Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Back to the Experimental Kitchen-Carrot Celery Soup with Blue Cheese
It is also the curse of the cooking class, as I have learned after the last two months of a 8 hour a day, too many days a week work stint. (A temporary situation, Thank God).
I have been spoiled for 30 years by 12 hour shifts done two or three times a week. But a full week workday, no matter how easy and pleasant the job, digests the better part of one's life and reduces free existence to two days compromised by house cleaning, trips to get the car inspected , and any other number of what I call "dismalities".
Two months of this, and I too was in line at the McDonald's drive through. Lunch at work became yogurt spiked with maple syrup and carried in in a see through container so it would get through prison checkpoint- Dinner was a cheesy dog topped with salsa and mustard. Dessert? Half a carton of red grapes-
Shifts beginning at 6 am meant mornings so early that 7 pm became bedtime. With the hounds demanding after work, non-negotiable walk time, even plugging in the food processor took too much energy.
Oh, Chunky Soup on Mashed potatoes eaters and every night pizza people, I understand you now, and understand why you find Stouffer's lasagna fine dining-
But this day, one of three off, I pulled down the food mill, cut up a bunch of celery and some carrots and made myself real soup. I baked ratatouille, and roasted beets, and now have dirty dishes everywhere. Wonderful! And tomorrow I am off as well, meaning I can stay up and watch a non rerun CSI in real time at 9pm.
This soup was an experiment, and it did not fail. I put 4 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes in a saucepan, then added a chopped up bunch of celery and three carrots. I boiled the vegetables in the broth, and when they were soft, removed them from the pan and sieved them through a food mill. Then I added the puree back to the broth along with a quarter cup of heavy cream and 3 ounces of crumbled blue cheese.
And I forgot to mention my Sweet Potato Salad and my Zucchini-Chayote Slaw with Adobe Seasoning and New World spices and Poblano peppers. Pictured here, and safely packed away in plastic. Now I have a conversation piece or two to bring to work for lunch on Friday. Even the checkpoint officers may get a thrill from xraying such deliciousness as they troll for illegal and hidden cellphones!