Brrrr. And furthermore, brrrr, dammit!

January 7, 2010

It is just freakin’ COLD. When I left for work this morning, it was 27. When I left work to go home this afternoon, it was 27. By the time I GOT home (and it’s not but 8 miles, albeit I did have to make a stop at the grocery and one at the liquor store, but it was still only about 30 minutes) it was 25 degrees. And it’s going to be 9 for the low  tonight.

I believe I’ll hibernate. Or emigrate. In the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, “I wanna go where it’s warm!”

I’ve been amusing myself looking at the daily weather for places like Aruba or Belize. No more. It’s too depressing. Tonight, I shall drink red wine and make sherried cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with fontina and gruyere. And watch the NCAA football championship, or what passes for it these days now that the BCS has gotten hold of it.

The tomato soup is from the Pioneer Woman blog, and it sounded good, and I had everything about the heavy cream, but that was easily enough remedied because I needed to stop by Wal-Mart anyway and get half-and-half.

An aside. Does anyone know why the half-and-half from WalMart keeps longer than the half-and-half from anywhere else? I mean, that stuff will stay in your fridge for six weeks. It’s probably got more chemicals and other unnatural ingredients than I want to know about. Still, I’ll generally get it, because drinking weekday coffee at work and weekend coffee at home means I need to have two separate stashes of half-and-half and neither one gets used real quickly unless I’m cooking with what’s at home because I don’t often have milk on hand. Any answers to that mystery will be most appreciated.

Back to the soup: I think I’ll blend mine up, because I like a smooth soup, but it sounds wonderful. Here’s Ree’s recipe, which she credits to her friend Cathy:

  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 bottle (46 Oz.) Tomato Juice
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Cans) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon (up To 3 Tablespoons) Chicken Base
  • 3 Tablespoons (up To 6 Tablespoons) Sugar
  • 1 pinch(es) Salt
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Cooking Sherry
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Chopped Fresh Basil
Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste. Adjust other seasonings and serve with yummy, crusty bread on a cold blustery, dreary, depressing, rainy, snowy day.

Sounds pretty hard to beat, doesn’t it? I will report back in. But first I’m going to sit back and enjoy a little wine….preparatory to a little more wine….before the game, which I will watch while writing two essays I need to complete for a class I’m taking.

UPDATE: Good stuff. I forgot the black pepper. It could’ve stood a little more spice, but I’m not complaining. And I could’ve pureed it a little better; there’s still a lump or two, but that’s OK, too. I halved the recipe, and it’d be a gracious plenty for four. I’ve had a big mug-and-a-half of it, and will take it to work tomorrow.

And the grilled cheese? A mix of grated fontina, havarti and gran queso? Grilled on sourdough, with a panini press? With bacon on it? Buttery from the grill? Brothers and sisters, this grilled cheese is To Die For. I may make me another one.

H’mm. I wonder, if I made a couple more of these, if I could stick them in the fridge tonight and take them to work tomorrow and heat ’em in the toaster oven. Bet I could. I may have to try that, as I overgrated on the cheese. That may be a halftime exploit. Meanwhile, I am back to the Bama-Texas game, in which fight I do not have a dog, which is good because Texas has injured its QB and Bama doesn’t seem to be able to do much of anything at the moment.  Texas, 6-0, early in the first quarter, off two ‘Bama turnovers.

You and y’mama enjoy the game. I’m gonna do homework.

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One Response to “Brrrr. And furthermore, brrrr, dammit!”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Does anyone know why the half-and-half from WalMart keeps longer than the half-and-half from anywhere else?

    I suspect chemicals. Lots of chemicals.

    Either that, or they’ve developed the formula for making plastic half-and-half.


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