Posts Tagged ‘food’

Vegan Cream of Whatever Soup

November 19, 2018

Got this? You’ve got soup.

My husband and I love to experiment with cooking. The other day he suggested we make a cream of cauliflower and broccoli soup. I made the base with the cauliflower, pureed it, added chopped broccoli and cooked until tender. It was delicious, and reproducible (not all of our experiments are). I made butternut squash soup this week with the same base, adding the squash with the cauliflower and whizzing the whole thing up with my stick blender. It was wonderfully creamy without a hint of dairy. So, if you are counting calories, entertaining a vegan, need to watch your cholesterol levels, or just want to have a delicious soup ready in about 30 minutes, here’s a quick base that is versatile, nutritious, and inexpensive.

1 onion, chopped

½ head of cauliflower, chopped

olive oil (I use 2 teaspoons, but you can get away with 1 teaspoon)

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large pot. When soft, but not browned, add cauliflower. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook until soft. Puree.

Seriously, that’s it. Now add whatever other ingredients you wish, with enough water to make the soup as thick or thin as you wish.

Luck and wisdom!

World-Building Through Cheese

September 17, 2018


The local paper ran an article about cheese not being the source of all evil for anyone worrying about cardiovascular issues. My inner cheese-hound yipped and yapped and chased its tail, because I adore cheese but there is a history of heart disease on both sides of the family. While rescuing my recipes for cheeseballs, cheese sauces, fondues, savory pastries, souffles, and quiches from the dusty corners of the cookbook shelf, I thought of how I’ve used food in my sci fi stories. Ann Anastasio and I have featured food in each book of the Chenille series. We’ve also made a subplot out of Earth foods that are similar to products on our imaginary planet, Schtatik. Reading the article about cheese reminded me of all the nutrition advice I’ve followed only to be told later that the studies were wrong, which illustrated a hole in my world-building. When I think of what my aliens might eat, I’ve always envisioned their diets as an ideal, or bound by ritual. I don’t think I’ve ever given my aliens a chance to cheat on their diets, or indulge in comfort food, or visit the junk food aisle in their groceries. I’ve never even considered what their groceries would look like. Ever. From now on, however, I’m going to spend a little time imagining what my aliens think they should eat as well as what they do eat, and why it matters. World-building through cheese – yeah, that’s a thing now.

Biscuit Month

September 2, 2010

I have a calendar of food holidays, like corn chip day (January 29), waffle day (March 25), and spumoni day (August 21). There are also food weeks, such as fig week (November 1-7), and entire food months. September is biscuit month.

The obvious way to celebrate food holidays is by making the food, but I don’t fancy making biscuits for the next thirty days. However, I woke up to the realization that I have never made a biscuit quilt. Like coming to an intersection and suddenly remembering that in the two decades you’ve lived in this town you’ve never, ever turned left here, the desire to do just that is overpowering. I also thought of all the odd scraps I’ve got, and decided a biscuit quilt would be a good way of using some of them.

I took the first two scraps that came out of the bag, and made a tiny pouch. The instructions I found call for a 4″ square and a 5″ square, but I thought that sounded kind of clunky. While I’m not a big fan of rules in quilting, I have found that smaller is often prettier (I’ve also found that almost everything looks better on point, but that’s an adage for another day).

This is where I started

The pouch before turning

Sewing the tiny pouch was easy, stuffing it was another matter. I couldn’t find the bag of fiberfill. It’s there, in the sewing room, I know it is. I can hear it laughing at me. So, I took a scrap of batting from the trash, sliced and diced it, then filled the pocket.

My first biscuit

So, there you have it – or there I have it, “it” being another project. If I don’t find the fiberfill, I may turn my biscuit into a pincushion. Or a base for a clutterfly (I haven’t forgotten about that project, even if I haven’t done anything with it). In the meantime, there’s always next March – noodle month. Imagine the possibilities.