Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day Four - Wednesday

Oh Potato Soup, how I love thee. No really. Potato soup rescued me from a pit of despair. It's been an odd day. I was totally over this whole thing for the most of it. After my oatmeal this morning, I was still hungry. I drank my tea at work, and then re-seeped the same tea bag, not twice, not thrice, but four times just to have something to put in my mouth. Seriously, I think I'm a little orally fixated. I'm usually eating something. It never stops. It's like I think I'm some kind of hummingbird and may crash to the ground if I give it up eating for one second. So not only am I not eating as often, I'm actually hungry. No literal crashes yet though. I ate lunch early, which I figured was a bad idea, but I couldn't help it.

Here's lunch:

I share my office so this was the first opportunity to snap a photo of lunch without them thinking I'm even more of a weirdo than they already do. It really was a decent lunch, but I was hungry again by afternoon and came home early just to scrounge up a slice of bread. I skipped my run

So, you'd think this was a bad day ... but that was before potato soup showed up. You'll meet him later.

For dinner we had soup and a carrot salad that required that I make mayonnaise from scratch for the dressing. This is the sort of thing that seemed like a really good, really thrifty idea when I was planning this whole thing. Anyway, it's a Lemon-Dijon mayonnaise. It's a Paul Virant recipe I found at Food & Wine and I made it essentially as written. No switcharoskies between hand-pampered, free-range, well-groomed chicken broth and granules a la ramen. I did use plain ol' yellow mustard instead of Dijon (sorry Paul), but that seems slightly less glaring. I totally would have stolen some Dijon instead, but the condiment counter just didn't have that kind of selection.

Here's the mise en place. It's best to ignore that ENTIRE CUP of vegetable oil. I figure we ignore when it's already mixed into the store-bought mayonnaise, why not ignore it now?

The recipe as I made it:

Lemon-Dijon Mayonnaise
1 medium egg
1 medium egg yolk
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon (well, minus a little stub I cut off to made dressing on Monday)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

I whirred up the egg, egg yolk, mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice in my Cuisinart until it was smooth and then used the little reservoir on the top of the lid with the little hole in it to slowly add the oil (with the Cuisinart still running) and then added the salt. It takes approximately 14.81 billion years (shout out to Kadish) to DRIZZLE one whole cup of oil. But look! It made mayonnaise!

I am so proud. It was hit or miss there at the beginning, and I do not have the best track record with mayonnaise. It even tastes good (compared to regular mayonnaise, which I have learned to tolerate, but we're not best friends).

So that whole process was to make the dressing for a carrot salad.

Here are the ingredients

I didn't use that entire bowl of mayonnaise for the salad. Yuck. I was just too lazy to measure the real amount into a different bowl to then take a picture.

The salad was two shredded carrots (they're big ones) and one-half of a very wee apple shredded and then mixed with about 2-3 tablespoons Lemon-Plain-Old-Yellow-Mustard Mayonnaise. You'll see it later with dinner.

Meanwhile, S. was working on a Potato Cheddar Soup. I was so preoccupied with the my mayonnaise adventure, I missed all the good action shots.

Potato Cheddar Soup
very adapted from Bon Appetit
3 oz bacon scraps, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup onions, minced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
4 cups milk
1/2 package ramen seasoning
about 5 small russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz)
salt and pepper

As you can see, we decided to grant a temporary reprieve to bacon scraps despite their previous bad behavior. There were some lean chunks mixed in that apparently didn't make the cut for the fatty-fat-fat bacon brigade and got left behind in bacon scrap purgatory. We decided that these would be less likely to cause gastrointestinal distress - and thus these previously rejected bacon wannabes made the cut after all.

Again, since I was distracted, I'm guessing on the blow-by-blow for the amazing adventure of soup production, but I think it went something like this. S. browned the little lean bacon chunks, and then added the carrot, onions, and garlic and sauteed until beginning to brown. Sprinkled the flour over and cooked just a few minutes, and then whisked in the milk, sage, ramen seasoning, and salt/pepper and stirred until the soup slightly thickened. Added the potatoes and left the pot on simmer for some unspecified time (30 minutes?) until the potatoes started to break down and thicken the soup some more. Right before we ate, he added the cheese and stirred until melted.

And this is how amazing potato soup looked in all its glory.

Really, it was miraculous. I sat down. I started eating. I felt better. I stopped being grouchy. I had a pleasant conversation with my husband and enjoyed sitting at the table. It was really good - like, make it again later good. We did have a conversation about whether it was actually tasty, or just tasty in the same way that a box of mac & cheese with a can of tuna mixed in is tasty after you've been camping for a week. It's possible that it's the kind of tasty that does not translate at all to normal life, but I suspect that it's just normal tasty. Thus, this day is dedicated to S. and potato soup. Sigh.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, sugared sunflower seeds and half an apple (A. only)
Lunch: peanut butter sandwich, apple (S. only), carrot (A. only), banana, sunflower seeds
Snack: bread & peanut butter
Dinner: Potato Cheddar soup and carrot salad
Dessert: 1 c. milk (A.)

1 comment:

Betty Ann said...

You are eating great since getting fruits and veggies...and meatless meals are healthier.. (bacon for flavor too).

It does seem time consuming since you work too.

And I guess you are still hungry since no heavy meats...

but this is healthy; and I need to lose 10 pounds; I have to stop eating too much organic meat... and organic cheeses. and eat more fruits and veggies..

Great blog.