Monday, April 23, 2012

How to procrastinate productively






When I have a real job, when I'm done with graduate school, will I still be able to procrastinate this well? Will I still bake up a storm, procrastinating from doing whatever it is I should really be doing? Gosh, I hope so.
Why is it that my creative juices get flowing, along with an immense determination to see (and taste) actual finished results of my culinary thoughts and efforts, when I should really be doing schoolwork? It's like the pressure of having work to do serves as a catalyst for my culinary creativity! I know that sounds really cheesy but it's completely honest.

Today I had car troubles which prevented me from being where I really had to be. So I told myself I would have to do this 5-page outline for my competency exam instead, seeing as it would be my last full day to work on it before it is due. As I churned through the freaking outline, all I could think of (and almost taste) was assembling in my mind the menu of what I would make for dinner. All day, I just thought about how delicious this spinach-lima bean soup would be, sprinkled with feta and sopped up with homemade sourdough whole wheat bread, fresh from the oven. I thought about variations of the soup (should I add some sweet potatoes? that would change things... would it be better with Cotija cheese?). Literally all day I paced between my chair where the computer and my work was situated and the kitchen, baking bread, making soup. Every 15 min or so, up from my desk and into the kitchen, then back to the desk and type-typing.

Well, after 6 hours of this, really, I have 4 1/4 pages of a to-be 5 page outline, and spinach-lima bean soup with fresh bread. Not bad! Also, let me know if you want the bread recipe - I'm only reluctant to post it because I use sourdough which a lot of people don't have, and not only that, but I typically don't measure, so it wouldn't be exact. But I can try for you if you want! So let me know!

Here's the soup:
1 1/2 c lima beans
2 c stock or water
4 c water
1 red onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch (or 2-3 c packed) fresh spinach, washed and chopped (you can also use any good, dark, leafy green)
feta cheese

Soak the lima beans for 2 hrs. Drain them. Put beans, liquids, onions, bay leaf in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then lower temp and cover, allowing to simmer, about 1 hr or until beans are creamy. When beans are done, remove bay leaf and turn off heat. You may puree all or part with an immersion blender, or you can leave it more brothy, with the beans whole. I like to puree some, leave some beans whole. Season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a boil again. Add the spinach, and cover pot, simmering about 5-10 min, until spinach wilts. Garnish with feta.

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