Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do I NEED to go out in this?

Well no.  I could probably get by in the usual manner that I do when T.C. is out of town.  I have been known to cook something when I’m holding down the fort,  but it’s a rare occurrence,  and is usually done for effect.   Sadly,  I tend to get by on things like toast, or sandwiches, or whatever happens to jump out of the fridge.  Pretty lame,  I know.

In my defence,  I know that Travelling Companion doesn’t do much better in that department when she’s on her own either.  In the two and a half years that we had our apartment in Horseheads, N.Y., (where she stayed during the week on her own)  I know she used to work late and then get home and snack.   This isn’t good.  So in that respect,  we’re certainly better off together. But let’s not get off on any nauseatingly “feel good” tangents here,  shall we?


Thankfully this winter coat I got for Christmas last year did it’s job.


Warm,  and waterproof.  Yay!



I mentioned yesterday that it was a nice day?   When Travelling Companion called last night around six,  she said that coming in over Lucerne and the snow covered mountains was really quite the spectacle.  It was a crisp clear day,  with unlimited visibility.  Just try to imagine all those snow covered mountains.

She also lucked out,  since she didn’t have to take the train to her hotel,  as one of her colleges who had come to Vienna for a meeting or whatever, and who was on the same flight, had left his car at the airport.  So once again,  she got the chauffeur treatment.  I know she’s capable of taking the train,  since she has done it in the past.  Just much less stressful to saunter out to the parking garage and get driven off to your destination is all.


Somehow I guess I didn’t realise that we were going to be set upon by some sort of huge nasty system this morning,  so when the wind and rain woke me up some time around six,  I was a little bit puzzled.   It doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon either,  which means that T.C. will be flying through it later tonight.   This is one of the reasons why the whole air travel thing is starting to wear on her just a tad.  And that’s an understatement.

But enough of that. 

I was actually going to talk about soup.  It would be a good day for soup,  except that the only kind of soup I might have if I’m by myself would be the kind out of a package that gets mixed with boiling water.

What I’m referring to is the home made kind.  It so happened that on the weekend,  we were going to make potato and leek soup,  but never really got around to it (something to do with laziness)   so I figured I’d give it a go on Monday.  This one isn’t really my “deal”,  since T.C. is usually the one to make the potato and leek soup,  but I figured I’d give it a go.  Besides,  what the heck else am I going to do with two honkin’ big leeks?



This,  by the way,  is pretty much the extent of the ingredients.  Oh,  with the exception of the potato,  maybe some salt and pepper,  and about a half cup of milk at the end.   Kind of important.



And no,  I can’t chop leeks like Julia Child used to chop onions.  If I tried that,  I’d be missing a couple finger tips,  and there would be a huge change in the colour of the soup.  Believe me.


In the pot it goes,  to be sautéed in butter.  



No need to be shy on the butter either.   Me like butter.  Use a good couple table spoons full.

What about the carrot you ask?   Well,  I know you didn’t, but stay with me here.

Turn it from this:



To this:



This is another of the handy dandy appliances that we had to buy shortly after coming to Europe which,   since it too operates on 220v,  will end up being given away or whatever, whenever we get to leave.   This,  by the way,  is the reason I wasn’t willing to pay much more that about €10 for a toaster.   The iron and that gismo above were the only two exceptions.  Most everything else was purchased on the cheap.  The coffee maker for example,  was only €14,  and I’ll probably just give it the heave when we bug out.   Who wants a used coffee maker,  really?


So what about the potato you ask?  


That’s just about the biggest potato that you should use,  otherwise your soup is going to be too “potato-e”.   Not sure if that’s a word.

Cut it up,  and add it to the pot once the leeks have been sautéed.


La patate coupée.


(no more French,  I promise.  Besides,  my spell-check just goes bananas)






Oh wait.   Not exactly part of the recipe,  but it hasn’t hurt my cooking abilities in the least.   Well,  it’s all a matter of perception isn’t it?  But let’s not get all “existential” here.



So next we need a little bit of this:


It’s only 11 seconds,  don’t freak out.


Now,  this is where the handy dandy Bosch ‘chopper upper’ switches to a blender of sorts.



And yes,  that is Santa over there on top of that wine bottle.  He never seems to get put away with the Christmas stuff.   Has a job to do.



After mixing/grinding away,  it should be somewhat creamy.



And there you go,  Bob’s yer Uncle.   Ready for the bowls:





But wait! you say.   What about the broth?   Shouldn’t there be broth?   Yes,  and I’m getting there.

It just so happens that this is where the “Bob’s yer Uncle” part comes in.

See,  it was a bit of a coincidence that one of my nieces had posted something on Facebook on Monday that she had made Leek and Potato soup,  and that it was way too “potato-e”.   So….I reminded her that she needed to only put in one (preferably) small potato.   

There was one online recipe that I was checking where they said to put in a POUND of potatoes!   Are you kidding me?  Where do the leeks come in?  Don’t believe everything you read on line.   Except for just about everything you’re reading here of course.  Would I lie to you?   Please.

So then I went on to suggest that she should not forget the chicken broth,  at which point she tells me that she and one of her daughters has switched to only vegetarian nourishment,  so they only used water.

Huh?  There were no other suggestions that I could make at that point.

Isn’t that like having a wheel barrow without the wheel?   That sucker ain’t going anywhere.  The recipe calls for chicken broth which,  along with the carrot,  adds a certain amount of flavour.   Not sure why you’d make the soup if you’re going to leave out one of the most important ingredients.   But hey,  what do I know?

I’m not entirely sure just how that kind of soup would taste,  but that white glue we used to use as kids comes to mind.   And oh,  what about the butter and milk?  They ain’t vegetarian.   Are they?  I didn’t think so,  but I’m never too sure about these things.  Sooo,  soup that’s kind of pasty with no flavour.   Hm.

I suppose this is why I take a dim view of these kinds of “conditions”  that one imposes on oneself,  since there are just too many things to consider.  How do you justify being a member of PETA,  for example,  when you don’t know for a solid fact whether or not there are things in your life that have come about as a result of the slaughter of some animal or other?   I mean,  if you’re using a leather belt to hold up your trousers?  Hello?  What kind of shoes are on your feet? 

Let’s just not go there shall we?  There’s something about hypocrisy that just makes my head start to throb.

And don’t get me wrong,  I can perfectly well understand that there needs to be a system of checks and balances when it comes to what we put on our plates,  but let’s not get carried away. 

Now if you’ll excuse me,  I think I’ll take out some of that sliced ham I bought yesterday and make a sandwich.


Thanks for stopping by.





  1. We will have to try that one soon.
    Had to laugh a lot while reading this. You sure made a boring job interesting.
    The only thing that is not happening in my kitchen: the beer. That must be a male thing. (BBQ- Beer - you get it)

  2. Well, some times it's a glass of wine.
    I've even been known to drink tea! I know!
    Depends on the mood. Really.

  3. You got me there. ;))
    I admit, I never was good at grammar and spelling in school.
    But some of our friends/family are not good at reading English and I give them a summary in their language so that they get the hang of it.
    The whole story can be read on J.P.'s blog. English only.

  4. only you could spin the boring job of cooking into a three ring circus...:) great blog...hope you enjoyed your sandwich :) I couldn't stop laughing

  5. Thanks Bob. Great recipe and well illustrated (snazzy incorporation of multi-media). I think you should be launching the Bob's-yer-uncle chef blog. Should be fun!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.