Monday, March 03, 2008


Skiing Into Last Place

My sixth day on skis this season led me to last place, again. I can't complain even though my continual training goal is to not come in last. I didn't train this year—writing a book puts a kibosh on training as well as blogging. At least, unlike the last race I did two weeks ago, they didn't have to send the snowmobile out to see if I was lost. Still a bad day skiing beats a lot of other things I could be doing.

We stayed in a cabin with other skiers where we could talk about all of the gory details like if we had on enough clothes or too many, what the hills were like, the snow conditions, how our wax did. At the end of the day we a shared a meal with the members of the Boulder Nordic Club.

Potlucks always seem to work out. (If I discount the Tour de France party where everyone brought green salads from their garden; the following year we all brought desserts.) We had a really great meal starting with wine and a small pizza followed by dinner of tomato soup and green salad with roasted chicken and then topped it off with a warm brownie. All complimented with wonderful chat. That's what I call a good day.

Today Lunch
Tomato Soup

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup roasted chili or other peppers, chopped (see below for instruction)
2 cups rice, soy, or cow's milk
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour olive oil in a large soup pot and place on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add onions and cook then until they are translucent. Pour wine into the mixture along with the herbs and bring it to a low boil and cook until the liquid is reduced in half. Place the whole tomatoes in a large bowl and squish with your fingers to reduce their size. Add all tomatoes along with the chilies, milk, salt and pepper, and the rest of the olive oil and cook for twenty minutes just below a boil. I find that tomato soup is best served the day after you make it; the flavors intensify. Serves 4.

Roasted Peppers: I use a gas grill with a cover. Wash whole peppers and have them ready at the grill. Turn the grill onto the lowest heat setting. Place the peppers on the grill immediately and close the cover. Cook for about five minutes checking halfway though to make sure they aren't burning. Flip the peppers and toast on the other side. They should be done when they begin to wilt and show grill marks. They are really easy to burn, but don’t worry. The burned bits peal off pretty easily. You can even leave some over toasted spots to add flavor. Allow the peppers to cool, chop off the tops and remove the seeds. Chop and freeze in 1/2-cup increments for future use.

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