I couldn't have asked for a better day to stand in a long line along the sidewalk.
Soupe de Mirepoix
Mirepoix is a classic blend of chopped carrots, celery, and onions used as a flavoring agent in many French soups, stews, and sauces. Proportions vary - a common standard is two parts onion, one part carrot, and one part celery. Despite selflessly offering their flavors, the mirepoix is normally removed before serving.
What waste! What tragedy!
The components of mirepoix are some of the cheapest fresh vegetables you can find, and are time-tested complements to each other. This inspired me to make a soup which let's them take center stage, and preserved the high fiber and nutrient content of the vegetables.
This soup plays with the proportions a bit (okay, a lot): an entire bunch of celery, 2 pounds of carrots, and one onion. After being cooked and blended together, you'll end up with a big batch of delicious soup with a low calorie content - 1/6 of the recipe (which is a big, heaping bowl!) is only 130 calories, with 6.2 grams of fiber, 8.7 grams of protein, and 1390 mg of potassium! Woah!
To make it a meal, serve with fish and warm, crusty bread for dipping. This is a very versatile soup, and you can experiment with different spice combinations depending on your preferences. It's great as leftovers reheated in the microwave.
No Slack for a Slacker
I am cheating.
I am writing this on March 21st. My excuse for skipping a day less than a week after starting? I don't have one.
Yesterday (and by yesterday I mean the 20th) was my last final of the quarter, and possibly my last Economics final ever. Next quarter I'm taking Geography classes. If they work out, I might switch into that major. If not? Well, I've been needing a break from Econ for a while anyway. It's been almost a year since I wrote my last essay, and I've noticed my writing skills slip as I spend my time drilling and memorizing instead of thinking.
So this post is pointless and silly and exists only as filler. What fun!
A Month of Freedom
March 2014, so far, has been defined by freedom.
Freedom to drink.
Freedom from my job. Telemarketing is a good gig if you can get it, and I was raising money for my school, but it’s very difficult. You catch people at their worst - divorced, sick, dying, poor. And it’s a Sisyphean task - every dollar you raise is tossed into the maw of your school, gobbled up, leaving it only hungrier for more.
I had been good. And enthusiastic. But I began to feel something different.
Once the apathy arrived, I knew it was time to go.
Freedom from a major I wasn’t enjoying. I felt like I’d been shoved into a doorless corridor, nothing behind me, escape only reachable by a long, long run. I thought I could make it, but I pushed on and refused to give up. An admirable attitude in some circumstances, foolish in others. This was the later. After a meaningful talk with the department counselor (who was FANTASTIC), I realized Economics was not my forté.
It’s a terrible lie we tell children that you can be anything you want to be. You can’t. And colliding face-to-face with that revelation knocked me for a loop, but I felt relieved. I had been trying to mutate myself into something else. Why not focus on what I already am? Why be ashamed of what you are good at? That’s a recipe for misery. I know. I’ve lived it.
Currently I think I’m going to go into Geography. Enrolling in those classes, and dropping the Econ courses, lightened my shoulders. I nearly cried for joy. The class descriptions sparked my interest, instead of filling me with dread.
I’m not sure how this will go. Who knows? I don’t.
But at least I’m free to try.
Here’s a riddle which isn’t a riddle: How do you use up an entire 1.75 L bottle of vodka, by yourself, in 10 minutes, without dying?
Make vodka infusions.
I turned 21 today, so of course my first thought was to run to the farmer’s market and splurge on amazing fruits for infusions. I settled on 2 different kinds: raspberry and kumquat-ginger. Normally I’m a conventional girl, because there’s no way I’m paying $3/pound for organic apples when I could get conventional ones for $0.98/pound.
However, when you’re infusing vodka, you’re letting the fruits soak for weeks. Thus drawing out the essence of the fruit - by the time you’re done the fruits are drained of color, as if Bunnicula attacked. So any pesticides or fungicides used to straight into your drink. Bottoms up.
To wash the fruits, I gently swished them around in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water, and dried them on paper towels. This kills spores and removes any debris.
Concerning vodka choice: I did some research online, and people seem to agree that any decent vodka will work well, as long as it’s relatively smooth to begin with. Svedka and Skyy were mentioned quite often, and I found Svedka on sale for $19 for a 1.75 L bottle.
So, Svedka it is!
Time will tell how they turn out. I’ll post updates as they arrive.