Today began rather early – 3:30am to be exact; one of those nights where sleep is restless as I process the tasks completed yesterday as well as those left undone. I dozed from 6-7:30 and then it was time to be an adult. ‘Please don’t make me adult today’, I said to The Professor. His baby-blues simply twinkle back at me and he doesn’t say a word . . . because he knows that even if I wanted to, I cannot stay in bed.
It snowed last night – the first real snow of the winter with six or seven inches of the frozen white stuff on the ground; I laughed out loud when local friends posted photos on Facebook showing completely bare shelves where bread was once stacked – ditto for milk. Newsflash people: we live in the Midwest – it snows here – and six inches of snow is not the apocalypse. Lordy.
Last month I traveled to Italy for a week at another Jovial Culinary Getaway; I attended as a guest this time versus working as a photographer and videographer – and I traveled sans The Professor . . . internationally . . . and I lived to tell about it . . . barely.
This is one of the down and dirty, quick and easy recipes. While most of the cooking and baking we do here on the Smith Bites homestead is from scratch, there are times – like now when I have several deadlines looming over the next two weeks – we still want to eat well yet have something ready in less than 30 mintues. And this soup is one of those recipes.
I, for one, am counting the days until The Professor and I can sit outside on our porch, sip some wine and enjoy dinner al fresco; and if it’s not too much to ask, I’d also like to break out my flip-flops – heck, I might even get all crazy and grab a brand new pair when the temperature hits the 65 degree mark.
I’m not going to lament about the weather – we all know the West Coast is in a drought and both the Midwest and Eastern seaboard have been buried in snow and ice for the last several weeks. But today the sun is shining and I see the icicles falling one-by-one as the temperatures head into the 40-degree range; I have a deep case of wanderlust and am itching to grab my gear and head out the door.
I imagine I’m like quite a few who grew up eating soup from a red and white can – you know, the kind where you pour the contents into a pan, fill the empty can with water, add that to the pot, stir and heat? Vegetable Beef with Barley, Chicken Noodle, Chicken and Stars, Tomato, and Cream of Mushroom were lined up like tin soldiers behind the tall blue and white cabinets in that galley kitchen in the little house on Ankeny Street.
Let’s talk soup shall we? I am of the camp that soup is perfectly acceptable in any season but I also know that soup is one of those foods people think about as Mother Nature starts to chill things off and the leaves begin to fall.
I’d say I’ve been pretty lucky in the food-allergy department; in fact, I’d say that I’ve enjoyed being able to experience whatever foods were on the table for most of my life. I’m not sure if it’s because more people have food allergies or if I’m simply more aware – but the statistics of folks with some sort of food restriction is staggering: 15 million people suffer with various food allergies, an estimated 30 percent of our overall population are gluten-intolerant and I am in the 1 in 100 category who navigates the world of celiac disease.
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Musical pairing – I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of being a singer – on Broadway or as a solo artist, ala Barbra Streisand, my hero at the time. I was singing at 18 months old and had entered my first talent contest at 5 and by High School I ranked 2nd in my State’s Solo and Ensemble competition.
Musical pairing – A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker
Mmmmm Mmmmm Good, Mmmmm Mmmmm Good, That’s what Campbell’s tastes like, Mmmmm Mmmmm Good! So now that this little catch-phrase will be rolling around in your head for the next 24 hours, let’s talk soup shall we?