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Saturday, February 2, 2002

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Groundhog Day & 020202

Ok, I've put up with the groundhog appearances for another year. This is one of those occasions that I always watch but also get irritated at. I think it's the idea that we're going to plan our lives around a rodent. Excuse me?

I find more interesting that this is 02/02/02 and the next time we'll have a cool number like this is 03/03/03, which I don't expect I'll see. Of course, the next time we have a date just like this is February 2nd, 3002, the human race and the world should last so long.

I felt pretty good today. I went off the sleeping pills the doctor gave me and am just using valerian and camomile tea. It takes me an hour to get to sleep but it took that long with both types of sleeping pills, and with the latest ones I can't get up on weekends before 10:00 and still feel loggy all day. It also dried my head out so bad that it was stopped up all the time. It's been about a week now and I feel much better.

I'm still waking up three to four times a night but I was doing that on the sleeping pills and once I wake up and it's close to 7:00 am, I can get right up. I could get up earlier but it's nice to get up when it's light outside instead of the cold dark of 5:30 that I usually get up at. Even the 5:30 leaves me much more awake now. I'll see how it goes and just live with it I guess.

I mailed my last christmas presents this morning so I really feel like I'm into 2002. I had a good time running around doing errands. Sometimes I get irritated at how long it takes by bus but today I enjoyed it. It was cool enough that a brisk walk was great and I walked several miles just going till the next bus came along. What does that tell you about our bus system, and they want to cut it again in August.

I made a great dish last night from a recipe in the Feb 2002 Vegetarian Times:

Rice Casserole with Pine Nuts

    1 Tbs olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 large carrot, quartered lengthwise and chopped
    3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 tsp. dried dill
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 tsp light brown sugar
    1-1/2 tsp paprika
    1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
    1-1/2 cup diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1-1/2 quart baking dish
    2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, garlic bay leaves, dill, thyme and parsley. Cook, strirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, paprika and rice, and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Cover, and bake until rice is temder, about 1-1/2 hours. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and serve warm.

I didn't have celery so I left that out and I used 2 tsp of an Italian Herb mixture instead of the dill and thyme, since I didn't have dill, and I didn't have parsley so I left that out. The recipe also called to add only 1 cup of water but I added another part way through which is really common sense since rice takes two cups of water to one cup rice. It was so good and I love the crunch of the pine nuts. It'll heat up nicely when I take it to work, too.

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Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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