Wednesday, January 12, 2011

chili; it's not just for dinner anymore

I know we're not quite a full month into "official" winter, but I have to say something:  I am really getting tired of the bitter cold.  I can't remember a winter being this consistently painfully cold.  I am truly fearing February, especially since it seems to rain a lot, too.  Rain and cold are quite possibly the worst combination, aside from rain + cold + wind.  Yup.  That one's definitely the worst.

Anyway, the great thing about winter is that it snows!  I love snow and it never stops making me happy.  I love snow so much that I chose to walk home, a mile, through it last night.  I feel like I should make some smarmy comment about going up hills with no shoes on, too, but I'll stick with walking a mile in the falling snow.  By the time I got home, I was covered - my hat, my hair, my coat, even my purse - covered with "snowflakes that cling to my nose and eyelashes."  Yes, they did that, too, as well as stealthily flying up my nose.  I could have done without that.

I stopped for a couple of pictures because it just looked so beautiful.

freezing at the train station.
it always seems colder there.

walking home through Washington Square

After I shook off the coating of snow that had accumulated on me during my traipse through the city, I changed into my Cozy Clothes - yoga pants, slippers, and a hoodie.  The problem with changing into Cozy Clothes, though, is that frequently I lose my motivation to cook once I'm comfy and warm.

So last night, we heated up the Potato-Spinach Curry and basmati rice that had been hanging out in the fridge for one day short of Too Long.  Having given it time to let the flavors thoroughly meld, I have come to the conclusion that it needs a lot more salt, maybe 1.5 tsp, but we'll see what happens next time I make it - I think a little improv is in order.

Tonight, I returned to dear Isa for our dinner:  Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili from Appetite for Reduction

this is what dried out limes with no juice look like:
fuzzy flowers, like lime asters

I don't know what went wrong with the lime, but I cut it open, massaged it a little, but when I tried to squeeze out the juice, I might possibly have gotten ten drops from then whole lime (both halves).  Instead, the insides just turned out and created a dry little fringe around the edge.  Despite my dismay that my lime was dried out, I thought it looked pretty neat, so I took a picture to share, in case you've never seen this before (I know I haven't!).

Mister and I agreed that there was too much broth.  Very, very good chili, but we both prefer it to be less soupy because according to Mister, if utensils are involved in chili at all, they must be forks.  But normally, we just use tortilla chips to help the chunky chili to our mouths.

It was a little hotter than I might like to make it in the future - I keep forgetting that Isa is one of those people who likes things spicier than me.  Next time, I'll use 33% less chili powder and 100% less broth.  I don't think it was necessary at all - the juice from the tomatoes should be sufficient.  It was a great way to defrost from tonight's walk home, though.  Since my Spicy Threshold is pretty low, despite years of training, when I eat food like this it really warms me up, making it a perfect meal to repeat often between now and the Great Thaw (aka late Springtime).

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