Archive | June 19, 2013

Way Back Wednesday: Maureen, the Lady Foxglove

Late 1980

The woman known only as Foxglove slipped out of the Senator’s office unseen. He paid well for that discretion, although exactly how well he was going to pay, he did not know yet.

She wrote a brief letter in a language only a handful of the world’s population would recognize, encoded in a code only seven people knew, and posted it to a drop-box. It wasn’t, exactly, espionage, but old habits died hard.

The senator wasn’t her only visit today. He wasn’t even the most important, although he certainly thought he was. Schools needed accreditation. They needed recognition. They also needed funding, in order to run properly.

Fortunately for them, the accreditation board and those who made recognition of the proper sort happen were all – if not necessarily human – fallible and with exploitable flaws.

Foxglove bore no illusions about the nature of the organization she had joined, or about their opinion of her. She knew they would use all of her skills to the fullest and still hesitate to invite her to dinner.

Luckily for them, she not only agreed with their goals, she heartily enjoyed using her skills.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

Recipe Try-outs: Week One

I posted, last week, a list of Recipes I want to try..

In the last week, we tried Curried Red Lentil Soup and Leek and Cheddar Cheese Tart.

The tart… needs work. We’re going to try it again with some modifications:
* We will partially pre-bake the puff pastry shell, and form it inside a pan for better structural integrity.
* Instead of using leek spears, we’ll cut the leeks into rounds, both to better rinse them and so we can integrate the cheddar and dijon topping throughout the whole leek.

Once we do that, I’ll post the modified recipe.

The soup, on the other hand, was awesome. From Ski House Cookbook:
(we cut this in half) (directions paraphrased; I can scan in the real recipe if people would like)
1-1/2 c dried red lentils
3 c chicken broth (we used leek broth with ham stock, from the leftover leek greens)
2 T olive oil (we used bacon fat, ’cause we had it out)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (we didn’t half this part)
1t salt
1/4t cayennne
2 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
1-1/2t cumin
1 t curry powder
4t grated fresh ginger

Cook the lentils in broth and 3 c water for 20 minutes, or until tender (we nuked them before we left for the day until hot, then left them all day).

Saute the onion in the fat until soft, 6-7 minutes. Add everything remaining except ginger; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, remove from heat.

Add the sauteed mix to the lentils, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Puree with a stick blender, or in batches in a standard blender.

Serve with a drizzle of half-and-half, some cheddar cheese, or both.

The soup used half a knob of ginger root, so we made this recipe – we added cinnamon, allspice, and possibly cloves (I wasn’t watching T.) to the dough, and I doubled the cinnamon in the cinnamon-sugar topping. Delicious!

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.