Gothic Granola

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Walking the Talk

In order to focus on the transition between jobs and to maintain good self-care, I am taking a brief hiatus from posting. Regularly scheduled posts will resume on Saturday, 2 February. I try to take life one thing at a time, dear readers.

Stay up to date on my adventures via Instagram and Twitter.

Chocolate Pecan Torte and Golden Assam Tea Bread await you.

This recipe picture is lost | Vegan Gluten-free | Gothic Granola


Holiday Slideshows (This is how I do holiday cards)

Greetings, earthlings,


Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak’s A Promise is a Promise, based on the legend of the qallupilluit, stuck with me from when I was four or five and Mrs. Burns read it to the kindergarten class.  Since I was six, I used play out the story with various dolls of mine (Princess Gwenevere and Inuit Playmobil) every time it snowed or we had an early dismissal.

Without further ado, please enjoy Mice, Ice, and the Not Very Nice.

Gothic Granola | Mama Mouse: Don’t go too far, Chelsea!


For more stories of the Gillian children, see also:

Gothic Granola| Little Bill: This is so exciting!

2007’s greeting

Gothic Granola | 2012 Holiday Greeting

2008’s Halloween Slideshow

Blessings on you in 2013!

Happy Anniversary!

Happy one-year anniversary to this blog!

Happy Anniversary | Gothic Granola


Sixty-one days ’til graduation.

Substantive post to follow this weekend.

‘Til then,


I have a few lists and piles: there’s a pile of scrap paper with topics and scribbles about poems that I want to write, subjects upon which I want to discourse, discuss, disgust, disguise.  To the cover of my notebook, I binder-clipped a list of places I’d like to visit, activities I’d like to do, and objects I’d like to own.  I also carry a list of food projects I’d like to attempt.  By attempt, I mean throw caution to the wall, throttle it until it turns blue, and release it in disgust that I ever had any truck with it, and just do whatever I was about to do.

Squirrel in my parents’ backyard from 2011

Violent metaphors…hmmm, Q must be back at school.  How’d you guess?  I didn’t bake anything since Sunday, and today I simply had to bake else I would go a little kooky.  Did you know that “cookie” used to spelled “cooky” back in the day?  I learned this spelling when I was about ten years old while reading a book from the 1960s that my mom had read when she was ten.

Old glutenous cornbread, circa February 2011

Today I made cornbread, of course, since when I looked in my freezer, the only festive breakfasty item was frozen waffles.  I like waffles.  Waffles are delicious.  But I like food that I made, too.  I also have pancakes, but they’re for Tuesday suppers.  I began this tradition last year of eating bread for dinner on Tuesdays since it was consolation before an evening seminar.  Yeah, I know, using food as a reward or motivation can go veeeery screwy very quickly—trust me, I know—but I made it through the seminar every time.  This was last fall, before gluten and I parted ways, and it was probably a bad idea to have eaten wheat before class…I’m going to stop here before this gets too graphic.

Chococat says, “For me, Ownie?”

So today’s cornbread is my normal cornbread recipe, with pumpkin, raspberry applesauce, chocolate peppermint soymilk, hempseeds (the last of the bag), agave, and raisins.  I used cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and apple pie spice to, well, spice it up.

Current playlist, ’case you’re interested: “Voice of the Voiceless,” by Rage Against the Machine, “Get Your Gunn,” by Marilyn Manson, “Lacrymosa,” by Evanescence, “Bend to Squares,” by Death Cab for Cutie, “Killing In the Name,” by Rage Against the Machine, and “Pachelbel: Canon in D for Strings and Continuo,” performed by the Paillard Chamber Orchestra.  Welcome to my world of cognitive dissonance.  I’m now listening to the Sisters of Mercy album A Slight Case of Overbombing.

A weekend project: before my brother sent me a text—oh, hello, knocking in the radiator.  Life in an old dorm—anyway, before he invited me to dinner (prize-winning vegan chili), I was planning to make pierogi last Saturday.  Not being the remotest bit Polish, I was going to make a squash and tempeh filling.  Yeah, that’s not even Italian.  That’s North American and Indonesian, sort of.  So I went to the Alexandria farmers market and bought carnival squash.  They look like acorn squash with a marbled rind and I roasted the two squash, quartered, the same way I treated the acorn squash.  Carnival squash smells like challah (ooh, add that to my project list since I’ve already made vegan challah, I’m sure I could make a GF version) and candy while it’s baking; I highly recommend purchasing some.

I now have a bunch of frozen squash in my freezer since I did not make pierogi.  Sad.  Well, that’s what this weekend’s for. 

Another weekend project: pancakes.  I debated whether to show something that didn’t turn out quite right on this blog.  Blogs can tend to be escapist if things always seem to work out; at least, that’s what the author shows you.  This recipe’s not coming out quite right is, in the long run, false, since I’ve made it work before; I was just impatiently hungry in the morning after exercising.  I preheated the pan too hot, didn’t add enough oil, and ended up burning one or two before turning down the heat and watching carefully.  Forgive me, I get hungry.  End sarcasm.

I’ll post the recipe when I’ve tweaked it to my satisfaction; the source recipes I mashed up had too much baking powder.  Being used to denser pancake, I’m cutting the amount of baking powder back to 1 teaspoon and the water back to 3/4 cup and I’ll let ya know how that goes.

Here’s a picture of this same pancake recipe when it’s been done with a little more patience:

This is mysterious (and normal) dinner of pancake, vinegar-braised greens with onion and garlic, and black bean hommos.

I made banana pancakes on Saturday; these other instances I used pumpkin as a binder and egg- and fat-replacer.  That’s a knife-ful of peanut butter on the right there.

It’s obligatory, I think, for a blog that deals with baking to address how to frost a cake at some point.  I’ll be posting on that in the near future.  My carrel-mate and I made a cake on Monday for a mutual friend’s birthday, and I took pictures of the frosting process.  

We made the chocolate cake described in an earlier post with the above-mentioned raspberry applesauce.  I bought raspberry applesauce because, as I told my carrel-mate, “I don’t buy [low-quality] applesauce,” low-quality applesauce being the kind with high fructose corn syrup.  No, I’m not one of those haters who banishes HFC from the house; there’s no need for applesauce to have chemicals in it.  Know what I’m sayin’?

Of course you do.


P.S. It was my birthday recently, whereupon I acquired a cast iron skillet, a mini-donut pan, and a decent-sized saucepan, so look for adventures with those soon.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

National Coming Out Day is 11 October

Happy National Coming Out Day.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Realness {FAQ}

Doing the teaser is tough.  The teaser, in case you’ve never tried Pilates, is a move where a person balances on hir sacrum, legs and arms up at a forty-five-degree angle, and spine-rolls up and down to complete that pose using the powerhouse/core/abdominal muscles only.  I was better at it when I was recovering from surgery almost a year ago (T-minus four days, in fact, from today) since all I was allowed to do was Pilates and other stationary exercises.

Hey look, I match my towels!

What kind of surgery did I have?

The second of two surgeries from which I discerned the title of this blog: bunion surgery on my left great toe.  I am the proud ownie of four titanium screws, two in each big toe, as a result of each surgery.  Bunion surgery is relatively minor surgery; the procedure lasts about forty-minutes and I had mine in a surgery centre instead of in a hospital.  I could put weight on it on the same day, and I had a walking cast (the “boot”)four about four weeks.  My brother called me a pirate since I stumped around like Captain Barbossa.

Q, what’s an ownie?
Q—is that your real name?

Does anyone comprehend how cheeky that question is, asking someone if what they just told you to call them is their real name?  My name derives from my first nickname, Ownie.

Say what now?

Here’s the long story: I began collecting plush cats when I was four. 

Pepper, the first cat:

When I was five or six, I thought, instead of calling myself a pet owner–for I viewed my cat collection as my pets and playmates–I should call myself Ownie.  Ownie was a either feminised or diminutive version of owner.  Like the nickname Suzy Q, my mother (“Ownie Mom”) began calling me Ownie Q.  Then my family shortened that to Q.  Now all I go by is Q.  So, yes, it’s my real name, in my reality.

Now I have over two hundred plush kitties and I am always looking for more.  I collect other plush critters, too, but I’m mainly a cat person.

Maximus eying my veggie burger:

I’m living with this brash cat and his shy sister this summer.

Pie and pasta coming soon.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.


My name is Q.
–Hi, Q.
I have a dorm,
–bad dorm!
lots of cats, and mad form,
and I work
–Where do you work?
in a manuscript library.

My name is Q, I’m a university student (religion major), and I like to write, read, bake, and play.  Stay tuned for further developments as I blog about my culinary and writing exploits, or just my exploits on the journey of life in general.

In my lifelong striving for balance, this blog represents another way to deal with the world. Walk with me as I try to find balance.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.