Hiking and Cooking

What better way to start off a blog than with two of my hobbies.

I was mostly off work today, and so went to REI for a hiking bag I saw I sale. I just recently bought an overnight hiking backpack, but I saw this one on sale. What distinguishes it is it’s smaller so I can take it out for just a day, which also means it’s lighter. But, mostly, it has a 3 liter (100 fl.oz.) water bladder inside and a hose for drinking. I find myself perpetually dehydrated, and so having a conveniently handy would be nice. I figured I wouldn’t have to use the bag for just hiking, but also for bicycling (once I get my tires fixed so they hold air) and for just going on errands or doing touristy stuff like walking around a city. Further, the bladder is removable, so I can transfer it to my bigger bag, which also has the capability to hold a bladder but didn’t come with one, so it’d come in handy for overnight trips too. It was on sale for 30% off, and the bladder alone is usually half the price this bag was, so I figured it was a good deal.

After getting home, it was time to start making dinner for Shabbat. We had company over last week and so this week I wanted to make it rather low-key. I also had the advantage of being home most of the day, but not wanting to cook much. So I decided this would be a good week to make spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. But, not just any meat sauce. See, I like to make my own sauce using a can of tomato puree from the store, just like nature intended (I tried using real tomatoes once; it was a disaster, coming out more like watery tomato soup with some chunks in it. I wouldn’t recommend it). Several months ago, we were at BJs and I hit the motherload: a 106 ounce can of tomato puree! Naturally, I got quite excited and had to have it. Today, I decided to make sauce with it. The last time I made spaghetti sauce, I wrote down my recipe, using a 28 ounce can of puree. So this time, I quadrupled the ingredients: 4 pounds of ground beef, a half cup of oregano, that kind of thing. It’s been simmering in the crockpot for almost seven hours now, so it should be ready to go soon. I was worried it would overflow, but it just barely didn’t. The fluid level is at the top of the 5 quart crockpot, just managing to stay inside.

Time to run off and get ready for Shabbat now. Bye!

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