Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oh, ugh, winter.

Do you especially love the color of the snow where it meets the road?

There is no hope for cars. I haven't washed mine since November. You should see the inside. A puddle of muck has moved into my driver's side floor mat.

Here is what it looks like where I live in Minnesota. When I flew in on Monday from New York, I really thought I might have been landing in Siberia. It was barren, white, icy and snow was blowing. There was almost no traffic on the roads. A battalion of the Army's cargo planes, looking like dinosaurs, greeted me on landing. It was like the USSR in 1965. Creepy.

I arrived home and climbed over a mountain of ice and snow to get to my sidewalk with my bags, huffing, puffing and cursing. Fully comparing the sidewalks of Minneapolis to the sidewalks of New York which are maintained impeccably. They are always dry. Leave it to the doormen.

So, I've been really crabby. I get up. I slather on ridiculous amounts of oil and cream on my parched and cracking face. I shower only every other day as I feel like I might just break like brittle if I dry out my skin any more than it is. I slide into jeans, snowboots, my Northface and wrap my face in a big old scarf, pull on my Tibetan cap and head out to warm up the car...for 20 minutes. I head back inside to wait for this to happen.

I'm sleeping 10 hours a night wrapped (thank god) in cashmere pants my sister gave me and a holey old cashmere sweater. (Remember I sleep alone in Minneapolis.) I tuck in with my tea, my book and my down. It is just freezing and a bit lonely.

In this mood, I am eating junk. Wine, coffee, cheese, crackers, olives, finger food. Whatever is easy. I am not cooking. But...I went to my acupuncturist today and he gently pointed out that most health matters (my really tender lower back) can be addressed by diet. So...after an out of this body acupuncture experience, I headed home to wine, crackers, cheese AND homemade vegetable soup. Such a winter treat. Here is the recipe, in case you are interested....with visuals!

Vegetable Soup

Pour Olive oil into a soup pan so that it just covers the bottom of the pan.
Heat on low.

Add 1 diced onion.
Add 2 -3 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed. (Use as much as you like garlic.)
Saute garlic and onion for 5 minutes or so until soft. Watch heat so it doesn't burn.

Add vegetables one at a time, chopping into bite size pieces. I like my pieces on the large side. Here, I used:

2 heads broccoli
4 red potatoes, unpeeled.
5 carrots
Cauliflower - 1/4 head
Green pepper - 1/2 diced

Add a few shakes of red (cayenne) pepper, salt, black pepper, some oregano (if you like.)

I saute this in the oil. You may want to add more oil. Lynne Rossetto Kasper says that you will have more flavor if you take this step - sauteing the veggies before you add liquid.

After 5 - 8 minutes, add enough organic chicken broth to cover the veggies. In this case, it took the whole carton (4 cups.)

Cook 10 minutes.

Add 2/3 large can (about a cup +) of Organic Crushed Muir Glen tomatoes (or your favorite.)

Stir - add a few more if you like a really tomato-y soup.

Cook 15 - 25 minutes. Test for flavor and add salt, pepper, whatever you like. Just keep the heat on low or you will overcook the veggies. They can get soggy.

Other things to add:

Green Beans
Kidney Beans

Stay warm. Stay cozy. I'm going to hibernate.

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