randomduck

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Month: January 2012

ten on tuesday: soup-tastic!

Once again, Carole has posted another lovely 10 on Tuesday topic for consideration: favorite soups. And I see that Sarah has already taken the bait, and now I do – and on the proper day, no less!

1. New England clam chowder. And not just any recipe for this dish, but the version served at Market Street Grill and Market Street Broiler in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s the best chowder I’ve ever had, and they have been generous enough, over the years, to let the recipe into the wild. Here it is, from the source.

2. Chili. I’ll argue the chili is a form of soup or stew, so it fits in here. Chili is a year-round staple at The Burrow, and the recipe is almost always improvised: sometimes with beans, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes with corn, etc. The inspiration for my recipe is the 1977 Texas Chili Cookoff Champion, “Buzzard’s Breath” (as found in the Chili Madness cookbook).

3. Borscht. And I’m not talking about the sweet, chilled beet-and-cabbage soup you find in a New York City deli. I’m talking about Russian peasant food: beet based, with either a beef, oxtail or mushroom stock, with onion, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage, slow cooked to a lovely perfection. It’s simple peasant food, and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, it’s perfect winter soul food for me.

4. Chicken and dumplings. Simplicity again: basic chicken soup with egg-and-flour dumplings added shortly before plating.

5. Cream of broccoli. Reminds me of ski season, as it was the most reliable soup at the old Inspiration Station at Solitude Ski Area. In a bread bowl, it was perfect lunch fare.

6. Tom kha gai. This Thai soup is a marriage of chicken, coconut, lemongrass, scallions, hot peppers and oyster mushrooms. I dig it.

7. Icelandic lobster soup. I recently discovered this, and it’s awesome: basically a tomato chowder with chunks of lobster in it- yum!

8. Kjotsuppe. This is a basic lamb and vegetable stew, standard European fare. It’s filling and very tasty, and my mom used to make it often.

9. Gazpacho. Cold tomato soup? Bring it on – especially if it’s spicy!

10. Lentil stew. I’m partial to the Moroccan recipes and their spices.

(Honorable mentions: Campbells Bean & Bacon; tomato bisque; beef pho; miso with dried tofu and shredded nori.)

How about you: any soups you must have that I must try?

ten on tuesday: things to do in 2012

OK, so it’s Wednesday Thursday, but this seems like a good topic to start of 2012, right? As usual, Carole posted a lovely topic, and both sprite and Sarah posted their lists.

So, here goes:

1. Read more books. I read a couple books in 2011, but I really would like to be a bit more diligent about diving into the stack of volumes that are whispering to me, urging me to open their covers and get lost in the pages.

2. Plan another big trip. Iceland was a surreal, magical, wonderful experience – and one that sprite and I planned mostly by happenstance. I’m not sure that this next big trip will happen in 2012, but getting the wheels in motion now wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Cook and prepare more things that I would otherwise buy. Often I’m in a rush to leave in the morning and don’t pack lunch. That means having to uy lunch, and the cost adds up. So I’d like to have the foresight to pack more lunches. Also, I’m a sucker for gourmet coffee drinks that I can totally make myself (e.g. espresso, Starbucks’ gingerbread lattés). For Christmas, I received an Aerobee Aeropress, and sprite pointed me to this DIY gingerbread latté recipe, so…. there ‘ya go!

4. Clean a little bit every day. The Burrow is a tiny apartment, and it’s often far from the sanctuary it should be. I’d like to rediscover the space inside by cleaning it a little each day and, like sprite, concentrate on sectors. It may mean that we’ll have guests over more often, and that would be great.

5. Let go of things. This goes hand-in-hand with cleaning, in a sense: I tend to hold onto things, sometimes to the point of obsession. This leads to messes, both literal and figurative, which leads to unnecessary stress. I’ve been working on this for a few years, and it’s a continuing process.

6. Really crush the Death Ride. It’s my big event ride for 2012, and I want to be super-strong in it! So it will involve training smartly, eating well, resting, keeping the bikes in shape and always looking forward.

7. Go hiking in both Rock Creek Park and Shenandoah National Park. One is just blocks from my front door. The other is only 60 miles from my front door. And I really haven’t hiked in either park. I love hiking, so…. let’s do it!

8. Draw more. I have a lovely set of Prismacolor pencils and sketchbooks – I should use ’em more!

9. Post more on this blog. It’s fallen somewhat by the wayside. This will change in 2012.

10. Say “thank you” far more often. I’m often not grateful enough for the friends and family I have, and the things they do to help me through life.

Do any of you have things you want to do in 2012?

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