Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eat Dirt

A couple of months ago, as chief cook and bottle washer around here, I instituted a new food tradition that I just love. Each Sunday, as far as food preparation and eating goes, it's every man for himself. In other words, I don't have to prepare or serve any food nor do I have to hold myself to any kind of a time schedule as to when (or if) I eat. And hear this! (Do I have a great husband, or what?) Roy said I should just let any and all dishes stack up on Sundays, and at the end of the day, he takes care of them. We don't have a dishwashing machine and doing dishes is just about my most disliked chore in the world so this has proven out to be a SUPER situation for me.

What I do do though, being the kind, caring, thoughtful widdle wifey that I am (gag), is make sure to have some good leftovers or more often a pot of soup in the refrig. So Saturday usually finds me stirring together some soup, or fresh bread, or veggies and dip, or egg salad, or . . . well, you get the idea.

We're being warned today by the weather forecasters to expect a drastic drop in temperature and 3-4" of blowing snow tomorrow. Since today is (again) damp, blustery, and gray, it was a perfect morning to make some soup. If all goes well, and we don't get 30" of snow instead of three, we're expecting some out-of-town friends to drop in this weekend so once I got the soup simmering, I made two pies to have on hand.

An apple pie, what else? I still have early apples to use up. (There is no end to the little buggers.) This lovely, little pastry burbled all over onto the oven floor and created a not-so-delightful smell in the house. (Note to Self: Clean oven before using it again or I'll have copious amounts of smoke billowing out.)

Blueberry pie is husband's favorite and he prefers a crumble topping instead of a regular top crust so this one's especially for him. He does share.

The soup I made is Black Bean Soup and every time I make it, I think of a waiter who worked for us when we had the restaurant. But first, a little preamble.

The flavoring in this Black Bean Soup is excellent, it contains lots of wonderful veggies, and Chinese medicine believes black beans cleanse your liver. So there. I start by cooking the black beans in water which turns the water black. Very black.

Then the veggies are sauteed in a skillet. Don't they look so appetizingly colorful?

Then into the cooked black beans they go. Still looking colorful.

But, now, dagnabbit, look what happens when the cooking is finished and the soup is served.

Not so purdy anymore. Darn. But still a really, really good tasting bowl of soup.

Okay, now back to our waiter in the restaurant. Because not many people were familiar with Black Bean Soup, customers would frequently ask questions before ordering it. Sam (not his real name . . . I'm protecting the not-so-innocent here) would describe what was in the soup and then always end by saying, "Frankly, it looks like dirt. But it tastes pretty good." Fortunately, he was an attractive guy with a lot of personality who could deliver this line and get away with it. He always sold a heck of a lot of Black Bean Soup.

So if you happen to be at our house tomorrow (Sunday, you know), don't expect to be waited on or served anything you can't scrounge together yourself. However, there will be a very large soup pot full of yummy, hot "dirt" available.

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