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August 16, 2015
Last year, @sfbotanic went to a pig-themed party. Like many of you, I guess, I had no idea what that was. So my head went into its fast-forward mode and made the transition from being good with the beans to getting into pork. At the end of the night, when we walked out the door and onto the dark and cold streets, I came to a realization: pigs don’t actually care about being cold. Not at all. So they get really cold, and they get really hot, and that’s that. But not so much the things in between, because they just move on.
My point is: sometimes you go into new territories and things happen that make you start asking questions. “Why did that happen? Why am I here? Why is this up? How do I make it stop? And how the hell do I write a story?”
I spent a lot of time thinking about the last two, and thinking about how I would deal with the first, and how I would translate the story into a tangible form. There are still many more questions than answers in that, but I guess that’s the process, eh?
Lacking a story, a plan of attack, and the proper budget to make something fancy, we will make this a crock pot soup. A very basic recipe, but a good base to build from.
Shopping is a tedious task, but you need to get the basics in there. These are the parts that make a big difference.
Cut these things into chunks. I know, I know, we all knew that. You really just need to cut them and throw them in. They’re already ready to go.
Chop up your onions and mushrooms into chunky shapes. Again, I know, I know, we all knew that. But it just needs to be done.
Chop up a couple of cloves of garlic and a bit of ginger. Put them in with the onions and mushrooms.
Pour some soy sauce over it all.
Add some vegetable broth, a tomato, some crushed red pepper flakes, a few cubes of tofu, and the roasted garlic. Throw in whatever spices you’d like, but try not to go nuts. A nice tang and a depth of flavor is good enough here.
Okay, now you have a whole mess of sautéed vegetables in a tangy, savory broth. Time to make a meal.
Mix in some ketchup.
Thicken up the broth with cornstarch mixed into a little water. Add a lot of water until it becomes a soup. You don’t want it to be overly thick, though. A bit like chili, if you’re familiar. A thick soup tastes delicious but doesn’t have much balance. A thick soup also tends to mask the flavors and becomes monotonous very quickly. The balance is key, though.
Chop up some green onions to serve. Add some lime for another bright flavor.
Nah, not there yet. But you’re making it, right?
Put it in the crock pot.
Okay, you’re going to want to serve this with some crusty bread or a salad of some kind. Personally, I enjoy it with bread and a big salad and a few big, hearty chunks of raw potato. But you don’t have to do that. You could do it my way or your way, and I hope that it’s the same for you. But I’ll still tell you my story.
July 27, 2015
Last week, we had a great time at Pink-lips Palooza in San Francisco. I like that the event is in San Francisco, because my brother is based there and it seems like that would be a great place to see some of his bands. We had about 10 bands play at our show, which was great, because there was no way to see them all.
This was the first time I saw Seattle’s very own singer/songwriter, Kool Thing. I had been following her through twitter and Instagram since I saw her on the