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It Was A Dark and Stormy Night

It really was. Rain poured down in Seattle as I drove along 1-5 Friday night to spend the weekend with my pal Trish and her hubby. Aside from the weather it had been a lovely trip. I listened to Old Time Radio Suspense mysteries, scaring myself silly, and noshed on a 99 cent cheeseburger from Wendy’s. As I got to Seattle I devoted my attention to the road – people get crazy there, whipping across four lanes of traffic with nary a thought for those behind or before. Alas, I was not attentive enough, for suddenly a white van cut me off, slammed on his brakes and I smashed right into him. Sigh. Not the ideal start to my weekend.

Thankfully everyone was OK and in a daze I got all the right information, climbed back into my car and promptly burst into tears. 🙂 I felt the familiar pain creep up my back and neck and thought, “Oh dear, here we go again.” This is Accident Number 10, you see. Only one of which was my fault. People just like to plow into me whether I’m parked, a passenger or driving past as someone exits the wrong way from a one-way street. Heavens. 🙂

Trish and Todd took very good care of me, giving me an entire couch to myself, cozy blankets, pain pills, lovely drinks to relax my muscles, and we ended up having a perfectly lazy weekend of movies, Olympics, reading, visiting, good food, and naps.

I wasn’t able to get into a doctor until Tuesday, and I was absolutely miserable. Turns out I had good reason. Doc said I have the worst case of whiplash you can get without actually fracturing something. My whole right side is a mess of torn ligaments, swollen and inflamed. Even my jaw is amiss, making it painful to yawn, talk (a blessing in disguise? ;-)) and eat. On the bright side nothing is cut or broken and that is definitely something to be grateful for. 🙂 My chiropractor is helping greatly with massages and adjustments, I’m icing faithfully, downing Advil like there’s no tomorrow, and taking short walks to keep stiffness at bay. I went back to work yesterday and hopefully I’ll be back to my active self before too long. 🙂

 Aren’t these lovely? I discovered them on my little walk near the office. 🙂

Thank you so much for all the wonderful emails, tweets, comments, and love you’ve sent my way. 🙂 Every message has cheered and comforted me.

I’m afraid I haven’t done much cooking this week and have precious little to share with you. 🙂 With my jaw all gimpy I’ve been sticking with soft food: plain organic yogurt with apple sauce and vanilla, scrambled eggs, and one of my all-time favorite soups, Creamy Carrot with Fresh Dill from my all-time favorite cookbook “Once Upon A Tart.”

It’s so simple and homey, the dill providing freshness and spark to the cozy comfort of carrot, potato and onion. Best of all for me, it’s pureed and very easy to eat. 🙂

The “real” recipe calls for specific things like fresh dill, chicken broth and a certain number of carrots. I didn’t have all that, so I added an extra potato for bulk, substituted beef broth for chicken and added dried dill to the stock instead of fresh dill at the end. The beef broth makes it darker and not so pretty, but the flavor is marvy anyway. 🙂

Creamy Carrot Soup with Fresh Dill
(From Once Upon A Tart)

Ingredients:

1 big yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 pounds medium carrots (8-10), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 big russet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more to top the soup
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup light cream

Directions:

  1. Saute the onion in the butter and oil in a large soup pot over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat if you see the onion browning. When the onion has begun to reduce in volume, about 5-10 minutes, lower the heat and continue cooking for 10-15 more minutes, until it is tender and translucent. 
  2. Add the carrots and potato and cook for 15-20 minutes, until some of the potato pieces begin to brown slightly. 
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to mash against the side of the soup pot with a fork or wooden spoon.
  4. remove the soup from the heat to puree. If you’re using an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in the pot. Otherwise, wait a few minutes, until soup cools, and blend in food processor. 
  5. Return pureed soup to the soup pot. Stir in dill, salt, pepper and cream, and warm the soup over medium heat before serving. This soup should be thick, but not so thick that your spoon stands up in it. Add more cream or stock to thin it. Serve warm and top with chopped fresh dill.



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