Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Weatherman Lied

It was cold and slightly drizzling (or maybe it was just fog) but the morning weatherman said it was going to be 79 degrees today! So, I wore a short sleeve shirt and left my jacket at home.

It was a chilly walk in the morning…

It was a chilly ride home at lunch. I stopped at Westborn and got the ingredients for the soup, including a loaf of the Rustic Italian bread and some apples for snacks at work. It was still chilly enough that I skipped my sandwich idea and warmed up the last of my homemade Wendy’s chili. I’m gonna miss that chili…

It was a chilly walk in the afternoon…

When I got home after work, I turned the news on! Now the weather guy said that, since the clouds didn’t move away as expected, it only got to 67 degrees!

I finished cleaning the living room by washing all the glass surfaces and putting the foyer back together. Then I moved into the kitchen. First on the list was cleaning the microwave, inside and out.

Then, I put a towel on the table and set all the counter items on the left of the sink on it. Then I scrubbed down the tile on the back splash and counter, rinsed it and then dried it with a kitchen towel. Several shots of antibacterial spray and wiping with paper towels completed that section. Then I refilled all the squeeze bottles (vinegar, canola oil, etc.). I wiped each thing off before I set it back and that was done.

But, it was getting late and I wanted to watch NCIS in real time. So, I started my niece Mary’s Spicy Tuscan Soup. Please note: this was not the meal I’d planned for this “hot” day, but the cool weather and the falling leaves (the driveway’s covered again) seemed to be calling for it.

The ingredient amounts were a bit weird. Now, I have watched Two Fat Ladies and Jamie Oliver, so I know British quirks (a knob of butter and so on). I even bought a good kitchen scale to deal with Alton Brown. But, these seemed strange. So, I’ll tell you what I did.

Prep work: I diced half of a medium-sized red onion and minced four garlic cloves. I chopped about a tablespoon each of fresh-picked basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and basil and then I cut four thick slices of bacon into lardons. I peeled and cubed five russet potatoes (about four cups).

I got out my trusty Dutch oven, added a good splash of olive oil and then put in a package of “Hot” Italian sausage, after removing the casings. I added in the bacon, red onion, garlic and a package of sliced crimini mushrooms. I sauteed all that until the sausage was cooked through, the bacon had started to crisp and the onions and mushrooms were softened.

Then I added the potatoes, six cups of chicken stock and my herbs, including a teaspoon of marjoram (I don’t grow it). The actual recipe called for one tablespoon of “Italian seasoning” but I don’t have that. I do know “Italian seasoning” is just equal amount of the herbs I was using, so I went with fresh. I also added some salt and pepper. I brought that to a boil and then let it simmer for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes were fork tender).

Finally, I added in a half-cup of heavy cream and two handfuls of fresh baby spinach. I let that cook another five minutes or so, until the spinach had wilted.

I dished up a bowl and cut a chunk off the crusty Italian bread. 

I went in to watch my show. I got a refill of soup and another slice of bread during a commercial. Damn, this soup is good!

I put the Dutch oven in the fridge when it had cooled and went to bed around 10:30 p.m.

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