As you’re reading this, I’m in Aspen about to board a flight to Paris. This week I drove back to snowy Colorado, dumped my belongings and grabbed a packed suitcase labeled France. Yep, the gypsy thing. Still living it. Note also, only one suitcase.
Before my upcoming journey, here’s a parting gift – a wonderfully delicious soup. It’s a cinch to throw together and takes just 30 minutes to make. Chupe de Quinoa (Peruvian Quinoa and Corn Chowder) is another Christopher Kimball creation. It’s from his Milk Street Tuesday Nights cookbook which won both the James Beard and IACP Awards for best general cookbook in 2019. Great for dinner but save a few cups for lunch the next and next days. All you need to know to pull this off is below.
TO MASK or NOT to MASK
Despite Coronavirus and a 46-day transportation strike (officially ended…maybe), it’s destination Paris for six weeks. While I’m adverse to risk (I purchased the last 3 masks available in Las Vegas), I’ve adjusted to tolerating discomfort.
Leading the life I want, making it happen, often requires stepping outside the comfort zone. To my mind, that’s not dreadful. Of course, I’d prefer lush-and-plush over lean-and-mean. My affordable bed-of-roses is sometimes lumpy. But I’m still blessed with good health. It’s a priceless gift and why I can keep “charging” forward.
Admittedly, aging has forced me to soften the edges of my absurdly independent self. I’ve learned that ‘help is the sunny side of control’ and value even more those who offer it.
I LOVE APPLE
If you need to jump start your social life, buy an iPhone 11 Pro Max and pitch a tent at your local Apple store. That’s what I did last month. From the minute their doors open each morning, it’s a frenzied happening. All ages can apply. Gold stars to Fili, Sid and Rachel, the instructors who adopted me as a group project. I took 7 classes to get up to photography speed before my trip. I also bonded with strangers I’ll never see again!
Hugs are never in short supply when I return home. I actually think the kids at The Gant missed me. “You know, Mrs. Hirsch, when you leave, we starve,” is the best compliment ever.
When I had chores down valley Wednesday, Donna Grauer managed to pull together a luncheon for my Ranger colleagues and other friends who live nearby. Not only was it chance to see them, but also an opportunity to celebrate our friendship and birthdays I miss. Here are more photos from that.
It’s will be fun to share this journey with you all. Merci mille fois for coming along.
CHUPE de QUINOA (PERUVIAN QUINOA & CORN CHOWDER) by Christopher Kimball excerpted from MILK STREET: TUESDAY NIGHTS
SERVES: 4 (Frozen Corn works and is always a good substitute if fresh corn isn’t available.)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup ají amarillo paste or 1-2 minced jalapeños
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
8 ounces sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (1½ cups)
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup quinoa, preferably red, rinsed and drained if necessary
1 1/4 quarts (5 cups) chicken broth (use low-sodium if you wish)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
1-2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil until shimmering.
- Stir in the sweet potato, corn, quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and quinoa are tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. if needed.
- Off heat, stir in the heavy cream.
- Ladle into bowls, Sprinkle with mint. Serve with lime wedges and a simple salad of shredded cabbage, sliced avocado and crumbled queso fresco or mixed greens.
1.Rinse the quinoa to remove the naturally-occurring toxic saponin that gives quinoa its bitter flavor. Be sure to check the packaging first, as some quinoa is sold pre-washed and won’t need to be rinsed.
2. Ají amarillo, an orange-yellow chili with a fruity yet earthy flavor, is ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine. Ají amarillo paste, sold in jars, is available at well-stocked markets and specialty stores under the Goya brand. If you can’t find it, use 1 or 2 minced jalapeños instead.