Food for those who don't like food.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Little More Food (or Swamp Thing Soup)

Once upon a time...I had a food blog. Sadly it only lasted for a whole of two posts. It wasn't particularly bad. I just didn't find the time for it. I started, got a new job, moved to canada, came back, went BACK to canada, came back. Add to this, I rarely use recipes. I just throw things together and wing it, hoping for the better. I make a ridiculous amount of leftovers and love breakfast. Really now, how many recipes for poached eggs before it starts to seem a bit ridiculous. To start it again would seem slightly wasteful of internet space so instead I'll give you all just a little more food on here. My dramatic and whiney personal blog. Where I address the internet like it's some sort of personal audience with only a twinge of sarcasm.

I give you.

Swamp Thing Soup.

An accident in the making this soup is losely based on a soup I found on 101 Cookbooks. I happened upon her recipe for Edamame Soup (from A to Z Vegetables) which sounded so easy and simple, that I set out instantly to make it's velvety goodness. Yet upon further investigation in my freezer I found my one bag of edamame (which had been in my freezer since I first went to Canada in 2005) had been divided into a smaller bag. How can I make a beautiful velvet green soup without a full bag of edamame! It would be thin and listless, like one of those box soups trader joe's makes yet never sells.

I dug further. Settling upon another mysterious half bag of peas (probably vintage 2006) and decided that their green nature was close enough of a family relation to work. I also never have owned creme fraiche so...sour cream it is!

Thus, Swamp thing soup was born, titled so for it's similar color to the murky bogs not all that far from my house. Thanks to my freezer for holding onto mysterious frozen vegetables. It needed a little crunch so I made some floaters from mysterious pine nuts I found on row 3, in the back, behind carrot cake ice cream. As well as some nice cheesy toast boats to suck up all that extra goodness.

Swamp Thing Soup,

Serves Four.

The Bogs

1/2 bag Frozen Edamame
1/2 bag Frozen Peas
3 small red Potatoes
1/2 sweet farm onion
1 liter containor of vegetable stock
1 teeny clove garlic
1/3 cup sour cream (or plain rich yogurt)

The Floaters

1/4 cup Pinenuts, Chopped Coarsely
1/2 slivered (like really fine) Red onion
1 tsp jarred harissa (I used the Sonoma williams one, which is very lemony and oily because of a large dose of lemon confit in it)

The Rafts

Good Bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick cut into 1 1/2 inch strips (however long you want)
Parmasan or Asiago (Store bought shredded works good)

Start by heating a tbsp olive oil in a four quart sauce pan over medium heat. Dice your potato and onion in a hearty chop. Add the potato to the pan, stirring frequently until it starts to grap to the pan then add the onion, mince the garlic and stir into the little pan concotion you got going so far. Lower to medium low heat and saute until the onion starts to soften (translucent).

At this point add the peas, edamame, and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until the Edamame is tender. It's okay if the peas keep cooking they're really not the main texture here and help add a little smoothness later. This will take around 12-16 minutes (sometimes longer I've found upward of twenty so keep an eye on it).

In the meantime (get to work again!) start by slivering off little slivers of red onion. In a seperate little pan ( I used my baby cast iron skillet) Heat a teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat until it starts to shimmer, then add the harissa and onions and stir until the onions are nicely coated and start to take on a red color. Continue to lightly fry these babies until they start to show signs of browning, yet still aren't sticking to a pan (well-seasoned pans work great for this) Add the pinenuts and drop the heat to medium low, until they just start to toast (you'll smell it) Remove from heat and set on a cold burner.

Butter the bread with a good light coat and top with a bit of cheese, toast in a toaster oven (or broiler) until the cheese melts and starts to brown.

After the edamame is tender remove the soup from the heat and blend appropriately either with a food processor (cool a little first), blender (with a removable top insert covered by a towel instead), or hand blender (my choice!) until starting to look smooth. Add the Sour Cream (or Yogurt) and continue to blend until it reaches your desired texture.

Serve topped with Floaters and Boats on the side.

Enjoy and Tell me how it was.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So many Filters.


More often than not my posts here don't end up published. I start a thousand things, but honestly lack the guts to follow through. Everytime I get near pressing that little orange button I frantically slam the backspace---quickly followed by a slap on the forehead for doing something just quite that dumb.

I worry incessantly. Every minute a new worry pops into my head, but recently something new has found it's way in. Thoughts. Brief yet bright, quick little firey bursts. My proverbial wheels are dusting off some of their gunk and going for a testdrive. Did I mention brief? It's not that I'm crazy or anything but the past few years have been quite the battle as to what I really think. A new, or not so new thought came up again, and keeps coming up.

What if I just said it. All filters off, words spewed violently across the page. What would come up? What sort of good could be produced from this sort of vehement verbal vomit?

Did I mention brief?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Don't Get Comfortable

Don't Get Comfortable

There is this one Shawn McDonald song that has haunted me recently. Whenever I'm alone, walking along somewhere enjoying perfectly good pops into my head. To say it's a catchy little ditty is an understated understatement. "I need you" it cries out in my head, breaking through my focused concentration. "I cannot do it all on my own" it responds. Over and over it starts, breaking my whole thought process away into pieces---invading my brain. It's a song with such presence and this undeniable rhythm permeating through every thought I try to conjure. It wraps me up in it's momentum and drags me along for the long haul.

But of all the songs to have a presence in your head I could go for far worse. Over and over it tells me that I can't do it on my own, take my hand God, I need you, I cry for you...I can't do it alone, it gently reminds me. It's this promise, between a man and god. A silent shout. I see this song as a conversation. One that could be held without any sound. Honesty in it's simple expressions. No hesitations.

Then like a whisper it fades out on the winds, as I'm brought back into life by stunning reality.

It's been a while people. The few who read, but mostly me. I haven't had an outlet for anything...a dangerous situation to put me in, one might say. Against all that I am when people have asked me recently: "how are you?" my brain would shut down. Some robot somewhere was responding for me, mechanical, dry...lacking in all forms of warmth. I would start to come through and this automated program would rush me away on a conveyor belt knocking the wind (and words) right out of me. Afterward I would twist around my words, writhing with the pain that I have become such a creature, created in the aftermaths of morning after morning of continuous monotony.

I want my brain back! To become this is crazy for me, I am the real answer guy---and all you're getting is this half-assed response I give a hundred times a day with no variance. Someone has switched my brain over to filter, and only a trickle's coming out now.

"I'm Fine." my robot answers...'but I'm not! I actually feel like crap AND I struggle to get up every morning knowing the joy has been sucked away like my energy as I deal with you people, YET AGAIN!' I am screaming inside, taking all the force in my body to make some sort of sound but nothing is coming out. I just won't tell you that, because that would be wrong to say, or inappropriate. My voice is becoming smaller and smaller as the conveyor belt whisks me away into it's dark endless motion, shrinking into the horizon line.

Why must we always be appropriate. Screw appropriate. Some people make me screach inside. They bring up something that I haven't felt in quite some time...a rising force, a vigorous passion knowing there is something better coming. Something somewhere inside me is waking up after a ridiculously long nap...and it's getting right to work. It's showing me things I've forgotten. It's reminded me of things I've ignored. Take my hand it tells me. You can't hide from me, it offers to my ear with gentle kindness. This thing, this knows me in ways no one else does. I recognize it, it's voice soft and familiar like a good old friend. I think this voice might be god again.
My lips are dry, parched as if they haven't said anything in quite some time. Just like speaking for the first time, it's very hard to say.

I need you, God. I force out with all the gravity of the world.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hello World. (on how I became an uncle)

Hello world.

Elowen Ann B.

Seven Pounds, Eleven Ounces, wow.

You're here! Finally. It's been a long nine months I'd say. You look like your mom and your grandpa...and you have the family eyes.

I guess this means life moves on even when you're stalling. It's safe to say that's what your uncle has been doing. I hope when I get to know you, I'll be a better person. I'm not a fan of this life I've been living. The just enough mentality. I'm going to change for you. A more together person. One who shows you God's uncountable love with everything I do. I promise to work on all those messes I keep getting in. It'll be a while, and it'll be hard...but just like learning to take that first difficult breath---it's something that needs done.