Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow gets in your eyes

The organized snowball fight at Malcolm X Park was pretty epic. The abundance of hipsters in attendance inspired me to compose a parody of the Platters classic on my walk home....

They asked me if I threw
Snowballs landing true.
I sheepishly replied,
"I just aimed inside,
But it went quite wide."

They said, "Some day you will find
That jerk who clocked you from behind
When your arm’s on fire.
For now realize
Snow gets in your eyes."

So I packed them, and I fired away --
To think they would hit a thing! --
Thankfully at last, one or two I cast
Finally struck something….

Opponents did deride
My repeated tries
To protect my head.
They aimed from the side,
More snow got in my eyes.

So, yes, though I ducked and weaved constantly, I got hit directly in the face precisely four times. I worried that the last one would lead to a fat lip -- someone was definitely making icier snowballs on the other side of the battle line -- but I am happy to report that did not come to pass. I seem to lack both the killer instinct and the aim to be much of an asset in snowball fights, but it sure was fun. And I sure am sore today, though that may just as easily be a result of my multiple shoveling shifts, hiking, sledding, and snow angel making as from snow combat. Here's my friend Sarah demonstrating proper angel making technique:

After all of that physical activity, I arrived home ravenous, and ready to make something hearty that could cook while I soaked in the bath. As I stripped off my 47 layers of outerwear, the appeal of mashed potatoes was suddenly overwhelming. And, readers, you know I rarely stop at making something as simple as mashed potatoes. A few minutes of rummaging around the kitchen resulted in the following delicious new dish:

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
(Definitely not vegan, though!)

  • 1/2 cup leeks, chopped
  • 1 cup shiitakes, chopped
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1-2 cups chickpeas (from a can, or pre-soaked and boiled until soft)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • handful of fresh herbs, leaves only, minced: parsley, thyme, rosemary

Preheat oven to 375F.

Saute leeks, shiitakes, butternut, carrots, chickpeas, and garlic in a medium cast iron skillet. Stir regularly.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add potatoes. Boil until potatoes are soft. (20 minutes should do it.) Drain potatoes, then return them to the pot, add butter and milk, and mash with a fork until smooth.

Add herbs, broth, and tomato paste to veggie saute, then top with the mashed potatoes.

Bake until heated through and liquid creeping around the edge is bubbly (about 30 minutes). Viola! You're done!

I took out the remainder of the pan the following day -- yet another snow day!

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