It seems that the weather has become a phenomenon almost as big (and just as inexplicably so) as NASCAR. The weather just is...always has been...prolly always will, at least for human definitions of 'always'. And the weather will always be a handy topic of conversation. But what I don't understand is why everyday weather (i.e., not tsunamis or earthquakes or the like) become a topic of focus and concentration.
So we're supposed to get 4"-6" of snow by end of day today. Big deal. Okay, it's good to know so you can adjust your plans as necessary. For me, it just means I'll take Kevin's truck to work instead of my car. People with kids prolly want to know there might be a delayed opening or snow day (and it's amazing how little snow can trigger a snow day, but that's a whole 'nuther post).
It seems that the weather has become The Weather, akin to a mythic giant who challenges and battles people in tests of strength and will. Such an alarm is set off and such preparations are undertaken when snow - of almost any amount - is on the horizon. The worst part is the news and weather stations. Now, weather itself -- how it works, how this thing over here affects that thing over there, and all that -- can be very interesting. There's such hype in the media about normal weather, such as today's snow. I'm not sure why it bothers me so much, this weirdification of the weather, but I think it's something along the lines of making so much out of the weather makes people into weather victims. And I don't like that. People have been dealing with weather for millions of years and, for the vast majority of that time, with much less means than we have at our disposal these days. I understand that making a big deal out of the weather can mean better ratings, higher site hits, etc. for tv, radio, news, websites, etc., but I don't like this side effect.
Yet another recipe from allrecipes: Creamy Carrot Soup. A few simple flavors contribute to this very tasty soup. Peeling and slicing the carrots took a bit of time. You could just give them a good scrub and cut off the tops and not peel them. I think fresh carrots clean up well and taste yummy unpeeled. Maybe I'll try that when carrots are fresh.
I didn't have a potato on hand so I called around to a couple of neighbors and Stephanie had a small selection of 1 small regular potato, 1 good sized sweet potato and 3 small purple potatoes. I went with the sweet potato. I think Kevin thought it was a little weird to be calling around iso a potato, but what are neighbors for if not to loan you a potato in your hour of need? And, of course, Steph got some delicious homemade carrot soup out of it.
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
4 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 large potato, peeled and cubed - used a sweet potato
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed - I didn't have the crushed kind; I had the kind that look like tiny pine needles; used that; wouldn't do so in future bc it was like finding tiny pine needles in your soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool for 15 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor in small batches (used an immersion blender); cover and process until smooth. Return all to the pan; stir in the cream, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through.
The onion, carrots, sweet potato, broth and ginger in Kevin's Valentine's Day Dutch oven:
After the immersion blender:
As Mike the Trainer Guy pointed out, you could make a workout around cooking with cast iron, the stuff is so heavy.
After adding in the cream, rosemary, salt and pepper:
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the Dutch oven and brown on all sides in the butter and oil, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of liquid from the pan; stir the garlic cloves into the reserved liquid. Return the chicken to the pan; sprinkle the water, lemon juice, salt, thyme, and black pepper over the chicken; cover tightly.
Bake the chicken in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 90 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chicken from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.
He was very excited to use his new-to-him cast iron Dutch oven that I won on ebay for him for Valentine's Day. It came last week and I was so pleased with its condition and excited about it that I couldn't wait to give it to him. He, in turn, couldn't wait to use it. We had just picked up some chicken leg quarters (at the local ShopRite's 22nd anniversary sale for 22 cents/lb.!) and he used four leg quarters in the above recipe.
Here's a picture of some leftover chicken. I did not get any action shots of the Dutch oven for this recipe, but I did make a carrot soup in it, have pictures of it there and will post them when I post that recipe.