As promised, I’m going to supply the recipes from the cooking class I taught last week—my last ever in my home (sniff!).
But first, I must interrupt today’s entry because I’ve been tagged for a meme! Annie over at Forest Street Kitchen kindly included me in the game. Considering that up until yesterday I didn’t even know what a meme was, this should be fun. Can I offer this as an open invitation to other readers/bloggers to answer as well? I’d love to hear from you. And I’ll tag Deb. Here goes:
FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD:
- Telephone salesperson selling wholesale frozen sides of beef (even funnier once you know that I grew up with a father who was a butcher AND that I don’t eat meat any more).
- Writer for local entertainment magazine geared at American tourists (MAN do I miss those complimentary tickets to theatre, museums, launch parties, etc.!!)
- Size 9 dress model (Yes. True. Very long ago. Ah, how the mighty’s weight has risen).
- Baker for vegetarian restaurant (totally serendipitous, result of a friend with a big mouth—and how I will always love her for getting me involved in this world!).
FOUR PLACES I’VE LIVED:
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Born and raised there. No, I am not a Francophone, though I went to French immersion school and visited France as part of a school trip (it was fantastique!).
- Framingham, Massachusetts. Home of the famous heart study. Also home of (some of) my American cousins, with whom I spent a teenaged summer.
- Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Location of the first university I attended (University of Windsor), southernmost city in Canada, actually SOUTH of Detroit. Where I rediscovered the exquisite joy of reading literature, where I met my beloved mentor (the recent loss of whom I deeply mourn), and where I finally grew up (a bit).
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Current home, where I’ve been since coming to do my PhD in 1983, where I married and divorced, subsequently met my HH and adopted my cherished Girls, and rediscovered my childlike tendencies (not to be confused with childish, mind you).
FOUR PLACES I’VE BEEN ON HOLIDAY:
- California: with my best friend A. Three weeks of hysterical laughter, amazing sights, meeting great people, feeling totally independent.
- London: 30 years after California, two more weeks with A, this time at her home in England, having a riotous time with her and her adorable new hubby.
- Bandol, France: three weeks as a French immersion student (see above), nerdy enough to actually attend the classes they’d scheduled instead of wandering around the South of France by myself (I did attend scheduled tours, though, which were lovely).
- Newfoundland, Canada: Two weeks with my Honey, our first “real” vacation together, as we discovered the beauty and bounty of our very own country, and how it is so vast that a short flight east can feel like visiting another continent.
FOUR FAVORITE FOODS:
- Chocolate. What else? All intensities, all shades. Best when organic, when somehow connected to caramel, but always welcome in any form.
- Spicy Penang Fried Keow Tow noodles from our favorite Malaysian restaurant. Must order with at least 2 other people present, or I eat the entire platter.
- Almond-Curry Stir Fry with tofu, from my friend Nettie’s cookbook. The combination of curry and almond butter in the sauce is startling and delectable.
- Simple, raw Kale and Avocado Salad. Fresh, crunchy, creamy—the perfect way to consume kale. Not bitter! Not bitter! (recipe in a later post).
FOUR PLACES I’D RATHER BE:
- With my HH, somewhere warm.
- With my sisters, somewhere warm.
- With my girlfriends, somewhere warm.
- With my Girls, somewhere warm.
Whew! That was actually lots of fun. Thanks, imagineannie, for including me! Looking forward to hearing what others have to say.
Now, on to today’s NAG-friendly recipe. . . .
This recipe for Moroccan Spiced Tomato Soup was originally given to me by a former office mate, who eventually became a close friend. At the time (late 1980s), I was perpetually in awe of her, as she was somewhat of an anomaly among our colleagues: the first bona fide vegan I ever knew, she was both incredibly intelligent and incredibly beautiful. Amazonian in height (over six feet tall), she still had something of an ethereal nature about her, with cropped ashen hair and a model’s grace. She spoke with a calming, velvety voice and I loved spending time with her and soaking up details about her alternative (extremely alternative, at the time!) lifestyle. Although she and I have lost touch over the years, my HH and I still enjoy this soup every winter. It’s one of our favorites as a hearty and warming dinner.
Don’t be put off by the ostensibly bizarre inclusion of peanut butter here. It virtually disappears into the soup and effectively simulates the addition of thick cream.
Moroccan Spiced Tomato Soup
The combination of creaminess, spices, and tomatoes provides the perfect comfort food for a cool evening, or after you’ve just finished posting your Holidailies entry. This is a quick and fabulous soup. Pair with corn bread or a crusty french loaf for a complete meal. [Note: this soup can easily be made gluten-free with GF ketchup.]
1 large onion, very finely chopped
2 Tbsp. cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
28-oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter (preferably organic)
1/3 cup natural ketchup (preferably organic)
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups water, or to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft and translucent.
Pour the tomatoes and liquid into the pot along with the peanut butter and stir well to mix. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Since this scorches easily, take care that the heat isn’t too high. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings; freezes beautifully.