Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Frequent Question

I'm frequently asked, here and in the U.S., if I cook for myself.  
The answer is--yes, only when I'm hungry.  Generally, I'm hungry.  

I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I forget to eat (I'm getting better at this!)  It used to be really bad, and I wouldn't stop what I was doing to eat when I was hungry.  Now I've learned that if I don't answer the hunger call right away, I'll pass the hungry stage.

Next in line of frequently asked questions, is when/how did I learn how to cook.  Not really sure I've ever "learned"--I just grew up in the kitchen with my mom.  I guess you could say I learned how to cook, but I really think I just watched while we talked, and then out of necessity (hunger) started to use my memories to cook.

But, when I do stop to cook, fun things turn out.  I have a recipe book, and e-copies of 3 different boxes of recipes from my Grandma Martin, my recipe box, and the amazing Lisa Parker.  But, I generally only touch these when I'm desperate or using the pressure cooker (which is occasionally the same thing.)  And for baking--definitely can't do that on the fly!  
 For example, a few weeks ago, I found out that Paraguay has corned beef.  So, I bought a can, then I bought potatoes, then the store I was at only had purple cabbage.  I grew up on corned beef, (green) cabbage, and potatoes.  I figured, since I wasn't planning to serve anyone else, it was worth a try with purple cabbage.  It was beyond worth it!  It tasted like home, and everything turned purple!!
 This week's shopping trip brought with it a LOT of veggies.  Remember The Roast Beef Story?  Well, since I had so much meat, I figured with the end of it I could make a beef vegetable soup!  So tonight, I got all ready to make soup in 85+ degree weather, and I'd like to say it was worth it...but...I don't have a can opener yet, and I really wanted to put my little can of corn in the soup.  So I ran up to the landlady's to ask to use her can opener.  And she gave me a plate of food: rice & beans--which I absolutely love.  So after chopping, frying, salting, boiling, chopping, adding, salting, and waiting...I ate a different meal!  But I'm looking forward to this pot of soup lasting me the weekend! :-D

So parents: Let your kids help you in the kitchen!

Carrie's Ishy Beef Vegetable Soup:
4 cloves of garlic, diced
3 medium onions, chopped
           *Fry in the soup pot in about 2 Tbs of olive oil
           *Add reserved juices from when you cooked the meat (I cooked a roast beef.)  I added a beef  
             bouillon cube and a cereal bowlful of water at this point.
The following items I added as I had them chopped, along with keeping enough water in the pot to cover the veggies:
a lot of tiny baby potatoes, quartered
5ish carrots, chopped
green beans, snapped
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
beef, chopped
small can of corn, opened by the neighbor
salt & pepper to taste
             *I brought the soup to a boil, and added about 4 handfuls of little pasta tubes.  

I'm really looking forward to trying my soup tomorrow!  Let me know if you try some, too!

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