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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Circulation Soup

It snowed yesterday. Yep. Snow.

As promised, here's the recipe for a mighty nice soup that will help keep your blood flowing and (hopefully) keep the chill at bay:


2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbs chopped garlic
1 Tbs minced ginger
pinch cayenne
1 Tsp salt
3 or 4 nice-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
7 cups vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup green peas
2 cups chopped watercress
1 cup chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper

In a large soup pot, fry the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes, till the onion starts to brown. Add the cayenne and salt and cook for a minute, then stir in the sweet potato. Let it cook a few minutes to absorb the flavors. Then add the stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for maybe 15 or 20 minutes, till the potatoes get soft.

Take everything off the heat, add the cinnamon stick and let the pot cool for 15 minutes or so.

When it's cool enough to handle, run the mixture through a blender and puree till it's velvety smooth. You'll probably need to do this in batches. Rinse out the soup pot and pour the puree back in. Put it on very low heat.

Whip the yogurt till it's smooth and creamy and stir it in. Add the peas, watercress and cilantro. Heat everything gently for a few minutes till it's all warmed through. You don't want to boil the yogurt though.

Add salt and pepper to taste. You probably won't need much.

Serve with corn bread or some kind of crusty baguette. Nice. Feel the warmth.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Place marking

So, astute readers f this blog will notice that I haven't written anything here for a while--eleven days, in fact. Perhaps you suspect that I've been busy with the exciting life of being a writer and overnight staff at a group home. Hah! While I have been working at the group home, it's true, there's nothing much else happening of note. Hence the silence.

I mean, I've been busy enough. I did my taxes, which is always a lengthy and anxiety-provoking process. (Good news: I'm done for another eleven months.) I've been reviewing stuff over at PopMatters, and to a lesser degree at Spectrum Culture. I've been watching Game of Thrones (duh) and my other guilty pleasures, Survivor and The Voice. And I invented a killer recipe for what I call Circulation Soup, which contains tons of stuff that's supposed to help get your blood moving. (Sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic, cayenne, watercress etc.) It's actually fairly awesome. Maybe I'll post the recipe soon, if I can remember it.

And, lo, I've been keeping at it with Don't Open That Door!, my truly awesome column for PopMatters, which I still hope might--someday--make its way into the world in book form. Maybe not, but, it's worth clinging to the dream.

But in terms of actual, you know, writing books and stuff, there's been a minimum of that since moving to sunny (sometimes) and cold (often) Massachusetts. Mostly I'm doing stuff like working and buying groceries and trying to keep the house relatively clean and watching DVDs of dumb movies that I'm going to review. I will say that my agent has evinced a recent flicker of interest about my next book, so maybe he's putting together a strategy to get it out there. With luck, I'll have something more substantial to announce in the next few months. Meanwhile, here's this.

It's relevant, trust me.