Monday Evening Hodge-Podge

I’m determined to get this post published by midnight, because I planned on posting something today, and today has turned out to be mighty loooong.  I didn’t get home from work until about 10pm, and, as a result, bailed on my plan to hit the gym after leaving the office.  I’m not fretting about missing my workout, though, because yesterday I did 45 minutes on the bike (about 10.7 miles), and tomorrow I’m planning my next practice jog, and with a very special guest, who I’m very excited to see, even though you might not be aware of this person… yet.  So be sure to come back and check it out!

When I got home a little while ago, the first thing I did was attack one of my cactus pears.  You remember these guys, right?  I bought them yesterday at Super King for 17 cents:

You may know them as prickly pears, or, if you’re like me before yesterday, you may not really know them at all.  Let me first say that I learned tonight they’re called prickly pears for a reason – they hurt!  There are prickers embedded in those brown spots, and they’re tiny.  When one gets embedded in, say, I don’t know, the side of your middle finger and you feel it every time it rubs up against your ring finger, and you can’t see it, but it’s aggravating, painful, and makes typing your blog post a little more difficult nonetheless.  (I’m too tired to go back and fix that run-on sentence.)

So.  After deciding to handle the cactus pear more delicately, I got to the task of taking one apart.  First, I sliced off both ends, and made a couple long cuts down the length of the pear, so I could remove a piece of the skin.  This made removing the rest of the skin easier, as I could basically peel it, like a banana.  A dangerous banana.

I didn’t use the knife to peel it, I used my hands – I just stuck the knife there for the photo, so you could see how I was separating the flesh from the skin.   When I was done, I was left with a pricker-free oval of cactus pear flesh:

Which I cut up, and put in a bowl:

Which I ate.  Haley, a fellow blogger from Hawaii, noted in her blog that cactus pear tastes like a combination of watermelon and kiwi.  I’d say it tastes more like watermelon, but blander.  Like watermelon, it’s crisp yet watery, and like some watermelon (seedless varieties excluded), it’s full of seeds.  And those seeds are hard.  If you bite down on one, your first thought becomes, ‘oh crap, did I just chip a tooth?’   Just another reason consuming cactus pear is a risky endeavor.  Cactus pear is the fugu of the fruit world.  But when it comes down to it, despite the inherent risks for injury, I would recommend the cactus pear.  It never hurts to expand your culinary horizons, especially when you can get 2 for 17 cents!

Since I’m on the subject of new foods, remember these?

The Japanese fish balls I picked up in Little Toyko last weekend!  The Age Balls (package on the right) were long gone, but I didn’t touch the Minch Balls (package on the left) until yesterday.  And they were tasty.  I was going to take a photo of one cut open, but I forgot.  Oops.  They were a little more savory than the Age Balls (which had almost a maple-y glaze), had herbs sprinkled throughout them, and were still very tasty.  I’ll vouch for both processed fish balls – if you see them in your local Japanese supermarket, try a package.  They’re low in calories and fat (each minch ball is only 25 calories and 1 fat gram), and I’d definitely buy them again.  I’d also try one of the other 4 or 5 types of fish balls at the Japanese supermarket where I found these… a whole new world of processed fish products is unfolding before my eyes like an origami pterodactyl!

Woo-hoo!  Publishing this post at 11:01pm!  59 minutes to spare….

Keep it up, David!

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12 Responses to Monday Evening Hodge-Podge

  1. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan says:

    Wow, congrats big-time on your weight loss so far! That is truly stupendous!

    I love a good fruit murder ;P

  2. Tracy says:

    I’m impressed with the jogging. A part of me always wants to run but it took me about six months on the treadmill to realize I am just not built for it. Hurts my feet, knees and hips. I switched to the bike and haven’t looked back since. My goal is to be able to ride away from the Zombies once the epidemic hits. 🙂

    I think I will try prickly pears once, just to say I have, but it does not seem worth the work!

    I also think I will go create a wordpress account so I can stop typing my information in all the time.

    Have a Great Tuesday!

    • David says:

      Doesn’t it feel great to find an exercise that just clicks with you? You’ll leave the zombies in the dust. (They’re slow, anyway) Welcome to my blog and Keep It Up, Tracy!

  3. Tracy says:

    And this is what a comment looks like when you have a wordpress account. WooHoo!

  4. Tavi says:

    I have never been so inspired to eat an Asian inspired processed fish ball in my entire life!!!

  5. Hehe, you crack me up. You can’t say I didn’t warn you about the fiberglass-like fibers in those brown spots, brother! (I learned that lesson the hard way too).

    Your prickly pear looks more oblong than the one I ate… I wonder if Hawai’i has different varieties or something?

    Anyway, keep on keepin on! I love fishcakes!!!

    • David says:

      Ha! Nope – you warned me, all right! (I just didn’t listen!) Those things are nasty and painful. But I wanna buy them again and make jam or sauce or something. (We’ll see if that happens!)

  6. Debbie says:

    I don’t know how I missed the picture of the fishcakes! I used to eat those all the time when I was a kid. My mom makes a soup with those fishcakes, bean sprouts and radishes in the winter. I’d always ladle the fishcakes and avoid the veggies. Be careful though…don’t they have a lot of sodium?

    • David says:

      I don’t have the packaging anymore so I can’t confirm sodium, but it was basically the same as imitation crab, as I recall. Each fish ball has about 5% of your suggested sodium intake, so 5 balls would be 1/4 of your salt for the day. I say it’s worth it! And mmmm fish ball soup!

  7. Lacey says:

    I love prickly pears. When I was a kid we used to pick them right off the cactus (also a dangerous endeavour). We often made a jam out of the flesh – if we could keep from eating them long enough. 🙂 I don’t think I have ever seen them for sale in a store, though. I will keep my eye out.

    Keep it up!

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