Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hiking and Cooking

One of the goals of the my transition into semi-retirement has been to get on a more consistent exercise program.  I was fearful that the jury duty interlude was going to wreak havoc with my schedule this week and next.  However, I was not called in today and was able to therefore go hiking.  And Monday is a holiday so I will be pretty much on my schedule. 

One of the pleasures of Albuquerque is we can have snow up in our mountains and at the same time have 50's or 60's temperature and sun days in the city simultaneously.  Yesterday was rainy in the 40's.  But that meant at the higher altitude it was snowing.  Fortunately it was below freezing over night.  That meant that the lower trail would be hard not muddy and there would be as much snow as possible lower on the mountain.  On these types of days I like to get out early so I run into as little muck as possible as the temperature goes up during the day.

I felt very good hiking especially the cardiovascular response.  I went on a trail where I know the snow line is lower because of it being a protected valley.  At 8 in the morning it was still below freezing (just).  There were only two pairs of boot tracks going up once I hit the snow and they were from yesterday afternoon.  After about an hour in the last of the boot tracks ended and I was breaking trail in the snow.  I didn't go too much further as I was on a narrow trail on the side of pretty steep slope and felt it was a bit more dangerous than I wanted to do. 

On the way down going though my own shoesteps

Meanwhile on the cooking front I have been in a very creative mode.  I have been over the last year since we got back from Cambodia much more Asian focused with my daily cooking.  I will make something flat out East Asian, Southeast Asian or Indian inspired at least twice a week.  But in recent months I was inspired to use my arsenal of Asian condiments and flavorings and use them in some no Asian dishes.  Then I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that this is same thing is being utilized by restaurant chefs around the country.  The key these chefs say is not using to much but just enough to enhance the umami aspect of a dish without having flavoring standing out on its own.

Finally, a little ray of NM sunset to finish your day.

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