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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sliced Open My Little Toe, Beef Stroganoff, A Busy Sales Weekend and My Stamp Blog Finally Gets Some Traction

I wasn't going to write a post because it is the weekend and I don't normally work on weekends. But I managed to injure myself last night and had to spend most of the night at the hospital. So today I am recovering and home by myself while Steph participates in her friend's baby shower.

I still don't know exactly how it happened, but I was going down the stairs at about 11pm to let the cat (Meeko) out of the basement. We'd put her down there because she had been acting all crazy for most of the evening and we wanted her to calm down. As I was going down my foot hit the stair and slid straight across it and I lost my balance and went down. When I got up I had these huge welts on my right arm and my little toe on my right foot was killing me. I limped to the bathroom and that's when I noticed the blood. Steph told me that I had a huge gash right where the joint on my little toe is and that it was about an inch wide and almost down to the muscle. I cut it open, but still can't figure out on what? Being a relatively typical male in this respect, I was content to just put Polysporin on it, bandage it up and go to bed. But Steph is wiser than I. She suggested we go to the hospital up the street. I immediately groaned at the thought of the all night wait in front of me, but I went with her.

I'm glad I did because the first thing the Triage Nurse asked me was whether I had had a Tetanus shot. I said yeah in 1977. Apparently you need them every 10 years, so at very least I needed the shot. I waited for about 21/2 hours to see a doctor who confirmed that stitches were needed and that I did the right thing by coming in. What followed next was the absolute most excruciating pain I have ever felt when she put the needle into the open wound to freeze it. It was much worse than I thought it was going to be and I'm not ashamed to say that I let out a scream that I'm sure most of the hospital heard. But it worked quickly and in no time I was back home in bed.

Steph and I spent most of yesterday helping her friend with a final dress fitting for her wedding. So when it came time for dinner we had decided to spend the night in and make our favourite meal, Beef Stroganoff. It occurred to me that I haven't posted the recipe for this yet:

1 pound of beef tenderloin - tenderloin is essential for its tenderness.
1 large onion or 3-4 small ones chopped fine
2 cups of sour cream (I prefer full fat, but 5% is good. I wouldn't recommend anything less)
1 tablespoon of beef bouillon paste or 1 cube of granules. I prefer the paste as the salt content is lower.
1 package of egg noodles.

Place the beef in the freezer for 20-30 min to partially freeze so that it will be easier to slice. Put the water on to boil for the noodles. Saute the onion in oil until soft, but not brown and set aside. Slice the beef into cubes 1/4 inch thick and about 1 inch square. Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet until nut brown and fragrant and then fast fry the beef for 2-3 min. It is very important not to overcook the beef because you want it to be tender. Remember that even after you remove it from the heat it will continue to cook for a minute or two. So my suggestion is to take it off the heat when there is still a bit of pink. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 min. Put the meat aside and then add the onion and the bouillon granules or paste to the pan and mix well (over medium high heat). Then add the sour cream and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt level as necessary and add some black pepper. Add the beef back into the sauce and heat through.

Drain the noodles and add the sauce, tossing to coat well. Serve at once and enjoy. This meal isn't cheap - the beef will probably cost $30 or so, but it is sooooo good.

This weekend has been busy for sales with me selling over $300. I continue to be cautiously optimistic, but it appears that my business model really is going to work. I've noticed some engagement from my customers now over e-mail and my stamp blogs are finally getting some readership now that I started taking the time this week to post to them daily. This week I wrote some really long posts about how to sort the Montreal from Ottawa printings of the 1870-97 Small Queens, the role that stamp dealers have to play in the hobby, the growing problem of evangelism in the hobby where collectors too easily dismiss items as fake and the 1897 Diamond Jubilee issue. The posts can be accessed by the following link:

Tonight I think I will take Steph out, as she has had a long and stressful weekend with this bridal Shower, so I won't have any recipes to post tomorrow. Instead I think I will talk about the importance of keeping romance alive in relationships and give some ideas that I have found that accomplish this nicely. It is particularly relevant because I have been so focused on the business lately that I have started to take my relationship somewhat for granted, and I need to break that mould.

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