Posted by: Grub | February 5, 2012

Recap of 37 before 37

Hey everyone,

WARNING – enormous post ahead!

In case you are interested, here is a recap of my 37 before 37.  To be honest, I kind of sucked (also, this post has been sitting here in draft for over a month now, so I have been continuing to suck).  There were a few things on the list that were a little out of my control, but mostly I left too much stuff until the end of the year and then life intervened.  Oh well. There’s always this year!  Stay tuned for 38 before 38!

  1. Start blogging again – I would say that I did this, although not as regularly as I had hoped.
  2. Update and restart working through my cookbook list – I did a terrible job of this, but in my defence, I got to a cookbook early on that I just couldn’t find anything to cook out of and then totally stalled.  I am planning to work through my list this year, but in a cook one recipe from whichever cookbook you feel like and then cross it off the list kind of way.
  3. Try a new fruit and a new vegetable – I didn’t do this one, either.  I know, right?  One of the easiest items on the list.  It’s going on this year’s list.
  4. Bake bread – Although I didn’t make Chad’s dad’s recipe for bread, I did make bread in our breadmaker, and made both my great-grandmother’s butterhorns and some fabulous pumpkin rolls (the recipe is here, these were RIDICULOUSLY good and easy and they were snatched up in no time at a party I took them to at Craig and Meagan’s place).

    Great Grandma P's butterhorns

    Pumpkin rolls cooling in the autumn afternoon sun

  5. Watch Chad finish a 100-miler – I was at the stadium at 4am to see Chad finish the Western States 100 in June, the first of the four races in the Grand Slam series of 100-milers, and then Sam and I both saw him finish the fourth race in the series, the Wasatch 100, just outside Salt Lake City, Utah in September.  Chad was the second-place finisher overall in this year’s series and we think that he set a Canadian record for the Grand Slam!  Pretty cool.  Yay, Chad!

    Western at 4am, sub-24h! (Check the time on the clock.)

    Finishing Wasatch (and the Grand Slam)

    Chilling, post-Grand Slam - Chad with Sam the cookie-face.

  6. Plant herbs on deck – This didn’t happen, only because we just weren’t here enough over the summer.  I would love to add it to this year’s list, but we already have a two-week trip lined up in June, and so I think it will have to wait for another year.
  7. Take Sam to the farmer’s market – we did this a few times, including one day with my Mom when it snowed last winter.  It was fun, but it is harder work than it used to be!  I can’t wait until he starts learning what things are and picking out what he wants.
  8. Go camping – We had a trip planned, but it was cancelled due to weather – oh, poop!  It’s on the list for this year.
  9. Get new pots and pans – Although this was already on my list of things to do this year, Chad got me gorgeous new copper pots and pans for my birthday (my parents also contributed), and I am not exaggerating when I say that they have already transformed my cooking experience. I don’t even mind having to wash them by hand every time I use them!
  10. Make a dessert with avocados in it – The first avocado dessert recipe I tried was kind of gross, but I tried again and had great success with thischocolate avocado pudding.  Based on my experience, I would recommend using perfectly ripe avocadoes for this from both a texture and flavour perspective.  I liked this pudding on its own and also layered with chia pudding and fresh fruit in a parfait.

    Chocolate avocado pudding, chia pudding, fresh pineapple and local strawberries. Delish.

  11. Take Maxy for a run – This did not happen as many times as I had intended, but it did happen.  Maxy was pleased.
  12. Try out a new recipe for Christmas dinner – I made an apple and cranberry strudel as my “second dessert”, which was also an exercise in veganization.  I was reminded that phyllo is truly my cooking nemesis, even more so than pie pastry.  I had intended to make the Voluptuous Vegan gingerbread recipe, but decided that it was too close in flavour profile to the pumpkin pie I was already making, so I made the gingerbread later in the week and it was truly amazing.
  13. Take homemade cookie packages to the Fondon’t – last year, I was feeling too tired and crummy to make individual packages (I was pregnant! Who knew?), so I promised myself I would persevere this year, and I did!
  14. Veganize 5 favourite non-vegan recipes, including Great Grandma Patterson’s Butterhorns – Done!  And the butterhorns were incredible and easier than I remember them being from when I first made them in highschool (see photo above).  1. My Mom’s Dutch Apple Cake; 2. Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Strudel for Christmas; 3. Chilaquiles; 4. Great-Grandma’s Butterhorns; and 5. My formerly “famous” chicken stirfry (now with tofu).
  15. Take a class/lessons with Sam – We did swimming lessons, sign language and an art/painting class!  Super fun.

    Blowing bubbles (not really).

    This picture makes it look far more civilized than it actually was.

  16. Write a letter to Grandma – I did this and was also able to send her some photos of Sam. We also got to visit her in Manitoba this summer!

    Easily one of my favourite photos of the year.

  17. Get back to doing yoga – Although I did yoga once in a while, I don’t think I can cross this one off.
  18. Make a train cake for Sam’s birthday – I didn’t even make a cake for Sam’s birthday!  But before you start throwing stones at me… we decided to do birthday cupcakes because we had an open house for his birthday, and didn’t want to have to set a time to blow out candles and cut a cake.  It worked out OK, but I may have to do a cake next year.  Maybe it will be a train!
  19. Fill up Sam’s baby book – Not done, but it is on my current to-do list.
  20. Introduce Sam to his cousins, Claire and Violet – We saw Violet in the spring and just recently in November, both times here at our house.  We saw Claire and Sam’s second cousin, Regan, in Manitoba in July.  (We also visited with Sam’s other cousins, Kailey and Garrett, when they came for Sam’s first birthday party in August!)

    Swinging in B-town with Claire.

    We didn't get any great photos of Sam and Violet together, but I love this one I took of Violet on her first visit. This is at Trimble Park near our house.

    Sam with Kailey and Garrett at his first birthday party.

  21. Make Father’s Day brunch – Didn’t do it.  In fact, I didn’t even remember this goal until I reread my list.  (I am the WORST.)  In my defence, we were on the road, and on the road for a long time.  I did make a pretty awesome pre-race meal before Western States!

    Western pre-race meal. Quinoa, black beans, baked tofu, pumpkin seeds, avocado, spinach, squash, zucchini, red onion, lemon-dill dressing... you name it, we ate it.

  22. Make 5 new recipes from food blogs that I follow – I increased the difficulty on this, requiring that I make recipes from at least five different blogs.  I’ve linked to the blogs in case you are interested in checking them out!  These were all super delicious, make-again recipes (and in fact I have made four of them at least twice, three of them more than three times!) 1. Peanut Butter Cup Oats for One from Peas and Thank You; 2. Avocado Cumin Dressing and Chocomole (see above) from Choosing Raw; 3. Easy Vegan Overnight Oats, Tropical Lemon Cranberry Bars, 15-Minute Avocado Pasta, and Olive Oil Pasta with Walnuts, Lentils and Red Peppers, all from Oh She Glows; 4. Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Vegan Mouse; and 5. Single-Lady (Chocolate Chip) Cookie Dough Balls from Chocolate Covered Katie.

    Here is the pasta from the Oh She Glows blog. We have enjoyed this more than once - the ingredients are an odd combination but they taste great!

  23. Comment on a stranger’s blog – with all of the blogs I read, this is something I should be better at, but it is also really outside my comfort zone. I did this a bunch of times, but probably not as many as I should have!
  24. Pay off student loans – Nope.  Stupid. On the list for this year.
  25. Take Trish out for lunch – Nope.  I am putting this on my list this year, but twice, to make up for not doing it last year! I AM THE WORST!
  26. Go for a massage – This was on my list of things to do before I went back to work, and it just didn’t get to the top of the priority list (new work clothes and haircut beat it out).
  27. Host a dinner party for friends – We did do this a couple of times, and I have a new goal that is a twist on this one for next year.  Also, I made poached pears!
  28. Play football – I played two seasons of football this year, and it was so great to be back on the field.

    The team at practice on a lovely sunny day.

  29. Play Ultimate – This is one that I also didn’t get to do this year.  Maybe next year.
  30. Wear a bathing suit – We took Sam for a swim in the pool when we were in Stowe, Vermont, and it was glorious.

    Post-swim. We are pooped.

  31. Go on a road trip in the US – We did a really long road trip to California with my parents for Western States, and then, although we flew to most of the rest of our destinations, we always had to rent a car and do some road travel to and from races.  LOVE road trips.  Sam was a really great road tripper!

    Near Mount Shasta, California (that's us in the Subaru!)

    Watching the world roll by...

    Not one of our biggest road trips, but one of my favourites - the Eastern Townships in Quebec.

  32. Visit a farm sanctuary – We weren’t able to fit this in – the timing didn’t work, and the one local sanctuary that I thought we might get to wasn’t allowing visitors this year.
  33. Eat at a vegan food cart in Portland – We visited a couple food carts in Portland – my favourite was Native Bowl!  I can’t wait for our vacation this summer so that I can hit up a whole bunch more.

    Sam and I sitting beside Native Bowl (you can't see it in this picture, unfortunately.) Sam is happy to be here!

  34. Make 50 recipes from Appetite for Reduction – I actually thought I didn’t make this goal (I thought I only did 49!) but I did a run through today, and we got to 50!  We also ate a lot of the “bowls” in the back of the book, which don’t really count as recipes.  We are still working through this book – so many fantastic recipes and meals.  Highly recommended if you are looking for lower-fat and easy meals with whole food ingredients that taste fantastic. I especially loved the Butternut Coconut Rice, Chimchurri Tofu and Arabian Lentil and Rice soup.  And the Scarlet Barley.  And the cashew miso mayo.

    Another AFR favourite - buffalo tempeh and cool slaw with avocado in a sandwich. Yummers.

    The chimichurri tofu (ridiulously easy and good) over top of the Corn and Blue Potato Salad (also very good)

  35. Make homemade baby food for Sam – This is one thing we have been very good about.  Sam is a such a great eater, and so it has made it easy to try all kinds of great things with him.  We did the food cubes thing early on, and then moved on to mashed and blended, more complex foods.  (The Magic Bullet has been our best friend.) Now he pretty much eats whatever we do, and loves “crackers”, “cookies”, “‘nanas” and “apples” and asks for more “bites”!  (He has lots of food words.)

    The early days - steamed peas and carrots with plain soy yogurt, about to be blended up. Yum! (Actually, gross.)

    It didn't start out all that well...

  36. Start a “Sam journal” – So I did this for a while and then abandoned it (story of my life) but partly because I have found that I prefer the blog format for this kind of thing – I can put pictures together with stories, and then have comments from our friends and family.
  37. Learn to use my camera – I am crossing this out because I feel like I did some good learning, although I have so much more I want to learn about with my camera.  Going back to work has been hard, especially at this time of year, because it feels like there are so few opportunities to work with decent light.  Even the daylight is dark right now!


  1. It looks like you did pretty good overall Lana! We loved that we could share many of these photo moments with you guys. Good luck with your 38 before 38! Love, Mom & Dad

  2. Dude, you did not suck at all. You accomplished so much! I love that food is such a big part of your life. Although our diets are quite different, we are quite the foodies here too:)
    And big high five to Chad for competing in such a crazy series and doing so well.
    You guys are awesome.

  3. I think you did AWESOME! Here’s to a another year of adventures with your men! And I am totally willing to help with Sam’s baby book.

  4. Claire hopes she makes your list again! The picture of Sam and Claire is incredible. Miss you all. XOXO

  5. Thanks everyone so much for your comments. After I read them I went back and did the math, and I didn’t actually do as badly as I thought I did overall (I thought I only did about half, but I definitely finished more items than that). I am still embarrassed about a few of the ones I didn’t do though! Thanks to all of you for being a part of some of these memories!!

  6. I’m glad you went back over the list and realized that you didn’t do too badly because I am impressed! How’s this year shaping up?


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