Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Road is Open Again!

There's a new day in view
There is gold in the blue
There is hope in hearts of men.
All the world's on the way, to a sunnier day,
Cause the road is open again.
There's a note of repair
There's a song in the air
It's the music of busy men,
Every plow in the land, meets a happier hand
Cause the road is open again.
There's an Eagle blue
In the White House, too,
On the shoulders of our President there.
With a lusty call, telling one and all,
Brother, do your share!
There's a new day in view,
There is gold in the blue,
There is hope in the hearts of men,
From the plain to the hill,
From the farm to the mill,
All the road is open, again.

Song written for The Road is Open Again, circa 1933, for this short film by Warner Brothers for the NRA -- that's
National Recovery Administration, folks. It was one of several films I saw on a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico in October. The historic 1931 Lensic theatre hosted an evening of The New Deal on Film. The entire audience sang along. Just before the election, it was uncannily stirring, a real "we're all in this together" moment. The road is open, again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Soup the Color of Bougainvillea

I made this soup tonight for Tina B., while we caught up from way too-many months. Tina will have an installation in the upcoming March show.

Beet, Barley, and Black Bean Soup

Do you like beets? Holy cow! This hearty soup turns a crazy brilliant fuchsia from the beets and smells like hot steamy yummy beety dirt. I like that in a soup. I use black caviar lentils, but you could bean it however you like. Soup is vegan if you want it. If I have red wine, I throw that in. Can't hurt.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
Black pepper
8 cups water (or beef or vegetable broth)
4 medium size beets, cubed
3/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup tamari
15 oz Black caviar lentils, or black beans
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Dill or sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish

In a stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, tarragon, and pepper; sauté another minute. Add 8 cups of liquid what-you-got. Add the beets, barley, and tamari, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for another 10 - 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the barley is tender. Add the balsamic vinegar and fresh dill. Garnish with sour cream or yogurt.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I've Been Making Soup

This was a particularly tasty Carrot with Cumin soup cooked up at Molly's house in her big orange pot. Molly likes orange. That evening, we also tested the Twitter Emergency Broadcast System when Molly pulled out a UFO from one of the fresh oysters we'd procurred that evening. Whutever it was, perched on the end of her sharp oyster knife, it stretched out translucent legs and wriggled them. We gasped. We got goosebumps. We threw the rest into the compost. We'd already eaten several. Even now, we shudder to think of it.

But anyway, here's the soup recipe!

Crème de Carottes au Cumin

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream (or soy milk)

I really like cumin and carrots and this soup is pretty. I add the raisins at the end, and drop a few on top.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, not letting the carrots and garlic brown, for three minutes. Add the orange juice and 1 quart cold water, increase the heat to high, and heat to a boil. Lower the heat and cook at a simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, adding water as needed.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Be careful. Just do a little at a time, or let it cool, or you'll have hot bright orange soup everywhere.

Return the soup to the saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir in the cream and cook, beating with a whisk, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add raisins if you like; season to taste with salt. Deelish.