0606 Race-Day Swamp Monster Soup

I ran my second 5K of the year this morning: the annual Dexter-Ann Arbor Run.  I had intended to run the 10K, but an injury a few weeks ago has kept me sidelined, and this was the longest run I’ve managed in a few weeks.  As always, the best part of running a race is the post-race food – in this case, loads of fruit, pizza (weird, right?), and piles and piles of thick slices of bread from Zingerman’s.  Suffice to say that after a banana and a few (ahem) slices of dense chocolate-y bread with dried fruit and chocolate chunks, I didn’t need to eat much for the rest of the day.

The aftermath of last night’s storm left today pretty gray and dismal, so soup seemed like a good fit, what with my morning indulgence and my drawer full of produce.  This soup from Orangette looked easy and refreshing – the sort of thing I could make while doing laundry, knitting, and watching Law & Order, which was all I could really muster after two days of non-stop activity.

Alas, I’m not sure it was worth even that little effort.  It’s not like the soup was bad – it was just very green and kind of thin – like a good spinach dip that had been significantly watered down.  Part of the problem was likely related to the fact that I used an immersion blender – too many kitchen explosions or soupy messes on record with soup in the food processor – which resulted in a weird, kind of slimy consistency.  There were good flavors, and I’ll do my best to finish the leftovers, but I won’t be making this again.

Spinach and Green Garlic Soup from Orangette

0604 Marathon Night in the Kitchen

I had good intentions for tonight.  They involved sitting on the couch with my knitting and watching The Straight Story or maybe The Jerk and a leetle bit of prep for the Saturday bakefest.  Instead I spent literally the entire evening in the kitchen, save the 15 minutes when I ran cookies over to SELMA.  The. Entire. Evening.  I mean, there are worse ways to spend a Friday night – this just wasn’t what I had in mind.

First, cookies for Saturday’s hoop build and also for a Couchsurfing potluck.  SELMA’s stopped using white sugar since there doesn’t appear to be any sugar available that is local AND non-GMO – so I tried to find a recipe that used other kinds of sweeteners.  This recipe, from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, uses corn syrup, apple butter, and brown sugar – all of which are a little bit more wholesome, even if they don’t hit the local/non-GMO mark entirely.  I made a double batch – which should have been 40 cookies, but resulted in 66 dense and chewy cookies.  To be honest, they tasted more like fuel than like a treat, which is probably A-OK for hoop builders and race runners.  I probably won’t make this recipe again, though.

Between cookie tasks, I prepped the ingredients for Saturday’s brunch cocktail, the Leland Palmer.  I’ll tell you more about that once we actually consume them, but the prep involved a good amount of juicing, playing with jasmine tea pearls, and the last of our honey.

The last of our [x] turned out to be a theme of the evening – over the course of a few hours, I ran out of honey AND flour AND milk AND raisins AND probably some other stuff that I’m just blocking out right now because it was so ridiculous.

Finally, and perhaps in a kitchen that was too hot, I made the pastry cream for Saturday’s bakefest.  Having helped with the pastry cream for both the croquembouche and the homemade Twinkies, I figured I’d be in good shape – but the damned cream just refused to thicken.  It smelled fantastic, though, and after a few frantic texts to Olivia, I decided to leave well-enough alone and just put the cream in the fridge for further examination on Saturday.

Somewhere in there, I realized that it had gotten late and I was hungry.  In lieu of dinner and in the spirit of using up the extra egg whites from pastry cream, I made a quick omelette with the last of the garlic scapes and the last tomato.  Let me draw your attention to one important fact in this paragraph: this was the first time I think I have ever made a successful omelette.  It was delicate.  It folded in half.  It was delicious.  Perhaps the secret is more whites than yolks, and also benign neglect – I was so busy with everything else that I couldn’t really stress out over the eggs or the sauteeing scapes, and as a result, everything was perfect.

Recipe:
Oatmeal Cookies from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
Leland Palmers from Bon Appetit
Pastry Cream from Martha Stewart

Eating and Growing Locally: Week 13

Eating:

  • In an attempt to like cauliflower, I roasted a head of the purple stuff.  It was pretty tasty, but I’m still not convinced.
  • A LOT of blueberry pancakes last weekend when Erin Fae was here.
  • Peach ice cream and peach turnovers to use up the last of the peaches and the last of the puff pastry.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs with both the sauce and the meatballs from scratch.
  • Two all-local frittatas with garlic scapes (local for Erin Fae, who brought them as a gift), zucchini, onion, and tomato.  OMG so good.  I think we’ve mastered the frittata – now we just have to master getting it out of the pan:

Frittata attack!

Growing:

The first of the Amish Paste tomatoes committed tomato suicide, but I’ve been steadily picking little Beam’s Pear tomatoes throughout the week, as well as beans and the basil, which has now stayed alive for THREE months.  We also got our first red chili this week = hooray!