Friday, January 16, 2009

Mad Writing and Cooking Storms

Work has been taking up a ton of my time, it feels like I only get a couple of hours a day to do what I want to do sometimes. So while I've been working I've also enrolled in an online short story writing class. I did two work weeks back-to-back with no break since I worked last weekend, so I happen to have a four day weekend this week to make up for it.

I really am enjoying this writing class because it's putting me back into writing-mode. It's a certain way of thinking that I haven't been able to do for a while. I feel like I lost my writing mojo, the creative drive, even my inspiration for a while. In a way, this is getting me back to basics, how to create a story, how to create characters. One of the biggest helps is the fact that I've been having to keep a daily writing journal. I don't always write about stories, but I at least have a place to jot down ideas and phrases and observations that I could potentially use later.

It's been nice having a studio to go to and work. Right now in addition to our apartment we're renting a small office in a building not far from us to use for Andy's art and my writing. It's a building owned by UW Tacoma, but until they begin renovating it they're renting out the office space. The studio we're renting is small, but the person who rented it before we did was a massage therapist and that person made it a very nice space. Nice carpets, a mirrored wall to make it seem bigger, covered the hideous wood panel walls with cloth. There's even lighting with dimmer switches. It's very quiet there, a nice place to think. Every time I sit at the desk, where Andy keeps his paintbrushes, I want to take pictures of them.

Yesterday was my first day off in forever, and I decided I wanted to cook dinner, since really Andy had taken care of all of it since I kept coming home so exhausted. So last night I made lentil soup with bacon. And I loved it. I had gotten beluga lentils from PFI and hadn't gotten a chance to use them yet. I found the recipe through Tastespotting, and it's probably one of the favorite things I've ever made.

Lentil Soup

2 T butter
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 strips of thick maple bacon cut into 1inch squares
1/3 cup diced onion, 1/3 cup diced celery, 1/3 cup diced carrot (mirepoix what what)
1 can diced tomatos with juice
1 cup beluga lentils (rinsed and drained)
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
  1. In a large soup pot, add butter, olive oil, bacon, and mirepoix on medium-high heat, cook and stir until onions are golden but not brown.
  2. Add tomatoes and juices, stir to combine and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes begin to brown and most of the juice has evaporated.
  3. Add the rinsed and drained lentils to the pot, stir to mix.
  4. Add the chicken stock and stir, season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  5. Cook the lentils for 30 minutes, or until tender. May have to add more stock or water towards the end if it has evaporated too quickly.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Lentils are very good for you, the third highest protein of any vegetable, behind soybeans and hemp. Also high in iron, and essential amino acids! The amazing lentil. Anyhow, now I am working on some vanilla scones and I plan on making pork tenderloin tonight, so I'm sure there will be more posts and photos of my cooking adventures.

1 comment:

Tam said...

Studio envyyyyy!!! Oh man that sounds so awesome! I've always loved the mini warehouse studios artists could get but yours sound so cozy.

That's so awesome about the writing class. It's so nice to find your mojo again. I hope you are able to share more stories in the future. I miss reading up on things in SS and have it bookmarked on the never ending things to do. *L*

And now I found my reason to kidnap you...the food! The foooood!!! :drool: