29 September 2012

new design and a soup recipe

The week is at an end. Tomorrow is Sunday, the fresh start of the new week, wherein I will strive, yet again, to finish things. There are 3 matters on my list for the next week, 3 items that I would like to see checked off. And then, well, we shall see what else happens.

I finished a new pattern this week. Third Beach. It's up on Ravelry, but you can also get it here, on the page for Epenthetical Designs. After hearing my sister-in-law explain that Third Beach in Stanley Park is the absolute best beach in the park (and they live walking distance from the park, so they should know), I decided to do a shawl designed around it. It was an interesting process, as designing always is. I had one picture in my head, one on paper, and then the resulting shawl on my needles. The shawl in my head and in my design notebook underwent several changes before becoming the bluey-green shawl with hints of yellow that is currently sitting on my dining room table.

I have a few other ideas for designs coming out of the Vancouver area. Something for Granville Island, something for Gastown, something for New Westminster. I have to tinker with the ideas, see what happens. It may eventually become a pattern booklet.

The weather's beginning to change. I'm wearing long sleeves, more scarves, and I've waterproofed my boots in preparation for the coming rains of autumn. I love the crispness in the air in the mornings, and fog that swirls around until the sun burns it off. It's the kind of weather for experimenting with soup, which is what I did yesterday for dinner. I made something inspired by borscht, but which was still rather different. It was very pink, and paired well with the crabapple sauce that I made yesterday. I got out the sourdough starter and made buns to go with the soup. They were so tasty that they're already gone, but there's still a serving of soup left. Here's a rough approximation of my recipe.

September Beef and Beet Soup
2 beets, diced
1 steak, chopped into small chunks
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 large pine mushrooms, sliced (button mushrooms would probably be an okay substitute)
2 cups chopped kale
1.5 litres vegetable broth (or beef broth)
1/4 cup red wine (I used a Malbec)
2 bay leaves
1-2 teaspoons basil
pepper and salt to taste

In a frying pan, melt butter and saute the sliced mushrooms until lightly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Reheat pan and tossed in chopped steak. Brown and then pour red wine over, and stir. Turn down heat and let simmer.
In a pot on stove, melt butter and then add garlic and onions. Stir until onions are mostly cooked through. Toss in diced beets, and then stir together with onions and garlic. Add vegetable broth, meat with red wine, basil, bay leaves, pepper, and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Stir. Bring to a simmer and then add mushrooms. Let simmer without a lid until soup has condensed a bit and the beets are becoming tender. Add chopped kale, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Serve hot with rolls for dipping in the soup. My version made 6-8 servings.

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