Sunday, August 1

It'll Have To Be The Carrot

It's Shopping Day.  But Mr R is away 'working' at a music festival and is thus unavailable to amuse Master R by sword fighting down the aisles whilst I spend inordinate amounts of time comparing the potato content of different brands of gnocchi and staring lovingly at the frozen peas that come claim to come from Timaru.  It's also cold, it's gloomy, I have a headache and my hair is limp.  I have cancelled Shopping Day!   Handily though, a bag of carrots and a slimy looking piece of pumpkin remain in the cupboard from last week.  I shall pick the less fancy of the two (like I always do when choosing Christmas Trees just in case the ugly one gets left behind to spend Christmas alone) and pronounce the carrot as Vegetable of the Week!  Congratulations carrot. 

Not the carrots in my cupboard
An urban legend says that eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark. It developed from stories of British gunners in World War II who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes. The story reinforced existing German folklore and helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable. Genius!
Some time later... My bag of carrots has now materialised into a batch of carrot and walnut muffins and a pot of spicy pumpkin and carrot soup.  There are two lovely loaves of plaited sesame bread cooling on wire racks as accompaniment.  Unfortunately you will never see their true beauty because along with my heart, Mr R has taken the camera away for the weekend.  I can assure you however, that they look very much like this...

For the soup I sauteed a large brown onion in olive oil and a little butter, added four cloves of crushed garlic, a finely chopped red chilli, a good dollop of 'lazy' ginger and a liberal smattering of black pepper. Then in went four chopped carrots and about a third of a medium pumpkin (also chopped).  I added enough vegie stock to cover the contents, then bought it to the boil and simmered for as long as it took for the carrots to become tender ( the carrots always take longer than the pumpkin so best to cut them into smaller pieces).  When it had cooled slightly, I whizzed it up with my new whizzer and checked the seasoning.  Lastly, I poured in about a third of a cup of coconut cream, ( makes all the difference).  And there we have it, a smooth, spicy, warming soup to enliven even the limpest of hair. 
As for the tunes, Missy Elliot's 'Work It' got me over the line today.  I love the ending when Missy says "this is hip-hop man, this is hip-hop" and then my i-pod morphs it into the next song which is never ever hip-hop and today in fact was My Morning Jacket's 'The Way That He Sings'. I'll add them both for your aural pleasure...

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