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.
Freaking HARNESSES on CHILDREN
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. :)