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irishrose1 asked me for my tomato basil soup, so I've got it under a cut for anyone interested.

Tomato Basil Soup
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cored, peeled and diced
1 15 oz. can of tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole, doesn't matter.) + 1 pinch of sugar (that gets rid of the tinniness of the canning)
1 bunch fresh basil
1 squeeze of lemon
cream (or milk, your call)
salt and pepper

Dump the tomatoes and their juice (unless you're like me and think tomato seeds add a bitterness, then omit) in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. I use a potato masher to crush them up as they cook. Let them cook down for about 20 minutes.

Immersion Blender: process the tomatoes until they're mostly smooth, add a handful or two of fresh basil leaves and process again, but leave it a little chunky with the herbs.
Bar top Blender: ladle the tomatoes into your blender with a handful of basil leaves. Pulse to blend, but leave it a little chunky. You may have to do two batches. BE SURE TO NOT FILL IT ALL THE WAY - it's hot and will blow the lid off your blender. Pour back in the saucepan.

Bring back to a gentle simmer and slowly stir in cream (or milk) until it reaches the color of terra cotta. I usually add about 1/2 C because I don't want the fat, but La Madeline's adds 1 C. Season with a touch of salt and pepper then squeeze a half of a lemon over the soup, stir in, and serve with a Fontina and sourdough grilled cheese sandwich. Or rather, that's what we're having for dinner. :)

NOTE: if I'm using fresh tomatoes, or they just don't look... robust, I'll add a few teaspoons of tomato paste to deepen the flavor. I love me some tomato soup.

Things I Wish People Would Stop Doing (and I realize this may be polarizing. Eh.)

French manicures on feet
Guys. Guys. This is gross. One, it looks like you have press on nails on your toes. Two, it looks like your toenails are too long and need to be clipped. GROSS. Sorry, long toenails gross me out. SHORT AND BUFFED. Painted, whatever, but the white tips just looks... Gah. I'm just here to help.

I think I am finally snapping and bringing scissors with me to the maul this holiday. Oh my GOD this makes me crazed. It is your human child and you have them tethered to your waist. And why? Because your hands are most likely full of your phone and some Starbucks. PUT ONE AWAY. Hint: you can keep your coffee. The only things that should ever hang from a belt are: key rings, esp. if you are in some sort of custodial position and/or 'coon pelts that you will sell to raise enough money for a blue-tick coon hound brother and sister duo (but oh my god, something bad will happen to them and I will cry and it will scar me in the third grade for years to come.)

I got off track. STILL. Human children are not on the list of acceptable belt accessories. If you can't be bothered to HOLD YOUR CHILD'S HAND WHEN IN PUBLIC, you should rethink why you became a parent in the first place. No respect for those mothers, not one ounce. Sorry, I will never be convinced of a scenario in which tethering a child to your waist (or stroller) is acceptable. I managed to raise three kids (two by myself for their first years,) and somehow managed to not lose a one. Know why? Because I paid attention to their bodies and/or held on to their bodies with my own appendage.

Constant Phone Talkers
My friends know that I hate being on my phone in public and try to avoid that at all costs. Why? Because I see YOU (not you, you, but YOU. You know who you are.) on your phone. You are on your phone in line when you should be courteous to the cashier/salesperson/everyone in line. You are on your phone in the public bathroom, oh my god, stop this immediately. You are on your phone gabbing to your girlfriend about nothing while your child is destroying things, hoping for your attention. And not only are you on your phone, but you are SHOUTING on your phone. You are. No, you think you aren't talking loudly, but you are. Trust me. You reading this who are thinking that I'm not meaning you? You are probably the shoutiest. The wonderful thing about phones is that they carry your voice any where in the world. You don't have to physically make your voice loud enough to accomplish this, the technology does it for you. You really don't have this much to talk about. If you find yourself responding to "what are you up to/doing?" when called on the phone with "Oh, nothing" that is when you should go DO SOMETHING. Don't shout about how you have nothing going on and blah blah blah and I just want to buy a jug of milk OH MY GOD SHUT UP AND PAY FOR YOUR THINGS.

True story, I was flying into Jacksonville, stopped off in the ladies' room, and heard a business woman conduct a board meeting ON SPEAKER PHONE while she proceeded to explode out of her anus. Make a raspberry noise with your mouth. Now crank that up to 10 and imagine that being a woman in the bathroom with an entire boardroom listening in. WHAT ON EARTH.

...this is why I prefer to stay away from the public during holiday shopping season. Too many inconsiderate weirdos out there, yeesh. (Well, the toenail thing isn't inconsiderate, I just find it icky.)

ION: I am reading Guillermo Del Torro's trilogy, The Strain. For those that wished The Passage was darker and a touch more focused, this is your book. DUDE. I'm very happy with this series so far, and I'm just starting it. Also, I'm waiting for everyone to start all of the anti-woman character bashing on The Walking Dead because fandom never disappoints. I'm cool with how it was laid out last night, though. Put Spoiler in your heading if you talk about the show in comments, because you're all awesome and considerate like that, right? Right. :)


( 116 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 15th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
The French thing on toes doesn't bother me as much, but now that you said it makes it look like your toenails are long, it's grossing me out. XD

And for the second two: I work in retail. I have for the past three years (higher education ho! I NEED MONEY UNTIL I HAVE THAT SHINY MASTER'S DEGREE IN MUH HANDS). There is nothing, NOTHING I hate more than the customer who is on the phone while I am ringing them up. Oh, you don't want to hear about saving 20% today by giving me your email address? I mean, clearly you don't, since you're being incredibly rude to me. It was worse when I worked at Panera because that job requires interaction at the register and it's just like, ugh, why should I feel rude and bad about interrupting you when you're being the asshole?

Whenever a parent comes in with a kid leash, I have one co-worker who always catches my eye and shakes his head.

lol at exploding out of her anus. XD
Nov. 15th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I just can't not see it as needing a good clipping. EW.

I always tell someone when my phone rings, "I'm checking out, let me call you right back" and then get back to brass tacks. I just.. man, it's so rude and inconsiderate!
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Nov. 15th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on all three of those. I can't tell you how annoying it was to have my customers at the bank talking on the phone while trying to do a transaction. They invariably didn't have their deposit slip filled out right and their math would be wrong and you can't get any questions in to them because they're on the phone and the people in line behind them are getting annoyed. Hated it. Hang up and do your business, asshole!

French toenails creep me out too. And leashes... dear god, no. I'm of mixed minds about ski leashes for little kids on the mountain (the kind used for teaching). I get the idea of being able to keep your kid from just going out of control down the mountain. But there's a problem in that sometimes the kid falls and then the parent falls down on top of the kid. So good points and bad points. But leashes while walking around in public really piss me off. As you said, just pay attention to your kid and you won't need a fucking leash.
Nov. 15th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
You just can't multitask the phone and anything else. It's been shown over and over how people think they can, but they CAN'T. I love it when salespeople refuse to help someone on their phone. I've had one salesperson skip the person at the counter because they were on the phone, and helped the person behind them. Awesome.

Hmm, I didn't think about ski leashes, but I can see how that can have merit. That's not really the same thing, though, as in, it's not employed as a way to not have to worry about them so you can do your own thing (ie: phone talking, shopping, etc.) Now, if it's being used that way, talk about a dangerous thing! I'll just hook ol' Junior to my waist and hit a black diamond... Lol.

I'm still of the mindset that just paying attention (on the slopes, too) is the way to go. My kids learned to ski the old fashioned way "french fries/pizza" and a lot of ouchie bottoms from falling on their butts. :)
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Nov. 15th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
I was a child on a leash. I was quiet and sneaky. The one time my mother went shopping with me without the leash, I ended up on the other side of the mall the first time her back was turned, and only managed to get reunited with her because I had my address and phone number memorised.

Not all parents who leash their children are horrible and neglectful. Some just are trying to raise people who are naturally ninjas. >_>
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
While I'm obviously not going to say your mother was a horrible person, I still stand by my belief in not using harnesses. What if your destiny in life was to be the greatest ninja that ever ninja'd? You have been denied that! Ha.

But really, I think there's a distinct lack of object lesson learning happening with kids over the past, say, 25 years, and they're lessons that are important. Like getting lost and scared, getting sick, etc. etc. We'll just think differently on this one, I suppose. I'm just an opinionated LJer after all, I don't make policy. :D
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Nov. 15th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
I hate the whole leash thing. I'd like to smack parents whenever I see this. It aggravates me to no end.

And cell phones! Don't even get me started on that.

Nov. 15th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Agreed
99.99999% of the leash-using parents are just wanting their hands free for other things. Every time I see it I go crazy.

Nov. 15th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
I was a Mom of Ninja with a leash. I didn't clip it to my belt, I held it in my hand. But, my little precious angel was a NIGHTMARE. She would BOLT in an instant, which is pretty damn fast when you are also dealing with a grumpy tween and a tired middle kid. If I held her hand, she fell limp and SCREAMED "LETMEGO, LETMEGO, LETMEGO," which, I tell you, gets you some fun stares in the mall. I would slip her in the harness, hold the leash, and she'd think she was free...until she went to run at that tall display of expensive breakable things....DENIED, SUCKA.

That said, I was always a little embarrassed to use it and I'm so glad I don't need it anymore.

Of course French Pedicures are gross. Duh.
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ha, furikku was the Ninja Child, as well, so I've clearly struck a nerve with some of my flist. IDK, I just feel there are other alternatives. I know that's going to be polarizing, but I have to stick to my principles, or some shit. ;)

I haaaaaaaate those nails. Toes or hands, really, but toes really gross me out. (I totally typed toes or nads, which really changes things, lol.)
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Nov. 15th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
The bit about the kids being on leashes... spot on. I will never understand why people harness up their kid like he/she is a freaking labrador. That's so... demeaning. If you can't keep your kid under control at the mall, either you're doing something wrong, or you need to get a babysitter. I was an extremely hyperactive kid and not once did my mother ever have to put me on a leash. Know why? Because I knew I'd get into big trouble if I acted up in public like that. Parents are so indulgent to their kids' whims these days, no wonder you've got middle schoolers dropping f-bombs and childhood obesity is through the roof.

I don't like talking on the phone in the first place, so I try to keep any public conversations brief. Luckily when I worked at Bath & Body Works, cell reception died right in front of the register (we had this weird dead zone, haha), so I never had to deal with customers yakking on their phones while I was trying to cash them out.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
And I know that my stance on harnesses is polarizing for some folks, but I'm just of the mindset that if you have an uncontrollable child (it happens) then they shouldn't go. I have a sister that has autism, is non-verbal, and was self-harming. Taking her anywhere was a nightmare. So my step-mom just didn't go places until she could be free to leave her with me, my dad, etc. Does that suck? Yes. Does it add a major layer of inconvenience to life? Absolutely. But parenthood is all about the inconvenience. I just do not agree with the concept, not one ounce. If that makes me a jackass, so be it.

Oooh, dead zone at the store? What a great idea for stores to do!
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
Cell phones! There is a time and place to weep and break up with your boyfriend and it is not on your cell phone in the dairy aisle at my local supermarket. Please pajama pant wearing college student, take this back to your dorm room! Civilization is getting less and less civil every day.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
"Civilization is getting less and less civil every day." This sums up everything I'm saying poorly in my post in a most succinct manner.
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Nov. 15th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I was a leashed child. It allowed me some freedom of movement without me running into traffic or up trees. I'm pretty sure neither of my siblings required leashing, but then, neither of them would be halfway up the nearest shelf in the blink of an eye. Apparently, I was perfectly happy with it, the alternative being having to hold someone's hand (HUMAN CONTACT! ACK!). Places where I was unlikely to wind up in the ER, I went unleashed. There are pictures.

I often wish Lillian had been leashable. My anxiety and constant fear that I'd lose her when my brain got stuck in a hyperfocus loop would've been eased. But she wasn't, so it wasn't. And I've only managed to misplace her once in 5.5 years, and that was because I thought Paul was following her when she ran off in the store.

(I've THOUGHT I've misplaced her dozens of times. I kind of hate when my brain goes hyperfocus, because wow, I lose awareness of my surroundings.)
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, and french pedicures? NASTY. Ugh.
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CRAP I TYPED SOMETHING WRONG. - stoney321 - Nov. 15th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: CRAP I TYPED SOMETHING WRONG. - ladycyndra - Nov. 15th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
All of those things are on my pet peeve list, too! UGH!

And to be honest, I don't even really like french manicures on fingers, either. But on toes? GROSS!

The soup looks yummy, though!
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)

The soup is fantastic, I'll be completely honest with you on that, ahahaha.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I can't judge the leashing children thing anymore. I'm going to try not to do it myself, but I can understand why people do. Hoo boy can I understand it.

But MORE IMPORTANTLY: why do they read that book to us at such a young age?! I can vividly remember my fifth grade teacher reading it aloud in class and pretty much everyone crying at the end.

Nov. 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
DON'T DO IT. Leave them home. If anything, there's your moment's peace, which every mother needs at some point.

THANK YOU FOR CATCHING THAT BOOK REFERENCE. Oh my god, I sobbed to the point of being excused to go to the nurse's office. GAH. Also on my list of "whyyyy?!?!" is Old Yeller, Sounder, and The Red Pony. CRY. CRYING FOR EVER, WAAAHHHH!
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
I would put harnesses on everyone ... cats, dogs, children, waiters who wander off just as I'm ready to order, friends who head towards those bowl-o-bacteria bar snacks, my sister who gets lost in every crowd ... everyone.

French pedicures sound revolting. I sigh at those women who wear revealing shoes but can't be bothered to pumice for a few minutes. Give those cracked heels some love!
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
I think you mean a lasso - I fully support this plan, btw.

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Nov. 15th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
*frazzled mom word explosion* feel free to ignore.
Only slightly disagreeing on the child leash because my 2 year old still hasn't learned not to run out into the street, and practically makes me wrench his arm out of socket when trying to hold his hand or make him stop for a second. Then he does the patented wet noodle flop and the little dude is big. He's bigger than some 4 and 5 year olds I've seen. (Never really thought my husband and I were above avg. height, but now I know - the kid is part giant.)I haven't yet caved in and gotten one, but sometimes... Sometimes.
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: *frazzled mom word explosion* feel free to ignore.
Oh, I have all kinds of people that think I'm a certified jackass now, because I hate leashes on kids, so don't mince words. :D Hahaha.

Oh, do I remember the wet noodle/boneless chicken stage. It's incredibly frustrating when they do that.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I LOVE YOU ANNE-GIRL. Yes. I'm making some people very mad, I know this, AND YET. I completely agree with you on the tripping, on the false sense of security it gives a parent... And hey. I've had to leave places. I've had to not shop/run errands. It's all a part of the gig, that's all there is to it.

I love every point you've made here, and as you are the mother of two young and energetic boys, you've obviously got some real world experience to back up my point. :)
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with your leash stance, just sharing an anecdote--my best friend had to be a leashed kid because he would sag and pull in his parents' grips to the point that he dislocated his shoulder. After that, a harness seemed safer!
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Ha! Oh, we parents have all had the boneless chicken period - they should patent that move and sell it to criminals getting cuffed, hahahaha.

I still disagree that tethering a child like an animal is the way to go. I KNOW, I'M AN ASS. Gah.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Polarizing?! More like "Makes me love you more"!
French manicures on feet - OMG YES! Gross. The long toenail look is NEVER good. Also, it's whore-ish to me. Ick.

Leashed children - OMG OMG YES YES! I defriended an old high school friend because she leashed her under 2 year old. Disgusting behavior. I always think it will lead to weird parent-child relationships, or a weird kink later in life. Your child is not an animal. I can't think of a single good reason to leash your child.

LOUD TALKERS - Huge problem when I lived in Phoenix, haven't dealt with it much up here in Portland. Thankfully.

Guillermo del Toro - I haven't read his books (because they are scurry!), but my husband and I went to see him talk on his book tour. He is AMAZING. If you get the opportunity, do it. OMG do it.
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Polarizing?! More like "Makes me love you more"!
Eesh, I am not a fan of the word "whore" but I know what you're meaning, and yeah - I am not a fan of the tacky nail jobs.

I can't either, and I'm taking a lot of heat for it. OKAY. I still feel this way, and cannot see to the other side at all.

Ooh, I bet he's great live! He's very entertaining in interviews I've seen.
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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