Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot Food for Cold Nights

I love cast iron cooking, and it's a rare day when my iron skillets aren't in use. They are very versatile, and if you treat them right they will last for generations. Seasoned properly, they will perform at least as well as non-stick and are unbeatable for searing meats. I've made everything from cornbread to "toad in the hole" to filet mignon in them.

I recently reseasoned my old dutch oven (an easy process involving baking some shortening into the iron) and tonight I decided to bring it out to play ahead of the winter weather we've been promised. I've been browsing Ashlee Wetheringtons's excellent "A Year in the Kitchen" blog and decided to take a shot at her Hungarian Goulash. I paired it with homemade pita breads from "The Fresh Loaf" for dipping and mopping (modified to use equal measures of wholewheat and all purpose flour - much better taste and texture). I had high hopes, and it didn't disappoint. Very flavorful, and a perfect comfort food for cold nights. The best complement is that I made a full pot and it's all gone (though I managed to save some to take to work with me) - talk about pigs at the trough.

In the build up to the 100 miler at Rocky Raccoon (now only a week and a half away), I have moved on to the taper and tuning stage. My strategy for this week is to concentrate on regular midweek runs that are shorter than usual (about 4 miles or so), but at a slightly faster clip than my usual training pace. This evening I dipped into the 7:30/mile range without really extending myself, which I think is just about the right balance. A nice 10 mile run next Saturday followed by the Scenic Dr loop on Sunday, and then I will enjoy a week of easy running (maybe even no running) up to race day.

And finally, one of my friends who is on the fitness committee with me at work is a certified pilates instructor and he's been giving free "no sweat" pilates classes at lunchtime. While I've done yoga, I've never tried pilates before. He's just added an advanced after-work aerobic pilates class and asked me to come along, spread the word and help get it going. He's promised to "kick my butt" and I'm excited about trying something new (though I'll probably be really bad at it). I think it will be an excellent cross training variation.

1 comment:

Jeff F said...

I'm glad I bailed out Monday. That 7:30 pace would have been like having a 2nd job for me.