March 14, 2013 § 24 Comments
I’ve been going through a spate of soup-mania lately. Vast quantities of soup have been making their way from the kitchen to my lips. It’s practically all I want to eat.
I mean, I always like soup, but right now something about the world, the liminality of so many things – not the least of which being the season – is making soup particularly appealing. When you’re in between winter and spring as well as all sorts of projects, just waiting (and waiting (and waiting)) for people to get back to you about pesky little things like edits and comments, what better to do than a little slurping? Soup is there to oblige all slurping needs. Also, I have a private theory that I’ve been dehydrated because of the dryness in the air, and my body is trying to make up for the fact that 10 or so cups of water a day just isn’t quite enough by steering me towards eating liquid food as well. Is that even possible? Not sure.
Anyhow, I’ve had avocado soup for lunch for about 5 days in a row. We’ve had sourdough tomato soup, and Norwegian fiskesuppe (with some extra parsnip and tiny arctic shrimp added), and creamy squash soup, and pho. To name just a few. I also just had the sudden flicker of a memory of a spinach and pine nut soup that I used to make for dinner parties in college (because I hosted dinner parties in college. With no kegs or even drinking games. Because I was that cool.). I’ll have to make that some time soon because doesn’t that sound good?
This soup, though, I consider the culmination of sorts (though not the sort of culmination that signals the end. No way. More soups to come, so if you’re a soup person you should come on over…). The soup to rule all soups, you might say. A soup so filled with wonderful things that it is a considerable stretch to call it a soup. It should be eaten with a fork. Indeed, it should be so thick a fork should stand right up in it. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have found a new activity to add to my list of favorite summer activities! Other favorites include: distracting myself from runs and hikes to pick berries, powering various boats via paddles, drinking cold things while sitting in the sun (or shade, depending on the temperature), jumping up in down in the water while singing a little happy song to myself, having sing-alongs on the porch, scrambling on sun warmed rocks, and eating far more ice cream than can possibly be good for me. My newfound activity is watering the vegetable garden with our hose. It has to be with our hose, or else with one that is similarly leaky, because an important aspect of the enjoyableness of the whole thing is achieved by getting doused by the spray from around the nozzle, and eventually finding yourself quite as watered as the garden. You see (I’m sure some of you are seeing this far more clearly than others), it appears that the summer has taken a double-dog dare to be as scalding hot as possible for as long as possible, just to see what we’ll do. And, I’m finding that pretty much the only way to survive is by frequently submerging, spraying, dousing, or in other words, soaking myself with lots of cold water. Oh, and I also find myself daydreaming about freezing myself (probably naked!) into an ice cube. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 29, 2010 § 5 Comments
San Francisco was a whirlwind. Actually, to be more accurate I should probably say it was a fog. Anyway, it was a little crazy busy, so let’s set it aside for a moment to address these amazing stuffed grape leaves instead.
The first time I ever made stuffed grape leaves it was summer and I was out on an island. Doesn’t that just sound exciting and exotic? Unfortunately, it was an island in the Boston harbor, not off the coast of Greece or anything. But actually, apart from that little fact, the whole experience definitely tended toward the exotic side. I was there for an art encampment that a good friend of mine curates each year. In an homage to the Homestead Act, groups of artists “stake a claim” on pieces the island for 5 days and “improve” it by creating installations or performances using only what they can carry on their backs or find on the island. The whole encampment is open to the public for exploration and interaction. The installations range from a Museum of Island Artifacts (my favorite artifact was the “petrified jellyfish,” which looked suspiciously like sea glass), to an island gamelan, to a trans harbor tin can telephone.
Joel and I were there to be the practical people (translation: make sure that the artists survived camping on an island for 5 days). This also translated into being the occasional camp cook. (The first night, on super short notice, we managed to whip up grilled pizzas for 30 over an open fire with a grate. It was kind of awesome.) The last night of the encampment we iron-cheffed, in a kind of grand experiment to see what we could create out of everyone’s leftovers and what we could forage. This is how I wound up stuffing some grape leaves – also some kelp, which I’ll have you know is very, very rubbery – with bruised avocado, sun dried tomatoes, and some very near the borderline of too old goat cheese. They were actually pretty good. But, they didn’t inspire me to make grape leaves again, until now.
March 26, 2010 § 6 Comments
I’ve been having an long-running debate with myself about whether it’s ever worth it to go buy a bunch of parsley. I’m not really a parsley girl to begin with (cilantro is another story – I’m fanatical!). Then, so many recipes that call for parsley call for at most a couple of Tablespoons in the recipe and as a garnish. And then you have this big bunch of parsley leftover, standing in a jar of water, getting more and more wilted in spite of your best efforts to garnish everything in site, until finally it’s so bedraggled looking you have to sacrifice it to the trash/compost (sadly this even happens frequently with leftover cilantro as well). And I HATE wasting food. So what’s the point? I can make do without garnishes. I could cheat and use a bit of dried parsley in dishes that call for the fresh stuff. Maybe I should just cut fresh parsley out of my life all together. Would that make me a poor excuse for a cook?
Well, a winner has suddenly been declared in this internal debate. And, exactly on the opposite side of the one towards which I have been leaning for a long time. Never again will extra parsley go to waste! Indeed, I may start buying it in extra quantities. Oh yes! It’s true. I have contrived to put parsley to use in a delicious and unexpected way that has completely changed my opinion of the stuff: herb jam. Yes, it sounds totally weird. But it tastes totally phenomenal! Salty, earthy, a little smokey, a little bright and acidic, and only very slightly green. So good, it may be my new favorite snack, and appetizer, and sandwich spread, and…you get the idea. « Read the rest of this entry »