A freelance check came in, so I bought men's pants! Men's Wearhouse was having a two-for-one sale and the 31–30 slim fit 100% cotton slacks fit me perfectly. Another gap in my wardrobe has been filled.
Tonight J and I made lentil soup and then I made mint chocolate chip ice. Both came out reasonably well but could have been better. ( Recipes behind the cut. )
Ever wonder whether something is really as awful as you remember? X and I watched Blues Brothers 2000
tonight. It is actually more
awful than we remember. Considerably more. That said, we're now very inspired to hunt down some good live music when we're in New Orleans for World Horror/Stokers Weekend next month. (Will you be there?) And it turned out she hadn't seen the video for "Q.U.E.E.N." so we rectified that as soon as the movie was done, and that made the world considerably better.
Last weekend I got both my inboxes down to zero, and I've kept them there all week. I have also been way WAY more productive at work and more relaxed at home. (I read a book--no, two books! I watched two episodes of DS9
!) I don't think this is coincidence. I really had no idea how much stress I felt looking at unanswered things in my inbox until they weren't there anymore. Now I tab to my inbox, smile, and feel like I really get to choose what I do next--no pressure, no stress. I recommend this highly. (I explain my process in the comments on the DW version of this entry
After consulting with my therp, I'm tentatively planning to go off the Zoloft once Readercon is done. (The timing is not coincidence.) I'll wait a month to make sure I'm doing okay without it, and then try very carefully drinking some flavored tea and see what happens.
Readercon stuff is not actually that stressful right now, because we're in the part I love best: collecting data and building the program. I'm also organizing a really exciting thing for Saturday night that I hope will be stupendously awesome. Yay for friends who know what they're doing and can reassure me that my plans are feasible and unlikely to become "a clusterwhentwopeopleloveeachotherverymuc
h". Yay for feeling much better about trying this new-to-me thing now that I've actually got the ball rolling.
I wonder what I will do with all my free time and energy once Readercon is done. I'll still be on the concom and progcom and safecom, but I'm stepping down as program chair, and that's a huge weight off my shoulders. I don't go dancing anymore, and even if I took it up again, I wouldn't volunteer to nearly the extent that I used to (if at all). I don't cook for Arisia anymore. I have Long Hidden
to co-edit, but that's a freelance project and I'll do it in freelance time. For the first time in a long long while, I will have no unpaid volunteer gigs to occupy me.
Maybe domesticity will be my next thing. It's what I most love doing right now: bustling around the house, talking with X and J about household projects, cooking, building and buying things, having people over, family time. More of that would be really nice.
Maybe I'll knit more, read more, do a better job of keeping up with the rewatch.
Or maybe I'll just improvise, be spontaneous, do whatever I feel like doing. I'm not very good at spontaneity, but the only way to get better at it is to make space for it.
Augh, is it really getting light out? I am not doing very well with sticking to anything resembling my sleep schedule. Having a week off from work isn't going to help with this. Oh well.
- thinking about:
behavior.accomplishments, behavior.organization, behavior.planning, behavior.volunteering, body.body clock, events.cons, events.cons.readercon, experiences.drugs, experiences.drugs.zoloft, experiences.movies, experiences.music, food, food.cooking, food.cooking.ice cream, food.cooking.soup, food.cooking.soup.lentil, food.recipes, stuff.clothes, stuff.tech
I spent a fair amount of yesterday looking up various soup recipes. They led me to conclude that you can make vegetable soup pretty much any way you want. So I improvised with what we had on hand, and I encourage you to likewise adjust this recipe to your own tastes and supplies. It's very flexible because you don't have to worry about different cooking times for different ingredients: it's all cooked into mush and then pureed.
You'll need a big pot for this. Our medium pot (5 quarts, I think?) barely handled it. Makes about nine 2-cup servings depending on how you adjust the quantities given.
The following are the ingredients I used, with suggestions for alternatives in parentheses.
1 onion, chopped
(could be two, plus a crushed clove of garlic or two; or add miso to taste at the "season to taste" step)
a few shakes/grinds each of ground cumin, powdered ginger, and black pepper
(you could also try curry powder, turmeric, mustard powder, ras al hanout, whole mustard or cumin seeds, paprika, cayenne, etc.)
1 enormous turnip, peeled and chopped--seriously, it was bigger than the onion!
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
.5 cup tomato puree
(could also include other root vegetables, zucchini, squash, peppers; for the tomato puree, you can substitute canned diced tomatoes or peeled and de-seeded fresh tomatoes if you have good ones on hand)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through (or beans, chickpeas, or raw nuts)
2 cups cooked white rice (or .5 cup uncooked rice and 1 additional cup water)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
(and/or any other fresh or dried herbs you like; parsley or cilantro would be particularly good, or dried bay leaves, or you could be adventurous and try marjoram or sage)
4 cups (one 32-oz. box) vegetable broth
3 to 4 cups water
In your big pot, heat oil and a few drops of water over medium heat until the water sizzles. Add a dash of salt. Sauté aromatics 10 minutes until softened. Add and sauté spices 1 minute or until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to keep things from sticking to the bottom. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed so the liquid just covers the solids.
Adjust seasonings to taste (I usually add a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, miso paste for extra umami, and/or salt and pepper) and simmer 15 more minutes or until all the solids are soft and mushy. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Remove thyme stems; if the leaves haven't already fallen off them, strip the leaves off and stir them into the soup, discarding the stems. (If using bay leaves, take those out too.) Puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender. At this point, if you're not eating it right away, you can distribute the soup into containers, let it cool to room temp, and store in fridge or freezer.
Before serving, return to pot and heat; add a splash of red wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon or lime if you like; serve garnished with fresh thyme or parsley.
Lentils + rice = complete protein, hooray! There's probably a ton of fiber in there too. This is definitely Good For You as well as being tasty. And it's easy.
Most of the flavor in the soup comes from the broth and the spices and herbs; don't expect the vegetables to flavor it much unless you want to go to the trouble of roasting them beforehand. If your soup isn't very flavorful, add some vegetable boullion, or increase the spices at the 30-minute flavor-adjusting mark. The vinegar or citrus juice will punch it up too. Enjoy!
was thinking of coming over today to write with me for a couple of hours. I said we'd be happy to feed her cabbage soup for dinner. "I loathe cabbage soup!" she said, and we decided not to meet up today after all.
I'm not usually one to say "You just haven't met the right _____", but I do wonder whether she's had cabbage soup made with fresh organic Napa cabbage, which was so good that next time we get some from the farmshare we're planning on eating it raw or making coleslaw, and crumbled bacon and freshly grated Parmesan and fresh garlic from the farmer's market. We doubled this recipe
, substituting half vegetable broth and half chicken broth for the stock, and using the bacon grease instead of olive oil. (We crisped the bacon in the bottom of the pot and then set it aside to crumble in later. Mmm, bacon.) The cabbage was just barely softened, still crunchy and tender and flavorful. It was magnificent. I had no idea cabbage soup could be so good. ( Full original (single) recipe, since links go away sometimes )
Between the beans and the cabbage, sinboy
and I are very glad to have separate bedrooms. Worth it, though. And if pisicutsa
decides it sounds worth trying, we have five more servings in the fridge.
(crossposted to iron_chef_csa
This is a true one-pot meal. If you have a pot, a spoon, a knife, and a cutting board, you can make this. It's good for when you're sick, because a) soup is good for you, b) it doesn't take much brains or effort, and c) you can do it even if the sink is full of dishes that you're too tired to wash. It also makes easily reheated leftovers. We both wanted second helpings, so next time I should probably double this recipe if I want to have any left over!
If your chicken is fridged rather than frozen, you can skip the hot water bath and reduce the first boiling time by 5-10 minutes; or just leave it the way it is for falling-apart chicken shreds, which can be lovely.
Oh, and don't leave out the lemon and the capers. They really make the flavors all work together.( 'Too Sick to Wash Dishes' Chicken Soup )
(crossposted to cheap_cookin
For those of you who said "rabbit rabbit"
when you woke up today, here are some carrots to feed that rabbit.( Carrot-ginger soup )
This soup is, for me, the perfect fall/winter food. The flavors are very rich, but only the ginger really jumps out at you. I deliberately restrained myself with the nutmeg, so it's subtle as nutmeg only rarely manages to be; the tarragon clearly adds something, but you don't find yourself thinking "oh, wow, tarragon". It's hard to tell where the spiciness of ginger ends and the chili powder begins. The soup was very flat when I first tasted it, and then I added the salt and bang! it popped up into three dimensions. The salt particularly brings out the smooth mellow notes of the cream and the sweetness of the carrots and tarragon. It's creamy enough that Java tried to lick the bowl (the ginger gave him a bit of a nasty shock), but not too rich, especially if your stock is well-skimmed.
If you use vegetable broth, it's vegetarian; the only non-vegan item is the cream, and that can probably be substituted for in some fashion. I used Imagine's "No-Chicken" stock because I like it, but I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, so I can't really comment on appropriate substitutions. Experiment! That's what a kitchen is for.