Sweet potato chips and so-fresh-it’s-still-foamy gazpacho.
It wasn’t that good. The sweet potato directions came from that well-known healthful eater, Martha Stewart. She’s the Al Capone of recipes, that one. They had to lock her up for insider trading but everybody who ever got burned by of one of her untested recipes was just glad she got locked up period.
Next time, less oil and thicker slices.
Major news bulletin: I got out of my own house yesterday and I might do it again today.
Mess made. Mission accomplished. The fish that is barfing up a wet sponge is my favorite part of this picture.
But before I got up and went, I had the great idea to make a favorite soup of mine that is perfect for this cold weather – Mrs. Smith’s Zippy Red Beet Soup. Although I first came across this soup at Thanksgiving time, it’s perfect for cold weather.
Back in the day when food blogging wasn’t a thing yet and people weren’t so damn serious! about everything, I was a pioneer and internationally famous. Well, we were all something back in the day, weren’t’ we? Now I can barely string together coherent sentences and I have no original ideas left in me.** But I will say that I sincerely love with the intensity of a thousands suns each and every single one of the 6 readers I have left.
Beets are a superfood, although not anybody’s idea of one of those respected superfoods, they’re more like a secret superfood or a don’t want to be seen in public together superfood but I don’t know why. Red beets forever! At supper tonight, I’ll be mixing in a little sour cream making this soup turn the most delightful shade of hot pink. this is excitement in a bowl.
Can you not actually SMELL the white vinegar wafting up from this glorious concoction?
*full title: Let’s Make A Mess On A Sunday Morning And Get Beet Stains All Over Our White iPhones
** That gives me a great idea and this one is probably not original either. For the upcoming week, I am going to pick blog posts from around the web that I find interesting write about the same thing. Why didn’t I think of this before? Why don’t they teach this in blogging school? I could have saved myself a lot of brain-squeezing to come up with interesting blog fodder if I had been doing this all long.
Work: V. busy week coming up and it’s short one day, too. That doesn’t forgive the work – it just means you have to make the other 4 days super productive.
Home: Someone will be traipsing about inside my house today measuring for new windows. I did not succeed in total decluttering of the unused /overused upstairs rooms. My strategy is to be at the office during this time so I don’t have to look the guy in the eye.
Health: Grateful that my husband knows how to make Cairo-style koshary by the tubful. Grateful that I can just Grab ‘N Go some for breakfast or lunch. Grateful that my breakfast plate is 2/3 vinegar vehicles. My husband is grateful that I’m using pickled onions instead of the precious stash of caramelized onions.
This is New Jersey-style koshary as envisioned by a Lithuanian-American. Cairo-style is rice and lentils cooked together, topped with caramelized onions and chopped salad dressed with O&V, S&P and mint. Alexandria-style is all that plus chickpeas and a layer of elbow macaroni mixed with garlicy tomato sauce. Any Other-style is bullshit.
Don’t bother looking up the recipe for koshary. The internet is completely wrong about this. If you must look it up to make it yourself, all of the layering and ancillary toppings are I guess a matter of taste but the real key is to cook the the rice and the lentils together. They cook for different amounts of time so you will have to train yourself to get it so that both are done exactly right – the rice won’t be undercooked and the lentils won’t be overcooked and all of the water is absorbed. You’ll probably need a sitto around to supervise, cluck her tongue and shake her head.
Related: “The most striking feature of the Melkite rite is its love of mystery.“
What fascinating aspect of my life shall I talk about today? Something I saw on TV? What I ate/am eating/plan to eat later? A peek into the the 10 hour day of a big business drone? Sitting on the deck?
Really, I should get out of here once in a while and Do. Something.
Here’s an interesting fact about me: I don’t trust anyone else to cook pasta for me. I like it exactly as I like it which is slightly underdone and it doesn’t take much to cross that line and wreck an entire dish as far as I’m concerned. that’s probably why I prefer short squat pasta shapes like rigatoni or rotelle, even a bowtie. People get tired of waiting for them to be done so these types are less likely to be overcooked.
Oh wait. That was about eating. Gawd, I’m in a rut.
UPDATE: Okay. I can’t restrain myself. Look! I made pickled red onions.
Pickled Red Onions Day 1
I followed the instructions from Simply Recipes. Although I am not a big fan of sugar in my pickles let alone random spices that seem better suited to baked goods, I decided to go with this recipe anyway because every day is a new day, right? I followed the recipe exactly against my strong desire to start messing around with it. Let’s how how this turns out and then I’ll make adjustments on the next load.
Okay you got me. I threw in some back peppercorns.
These things are supposed to turn bright pink by tomorrow so we’ll see. The internet is crazy about using these on sandwiches and as a topping for just about anything and even as a side dish. People are in love with the crunchiness that develops while the onions cool down in the jar, but I hope that doesn’t turn me off. Even though I know that these are not hot dog cart onions, and I don’t expect them to be hot dog cart onions, I’m afraid I will be disappointed that are actually not hot dog cart onions. Just love me – don’t try to understand me.
Sad to report that my husband woke up during the part where I was boiling the vinegar, expressed his opinion, had a cup of coffee and then went back to sleep. I think I knocked him out.
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 lb red onions (about 2 med or 1 large), thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- Dash red pepper flakes
1 Blanch red onions in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in colander.
2 While the water is heating in step 1, in a separate saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
3 Add blanched, drained onions to the vinegar mixture. Simmer for 1 minute.
4 Transfer to a glass jar. Allow to stand until cooled. Will keep several weeks refrigerated.
Early in the morning when I’m out on the deck with my coffee, reading blogs and listening to the birds, it’s hard to believe that the weather is going to turn against me later in the day. The skies have turned black and opened up for the past two days around 4:30 pm, effectively drowning the deck chairs and ruining any chance for post-workday decompressing outdoors. I’m looking at the radar map right now and trying to reconcile that with the icon for thunderstorms today. I know its coming.
Early in the morning, I have the sincere belief that I can get everything that I have to do at work done by the end of the day. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think I should probably send out a few emails. Early in the morning, I acknowledge how deranged that notion is. Last evening at about 6pm ET*, I sent a message to a co-worker in Arizona offering to review something complicated that we talked about earlier in the day. It was 4pm where he was. He wrote back to me in all his 27 year old glory and this is what his email said:
“Who needs some work/life balance here? I have about 20 minutes – is that enough time to discuss?”
Dude, this is the reason why your generation is not going to do as well economically as mine has done. Do your work. Regarding work/life balance, allow me to paraphrase the great Don Draper: “That’s what the money is for.”
This is my actual home office but the photo is not recent. Now the surfaces are littered with papers, post it notes, bottles from water and nail polish and random hair accessories.
Early in the morning, it’s a clean slate. All resolve and good intentions. Day 3 of VB6 and already I can’t think of what to eat for breakfast. Maybe some Sweet & Savory Breakfast Pilaf but without the maple syrup and oil. I just don’t have the same sweet tooth as most people and I’m not a big fan of oiled-up rice.
*I worked until about 8:30pm last night but I did take a 2 1/2 hour
nap break during the day, so total work hours were about the same as usual.