Tuesday, October 15, 2013



I invented this soup yesterday. It surprised me - and even surprised (the famously fussy) Christine! Give it a go! 

Rating: A +++ This makes a thin-brothed soup with just the right amount of cinnamony sweetness—meaning not too much—combining perfectly with the savory zestiness produced by the tomato, leek, garlic, and cumin, all of this going smashingly well with the carrot pieces. Just very, very good.

Ingredients (for 2)

2 fat cloves garlic
1 fat bunch green onions
1 fat leek
1 big fat carrot
2 tomatoes
1 small carton vegetable stock
Balsamic vinegar
Soy sauce


Heat a few tablespoons of good olive oil in soup pot - good and hot

Chop garlic into very tiny pieces

Chop green onions into smallish pieces, well up into the green

Slice leek into thin slices

Add the above to very hot oil in pot, stir a bit

Chop carrot into big fat pieces

When the garlic, onions, and leek have gone a good bit soft, add carrot chunks, stir

Slice tomatoes into medium size pieces

When carrot has cooked some - 3 to 5 minutes or so - add tomato to pot, stir

Add a healthy splash of vinegar

Add a bit of soy sauce

Throw a good dash of cumin in

Throw a bit of cinnamon in, stir, stir, stir: you are going to want to be able to taste the cinnamon properly, so do not be shy - but don't go crazy, as too much cinnamon = very bad

Slowly add vegetable stock - keep pot noisy and sizzling/bubbling - stirring as you do

Turn heat down and let it cook for a while - and here's an important note: you want the carrots to be pretty firm, but you want them to have soaked up all the goodness of the other ingredients! So use the carrots as a texture-taste tester timer!

Eat, then...victory! 

(We ate it with rice.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Underbelly Anniversary

Yesterday late afternoon we were sitting on the veranda reading and chatting and whatnot and Christine said, "You want to go out to eat somewhere?"

I said, "Hmmmmmmm yeah no, not really."

Then I felt bad. We rarely go out to eat. 

"Sorry," I said.

Christine said, "That's alright, maybe tomorrow."

Then she said something else.

"Happy Anniversary." 

And then she bent her head back to her newspaper, nonchalantly.

The thing that happened in my mind at that moment is almost impossible to describe. I could still see, sort of, but none of what I could see meant anything. My mind was a kind of sharp, white blank you imagine one experiences while being attacked by a large shark. My breathing went shallow. Then it stopped altogether. I felt my mind grasping fat-fingered for something, something I knew was dreadfully important, but that I could not put a name or even a meaning on. It has a shape, I thought. It's big, and block-shaped. It's...it's a MONTH! A MONTH! What is a month? I had no idea. But I knew, deep in my blood, that it was very, very important. 

I was finally able to hold this "month" thing in my mind, and determine that these things have names. "August" floated up from the depths of my horror. That's not it, I thought.

Christine was looking at me - queerly - all this time. Several seconds had passed. 

Then, I rose, as if a diver, perhaps in Antarctic waters - without a suit - and, in slow, slow motion, broke the surface of the water, with a name on the quivering edges of my mind: "Oc...to...ber."




"Is it," I asked, in a voice like breaking glass, a far, far away voice that didn't really want to be itself, "October...5th?"

I can only describe Christine at this point as something like a child who has just witnessed several elephants suddenly standing on their hindlegs and expertly swiveling hula-hoops around their hips. She clearly found this torture session of mine a very special kind of amusing. 

I of course deserved it.

Thankfully, it was October 4. I had, I must confess, somehow not registered the coming October 5. I kick myself for this. Bad, bad husband.

Christine was of course very forgiving. Did I deserve that, too? Hrrm.

Today we are taking a long city bus ride downtown, to watch one of the largest fireworks shows ever conceived - over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. 

Just for us.

Happy 11th Anniversary, baby. I love you more than this...