Happy Thanksgiving to all those who partook yesterday!
I hope you dined well, whether you turkeyed or tofuturkeyed or something else altogether. I don't know much about Thanksgiving except for the general themes of eating too much and being thankful. Sounds like the perfect holiday to me.
In the spirit of the event, here is a wee list of lard-busting things I am thankful for:
Internet Shopping – As much as I love wandering down the aisles of supermarkets admiring the goods, I hate the people. I hate when they meet their friends in the dairy aisle and park their trolleys nose to nose and chatter away oblivious to me trying to squeeze past. I hate the crowded car parks and the checkout queues and jumping up and down at the fish counter trying to get some service. I hate how miserable everyone looks.
So this is why I order groceries online and have them delivered for no more than the cost of trekking to the megamart on the bus. I plan a week's meals in advance, click click for ten minutes, then sit back while some other poor bastard has to scour the aisles with my shopping list then cart it to my door. And they don't "accidentally" chuck in cakes or bars of chocolate. It's a lard-buster's dream!
Dumbells Under The Bed – Again, I hate people. Bah, humbug. And I hate venturing out in the cold and dark, so I like to work out at home this time of year and not have to interact with the world.
Soup – Everything you need in a bowl. Easy to cook, easy to clean up. Endless leftovers. Equally healthy as, but far less fiddly than, a summer salad.
External Validation – The other day I had two separate people ask me if I'd lost weight. Amazing! This hasn't happened to me in so long. The first was a lovely woman who'd been away for six months and the other was someone I see in passing most days. They both used the word "load". As in, "Have you lost a load of weight?".
Actually, I just said, "Well, maybe a wee bit". Because I haven't lost anything, really. But I've been doing well for a few weeks now and had been annoyed with the scales as you well know, so to hear some nice words from impartial observers was a real boost to the ol' motivation. The number on the scale can faff around all it wants, but at the end of the day I just want to look like I take up less space, darnit.
Other things I'm thankful for: Good friends and internet people, emails from siblings, emerging biceps and Thursday night repeats of The Avengers on BBC4.
. . .
I've been meaning to apologise for my horribly slow email replies. But then I wondered if apologising would make me sound like a raging egomaniac, as though I can't get through the front door of our flat because there's just soooo many emails that they've all burst out of the computer and flooded the hallway. But then I figure if I don't say anything then it looks like I am a unresponsive snob. Hmm, dilemma!
So let me reassure you I have neither delusions of megastardom nor am I too important to answer my emails, I've just been a bit busy. Anyway I'm now down to 18 emails in my ReplyTo folder, and the oldest one is from late September so that's much better. Woohoo!
. . .
Well it's not much of a corner, more the arse end of the page. But there's no time for pedantry, we have to make the world's most delicious soup. Allez allez!
Seriously, it's the best soup I've had in yonks. It comes from Good Food magazine and was described as "rustic and robust". I thought that a rather poncy and optimistic description but it was really sublime! Hearty, rich, smooth and sweet. And strangely creamy despite absence of actual creamy ingredients. Hubba hubba.
- In the mag the soup was served with some fancy cheese croutons but I skipped those as I am trying to shrink, dammit.
- The recipe said to roast the vegies with the herbs left on their stalks, and remove the leaves afterward. I thought that sounded far too fiddly so I just did that before it went into the oven.
- I chopped the tomatoes in half before roasting, which was a bad move as the juices ran everywhere and the veggies were more steamed than roasted. Next time I'll leave them whole.
- The recipe calls for pumpkin but I used butternut squash as that's all there bloody ever seems to be in the shops, except for Halloween. Then felt guilty as hell when I discovered my butternut had been flown in from NEW ZEALAND!?!
I don't have the recipe on me right now so I will blurt from memory and apologise in advance for any glaring inaccuracies! (Update – Have now checked recipe, should all be functional now!)
PUMPKIN AND TOMATO SOUP
Source: BBC Good Food
650 – 900g (1.5 – 2lb) chunk of winter pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into cubes
450g (1lb) ripe tomatoes
one red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
6 whole cloves of garlic, unpeeled
a few sprigs of each fresh rosemary and thyme (I used about 6 of each)
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable or chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 220'C (430'F).
- Pull the leaves off the herb stalks and chop finely.
- Put all of the ingredients, except for the stock, into a roasting tin. Turn in your hands so everything is coated in oil. Roast, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until it all looks… roasty.
- Remove veg from oven. Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins.
- Scrape the veggies into a blender and liquidise with the stock, in two batches if necessary. (I just put the lot in a big pot then blasted to smithereens with my trusty hand-held pulveriser thingy)
- Pour into a large pot and heat a little if needed.
- Check seasoning then EAT. Ooh yeah.
- Actually, put it some bowls first, THEN eat. If you insist on being civilised.
Per serve: 212 calories, 12g fat
Bon weekend, you groovers!