high school about gun violence. It was incredibly sad but so, so interesting.
Dan Savage, who does various things in life but the podcast is basically a verbal version of his sex/love/relationship advice column, once he’s had a general rant about whatever asshole has gotten his attention that week. I love advice columns because I’m such a busy body, so this suits me even if some of his sex advice makes me squirmy because I’m also an old married lady (proven by the fact that sometimes I don’t even know what he’s talking about and wonder if I’m game to google it).
Hamish & Andy. Duh.
Here’s the Thing, which is weirdly hosted by Alec Baldwin’s beautiful voice and he just chats to someone else. I listened to the one with Lena Dunham since I’m a big Girls fan and that was really good.
I’ve also tried a few music ones designed to have a certain BPM for runners, although I didn’t like them much as they were really trancy kind of music. I was hoping to find one of remixed 1980s and 1990s dance floor hits, because I am a complete dag. If anyone knows of one let me know.
I don’t have an iphone but I just got a podcast app for my smartphone and that’s where I’ve found them all. Next I’m going to try some book and history ones.
Also, a note on my previous ‘where have you been all my life’ in which I extolled the virtues of online grocery shopping. You know how the universe has a way of punishing laziness? Like the one time you don’t bother to pay for parking you get a fine? Yeah, it’s the same with online groceries. I decided to try Coles and they missed an entire bag of dairy – which you just can’t do to a vegetarian on a Friday night when they need mozzarella for pizza and yoghurt for breakfast in the morning. The driver was really nice and went back to the shop and got what they’d missed and brought it over, but they don’t normally do that. So, I’m back to buying groceries at an actual shop like a sucker.