The Woman who Played with Fire
First I must apologize for my infrequent posting of late. Like many people, I’m sure, the end of the year is always a busy time. So much to do, so few hours in the day…
But for the record, I haven’t been all work and no play. I splurged and bought myself an early Christmas present this year. I ordered an Amazon Fire—their new tablet device. I’ve been a Kindle fan since they first came out and was camped out at our receptionist’s desk yesterday waiting for it to arrive. She finally had to say, “Lisa, go away. I promise I’ll buzz you when the UPS guy gets here.” (She didn’t really tell me to go away, she’s nicer than that.)
So the brown guy finally showed up, and I spent my lunch hour and most of the evening figuring out all the features. The most disconcerting thing that I learned is that I’m not very adept at a capacitive touch screen. (I don’t have a smart phone, so no experience with them.) Plus I usually have on too much hand lotion thus the screen gets really streaky. That drives me nuts. I found myself constantly reaching for my eyeglass cleaner cloth.
One of the things that I was thinking of using it for is keeping track of my recipes. Right now I have them all on my laptop which means every time I want to view or print a recipe I have to get it out of the case (I use it for work so it travels with me daily), set it up, plug it in, boot it up, and launch the program …sigh … so much bother.
Yes, I’m getting lazy in my old age.
So I thought it would be really slick to have a tablet that I can keep close to hand, just turn it on, tap and go. But then again, the thought of exposing my shiny new toy to the dirt/wet/grease of a kitchen environment makes me a bit squeamish. As it is, when I use my laptop, I keep it on our breakfast bar, as far away from the stove and sink as I can get it. I tend to be a tidy cook, meaning I clean up as I go. But you can’t always avoid spatter. Maybe I should look for one of those clear acrylic cookbook holders and put it behind that. HA! I think I’m on to something.
Are you a gadget person? Do you love your Kindle/Ipad/Android Device/… as I do? Do you find yourself working the phrase “There’s an app for that” into most conversations?
(P.S. The recipe below is posted just because I thought you needed some soup. No other reason, really.)
Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
Adapted lightly from Bon Appétit, October, 2007
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pre-cooked smoked sausage, kielbasa or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes; about 2 large, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1- 9-oz bag fresh spinach
Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain.
Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes, thyme and broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot.
Add browned sausage and beans to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among bowls and serve.
Lisa Parsley is a Janesville native writes about food and cooking for Gazettextra.com. Lisa is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. Her opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.