On the Beach

 No, I’m not in sunny Florida, and spring break is still three weeks away.  I just can’t get the book, by Nevil Shute, out of my mind.  If my memory serves, the world had just endured World War III, and everyone had died from the nuclear weapons used.  Everyone except for those in Australia…. where the residents sat and waited for the fallout to reach them.  Cheery, right?  But what’s going on in Japan has left me on the edge of my chair.  I’m very sorry for the Japanese people, and worried for the world’s future.

In other news,  winter is back.  We’d had pre-vernal-equinox warm days, heavy rains (with accompanying floods), and general muddiness.  

This made us unreasonably optimistic about the weather, just as it does every year.  Now March has turned on us, and we’ve had lows as low as 0 … and it is currently snowing.  To say nothing of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, which had a blizzard last week.  17" of snow!  While here it just poured and sleeted.  These are times that call for comfort food, and even on really busy days, we are trying to cook from scratch.  We are also trying to buy less and use up more things.  Sometimes those two ambitions come into conflict, especially when you throw in a third: making something fast at the end of a long day.  We have a lot of carrots, potatoes, cabbage and onions.  So: witness the fried-tofu sandwich with cole slaw,

the dal-and-rice soup with banana muffins, 

and the soba noodles with steamed vegetables and peanut/sesame sauce. Oops, guess I forgot to photograph that one….

Today was Saturday, and for the first time in …. six weeks? I did not go up to the Capitol.  There are other protests brewing (perhaps Monday?  definitely coming up) and although there were probably people walking around today, and I know there were bicyclists zooming around to protest the Governor’s proposed cuts to bike and walking paths, it was freezing cold and I was tired and wimped out.  The wind was cutting.  Instead, I spent some time with Claudia.  We ate lunch at the Somer House in Mt Horeb, where I had the Tofu-salad Sandwich (billed as "vegantastic!")  It was pretty good!  (Photo courtesy of Claudia.)

Back at home, I made a fabulous meal, well suited to the weather.  As we sat down to eat, I realized that all three recipes had been found on peoples’ blogs.  Thank you, vegan bloggers!

This is the best soup I’ve had in ages: "Rustic Farro Soup" from Andrea.  I broke my no-buying streak to get some fresh kale (couldn’t find escarole in Mt Horeb, but this was fine) and fresh thyme.  First I had to get out the ancient diet scale I bought when I was first pregnant (because the doctor was suspicious of my diet, so I had to weigh and prove how much I was eating).  That’s because the recipe calls for "seven ounces of farro," which turns out to be about a cup.

"Red-wine marinated tofu" was new to us.  Both this and the soup recipe called for wine, and I had some to use up.  So I used Lambrusco.  So sue me. This tofu was excellent. 

And finally, a really easy go-to recipe: the "outrageously easy big bread."  

Now we are full and warm, which is temporarily comforting when life gets cold, unfair, and radioactive. Spunky, who usually curls up in front of the dining-room heater, decided to join me in the kitchen because I spent so long in there this afternoon.  As usual, Spotty had to horn in on the picture…. because of course, every time I kneel down I must be about to feed her, right? 

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5 Responses to On the Beach

  1. wei_k says:

    Cute pictures of the cats!! And of course the New Yorker cover sadly is spot-on. It has been raining and snowing here too, and I too am ready for some warmth and sun.
    I think today I’m going to go out for a sandwich too!! That and a shower… but probably not at the same establishment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I want to comment, I really do, but I’m so tired I can’t think what to say. Let’s see. We went to Vegfest today — worked there for about 5 hours. It’s like NF Convention times 10. I don’t want to see Nature’s Path cereal for a long, long time…
    I’m glad you liked the soup. Now you must try the kale and bean soup from Speed Vegan. I spoke with the author today and he uses no-salt bouillon. I told him he needs to put that into the next edition. I’m rambling. The weather there looks bad but your food looks good, as always.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cute kitties! Aren’t they the best kitchen helpers? I know mine make it difficult to get things done very quickly since they always think it’s the perfect time for a treat of yeast flakes or Coconut Bliss.
    I’m sorry to hear about your weather tease! I know your pain! For a while it seemed like spring would be headed our direction. As much as I love my winter coat, I was ready to hang it up for the season. Alas, it’s back out again.
    Isn’t farro marvelous? It’s such an unsung hero of the grains. It has that wonderful chewiness and density of barley but even more so.
    I’m glad to hear/see that you enjoyed the red wine marinated tofu! It looks delicious!

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