Friday, October 21, 2011

Cleo, cooking and coconut oil

Oh, hello there, Weekend!  Today at lunch I drove around town getting ready for you!

The first errand was a sigh of relief.  Yesterday I squeezed in a wonderful run before going to the Twin Cities in Motion volunteer banquet.  I was in such a flurry of excitement over these running-related activities that I completely forgot to pick up the last CSA box of the season.  I called the pick-up site and learned that they were holding the neglected, unclaimed boxes until this afternoon, so I scurried over.  

Good thing.  I was especially excited about this box because it included a bag of apples from an orchard near Featherstone Farm, which produces my CSA.  I am used to receiving pretty cauliflower and squash and salad mix, but apples are a special treat.  Look at this beautiful bounty!

Good things will be concocted on the stove this weekend.  I have to confess, though, that the main project doesn't even involve any of the above items.  I was reading a serious Huffington Post column when a teaser for another article caught my eye: "8 Great Soup Recipes to Keep You Warm" from Marcus Samuelsson. The first recipe was Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup.  

For a recipe that sounds right up my alley, I am a complete newbie regarding several of the ingredients - namely, coconut oil.  I went to Whole Foods today to find some after striking out at Target - but in fairness to Target, I may have missed it because I was scanning the aisle for a bottle, not a jar.  Good thing the recipe calls for a heaped teaspoon, because buying 14 ounces of coconut oil for a mere teaspoon would have been ludicrous.  At least now the whole "heaped teaspoon of oil" thing makes more sense.

This is Dr. Bronner's Magic "All-One!" Fresh-Pressed Coconut Oil.  I had the choice between white kernel and whole kernel.  Does anyone know what this means?  In exchange for the answer, I will tell you on Monday what is Magic about this oil.

Lentils are also a rare presence in my cupboard.  But I am not as timid about lentils as I am about Dr. B's oil, mostly because of how darn pretty they are.  Zoom:

Some of my time this weekend will be spent outdoors, because it's supposed to be another 58-and-sunny kind of weekend.  For a few days, I will be able to disregard that this thing moved from the back seat of my car to the front seat this week.  (Insert sad face.)

As previously mentioned, the leaves are flying off the trees now in Minnesota.  This makes for pleasant, crunchy walks around the neighborhood.  It is a nice time of the autumn because you get the crunch but also still get to see trees with leaves that are still clinging for dear life, like this one that I saw during my lunch travels.  This morning the scene was extra-beautiful because there was frost on the ground and the sunlight was shining on it through the treetops.

Despite the sunny forecast, though, some weekend activities must take place inside:
  • I am attending a baby shower on Sunday for an old friend from my newspaper days.
  • I am investigating a couple of Halloween costume leads. 
  • I am watching my beloved Tennessee Volunteers take on #2-ranked Alabama on Saturday night.  This month is a tough one for Rocky Top.  Last week they played LSU (ranked #1) and this week sure won't be much of a break against Bama.  I'm also planning to watch at least part of that night's World Series game with friends.
  • Sunday afternoon will involve dance lessons with my family at the St. Clair Ballroom.  More on this later.  I hardly know how to explain it in advance, okay?
  • Finally, I must spend some quality time with Cleopatra, this month's book club pick.  I am inside the one-week window before our group's discussion, and so far, my progress can hardly be described as admirable (see below).  I like the book so far but just haven't reached that moment where the book hooks you and you can't put it down.  I know it's coming.  Cross your fingers for me, please.

Happy weekend to you, Reader!


  1. Target does carry coconut oil, in the Asian section, and it is in a jar. Since, you know, you'll probably use up most of that jar with the one recipe.

    We tried lentils for the first time tonight, and sadly I was not impressed. I really wanted to like them.

    P.S. I have not yet started the book club book.

  2. OK, a few things probably better shared on gchat but this comment has already commenced so here we go; that oil stuff can also be used topically on dry skin and/or dad told me so HA. Also, coconut milk is easier to find and soooooo good in soups, especially with a bit of curry. And Trader Joe's; they have fresh pre-cooked french lentils in the salad section that are VERY easy to add to boiling involved! Anyway, that's all. Miss you xoxo me.