Saturday, February 6, 2010

oh the weather outside's delightful

And since we've no place to go (because it's midnight), let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I love snow. I have loved snow all my life and people keep telling me I'll hate it when I'm older, but I'm still waiting and I'm still loving it. It's so magical to look out of the window and it feels like you're inside of a giant snowglobe!

It's been snowing for hours and the streets, sidewalks, newspaper stands, and cars are all covered with inches of happy white snow. According to weather forecasts, in which we all know I have a ton of faith, when I wake up tomorrow, it will have eaten the entire city - twelve to eighteen inches!

What's funny about the amount of substantial snow we've gotten so far this winter is that the weather has been just frightful enough to prevent me from renewing my driver's license. The reason that's funny is because I had the exact same problem exactly sixteen years ago, when I was trying to GET my license. So now you know how old I am, if you are even mildly proficient in arithmetic. Anyway, hopefully it won't take me until May to renew my license like it did when I got it to begin with, exactly half my lifetime ago (that really weirds me out).

So, since it was really nice out yesterday and all cold and snowy today, it seems natural that I made Spicy Peanut Soup last night. As soon as I had the first broth-soaked crumb of bread in my mouth, I remembered the first time (only time) I made this soup. It is not even remotely spicy - and remember, I think black pepper packs some heat. I really don't know why it's called "Spicy" unless I'm using the wrong kind of chili powder and/or I didn't read the part that calls for massive amounts of cayenne or harissa. Actually, I had intended to stir in about a tablespoon of harissa but I forgot to.

Don't get me wrong - this is a very tasty soup and it is substantial enough to count as food in Mister's eyes. The finished product didn't take very pretty pictures, but the rainbow of finely chopped vegetables that went into it was too beautiful to neglect. You see there red peppers, orange carrots, yellow potatoes, and green celery, sauteed with garlic and chili powder. The quart of broth I added just barely covered that delicious pot of veggies. It was a chunky, satisfying, but definitely NOT spicy soup.

Tonight, we had my old favorite Mediterranean Pasta with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Tomatoes. I can't tell if I did something wrong, since I haven't made it in many, many moons or if I've just gotten spoiled by the recipes I've indulged in for the past six months (can you believe that's how old my little blog is?), but I remembered it being much better than it was. It could be that tomatoes are completely out of season and that the large part of the dish's sweetness comes from those little grape tomatoes. It could be that I didn't let the artichokes soak up enough of the white wine vinegar. It could be that I neglected to sprinkle the sizzling veggies with kosher salt, since I felt the Kalamatas should provide enough umami. Whatever it is, this was not as exciting as I'd hoped it would be. It was fast, though, and that's what Mister and me and our exploding heads needed.

I think tomorrow will probably involve another soup recipe, but I have to see if I want to trudge many blocks through the snow back to Whole Foods/Italian Market (Spice Corner) because I never did get my cumin and paprika, and I'm not paying Superfresh $5 for two tablespoons of cumin. Thieves.

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