Got the spot
Got the spot
I used to do this thing? Where I did my resolutions for the year? It was awesome. Instead, this year, I re-launched my blog. We won’t get into how silly it is that simply not having a blog I was happy with meant that I didn’t do resolutions, but, there we are.
Hopefully, it’s not to late. So I’ll return to the format of years past; a review of last year’s resolutions, followed by this year’s. To wit:
OK, one change here is that there will be no business-related resolutions here, including anything about “Toastmasters” or “Networking.” I spend enough time on business during business hours. With no further ado:
I think I can pull all these resolutions off this year, even with these two months gone before I got around to the resolving. After all, this year I’m neither planning a wedding nor going on a honeymoon!
Not that I mean that as a good thing. But, oh, the spare time I’ll have.
This winter has been full of cold, wet weather. This kind of environment is unfamiliar in LA, a land of single-pane windows, minimal insulation, and even less drainage. Given my druthers, I’d solve all problems with either technology or cooking. While technology may soon enough solve cold and wet through global warming, in the short term the best solution is a cooking one: a hot bowl of soup. So this winter has been full of soups.
Beyond the weather, I was also inspired by a gift DJ L’il Bit gave me not this Christmas but the one before: a cookbook called Sunday Soup. This is a fun cookbook filled with practical, seasonal recipes, and I really recommend it. I’ve enjoyed making the soups in it and it’s also inspired me to find more recipes, in places like Epicurious and Food & Wine.
There’s our old standby, the garlic soup with poached eggs. This is a perennial favorite, made from slowly sautéed sliced garlic, simmered in beef broth, with a nice, thick slice of garlic bread and a couple of lightly poached eggs:
There was a great Tuscan bean soup, with kale and spicy sausage. I used fresh rosemary instead of dried, since we have the bush in the back, and rutabagas instead of potatoes. Yes, that’s right, Rutabaga. Not just a fun word to say, Rutabagas are a great ingredient in soups and stews, if you love potatoes but are looking to cut down on your carbs. These purple-and-white root vegetables have the right texture and the right flavor, and you can treat them just the same way.
There was an absolutely delicious beef barley soup. It was so good that I forgot to take a photo. I don’t care if the characters in The Mentalist make fun of beef barley soup, it warms the bones and fills the stomach, and that’s what winter’s about.
And finally there was a cauliflower soup. I’ll be honest: this is the only one I took good pictures of the cooking process, so you get to see it in action. I know what you’re thinking, but this is a great soup that can stand on its own for dinner. And boy is cauliflower healthy for you.
Cook that all together and puree in a blender or, if you like soup like we do, get yourself a stick blender and do the work in the pot you cooked everything in. It’s so much easier, this change alone has made me not fear making creamy soups.
It’s cold, it’s rainy, come on Angelenos, soup is just, um, super this winter. We sure love it, even the little black dog.
Shortly after I met my wife, we went over to her friends’ place to watch the Super Bowl. Now, she’s known these people for years — the guy since her Freshman year of college, his girlfriend since she moved to LA — so I wanted to make a good impression.
Unfortunately, this was the year the Colts and the Bears were playing in the Super Bowl.
We all knew that the Bears were dead meat. I mean, Rex Grossman?!?! But I still had to root for them. See, in case you’ve somehow missed it, I’m from Baltimore. The one thing we have in Baltimore, apart from drugs, violence, and citywide organizations worthy of mocking on HBO, is a hatred of the Colts. And John Waters. But I digress.
So the Colts won, and they were ahead starting pretty early, which meant that, there I was, at DJ L’il Bit’s good friends’ apartment, depressed as all get-out, and having to make a good impression. Fortunately, that was a hard-drinking crew so I got to deaden the pain at the same time as I fit in. Although, after DJ L’il Bit dropped me off at home, there was a Series of Embarrassing, Sadness-Fueled Events that culminated in me supine on my couch, shooing her out the door, proclaiming “Leave! Leave! Leave while you still have some respect for me!”
(Apparently that protestation worked; she stuck with me for long enough for me to somehow convince her to marry me!)
Anyway, I bet you can guess the upshot here: the Colts are in the Super Bowl again. And of course I’m rooting for the Saints, because, if they win, that wouldn’t only be good for my old grudges, but it would be good for America, as exemplified by New Orleans, which we all wish we’d helped rise from the ashes.
But the problem is that the Colts are a good team. A really good team. Peyton Manning, of course, and Reggie Wayne. But also the front office does a great job. And, Curtis Painter notwithstanding, Jim Caldwell seems to be doing a good job as well. Which is probably why the check-out lady at the supermarket yesterday took the time out to tell me that she was a Colts fan, even though she’s an LA native.
So, as much as I hate to say it, I live in a world where Colts fans could be anywhere. Worse, I can even understand why somebody would like the Colts. It’s a world in which people like crisp routes, precision throws, and speedy outside rushers. But I guess that I’m a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kind of guy, and ne’er the twain shall meet.
I’ll be watching this game, quietly, by myself, so that I can grieve alone after the inevitable victory of the Galactic Empire Colts. But maybe, just maybe, the scrappy Saints can win. That would be nice. Because I can understand Colts fans, but I’ll never, ever be one.
It’s a rainy day in LA, not as bad in Mar Vista as elsewhere, but wet, in a town without drainage.