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bleudauvergne

The Montignac Method

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Lucy, do you know the rationale for no fats with pasta? It doesn't make sense intuitively or from a glycemic index perspective. You used whole wheat flour which is good and lentils high in protein, but I would think the overall glycemic index of this dish with the tomato sauce would still be fairly high.

Also, I believe that some fat is needed to help digest the lycopine in the tomato (sauce). Next time, drizzle a teaspoon of a really good OO on top of the finished product. Mmm.

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Huzzah for the heroine of the pasta victory! That dish was just beautiful, and you've inspired me to run out and do the same. I'm not on Montignac, of course, so I could play with the flour mix... but I'm not sure I'd want to. What this will be like a couple of months from now, when I have tomatoes and basil in the garden, I almost tremble to imagine.

BTW re the Franciscan Ivy. I looked on eBay yesterday, and sure enough there's quite a bit of it up for auction - though mostly in sets. Also - when I was in Gilgo yesterday I looked at the sugar-bowl and creamer we've had there for as long as I can remember (maybe they came with the house?) because your plates strongly reminded me of them. I had been puzzled because the ivy pattern was similar but the physical shape of the pieces was very different from the sugar/cream sets I'd seen on eBay - much more ornate. (Idiot, idiot, I didn't think to take a picture. Will next time I'm there.) Well, they ARE Royal Johnson, and the only other legible thing on the stamp was the word "Ivy" (and nothing in the illegible bit looked as if it could have been "Franciscan.") So they aren't Franciscan Ivy, but the painted design is so very similar that I'm wondering if they could have been the precursor of that pattern. We've had the house since 1960, so I know these pieces are older than that - how MUCH older is anyone's guess. Now I'm curious - shall do my best to find out.

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Did the fromage blanc a la crème have sugar in it?

No, it was fromage blanc with cream poured over it, and it was delicious. They normally bring out the sugar so that the person who ordered it can sprinkle it on top. I just order this and don't pour the sugar over it. It's really lovely just like that.

Lucy, do you know the rationale for no fats with pasta? It doesn't make sense intuitively or from a glycemic index perspective. You used whole wheat flour which is good and lentils high in protein, but I would think the overall glycemic index of this dish with the tomato sauce would still be fairly high.

Actually I'm pretty sure this meal fell rather low overall on the glycemic index. The tomatoes (the sauce was a tomato puree prepared by one of my producers at the market, containing tomatoes only), a clove of garlic, parsley, basil, and vegetable boullion containing vegetables and brewers yeast only wre all that went on it so all in all the dish as a whole was low on the glycemic index, around 28, I would bet. The carbs are not to be mixed with fat, and fats are to be generally minimized for the dinner meal, thes montignac suggests that I choose to have carbs for dinner as often as I can. In principal, I could have included a couple of spoons of olive oil in this. Montignac gives several pages of sample menus, and "spagettis intergraux a la tomate" are mentioned as a recommended meal - I'm not 100% clear on the rationale but I'll try and understand exactly the reasons in the next couple of days - thank you for giving me something good to think about.

Ah, then you needed to line the mold with aspic.
Thank you Rachel, for that detailed instruction! I will definitely do that next time. Do you use knox gelatine at all? If so, what's your gelatine / liquid ratio? I might put that to use, and also when I'm making some desserts. I have packets of 11 grams but have no idea how much liquid I should be using for them.

About the OO, I think I will follow your advice and do that next time with the sauce.

you've inspired me to run out and do the same. I'm not on Montignac, of course, so I could play with the flour mix... but I'm not sure I'd want to. What this will be like a couple of months from now, when I have tomatoes and basil in the garden, I almost tremble to imagine.

Lisa, since you are not on Montignac, you MUST go to MobyP's pasta making class. There is a link to it above. It's incredibly inspiring and opens many culinary doors. I suggest the egg pasta he makes and use as much semolina as you can, because it just gets better and better the more semolina you are able to work into it. It is so incredibly easy and so satisfying as an activity I'm sure once you start you will do it all the time. And now that I have performed the test, proving that whole grain pasta is definitely possible at home, you can just switch to whole grain if you end up putting on too much weight from your forays into the pasta making adventure!

Thank you borh Rachel and Lisa for checking the Franciscan pattern. I have been meaning for years to expand on my plates and bowls into a full service. But shipping and the dang French customs which arbitrarily slaps massive fees on whatever falls within their radar has been keeping me from doing this. But I will check it out and consider it a very important item on my UK trip checklist.

Thanks all for your interesting questions and advice. :biggrin:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Lisa, since you are not on Montignac, you MUST go to MobyP's pasta making class.  There is a link to it above.  It's incredibly inspiring and opens many culinary doors.  I suggest the egg pasta he makes and use as much semolina as you can, because it just gets better and better the more semolina you are able to work into it.  It is so incredibly easy and so satisfying as an activity I'm sure once you start you will do it all the time.  And now that I have performed the test, proving that whole grain pasta is definitely possible at home, you can just switch to whole grain if you end up putting on too much weight from your forays into the pasta making adventure! 

Yes, I've been meaning to look up MobyP's class. Actually, though, I've been making pasta for years, so that in itself isn't the part that really grabbed me (though you know how it is, something you haven't done in a while suddenly becomes exciting again when someone reminds you of it) - it was the whole wheat aspect, which is something I don't think I've ever tried. Or no - I think I did try it once, early in my pasta-making days, and didn't have the patience to get it right, so reverted to my standbys, the classic egg pastas which I love. On reflection I'm pretty sure that the last time I tried whole wheat I wasn't mixing the dough thoroughly enough, going through the second crumb and ball stages - the result being that the dough was too stiff and brittle to work with. That's the part that ignited the exclamation point over my head as I was reading your post.

Nice thing (one of many) about making one's own pasta: fresh full-sheet lasagne. I used to make a Non-Red lasagna that I thought rather marvelous - just couldn't bring myself to overpower the fresh pasta with the assertive flavors of tomato sauce. Hmmmm... wonder if I can recreate that from memory. I never wrote it down because it all seemed so obvious at the time. Sigh.

Nother of those many nice things: fresh fettucine at the height of basil season. Why the pesto doesn't overwhelm it too is something I never stopped to think about, and refuse to worry about now. (Actually, I don't think the tomato sauce really overpowers it either - I just think the lack of tomato sauce results in a better showcase for the pasta, if you see what I mean.)

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Ah, then you needed to line the mold with aspic.
Thank you Rachel, for that detailed instruction! I will definitely do that next time. Do you use knox gelatine at all? If so, what's your gelatine / liquid ratio? I might put that to use, and also when I'm making some desserts. I have packets of 11 grams but have no idea how much liquid I should be using for them.

I'm sorry, but I can't help you more with this. I don't particularly care for aspic, or aspic lined terrines. When I eat a pate lined with aspic, I generally leave the aspic on the plate. I just know how to do it from briefly working at a caterers years ago. In rereading my instructions, it occurred to me that you may need to chill the aspic for longer than 5 minutes, since you are using silicone molds, right? The garde manger I worked with used a metal mold and prechilled it, so the aspic coating set pretty quickly. Don't use the freezer, however. You want it to gel, not freeze.

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Hey that's ok Rachel, you already gave me the idea of what I should be doing, and I thank you for that. I think, since my gallatines are frozen, the next time I want to serve them, and I bring them out to thaw, I will experiment with painting the gelatine directly on the thawing gallatines, layering herb leaves into the gelatine on the surface. Thank you for giving me ideas for how to accomplish what I want, even though aspic is not your cup of tea. :biggrin:

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At the market yesterday, I didn't get much because I have many odd veggies to cook, and enough fish in the freezer to feed me until kingdom come. Besides, I was thinking of spices, which can be rather costly. I picked up (from top right) basil, tarragon, chives, cucmbers, 2 mystery herbs, 1 garriguette (?), which the vendor says he uses in pickle making, the other looks like rosemary but it tastes lemony,very pungent. Spices (detailed below), eggs, 1 kilo of cherries for compote, parsley 2 types, mushrooms, celery root, citrons confits, and bread for Loic and his sister who came over for lunch.

Spices were an assortment of curries, mixes, and the ingredients for my creole spice mix. From left to right: dried oregano, pre mixed: garam masala, mix of black and white pepper, dried onions, dried garlic, pre-mixed: curry "madras", curry "colombo", and curry "masal" (I have no experience with any of these but I thought I'd start) , some hungarian paprika, dried pepper flakes with lots of heat, and a milder more subtle and complex spanish pepper powder.

My creole mix which I always have on hand for quick marinades and giving flavor to soups and lentils, includes:

3 parts paprika

2 parts finely ground sea salt (or a mix of coarse and fine)

2 parts dried garlic

1 part dried onion

1 part mixed black and white pepper (or just black pepper is fine)

1 part cayenne (this time I tried pepper flakes - they are hot!)

1 part dried oregano

1 part spanish pepper

Using tablespoons, this makes a nice big jar, which usually lasts me a month to 6 weeks.

If you look at the ingredients for a lot of spice mixes on the shelves in a grocery store, they're most like to contain fillers, silica, starch, sugars like dextrose, glucose, etc. I prefer to know what goes into my spice mixes. Sometimes I make the above mix without any dried onions or garlic and just use fresh.

Another spice mix that I like to use from time to time, especially with fish, is called spigol and comes in little sachets. I think it's Spanish.

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What are these herbs? I don't know the name for these herbs in French or English. They are both rather pungent. The one behind is not rosemary, it gives a burst of bitter lemon flavor. I plan first to make an infusion to understand them better, and then decide what to do with them.

Lunch yesterday was platter of market crudites and herbs, served with lettuce and with oil, vinegar, and fleur de sel at the table, followed by the cheese plate.

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There are three new additions to the plate:

Cantal, cave aged 15 months.

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A cheese called L'Ardechois, a chevre fermier, soft and runny, salty, tangy and delicious. It fulfills my innermost chevre desire.

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Le Roves des Garrigues- another artisanal fresh chevre that had the most amazing subtle herb aroma. The cheese is a simple hand formed chevre. I could not find it in any of my guides, nor could I find the name of the producer on the label. I think that the very slight herb taste that comes at the unique finish is because the goats are grazed on the herbs of the garrigues. But I'm not sure. I haven't checked the web yet.

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The little cheeses are such a pleasure to discover one by one. The question once crossed my mind: How to these people stay in business, producing such little precious cheeses? How can these farmers sell enough to stay afloat? Then I began trying them, and I understand. These cheeses are just incredible. They cost anywhere from 1 euro to 4 euros each, depending, most falling in the 2 euro range. Each one is produced on different individual farms spread out in all of the regions of France. Each one has a distinct personality.

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We took the car to a neighboring town in the afternoon to visit a hat museum with Loic's sister. When we got home, I just decided to prepare something that was easy and we had some baby andouillettes to cook up, so I didn't make a carb meal. But the meal did not have too many fats, anyway. I mixed some dijon mustard in with the mushroom juice near the end of the cooking.

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Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Those herbs look like marjoram in the front, and maybe summer savory in the back? Lovely!


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Definitely summer savory in the back. I'm not convinced that the other is marjoram, though - too grey and fuzzy-looking. Besides, I can't imagine Lucy not knowing marjolaine. I'll look it up later.

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It looks a lot like the marjoram I just bought at the farmer's market, too.


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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I was looking at this picture which shows it with big leaves to compare. Let me give a taste: does you garden marjoram start out tasting like thyme and then develop into a strong lavendar taste? I hung it to dry because it had such a strong flavor I doubt I'd use it this week. The taste comes from one of the buds which has already dried.

Marjoram it is. (?) :biggrin:

Thank you ever so much.


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Nope - my marjoram looks like the other picture and, as described, tastes like a milder version of oregano. The stuff in your picture has a different leafing habit, nodes almost more like mullein, though that isn't quite right for the flavor profile you describe. Also, those darker brown stems aren't characteristic of any marjoram I know. Damn, when is someone going to invent the Taste and Texture Plug-In? It's so hard to tell just from a picture!

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I tasted it, and I get thyme in the beginning, but not sure about the lavendar. The marjoram in my garden is just coming back from dying out and is at a stage where the leaves are lighter green. The buds haven't yet developed, and the stems haven't turned the darker color. I think that happens later in summer. It also takes on the fuzzy quality. It is a rather strong herb, and I only use a little when I use it. Maybe yours is something else, but it looked like marjoram to me when I first saw it.


Edited by Carlsbad (log)

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I am glad that Carlsbad popped up to prevent me from thinking I had gone totally off my gourd. I wonder if what we have is different varieties of marjoram, like you get with basil, or what. Quite mysterious!

Lucy, you have inspired me to bake some 100% wholemeal bread. I don't much care for the dense stuff that is whole-wheat pan bread, and was feeling sort of cranky about all the recipes that insist that you mix your wheat flour with lots of white flour, and then add honey and all kinds of other things that seem to defeat the purpose of the thing. Anyhow, I prefer crusty chewy artisan-type bread, with the nice open texture and gelatinous crumb. I'd been sort of working on messing around with sourdough, so I read around and it seemed like all my long-gathered tricks of the trade might add up to make it work. We'll see! My first two loaves are in the oven right now.


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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I neglected to say that I have found these photos and descriptions more entertaining than any food magazine I get. And I get a lot of them.

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Yesterday I took the day off from work. I have to take time off every once in a while because if I don’t I build up too much time in my account and then I lose it. I recently got a call from someone in accounts to let me know that I was going to have to take some time off or lose it. Yesterday was better than other days, work schedule wise, so I took it.

I picked up a kilo of cherries at the market from the same man who sold me the strawberries two weeks ago, and decided to make my compote as the first activity on my relaxing day off.

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Pitting those things was like a slaughter, even with the cherry pitting device! Never have I ever been tainted and stained with so much splattering juice that stains! One tee shirt, down the drain! After the battle was over, I carefully scrubbed my fingers with a brush, all of which had turned a deep purplish shade of red, getting it all out except on the sides of my fingernails. The coffee mug where I put the pits and stems had juice dribbling down the side of it and I didn’t see it as I placed it on my countertop. 5 minutes later, voila, a round stain. This juice must not drip on the floors, or else someone might conclude that my home is the scene of a crime.

Once safely on the burner, I added the fructose. The cherries were sweet, but not as sweet as the strawberries had been, so I used the same amount of fructose as last time, 4 T. / 50 grams.

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I turned on the heat and the cherries began to release their juice and after a about 4 minutes I felt ok leaving them to stew a bit. I left them to happily bubble as I did a few things around the house. When I returned to check on them, I realized that the fruits weren’t breaking down as quickly as the strawberries had when I made the first batch of compote, so I decided to cover the pot to avoid too much of the juice evaporating. I left them to simmer - until a strange alarm which I have never heard went off, and ran to the kitchen to find that the pot had boiled over! It had splattered all over the wall, dripped down onto the countertop, over the counter, and onto the floor. I could not figure out how to turn off the alarm. All over - a very sticky deep red syrup that did not absorb into a wet cloth, and just spread out further as I struggled to clean it up. It was everywhere. I had to throw away the cloth I used to clean up the mess because if I put it in the wash with the rest, it would have definitely turned everything pink.

This time I used 12 grams of gelatine powder instead of 6, melting the powder in cool water and letting it sit for a few minutes, then adding it to the hot but not boiling fruits and their juice. The yield seemed somewhat more than the strawberries (for the same amount of fruit) – indeed it was – the 1 kilo of cherries yielded 3 times what the same volume of strawberries had!

IMG_0373.JPGSafely cooling on newspaper.

I plan to give away some of this because I don’t think we’ll be able to finish all of this off in time. I hadn’t prepared to put any of these up for long time storage, so I’ve got some ready to eat compote to give to friends.

I went out to lunch and had a salad on a nice cool terrace.

At the end of the afternoon, while cleaning the house, I took a few minutes to mix up some pasta dough, and used a different proportion of the semolina to whole grain (type 150) flour. This time the proportion was as follows:

80g. whole grain semolina

45g. T150 wheat flour

1/3 cup water

This time, the dough came together quite rapidly and on its own, I did not have to stop it and gather it into a ball. When it was finished kneading, (3 minutes in the moulinex with the paddle on low), it was much more moist and had much more give than the pasta of a couple of days ago (125g flour total to 1/3 cup water). My thought on this is that the semolina is much more dense than the flour, and changing the proportions (even by 10 grams) changed the nature of the resulting dough significantly.

When Loic came home I mixed together a bowl of stuffing for the pasta, and put on a pot of water. When it had come to a boil, the pasta was stuffed and ready to go into the water.

Stuffing:

About 200g. non fat cheese kind of like a ricotta but without any sweetness to it and slightly harder. (this is a special product sold by my fromagier that we never buy but she gave me a taste of it and I immediately thought of using it as a medium for pasta stuffing.)

Salt and pepper

Assorted herbs

A little bit of the 0% cervelles des canuts

About 2 T. grated aged parmesan

The dough rolled out like a dream, I was able to get much thinner this time.

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It pinched together and cooked extremely well, maintaining its density and form, not puffing or disintegrating in any way, and producing a pasta with a nice “bite” to it, al dente. A pleasure to eat, as good as any pasta we've ever had at home. My husband was wary of a cheese containing no fat, but he gave in and then exclaimed that my seasoning had made it rather nice. I liked the smaller ones better than the bigger ones, the balance between the pasta and the stuffing was better.

The meal was finished with a salad, and we split a beer. (16.5 cl each) It was a German pilsner with a lovely depth to the flavour.

I stepped on the scales this morning : I have lost 2 more pounds since last weighing in about a week ago. Making progress.

edit to add photos


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Congratulations on your continuing progress! Cherry compote sounds entirely seductive. Strawberry, sure, delicious, but cherry -- ! :wub: I can't imagine you'll have any trouble finding friends to take your surplus off your hands.

The bread tastes good, but is alas denser than I would like. I think I may buckle and change the proportions to include some (but not too much) ordinary bread flour, but first I'm going to work on developing my starter to see if it acquires more lifting power. I think this bread would be very good with something like your Cervelle de Canuts -- finding 0% fromage frais may be a challenge, though. Meanwhile my lunch yesterday consisted of no small quantity of potato chips, indicating that I am not very skilled at following your good example.


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Ketosis is the state into which your body enters when it depletes its stores of glucose (due to vast reduction in simple sugars and carbohydrates) and starts to burn its own fat stores for energy.  The benefits of this are that your body starts to burn fat as its primary fuel, and thus your weight-loss is accelerated.  A side benefit of this is that it naturally reduces your appetite.

I would assume from seeing what you are eating that Montignac does not induce a ketogenic state in your body, as the carbohydrate intake must be very very low to do this, under 40/50 grams per day (sometimes far under, sometimes some above) depending on your activity level). 

Since beginning the final phase of my schooling--which is the Nutrition part, for some reason, they save that for last--I have been fascinated by the action of carbohydrate in the body.

Everyone knows that glucose (carbohydrate) is the brains' preferred fuel. While the body can convert glucose into body fat, it can't convert body fat into glucose to feed the brain. When the body faces a serious lack of carbohydrate, it turns to its proteins to make some glucose--which keeps the protein from critical functions of its own.

Protein functions are so irreplacable in the body that they call this the "protein-sparing" action of carbohydrate. Dr. Atkins, obviously knowing this, suggests we get pleeeeeenty of dietary protein to supplement this effect.

As far as ketosis, NM's description is very accurate but it doesn't mention some of the negative aspects. Fat fragments have to be combined with carbohydrate before they can be used up for energy. When our body tries to use its fat WITHOUT the help of carbs, we go into ketosis.

It's called "ketosis" because abnormal products of the breakdown of fats called "ketone bodies" start to accumulate in our blood. This disturbs the normal acid-base balance in our bodies. Ketosis during pregnancy can cause brain damage to the fetus and result in retardation. Ketosis can also cause heavy mineral losses in the urine.

Positively, ketosis is also the "last state" our bodies enter when we are starving. After about 10 days with no food, after our body has cannibalized its lean tissues and is beginning to eat through vital organs, looking for material to feed the nervous system, we enter ketosis.

You could look at it as our body's "last ace": it converts body fat into ketone bodies, which are normally rare in our bloodstream, and uses these to feed the nervous system. Thus the nervous system begins to feed on the fat stores in the body, forestalling death for a little while longer.

Because of ketosis, a starving person who is of average weight/body fat can live TOTALLY WITHOUT FOOD for 6 - 8 weeks.

Bleu, this is a truly great thread. I mean to ask my Nutrition teacher about this diet tonight as she has not lectured on it--she has, however, lectured AT LENGTH about the low-carbohydrate diets. I am glad to see you are making this effort and I have really enjoyed looking at your beautiful pictures! :smile:


Noise is music. All else is food.

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Thanks NeroW, I'm glad you're enjoying the thread.

Just want to stress that on this plan I am eating plenty of carbs and plenty of proteins... No ketosis happening here and the weights coming off - slowly but it is coming off.

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Just want to stress that on this plan I am eating plenty of carbs and plenty of proteins... No ketosis happening here and the weights coming off - slowly but it is coming off.

I am glad to hear it. What was the name of the German beer you drank last night? I probably can't get it here (Chicago), but you never know . . . :rolleyes:

BTW, Lyon is an incredibly beautiful city. Now I will spend all day longing for France, particularly Rennes, where my sister used to live. :sad:


Noise is music. All else is food.

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Lucy,

Once again you've captivated our attention with your gorgeous photos and warm, lovely style. Thank you for sharing your story with us - it's very inspiring. You've achieved a delicate and difficult balance - working toward your goal while not losing the things that are so very central to who you are - i really feel honored to get to witness this. Keep it up girl! :smile:

reese


from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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