Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miscellany! With Thunderstorms

1.  The weather lately has been unamusing.  The attentive reader may remember that a couple of weeks ago I was writing exultant posts about the glories of spring time.  No more, it's been cold and grey and dreary.  It snowed in Everett this morning.  This evening we had thunder and lightning.  But no snow, thankfully.

However it's so cold that I shut my window last night.  I  almost never do that.

2.  Lately it seems that I am accursed in the transit department.  I miss buses.  (Once I was standing within five feet of the bus stop, but happened to be looking the wrong way.  I realized the problem when the bus pulled by me.)  Or the bus just fails to show up.  Or, if it shows up, it's the wrong bus, and I end up having unsought adventures.  Today's bus failure fell into the third category.  The upshot of which was that I ended up dashing from half way up Cap Hill to lower Queen Anne, trying to keep an appointment for dinner with a friend before we went to church for Stations of the Cross.  We ended up having to postpone dinner until after the service.

Despite postponing dinner, I managed to traverse the city by foot unexpectedly zippily, however my left hamstring decided that it needed to spazz out just as I was standing up from kneeling.  There is a whole lot of kneeling, standing, and bowing involved in a high Anglo-Catholic Stations of the Cross.  As one is keenly aware when one has a furious left hamstring and five stations left to go. 

3.  Tonight I ate goat for the first time.  It was very tasty in the curry in which it occurred.  Said curry may be the most luridly red thing I have ever eaten, not even excepting Water Melon Jolly Ranchers.

4.  Skadi did indeed visit this weekend and it was wonderful.  Jackie put in an appearence as well. There was beer, cooking, ranting, and laughter.  New Belgium's 1554 is well on its way to being the official beer of my apartment.

In the course of going for a perfectly normal walk, we discovered that one can walk from Capital Hill to Lake Union.  There are a lot of stairs involved in going from sea level to 400 feet in less than a quarter mile.  Because Skadi was around, this seemed like a great adventure, rather than a brilliant way to fall and break your neck.  We also discovered that the oatmeal raisin cookies at Joe Bar are a pretty good way to refuel after climbing all those stairs.

5.  Thanks to those who chimed in on the problem of what to do with a bunch of Kale*.  I made soup.  Lo! It was very good.   Is very good.  I may be eating this soup forever.  Happily. 

Kale Potato Soup

1/2 large chopped onion
8 oz raw bratwurst cut up into bite size pieces
1 lb russet potatoes chunked up
1 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
5 or 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 bay leaf
1 large pinch smoked paprika or chipotle (optional). I think I used somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp of paprika.  I would have used less of the chipotle. 
1 bunch kale, stems discarded, and leaves sliced up
salt and pepper to taste.

Brown the sausage and onions.  If the sausage is very lean, you may wish to use a bit of vegetable oil as well.

Add the caraway seeds, vinegar, potatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and paprika.  Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for ten minutes or until the potatoes are just growing tender. 

Add the kale and simmer for another ten minutes or so or until all the vegetables are nice and tender.  Salt and pepper the soup to taste.  Serve with a crusty whole grain bread.

*I was trying to learn more about Kale and discovered that all sorts of wild claims are made about its health benefits, but more interestingly I learned that cabbages, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and broccoli are apparently all cultivars of the same species.  Furthermore in frostless climates, a cabbage can grow on its stalk to a height of 3 meters, providing fresh leaves year round.


  1. totally gonna try this

  2. Soup with mature kale leaves is one thing, but fresh baby kale leaves in the late spring are not to be missed. Steam for 1 minute or less and savor with tamari and fresh pressed garlic.....then drink the juice!

  3. Alas, tamari is a soy product. Soy allergies are the worlds most annoying thing. Worse than mosquito bites on your feet.