I never learn when it comes to beets. I always buy them, come home, stare at them, and have no idea what to do with them. I don’t love beets in juice and never really eat more than a couple of bites of roasted beet salad. Don’t ask me why: they are gorgeously sweet and earthy and have a lovely, firm texture but beets just aren’t my thing. So, last week when I went to the store and bought a bag of beets, I came home not knowing what to do with them, again. That is, until I remembered borscht. I love borscht and it has been on my list of things to make for this blog for a very long time. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten around to making it, but I’m so glad that I finally did. I realize that for someone who said they don’t particularly like beets, borscht is a strange thing to like. But I’m ok with being a little bit strange. And I can proudly say that this soup is great and I won’t mind eating bowl after bowl of it in the coming days (this recipe makes a lot of soup!).
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped making bagels for the farmer’s market. Selling bagels was something that I always wanted to try but I got to a place where I couldn’t grow the business anymore (I definitely reached my capacity in terms of the number of bagels that I was able to make at home, by hand) and the amount of effort that went into making them, was just too much. I loved being at the market and talking to customers and other vendors, but I started hating making the bagels. As soon as that feeling set in, I knew it was time to move on. I want to get back to the place when kneading and shaping dough is therapeutic, not stressful. I have to say, overall I am very happy with my decision. On top of freeing up tons of my time, I’ve been able to reclaim my freezer. One of the toughest things about making the bagels was the fact that I had to keep my freezer as empty as possible all of the time. I would ration a bag or two of frozen fruit so that I could keep making my smoothie bowls but that’s about it. I’ve been working to re-stock it with meals so that I can have some dinners ready to go after a busy day. So far I have made these dumplings, these veggie burgers and my favourite vegan bolognese. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have some back up every once in a while.
I have a little herb family! I have absolutely no access to the outdoors, but I have a great big window in the apartment and after doing some reading, I learned that you can actually grow herbs indoors. I took the plunge despite the fact that I am pretty notorious for killing my plants. In fact I have killed a total of four cacti in the past couple of years. Who kills cacti? Me, apparently. Now I have rosemary, mint, cilantro, basil and chives under my care and I’ve managed to keep them alive for a whole week so far. I have started using them sparingly, trying to give them time to grow. I couldn’t help but use a bit of basil and chives in this spring green soup.
We were in Costa Rica over a year ago. The most memorable and delicious meal was one that we had in Puerto Viejo, which is on the Caribbean side of the island. We left our hostel and walked down a very dark road, heading for a place to eat that ended up being closed. We gave up and went straight back to our hotel. The speeding cars, motorbikes, and howler monkeys were freaking us out in the dark. We went to a small restaurant right across from our hostel, on the beach. At that point, we had been in Costa Rica for about ten days and I wanted anything that didn’t come with rice and beans. So, I went for a seafood soup called “rondon” that sounded pretty good. It ended up being great.