Day 140: Swamp Thing

May 20, 2007

After putting our ridiculously stinky, and very clingy, daughter down to bed, L and I set about making Beans and Greens Soup. Fortunately the weather was much cooler than we expected so there was no soup-making on a sweltering day. Which is excellent as we have still to get around to installing our air conditioning window units. The recipe is really simple; pancetta, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes are sautéed in olive oil. After a few minutes chopped escarole (a big leafy slightly bitter lettuce) is added to the pan. Once it’s wilted, fresh nutmeg and salt and pepper are added. Chicken stock and white beans are thrown in, the pot is brought to a boil then simmered for 10 minutes. The soup is served with parmesan cheese and chunks of oven-warmed bread.

Aside from the fact that we had forgotten to charge the camera battery, so had to wait before eating, this soup went down remarkably well. The soup is hearty and dense, perhaps with a little too much greenery for my liking, but L thought the balance of beans to greens to liquid was good. The pancetta is much better than bacon would be, its smoky saltiness adds a great deal of flavour to the soup, without the whole lot dripping in fat. Overall, this soup is highly recommended, it’s spicy and rich and very satisfying. Unfortunately those very qualities meant I had to abandon ship half way, as the pregnancy heartburn is starting to kick in with a vengeance.

Tomorrow we need to track down a green plantain for Crab Tortilla (Egg Pie) and Shredded Plantain Hash Browns. The “egg pie” part sounds less than appealing, but maybe it’s just a big omelette. In which case Baby A will enjoy it at least. We also want to try and see a house that just came on the market which sounds perfect. Right neighbourhood, right size, reasonable price, all things considered. It looks like we’re going to have to pay for more repairs to our condo building before we move out. The new neighbours downstairs decided to sand and stain the woodwork on the back porch, on their level. Their thought is that ground level is what people see, so it will help our unit sell. The problem is that patching one level reveals the wood that is rotting in places, and draws attention to the rest of the building which now looks far worse. The rest of us couldn’t do the same even if we wanted to as we’d need to erect scaffolding, so it looks like we’ll have to get the whole lot done properly. We’d just hoped that would happen after we’d gone, as we won’t be getting the money back on the sale price. If only someone would put in an offer on our place before our next condo meeting…

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