Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category


Posted by samatwitch on November 28, 2011

Since I’ve had two requests (well, one request and one demand!) for this recipe, I will hereby share it with you.  Those of you who have my recipe book, it’s on page 38. 


My neighbours fed me this soup a couple of times for supper and I found it so delicious I asked for the recipe and gave copies to several people who had heard me rave about it.  I’ve made it myself, although being the carnivore that I am, I added leftover frozen turkey to what was originally a vegan recipe.  On the other hand, I also added grated tofu, so that should count for something.  The soup takes a bit of time and effort to make, but it’s worth it – it’s a great tasting hearty soup and it freezes well.

4 large potatoes
1 large can black beans
¼ cup olive oil
2 heaping tsp minced garlic
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup white vinegar
1 tsp curry
1 can white kernel corn
1 can chopped tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
2 Tbsp hot sauce

Cook potatoes in several cups of water until done.  Drain, reserving 2 cups of the liquid.  Drain black beans, reserving liquid.  Place black beans and potatoes in a blender with a small amount of water and puree.  Mix puree and reserved liquid in large Dutch oven and simmer over low heat.  While this is simmering, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in large frying pan, until lightly brown.  Slowly add vinegar and curry and continue cooking for 15 minutes.  Add onion/vinegar mixture to puree and continue simmering.  Add carrots, corn, tomatoes and hot sauce and cook over low heat for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Makes about 12 bowls.  Extra soup can be frozen for several months.

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Posted by samatwitch on November 25, 2011

Growing up I was not fond of soup.  We had Campbell’s Cream soups on occasion – or tomato, which always seemed to burn my throat – and my mother would make turkey soup after Easter, Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  (We went to friends for Christmas dinner and then their whole family came to our home for New Year’s dinner.)  She also would make vegetable beef soup on occasion.  The latter two were okay, but soup for soup’s sake was not for me.

After my parents retired in the southern part of the province, their garden was able to grow vegetables that were not so successful where I grew up and Mum started making all kinds of soups from scratch.  She finally learned not to serve them when I was visiting because I still didn’t like them.

Some years later, after my mother died and my Dad came to live in a care home in my city, I had lunch with him at least once a week, for thirteen years, and every day the care home served soup at lunch.  Occasionally I would have a bowl – if it wasn’t a cream soup or related to clams or mushrooms – but I finally just politely declined.

Oh, I made turkey broth to freeze after holiday dinners and a couple of times when I had dental work I used Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup as a base, adding steamed broccoli or cauliflower, dry mustard, milk and more cheese and then pureeing so I could get protein and vegetables when I couldn’t chew, but I still didn’t like soup as a dish, unless it was a really good wonton soup.

My neighbours across the street once made me an Absolutely Incredible Spicy Sour Soup with Garlic – originally vegan but I always add chicken or turkey – which I did make once or twice.  Thick and delicious, it also freezes well.

Then, a few years ago I had a garden by my apartment and had an over abundance of zucchini and many tomatoes. We also grew onions, garlic and basil, among other things (such as turnips, peas, snow peas, carrots and beets).  Trying to find a recipe where I could use the zucchini and tomatoes together, I came across one for a soup.  It sounded good.  (I don’t know why since I’m not fond of zucchini on its own and as I mentioned, tomato soup always stung my throat.)  I decided to try it.

It was delicious! I gave some to my neighbour who shared the garden and who is involved in writing for restaurant magazines and he loved it.  I’ve shared the recipe with others and everyone seems to enjoy it.  Of course, even with all the changes I’ve made to the original recipe over the years, it probably has never tasted as good as the first time when all the ingredients came out of my own garden, but it is still my favourite soup and I usually make it several times a year.

Suddenly I was looking for soup recipes everywhere: online, in my many cookbooks, in magazines, from friends.  I make curried carrot soup, roasted curried butternut squash soup, black bean soup, Tex-Mex soup – I’ve even made gazpacho a couple of times.  I still don’t like mushrooms (my friends call me anti-fungi!) or seafood in my soup unless it is Chinese hot and sour, but I have soup recipes bursting out of my recipe box, crying out to be the next one to be made.   What has happened to me and where will it all end??



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Posted by samatwitch on November 23, 2011

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US and most of my online friends are getting ready to celebrate with family, friends, food, football or some combination.

In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October (second Monday) and it seems to me to be much more low-key, although I’ve always loved it.  The smell of turkey roasting, friends gathered around the table mentioning those things for which they are grateful, and turkey and vegetable leftovers for the next week brings many good thoughts and memories.  Turkey soup, too, if I’m energetic enough.

This year I went to friends for the annual dinner – although they gave me a plate of leftovers so it wasn’t a completely turkey-free week.  We had a lovely dinner as usual and wonderful company and although I missed my usual dinner, it was very nice not to have to cook, especially since some of my regular friends wouldn’t have been there anyway.

I didn’t really take the time  then to list things for which I am grateful, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do so.

  • I’m grateful for old friends who have known me since I was born that I still spend time with
  • I’m grateful for new friends that I’ve met online – many of whom I have now met and spent time with in person
  • I’m grateful that I was born in a country of which I am (usually) quite proud
  • I’m grateful that my mother was a very strong woman who brought my sister and me up to be anything we wanted and gave us opportunities and experiences far beyond her limited financial resources
  • I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to pay that back in some little measure at the end of her life
  • I’m grateful that, after being a widow for almost 16 years, she fell in love and married one of the finest men anyone could ever meet and so very grateful that I acquired not just a “DAD” but a whole other family, thanks to my sister-in-law and her generosity in sharing her family
  • I’m grateful that my sister and I are much closer now and forever grateful that she kept me in the forefront of my nephews’ lives even though we lived miles apart
  • I’m grateful that I have a job, a place to live and a furry companion – not necessarily in that order 😀
  • I’m grateful for the friends who help me out with things that are more difficult for me to do, so that I can continue to entertain friends and family in my home
  • Most of all, I am grateful to Joss Whedon, from whom has come pretty much everything good that’s happened in the last nine years, starting with the freedom to feel, to fall in love, to continue meeting new friends and having new and exciting adventures.  Who knew that, not only would I be comfortable standing in front of 200 people at our local CSTS event which I organise, but look forward to it – and raise money each year!  Life is good.

So I raise a glass (in my case water) to Joss Whedon and all those whom I have met because of him, whether in person or online (or both),  who are celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  May your day – and rest of the year – be filled with love, friendship, joy and laughter.

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A Personality Quiz that is Right On

Posted by samatwitch on August 23, 2008

Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test

NBPC – The Daydreamer

Nature, Background, Big Picture, and Color

NBPC - The Daydreamer

You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on the hidden treasures of life (the background) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the colors around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to ponder ideas and imagine the many possibilities of your life without worrying about the details or specifics. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You are a down-to-earth person who enjoys going with the flow.

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