Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quick Food Blog

Now that I can eat again... (yes, I'm sorry for writing that so much. I'm just so happy that I can enjoy my food once more.) Oh, shoot. Where was I? Now that I can eat again, I've been more motivated to go down to the local market. Normally I work on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and so have been missing the whole "buy fresh food from its source" thing, but today a friend and I went downtown this morning to stock up. It has been planned for a while, so I was pretty excited. The butcher ground up some beef in front of my eyes while telling us that "riz de veau" is something like the thyroid. It's a gland, anyway, he said. Plus I learned that I'm not allowed to ask for half a kilo of meat...I'm supposed to ask for 500 grams. Why is this? No one knows, but I'll sure remember next time.

Then I bought a pre-cooked beet, kilo of pumpkin, half a cabbage, some October bean-lookalike-things, and some ears of corn, all grown. Tomorrow I'm going to make a kick-butt salad with the beet and fix some good veggies for dinner. I am SO excited about those beans. I have good memories of shelling October beans with my parents and then eat them with cornbread. Last time I went home I made sure to bring back some corn meal, so I'll be fixing me some tomorrow I'm sure. I don't have the cast iron skillet, but I'll make do. I'm not sure how excited my husband will be about my home-cooking, but he'll probably eat it.

Actually, I'm reminded of the worst meal I ever fixed my husband (mere boyfriend at the time), which I should probably be too ashamed to write about. We were both working late, I think, and it was a chilly fall day somewhat like today. I had a hankering for a southern meal, so I fixed us pinto beans and turnip greens for dinner -- out of a CAN, which is a sacrilege but couldn't be helped at the time because I was too hungry to wait for those beans to cook. I grew up on garden vegetables but can usually cope with canned veggies. I actually found it pretty tasty, but my French beau certainly did not. To be fair, I think he would have tolerated it better had he actually put some vinegar on those greens like I advised. He didn't complain, but I caught him making this horrified face while eating...along the lines of "I'm going to try breathing through my mouth to see if it helps." Poor thing. I know I'm lucky he still married me. The second worst meal involved a failed attempt at a new chicken-fried-steak recipe, which he still hasn't forgotten and I've never attempted since.

Yesterday, on the other hand, I made pumpkin soup for the first time and it was pretty darn good and easy to make. It was a pretty basic recipe --saute the onions and garlic, then add pumpkin and water and bring it to a boil (I used my pressure cooker), blend it into a soup-like consistency, then add nutmeg and cream. How easy is that, and why haven't I done it before? It was a little bit too sweet for my taste so next time I'm going to fiddle with the seasoning, but hubby gave it a thumbs-up. It was the first time I've used my new handmixer for soup, and I learned a valuable lesson in the physics of hand-held mixers: they're topheavy, so be very careful how you stand it upright (or better yet, don't try to stand it upright in the bowl of soup), or it will fall out of the bowl, ricochet off of the counter and land smackdab on the edge of the cat's bowl of water, thereby splashing water everywhere on the floor (not to mention a vivid orange-colored liquid on the walls) and generally making a big old mess.

Does anyone have suggestions of what to add to the soup? I've seen ginger in recipes but didn't have any yesterday.


angela said...

You could try a little curry powder or some cayenne to spice it up a little.
I made a lovely big pot last year but I was the only one who ate it-too sweet, they said. My family favours long complicated meals that keep me busy in the kitchen and out of their affairs!
Enjoy the beans.

Deb said...

I don't really have any suggestions for the soup...sorry. Coming from Florida, no one ever really wanted to have soup for a meal! lol

On the subject of veggies though, I really like them too. I prefer fresh or frozen though. My husband is not a big veggie person at all (unless fries count!). I keep telling him he needs to start eating his veggies now, or else what kind of example is he going to set for his daughter? ;o)

buzzgirl said...

Everything is better with bacon. Oh my...I think I just came up with my new "life motto." Unfortunately, I don't think you can get the good ol' thick cut smoky bacon in France - and lardons won't do! But I definately think something "smoky" would be good. Actually, now that I think about it, coriander would add that element, I think.

Angela in Europe said...

I had to ask friends about the half a kilo thing. The first time I asked for half, I got the strangest look...and a kilo of meat.