It’s soup weather for sure. I spent a good part of yesterday making stock from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass, and then made soup with a bunch of random vegetables in the fridge. A friend used to describe her plans for dinner as “kicking the fridge.” My soup fits that image—some carrots, onions, parsnips, celery, garlic, broccoli, and peppers. Once everything softened up, I added the fresh stock, water, and herbs, and pureed everything with an immersion blender. Hot, fresh, delicious.
I’m not one for too many new gadgets. My husband bought one of those superpower blenders and I know I could make hot soup directly in it. Another friend proudly showed off her new instant pot, though she complained the pot retained smells and hers indeed smelled of yesterday’s curry. Too fiddly for me and too big. I don’t have room in my kitchen for another appliance. I’ll stick to my beloved and well-used Le Creuset soup pot. I love how soup simmers on the stove, sending its aromas through the kitchen, inviting me to sample and adjust seasonings. I guess I’m an old-fashioned cook.
Speaking of soup, I like buying bags of bean mixtures. At Shop-Rite recently, while in line to check out, a woman behind me asked how I cooked them, pointing to the bags. Happy to share my tried and true method, I described how I soak the beans overnight, then cut vegetables, sauté them a little, add the beans, then water and stock, and simmer for hours until the beans are soft. One bag makes about four quarts of soup, I told her, that I usually freeze two for us, give one to my parents, and one to my son and his family. She shook her head, “No, takes too much time. I like fast cooking.”
From soup to…. lipstick. At Costco this week, for some weird reason- hey it’s winter and my lips felt chapped– I pulled out a lipstick from my pocketbook (long ago mastering the technique of lipstick applying without a mirror). A stranger approached and told me about a new Maybelline lipstick that lasts 24 hours. I thanked her for the tip, noting that I’ve been thinking of replacing or replenishing some of my make-up. As she walked away, I wondered why would I ever need a lipstick that lasts 24 hours? Well it was the thought that counts and nice to make a friendly connection, even if about lipstick.
I’m getting some physical therapy for lower back arthritis. There’s nowhere more fun than to listen to the jokes and anecdotes told by the other patients. Today a man read from his cell phone: “Why are Ben & Jerry sending me an email?” I suggested that perhaps they want him to sample a new flavor. The therapists figured that they want money for something. The patient deleted it and a bunch of other emails, making jokes about each one.
Happy 2018! May you have a year of great soup and random conversations!