1. Ernie has a tendency to push himself too much (I didn’t get that gene). Not long before the house concert was to start he was beginning to get really exhausted because he kept DOING things. I was telling him to sit down but then I noticed that the Le Croix was unopened on the floor. I said, “Oh, why didn’t you put some in the cooler so it’s cold?” He didn’t even look at me, he just growled, “PEOPLE LIKE IT WARM.”

I’m going to think of that every time I drink a cold Le Croix. Heh. My sweet pea. It was actually kind of Leo-like. “PEOPLE LIKE IT WARM.” Poor, tired sweet pea.

2. He’s so damn cute, though. I think he’s adorable with his crazy hair. It works, it works.

3. My food was so-so. I started out strong but honestly, I was so tired by the time I needed to finish things up that I kinda punted, so the final sauce for the Cuban pork shoulder as well as the rice weren’t exactly as they were supposed to be. Oh well. People devoured it though and everyone brought wonderful things too. Thank you all!

4. And good LORD, but I’m out of practice at this house concert thing. Forgot to send them their hotel info, forgot to have them sign the big guitar and the POSTERS that I never even posted or put on the door, forgot to gather money until someone handed me some. The last show was in February of 2020 so I guess I should give myself a break, but geez!

I love the posters anyway, Mark.

5. I finally got my booster shot Sunday. It’s sort of bizarre to be in this big empty store with all their signage still in place. Ernie and I sat in the Intimates section after my shot. Seemed the right thing to do. Sore arm today but otherwise fine.

6. Dinner last night (in our overcrowded media room that still has living room furniture shoved into it): somewhat ugly but SOOO good.

We had some beautiful homemade turkey broth so I poked around online looking for something and came across this recipe. I love hot and sour flavors and this was wonderful. Of course, we adapted it…I can’t have mushrooms (sigh) or garlic. However Ernie made a little garlic oil and used that instead. We only had 2 small jalopeños so Ernie added a few red pepper flakes. Oh, and we only had Nishiki rice…I think Jasmine or another long rice would be better.

We (that’s really the royal we….Ernie made everything) will definitely make this again. I can see adding more vegetables. If I could eat onion I would definitely add that as onion and cabbage cook down together so nicely. The bite of the chili and lime were the perfect balance to the broth and cabbage.

Thanks, baby.

Hot & Sour Soup with Mushrooms, Cabbage, and Rice

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 ounces cremini or shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 3 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-inch piece ginger, grated (or 1 tablespoon ginger puree)
  • 1 to 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 8 cups chicken broth (or turkey or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten-free), plus more to serve
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage, cut in half and shaved thin
  • Chili garlic sauce or kimchi, to serve
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir the mushrooms after 5 minutes and cook for 5 more minutes, or until well-browned. Add the diced peppers, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly softened.
  • Add the lime zest and broth and bring to a simmer. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is just barely soft. Add the shaved cabbage, lime juice, and soy sauce and simmer for another few minutes, or until cabbage is hot. Taste and add more lime juice, soy sauce, or other seasonings to taste.
  • Serve with extra soy sauce, lime wedges, and kimchi or chili garlic sauce.

7. Owen was over for a bit of the afternoon yesterday, which was lovely. Of course he took the time to change the flashing on these compotes to something more obnoxious. It’s just what my sister Judi would have done.

Onward.

Thoughts?