Yes, yes, we all know about Amazon vs. MacMillan. And I’m sure we all have our own opinions. I know I certainly do, but since Scott Westerfeld said it better I’m just going to link to his post on it, and say, THIS.
I am also leaving the Amazon links up on my site, because I know there are readers who prefer Amazon, or even side with Amazon. But I do encourage you all to buy your books elsewhere. Bookstores are important. Choice is important. Support bookstores, and buy from them, because it matters.
Now. This weekend was also my first-ever attempt at making a beef-and-lentil soup. It turned out pretty well! As always I messed about with the recipe a bit, sort of amalgamating several into one and picking and choosing. For example, most recipes I found called for canned tomatoes. I don’t particularly like eating tomatoes in soup, so I substituted a can of tomato paste instead; tomato flavor with no slimy tomatoes. So here’s the recipe, since I promised I’d post it:
1 1/2 lbs lean stew beef
2/3 cup or so dry lentils
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup burgundy wine
1 lb or so baby carrots (I buy those because I dislike peeling & chopping carrots)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small can tomato paste (about 4 tbsp or so?)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
fresh rosemary, fresh thyme
salt & pepper
marjoram, parsley, oregano
Marinate the beef with about half of one crushed garlic clove and some Worcester sauce, enough to wet it all but not enough to make a liquidy marinade, if you know what I mean. A tbsp or two is enough. marinate 1/2 hr to 1 hr.
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pot. brown the beef in it. Remove.
Add onion, shallot, garlic, celery, and carrots. Add salt to taste. Sweat these items for five minutes or so, until onions are translucent.
Add tomato paste. Stir to incorporate/combine. Add wine, stir. Add beef, stir for a minute or so. Add broth and herbs (I used 3 or 4 stalk of rosemary and about the same of thyme) to taste. Cover, simmer about an hour and a half.
Add lentils. Stir. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Yay, you have a very thick, tasty soup. Also, this makes a HUGE amount of soup. It fed the four of us well, and there was enough left over to feed all four of us well again.
Let’s see, what else did I have to talk about? Hubs and I have one episode left in the first season of BIG LOVE, and we’re really enjoying it. Saturday night we’d promised the girls another “slumber party” (they get to sleep in the living room) and we showed them LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, which was an absolute blast, and which they loved “except for when the plant eats people.” Still. They will learn as they grow up that, of course, the parts where the plant eats people are the best parts.
Also, it’s really freaking cold out there. And I am watching MILLER’S CROSSING, which I love.