I am now in the midst of improving my range of motion. I thought this would be exciting and enjoyable but it is painful, slow-going and frustrating. I went to a hand physio last week (I did not know such a practitioner existed) and was given a few basic exercises for my wrist to get things moving again. I was very cautious for the first couple of days, being gentle with the movements and really making no progress. So, yesterday I decided to go cold turkey and ditch the splint. I acted though I had a hand made of glass for the first half of the day, afraid to touch anything and carrying it around like a limp rag, but as the day wore on, I got braver. Before I knew it I was chopping veggies, opening doors and shaking hands no problem. I decided today to try a swim without the splint. Lately I've been in a bit of a swim rut, being able to do only a one-arm-with-splint stroke for the past 5 weeks. It was fun at the start as I could get back to the pool on a regular basis, but I am almost at the end of my rope with these 2km special stroke sessions. So today I did not even bring my splint out on the deck and "swam" 2.1km. The highlight was not the weightless feeling of the arm, but the lack of hair stuck in my hand. It turns out the splint is a fantastic human hair net, picking up every possible strand of hair and hairball in the pool. It is never fun realizing later in the day that someone else's hair is stuck in the velco. Yes, it is disgusting, I know. So long, splint!!
On a totally unrelated note, here what I cooked up for dinner tonight, a recipe from March's issue of EAT Magazine. A little labour intensive and ingredient-heavy, but if you've got a well-stocked spice cabinet, it's definitely worth the effort.
Spicy Roasted Vegetable Stew
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium red potato, chopped in bite-size pieces
- 2 medium zucchinis, chopped in bite-size chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped in bite-size chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/3 cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 or 2 jalapeno chile peppers, minced (with or without seeds, to taste -- I'm not a big fan of spice, so omitted this altogether)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 inches fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 1/2 cup green beans, cut in 2-inch pieces
- 6 asparagus spears, cut in 2-inch pieces
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, toss carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and red peppers in olive oil. Place on a baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes until veggies are slightly brown. Remove and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, dry roast the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves over medium heat for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add butter, chilies, bay leaf, ginger, and onions and stir fry until the onions are translucent. Add roasted vegetables and stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add salt, black pepper, tumeric, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Add coconut milk, cooked lentils and mustard seeds. Simmer for 5 minutes.
During the last few minutes of cooking, I added some chunks of raw red snapper and it cooked quickly and was a tasty compliment to the cinnamon, ginger, and coconut flavours.