The 1930s Star Blades, over there on the left, are always sharp. Their keenness never varies. Supposedly.
My keenness, on the other hand, does. Take cooking (please, please do!). I don’t mind doing it sometimes, if I’m in the mood. Trouble is, I usually am not. I used to make bread and everything, but that was 20 years ago and I really just got tired.
And furthermore, I’m an aspiring writer with too many things I want to do and no idea how I’m going to get it all done PLUS get dinner going. Oh, and make it healthy too. And it ought to taste good, ideally. I knew someone who said that they’d make a fancy dinner, show it to the kids, then throw it out ’cause that’s where it was going anyway.
I know it is ironic that I started a blog about my retro cookbook collection. I know, I know. But I’ve always liked reading the recipes more than making them. I really love the 1961 Larousse Gastronomique, with its pictures of cakes that look like the Brighton Pavilion and advice on obscure ingredients (I don’t have it right here or else I’d go get an example; but I don’t). And as for all the 1950s Jell-O and Spam booklets, nobody wants to cook out of those, really. I don’t think….
Here’s the quickest black bean soup I know. If you like this sort of thing it is quite good, easy, and you can tailor it to suit your own taste. I read a few recipes for something, then see how I can shortcut my way through them – and cross my fingers. Only not when I’m stirring something on the stove. Here we go:
This bit is optional: Saute about one onion and some roast garlic paste in a little olive oil, in a Dutch oven. If you have the energy. But you can skip this. If you do do this, and you want to go crazy, add some diced carrots too. Maybe a little celery.
The next bit is compulsory.
Rinse two cans of black beans. Rinse them really well, because – well, they have all that salty stuff on them. Keep back about a handful.Put them in a pot and fill to cover beans with good quality chicken broth. Campbell’s in the box is all right. Keep the box out because you might need more later. This is sort of cooking by approximation.
Bring it up to a boil, then turn it down to simmer. Now go back to the beans you saved and mash them with a fork until they paste up. Swirl a bit of the hot broth in them after that and then add them in, to thicken the soup. Oh, and you could chop up a ham steak and throw it in, that’s good.
Now keep it on low, and go away. Go back to reading, or whatever you were doing that was more interesting. Serve with some salad and a baguette and you’re done. Plus you can freeze the leftovers – giving you another day you can just do something else instead of cook. Excellent.
There won’t be a lot of these recipe posts since my repetoire is limited. It’s probably time to write about something like the Three Stooges next. Speaking of my kitchen skills! So I’ll see what I can do.