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Thursday, March 5, 2015

leek and potato soup

There's a lot to be said for something as humble as leek potato soup. One of the best things about winter - filling and comforting.

Greetings from winter wonderland and the fortress of sleep deprivation; a hastily written dispatch here! Quickly, before Avi wakes up; before the snow melts!

I had initially thought I’d missed the soup season. It’s March after all, and I am hearing complaints from everywhere just how over winter they are. I’ll agree that the cold has been relentless and painful; but here in New York, we got the shaft as far as snow is concerned. If we’re in for a mild winter — fine; but if it’s going to make me pile on layers, please bring on the snow. I don’t want to suffer in vain.

I wanted to tell you about leek and potato (potato and leek?) soup before Avi was born. I had gotten into the Sunday cooking habit of making a large batch while cooking (and freezing) other things. But then I gave birth, and almost six weeks later, I’m still not better off managing my time. Because the concept of “my time” has, at least for awhile, been radically altered. I’m on Avi’s time, Avi’s schedule. I’m still wrapping my brain around that whole parenthood thing. Talk to me in a few years – I bet you I’ll still be trying to grasp it.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

simon pearce vermont cheddar soup

We miss you @russell_f and @porterama xo #thanksgiving cc @simonpearce

This dispatch, written hastily on the 1st of January, may not be the kind of post you look for first thing in 2015. There are no promises of eating better, no crisp salad teasing you below. Instead, I offer you a soup with three cups of grated cheddar in it, plus some half and half. Clearly, I’ve no resolutions for 2015 insofar as eating habits go, but then again, I never have.

I wanted to share this soup with you as far back as Thanksgiving, but work, book edits, and general winter fatigue got in the way. Weekends were busy with baby showers (mine), tree trimming parties, and various trips to find things for baby. And then about a week ago, just when our office was about to shut down until after New Year’s, I got hit with the kind of third trimester fatigue I didn’t know existed. I had heard of this phenomenon, which I’m told is followed by a burst of energy to prep for the baby, but I hadn’t given it much thought. Outside of general pregnancy discomfort, I have few complaints: no morning sickness to speak of and a fairly energetic (and hungry) first trimester. But this fatigue was something else. I’ve described to friends as that if dementors from Azkaban were sucking the life out of me. I’ve never felt this weak and exhausted – and I couldn’t nap either. The fatigue lasted about a week before lifting. I certainly hope it doesn’t come back again – if it does, I’m not sure I’ll be physically able to take on anything.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

carrot coconut soup

DSC_4423

I have become that person – unable to focus on anything. Too many things are going on at once and I’m finding it overwhelming: editing one book, working on two others, planning Thanksgiving dinner for next week. There are also other distractions. Do laundry. Unload the dishwasher. File a pile of receipts away. Pack a box. Or two.

I wonder if I am the kind of person who is too ambitious with my daily lists. Every morning, I make one; it’s one of my favorite things to do. The satisfaction I get from making a list and then crossing things off it…. well, I find few things as thrilling. But when I look at that list at the end of the day, and I count the number of crossed-off items, I frown. I seem to never get the whole thing done, no matter how hard I try. Either I set unrealistic goals or I’m shit when it comes to time management. Let’s hope it’s the former – otherwise I’m in trouble.

I haven’t talked about renovations yet, because nothing’s happened as of today. But there is a lot of groundwork happening. Foundational preparation so to speak. We’re working with a lovely architect who happens to be a friend and while we cannot, at once, act upon his amazing and genius plan, we are taking it piecemeal.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

sour cabbage soup

Sour cabbage soup.

Last Tuesday morning at 1am, our carbon monoxide monitor went off and scared us half to death. Apparently, trying to make an overnight brisket at 200 degrees is disagreeable to a tiny detector in a tiny apartment. I don’t know how you all deal with the smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector. Most New Yorkers just dismantle the thing and shove in the back of their closet. That’s how I deal with it. My solution was to take a hammer to the device that was ruining the best part of my sleep, and I all but succeeded were it not for Andrew. He ordered me off the step-stool and back to bed. I complied because I was so disoriented, but I still maintain that my way of “dealing with it” is better.

My husband’s idea of “dealing with it” is to go online and read how to deal with possible carbon monoxide issues, then print out the step by step instructions and highlight the relevant portions for me to look into with our building’s electrician.

The rest of the night was in fits and starts and Andrew and I both woke up feeling like we were run over by a Mack truck. Nonetheless, it was a “new school year” so to speak, and in the morning we managed to get ourselves out the door, dressed, fed, and caffeinated. I needed to do some work outside the apartment for a few hours, and so I headed to the nearest Starbucks – the only nearby cafe to offer wifi (until this past weekend!) which I needed for work. A few minutes after I got settled, I dropped my phone and shattered my screen so badly that I could barely use it. I even managed to give myself a few glass splinters and paper (glass?) cuts.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

quick and easy chicken soup

quick chicken soup

While many of you are resolving to have more salads, more vegetables, less fat, less sugar, less caffeine, more water, more exercise, more sleep, less fried stuff, more of the raw and the crunchy, and so on, here in the Sassy Radish household, we’re resolving to beat the flu—Andrew’s flu to be exact. And aside from the usual suspects of the famed BRAT diet (bananas-rice-applesauce-toast), we’re elbow deep in good chicken stock. Which we use for our fifteen minute version of the best chicken soup to eat when you’re sick. Which, for all of you, I hope is never. Still, having this on hand, should you ever need it, will make your life better, I think. Plus, I hear the flu is brutal this year, and if Andrew is any indication—it is, so here goes.

The problem with having homemade chicken soup when you get sick, in my opinion, is that by the time you actually do get sick and actually need said chicken soup, you might be out of luck. Who is to make it for you if you’re the one convalescing in bed? Who has the strength to spend hours and hours simmering stock? You might be in luck; someone in your household: a roommate, a significant other, a spouse— might be a cook. But what if you live by yourself? What if your cohabitants, like my husband, are of the non-cooking proclivity? What then?

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Friday, December 21, 2012

navy bean soup with kale, preserved lemon, and harissa

navy bean and kale soup with preserved lemon and harissa

While most of you are busying yourselves with making delicious homemade gifts (I’m assuming because the interwebs are teeming with deliciousness): orangettes and spiced nuts; caramels and hazelnut crinkles; gingerbread and lemon sandwich cookies, just to name a few, here I am making soup.

I couldn’t help myself: Ever since we returned from San Francisco, I’ve been plotting to recreate a soup we had at the Zuni Café; the soup that totally stole their famed chicken’s thunder. The chicken, don’t get me wrong, was delicious (it’s famous for a reason), but the soup, oh, the soup—took my breath away. The name, Navy Beans with Swiss Chard, Preserved Lemon and Harissa, immediately caught my eye because preserved lemon and harissa happen to be two of my favorite ingredients. And putting the two together, in a soup no less, seemed to be an act of divine providence. Andrew and I made the mistake of sharing it. As soon as I tasted it, I thought to myself, I hope he hates it. I could have eaten several bowls of just that soup for dinner, and it would have been a fine night. Unfortunately for me, Andrew loved it as much as I did.

When we finally came home from all our wintry travels (DC, SF, Boston – oof), I immediately tried to find the soup in the Zuni Café Cookbook. But it wasn’t there. There wasn’t anything even close to resembling it. I was on my own.

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