Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't Call it a Comeback


Yay! I'm over the (first) hump and can eat real food again. I can cook it too, without being too tired or tummy-achy to stand or smell food aromas hitting my face. But I've had to start out slow. I've sort of lost my groove, a little.

On Tuesday I really wanted a pot pie-type comfy food, since it's been a typical cold, wet Oregon May. The slugs have annihilated my vegetable sprouts and even sawed halfway through my beloved dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) - a devastating blow! I thought about making a pot "pie" inside a loaf of bread, and picked up some organic bread dough. Scott chimed in about making them single-servings like hum bao, and I heartily concurred. I whipped up a batch of chicken pot pie filling, taking care to reduce the gravy somewhat to avoid utter soggage. But oh, the calamity. They fell apart before I could even pinch them together. I threw the whole mess into a casserole and just baked it with the bread dough strewn lazily across the top.

Tragically, the bread part ended up completely leaden, and my gravy reduction yielded a dry interior to the mess. Sigh. I think my lower lip stuck out the entire time we ate.

The next day I was craving soup, and even wanted something spicy. I tossed around a few ideas (one of which I'll save for another time - it might be a Thing) and settled on a variation on the highly plastic minestrone. I made a hearty tortellini, sausage and cannelini minestra with a piquant arrabbiata broth simmered with onions, carrots, garlic, zucchini (sauteed first in the flavorful Italian sausage fat) and best of all, a thick Parmesan rind to enrich the whole affair. I tossed in some cheese tortellini (and a can of cannelinis at the end), et voilà. Top with a thick piece of garlicky bruscetta and finely grated Parmigiano Regiano, and I think I'm back.

This weekend: grill therapy.

25 comments:

Manggy said...

Ah, Sunset Boulevard and plant taxonomy in one post. You are back! :) Sorry to hear about the not-comeback dish, but it looks like you've recovered pretty well. I'm looking forward to second-trimester meal craziness :)

Maggie said...

damn slugs.

MrOrph said...

"..I been here for years!"

Got some salt for them slugs!

Baby steps (no pun) till yer whippin' it up in there perfectly again, yes? Not too bad this time.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Welcome back! This soup looks great!

Michael said...

Warms my stomach just looking at it. Yum!

matt wright said...

looks fantastic - glad to see you back at blogging - been missing your posts greatly.

what do you do for slugs?

Heather said...

Marky! - Sunset Boulevard? That's LL Cool J, hunny!

Mags - You said it.

Don - Mama said knock you out.

Jenn - Thanky, Jenn. It feels like ages.

Michael - Luckily, this weekend is s'posed to be GORGEOUS. Slugs hate sun.

Matt - I usually just pick them up and throw them on the roof or in the street (oh, how they hate that), but this year I might need to put out some beer traps.

Sweet Charity said...

Rockin my peers and puttin suckas in fear...

Goddamn, your soup looks tasty. As in I want some. I loves the angry flavors.
My dad used to tell me that if I stuck my lip out "a birdie would come poop on it".

Elra said...

Your soup really sounds delicious! I like that Arabiatta broth, yummy!

Brooke said...

Welcome back. Glad to see you eating something that wasn't purchased at the am/pm for 59-cents.

I use a strip of copper around my garden boxes for slugs and snails. I guess they fear copper? Pussies.

peter said...

The protruding lower lip no doubt helped to keep soup drops off of your enormous belly (although if it quivered petulantly, maybe not so much.)

duodishes.com said...

You are indeed back. A nice, hearty, flavorful meal to return with as well.

Foodycat said...

The minestrone looks wonderful! When you were talking about your pot pie in bread, I thought you were going to go with a bunny chow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunny_chow - but you didn't, so I might have to make it myself.

cookiecrumb said...

As a nullip myself, I don't know how you do it. But you DO it. Congrats.

J.Danger said...

Man, I hate that feeling. As soon as I started feeling better, I had the urge to cook cook cook! You should start double cooking and freezing the other portions for later! Took me three pregnancies to learn that awesome trick!

Heck yes!

Deseree said...

Looks delicious and perfect for the soggy northwest weather we've been experiencing. Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

welcome back!! this looks soooooo good. i want it right now!! i'm definitely making this...

Manggy said...

Oh crap, it's all out of the bag now. I know more about 50's movies than rap. (Actually I don't really know much about both, but Sunset Blvd sticks in my head for some reason.)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Yep, I'd say you're back.

Good.

Give the slugs beer. They love it, but it doesn't love them. End of veggie munching.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I've been gone, too. Hope you're happy and healthy. Oh, isn't it nice to start eating again - I remember those days!

These both look lovely.

Sorry about the slugs.

Bellini Valli said...

Grill therapy would work for me Heather:D

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Yummy looking soup. I love all of the stuff you have in there. I'm very picky about minestrone. I don't just want to eat some bland bowl of beans and pasta.

Try using biscuit dough as a pot pie topping. It worked so well for me that I don't think I'll ever use anything else.

Heather said...

Charity - The bird poop story made me laugh out loud. I'll have to remember that one. :D

Elra - It was a great way to use the last of some pasta sauce!

Brookie - I knew about the copper trick, but I think it got really expensive for awhile. I just always plant too early.

Jube - I wasn't making the pouty face when I ate my soup, silly. Do try and keep up.

Chrystal - I'm just getting warm.

Alicia - You are an angel and a darling for turning me on to this concept. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Cookie - I'm taking one for the team. Educated people need to catch up with the rednecks on the breeding front.

J.Danger - Yes, that's already an old trick of mine. Gonna get a little chest freezer for it soon.

Deseree - I'm glad the sun finally came out to play. :)

Heather - The best part is that it's redonkulously easy.

Marky - Aww! Well the 1990s were a great time for hip hop. The golden age, really.

Sketti - Yes, I know that one. Need to build the traps soon, if my sprouts are to ever get a toehold.

Jen - Food is interesting again! It's a good day.

Valli - Well the sun has been treating us kindly in that regard. Hope it sticks around past the weekend.

Rachel - I usually do use biscuit dough - it's my old standard, actually. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Glad to hear you are over your hump. This soup looks brilliantly delicious as usual.

"plastic minestrone" hahhahah....

Just another dish that proves that if I could eat at any other blogger's home I'd choose yours first:-)

we are never full said...

i swear to god, this food-aversion thing w/ the 1st trimester is really making me reconsider ever doing the knocked-up thing. it scares me more than childbirth itself! at least there are drugs to help that out! it seems your mojo is coming back w/ this one.