It Worked!

I did it.  Chunky bean soup and beer bread from scratch.  Be kind, all of you who could do this in your sleep...  I know I hang out with folks who cook as easily as I tie my shoes, but this is a big paradigm shift for me.  Many conditions had to line up perfectly for me to arrive at a place where I was attracted to the idea of cobbling ingredients together into tasty food.  And here we are.

I'm chuffed and delighted to say that, well, it really tastes good.  I think I'll start myself a notebook of "Yummy Things I Made Successfully Without Screwing Up."  Then I'll have a collection of ideas to fall back on when the going gets rough, and my mind goes blank.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to great resources.  I got these two recipes from Farmgirl Fare - a blogger to whom I can relate as an agrarian sister.  Here's the beer bread recipe and the soup recipe.  These met my stringent specifications:  few ingredients, non-fussy prep, and cheap.  The bread recipe had the added benefit of requiring me to buy beer.  Don't mind if I do.

The next phase of my transformation will be to start organizing some food plans so that I can have these basic, simple, affordable, real-food ingredients at the ready, and begin to get a feel for cooking intuitively.  Then I will have arrived.


  1. Anonymous6:06 PM

    You are AWESOME! Congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone and finding yourself pleasantly surprised!

  2. Julia1:21 PM

    I love it!! OK, I have to share my favorite easy soup recipe with you.

    1. Chop an onion (fine or coarse, doesn't matter). In a big pot, heat about 3 Tbs. fat (oil, butter, bacon fat, whatever you have). Cook the onion at a medium heat till golden.
    2. Chop 3-4 carrots (fine or coarse, doesn't matter). Add them, stir them around, let them cook for a few minutes.
    3. Add a 12-oz can of whole tomatoes, stir.
    4. Rinse and pick over a pound of dried lentils, and add them to the pot. Add a quart of broth (any kind, or water) plus enough water to cover the lentils by a few inches. If you have a soup bone (ham hock, pork rib, shoulder bone?) that's also good to add.
    5. Cook over low heat and stir well every 15 minutes or so, until the lentils are falling apart and it looks like soup (about 1 hour?). You might need to add more water if it gets too thick.

    Seasonings: at the very least, add salt and pepper to taste. But some other things work well also:
    --cumin (about 1-2 tsp.)
    --ground coriander seed (about 1 tsp.)
    --ground chili pepper (to taste) or chopped fresh chilis

    These could all be added with the tomatoes.

    I like to eat this served with a big spoonful of plain yogurt and a shake of hot sauce. My partner eats it with applesauce.

    I love your blog and look forward to every posting!

  3. Hi Julia - thanks so much for your encouragement and for your great recipe! That will be my next from-scratch soup!
    Bless you!

  4. Lentil soup is one of my all time favorites. This is the perfect weather for it!!! Big bonus -- very easy to make.

  5. On your facebook thread, where you asked for recipes, I was going to recommend cucina povera (cooking of the poor), the Italian cooking tradition called this way because it was the way poor peasants cooked and ate. Not really a set of recipes, but an approach to cooking that today turns out to be healthy and tasty food that's good for the land, too. Basically it means seasonal ingredients coming from the garden or sea, productive use of leftovers, simplicity (Italians are staunch in their belief that heavy seasoning destroys taste and only covers up low quality food). And flexibility, because the best cook is the one who knows how to use up what's available in the pantry. There are recipes, of course, but they are built on what grows in vegetable gardens and what's feasible in the life of a peasant. TV food shows are not really cucina povera because with their specific recipe requirements and exotic ingredients or steps they don't really fit a food ingredient flow in a home.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts