Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Tuesday Souper Supper

Apologies. It was my intention to post something on Monday to ease you gently into the week, but you know how sometimes on Sunday night you open a bottle of wine to share with someone, and then you accidentally drink the whole thing? And then you totally forget you drank the whole bottle, and you open another because your short-term memory has also forgotten that it's a school night?

Needless to say, I woke yesterday with a foggy head and a queasy stomach, so I thought I would just wait till today, but guess what? This morning my head was POUNDING and my stomach was in REVOLT, and no, the glass of Chateau de Flaugergues had nothing to do with it. That's right. It's SUPER TUESDAY.

Like most Americans - hell, like most of the citizens of the entire planet, I've had it with this presidential election. Here's the worst part - it hasn't even really started yet! Even the most die hard political junkies are lining up at the political methadone clinic to get off this roller coaster. And I mean roller coaster literally, because for all the insanity we've witnessed lo these many months, all the highs, and all the lows, we are exactly where we were when we started. At first it seemed fun, but now it's just genuinely depressing

So, for this particular Tuesday, I have something nourishing and comforting, which I will eat while browsing real estate listings in Australia, Canada, France, or any other country which limits the amount of time their local blowhards can barrage the people with their political campaigns. Maybe I'll get lucky and be deported back to where my grandparents came from. In that case future posts will be via the UK or Croatia. Either one is fine with me. Enjoy (after you've voted, FFS please vote).

Super Tuesday Souper Supper

You will need:

A book
Crimini mushrooms, 1 lb

Two red peppers
Five carrots
Six shallots
Fresh thyme
Four cloves garlic
Bay leaf
Olive oil
Crushed tomatoes
White wine

Turn off the television, turn off the radio, put your phone in your sock drawer, and preheat the oven to 425. Don't give in to temptation to put your phone in the oven, undoubtedly you will want it tomorrow. Peel and chop carrots. Do not shove carrots in ears. That could hurt. Chop mushrooms and peppers, and place all on a rimmed baking sheet with unpeeled garlic and shallots. Drizzle olive oil all over until the veggies are as slimy as a politician from (take your pick). 

Toss with a couple of thyme sprigs, some parsley sprigs and a bay leaf or two. Roast until everything is as golden brown as the spray tan on Donald Trump, and your house smells like it's the first Thanksgiving. Think about that day, and wonder where we'd be if the settlers had just gone to live with the indigenous peoples. Decide to build a long hut, you know, when it's warmer out. 

Set half the vegetables aside, peeling set-aside garlic and shallots, and place the rest in a large pot. Over the stove, heat the baking pan with white wine, and scrape up the browned bits of veggies, dump this into the pot along with half a cup of crushed tomatoes and four cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour another glass of wine and drink that quick, because if you wait till the kids are home from school they will hassle you about day drinking and they just don't understand about Super Tuesday.  Discard bay leaf and thyme, then add barley, and pass everything through a sieve, taking a moment to visualize your mind as a sieve, retaining only the pulpy fiber of what you hear in the media, and letting all the bullshit just pass through. Flush the bullshit away. Mentally, I mean.

Put a healthy dollop of butter into the pot and toss in half a cup of barley, stirring it around till it's coated in fat like I'm going to be when all this is over. Add stock, bring to a boil, and simmer until barley is tender, about one hour. Add vegetables you've set aside. Serve this with some crusty bread, a nice sharp cheese, and something bracing because it's going to be a long nine months. Read a good book to take your mind off things.

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