dimanche 11 janvier 2009

soup craze

this will be a short one.  i just wanted to say that i think i'm somewhat of a genius (and extremely modest).  

in the midst of my on-going soup craze (last week, it was every day lunch and dinner!), i tried things a bit differently today.  having gone to freres tang, the awesome chinese super market in place d'italie yesterday with jas, i had some unusual ingredients that i wanted to make use of.  

so this is what went into the soup:
1 block of chicken bouillon
1/2 onion 
1 carrot 
1 garlic clove 
2 big mushrooms 

and then ...
those awesome black mushrooms that you buy dried in a package, and then when you put them in water, they expand like woah
4 vegetable dumplings

since i noticed that my soup was heading in the asian direction, i decided to live on the edge and throw in some soy sauce and garlic chili sauce (i apologize to purists who are appalled at what i may have done wrong).  

and ya know what?  it was DELICIOUS.  i haven't looked at the real recipe for a soup like this (i have no idea what i would look up in fact), but i think i can't be too far off.  i would've added an egg too which is SO GOOD, but i decided the soup was already a bit crowded.  

anyway, moral of the story: soup is extremely easy to make.  and delicious.  and a great way to fight the mean winter (see previous post).  

(i'm going to go try to find a recipe close to what i've done)

mardi 6 janvier 2009

the "things i pretend to like but if i actually listen a bit more closely to my mind, spirit, and/or body, HATE" phenomenon

i am going to break the rules of the blog and instead of writing about food, i want to write about something that's been on my mind for a while.  a new epiphany i had.  well, two in fact.  which i think gives me a case for the declaration of a new phenomenon (i really like effects/phenomenons/pattern, see "the dumping effect"). 

basically, everybody knows that they have things that they pretend to hate, but in reality, really like.  like country music.  and the hills.  and starbucks coffee.

people are usually conscious of this sort of contradiction.  what i want to talk about is the reverse denial.   which, i think people are less aware of.  well, at least i was.  

what i'm talking about is: things that you THINK you like or even love maybe, ... but actually hate.

for me, this concept first occurred to me in september when i realized that i was getting my annual "autumn blues".  yeahhhh, it's beautiful when the leaves change color, and you can go apple picking, and you can pull out that sweater that you love.... 

NO NO NO!!  i've been fooling myself for the past 24 years that "ooh i love seasons".  i've repeated this statement time and time again, probably to convince myself that it was true in order to make it through 8 months of the year in boston. 

but you know what, I HATE SEASONS!  i said it.  and boy, does it feel good to get it out!

spring's ok, obviously, and i probably only hate fall because it brings ominous spirits of winter, but there's pretty much only one season that i really really enjoy.  and that's summer.

just to understand where i'm coming from, i will make a list of things i don't like about winter.  and if you tend to disagree and really genuinely like seasons, i am happy for you. 

  •  it's cold.  really cold.
  •  it's dark.  when you wake up.  when you leave the office.
  •  snow.  yea, it's pretty when you look out the window and it's fun to have snowball fights and build snowmen, but it stops about there.  you can drive to a ski station to do that.  living in an urban area, snow just sucks.  you can't go places.  it gets slushy and gross.  it ruins plans.  you have to shovel.  (fine, snow days counteract one of those many negative points about snow).
  • you can't wear "summer dresses" in the winter.  i love bright colorful and barely there dresses and it's just annoying that you're "not allowed" to wear those on days when the sun sets before 7pm. grr. (ok, your counter argument would be to say, "alki just wear them anyway".  but i don't feel right doing it!  it's ingrained in me!)
  • people are lazy, so you don't see them as much.
  • also, due to the lazy factor, you usually gain a lot of weight and feel bad about it. 
  • the holiday season.  ok, i adore thanksgiving.  i'll give you that.  but the whole month of december just kind of depresses me.  yes, there's always chocolates and lots of good food around, but then, i overeat and feel bad about it.  and i always have a weird sensation about the changing of one year to the next, because it feels out of place and forced (september should be the new january, thank you northern hemisphere school systems).
  • not being able to hang out outside.  to picnic.  take long walks.  exercise.  i like working out in a gym but sometimes, the feeling of working out indoors... is just depressing.  
  • the beer garden is closed.  ok, i've only been there once and i live nowhere near the astoria beer garden, but it just makes me sad thinking that it is closed.
  • your electricity bill is multiplied by about 10!  (you could argue that air-conditioning is more costly, but living in france, most apartments don't have aircon.  they don't really know what that is.  re. 2003). 
geez, when did alki turn into nancy?  ya know, negative nancy.  hopefully if you're reading this, it means you probably know me and know that i generally have a positive disposition (maybe the french "complaining trait" has finally rubbed off me, full effect).  

the second thing i realized that i thought i liked but actually hate is ... HOT YOGA!

i've been fooling myself for so long.  yea, it feels so good in the heat and your limbs can do things that they can't normally do and you sweat out all the toxins...

NO NO NO!  i hate hot yoga.  mainly because ...
  • i always get dizzy and feel like i'm about to pass out 
  • the next day, i am in so much pain, not the good kind of soreness -- because when you're in the class, you're like, yea woohoo, i'm so flexible but then you end up doing things that you really shouldn't do and definitely can not do at a normal temperature (unless you're doing hot yoga on a very regular basis)
sorry sue and ange and helen.  don't worry, i still like regular yoga.

so there you have it: the "things i pretend to like but if i actually listen a bit more closely to my mind, spirit, and/or body, HATE" phenomenon.  think about it for a while.  can you thinkg of anything in your life that the phenomenon applies to?

oh, just as a final ending, i just made soup! like, from scratch (bouillon counts as scratch, right?) and it was so easy.  and so good!  i came home with that tinge of sore throat in the back of my neck, and all i wanted was soup.  and i ran out of my ramen-style thai noodle soup that i get at my favorite asian supermarket in the 13th.  so i experimented.  a little block of bouillon.  half an onion.  and a carrot.  AND (i think this was the ringer) some spicy little green peppers.  i might have put too many green peppers in, b/c my nose was running quite profusely, but ya know, i liked it.  and beth packer would definitely be able to handle it.  

sign off.