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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stretchy soup

Round here, we eat a lot of soup. And our soup is never a delicate broth, but a thick, hearty meal in a bowl - what Rachael Ray would call "stoup". (Why do people rag on Rachael Ray? I have my theories.) My mother's family referred to it as "Aitin' soup" - there's both aiting and drinking in it. And if you make big batches, there's always something to eat.

Last week, I made one of my favorite quick-enough dishes: pumpkin and sweet potato curry with chickpeas. It ended up a little thin, but still tasty.

The next day, looking to beef it up, I defrosted a package of spinach, squeezed it out, and stirred it in. Now the soupy curry was a thicker stew. It tasted meatier, somehow.

On day three, it didn't look like we had quite enough. I stirred in a 24-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Delicious! All the flavors had had a chance to meld, and the tomatoes added a lovely sweeter edge.

The progression of plain to spinach to tomatoes is definitely one I'm going to follow again, next time perhaps with a more Italian flavor. Variety without effort is just what I'm often looking for in the middle of the week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, originally uploaded by RĂ­ona.
This week, the tree on the corner was decorated for Valentine's Day.
Previously: Christmas tree 

Breaking radio silence

It's been ages. But I've been busy! I went to Zurich for work, which was ... meh. They have an excellent public transport system, and I applaud them for it, but the city itself left me cold. Plus, I arrived on a Sunday night and literally could find nothing to eat. (I was staying in a corporate apartment, not a hotel.) But the Google office is very, very cool. Check out the egg meeting rooms:

(photo from pineapplebun )

After that, I went to see my sisters and her lovely daughters in London for the weekend and ended up staying an extra day because of the snow. This was all fine with me.

After that, I went to Limerick to see the rest of my family, which was great. But my cameraphone had died by then. I feel very lucky that I was able to combine a work trip with a vacation.

It was nice to come home, though.