Friday, February 26, 2010

Bean Soup

This is excellently easy and delicious, which makes it perfect for people with concussions and homework! It also has a thick chili consistency, so it's great for eating with a thick hunk of bread or shredded cheese and sour cream.



Ingredients
1 lb. bag mixed beans (your choice, I got a 15-bean mix from Harris Teeter's)
1 large can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons homemade cajun seasoning (see below for recipe)
1/2 onion, chopped
5 + 3 garlic cloves

Directions
1. Soak beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse
2. Put beans in a pot with water, there should be 1-2 inches of water above the beans. Add 5 whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2.5 hours.
3. Saute onion and 3 garlic cloves (minced) in olive or vegetable oil. Drain excess oil.
4. After 2.5 hours add cooked onions and garlic, canned tomatoes, salt and cajun seasoning. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Serve!

Notes:
-Do not add salt at the beginning because it will prevent the beans from getting soft.
-Do not soak beans for more than 8 hours, it affects their quality and consistency.
-Do not be deceived when you try the soup and it does not seem spicy! Cayenne pepper builds on spice as you eat, so you won't feel the spice until you're halfway through a bowl of soup.

Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (or substitute another tsp black pepper)
2-3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika

Notes:
-If you use onion salt or garlic salt (I do not recommend using both) then do not put salt in the soup later. The mix itself will be very salty

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Signs

That one bad day

I seem to experience one really awful day near the beginning of every year. When I was eighteen, my car got totaled and I was on a train that hit a person. When I was twenty, I had a day of total insanity in the building where I was a resident assistant with people breaking into the womens bathroom and students throwing plants out windows. There are many more that will not be shared, but they happen nearly every year and they have always happened in January or February.

This year I believe it may have been today.

I should have known the day was off to a bad start when Georgetown announced that we would be having class on a national holiday to make up for the snow days. After not being productive until 1pm, I decided to head to school and work there. I got to the bus stop at 1:30, having dragged a bag of clothes I was going to drop off at the donation center at Georgetown. After 45 minutes, the bus still had not come. Suddenly a student walked up and announced that the Key Bridge was closed because they were bull-dozing snow off and therefore the bus was unable to get to us from Georgetown. Deciding against paying the cab fare, I start to walk, trudging through layers of slushy and icy snow to get campus. To add insult to injury, halfway through my 30 minute trek, it starts snowing. AGAIN.

When I finally get to campus, the donation bin is snowed out, so I dragged a bag full of clothes over for no reason and I have no where to put it. Then on my way to class I slam my hand against a door and burn my throat with coffee.

Exhausted after class, I decide that I am going to a Mexican restaurant to have a burrito and study. HOWEVER, on the walk over there, a chunk of ice falls off a building and onto my head. That's right. I experience an aerial ice attack. I was along a flat building with no eaves, but apparently some of the snow-turned-ice on the roof decided to fall down and land on my head. After an hour at home deliberating as to whether I should go to the ER or not, we finally decide to go.

At the ER, I wait nearly 30 minutes to get my room, and another 15 or so until the doctor comes. He is tall, thin, with long, black, curly, floppy hair. Total stoner-skater vibe. He starts talking to me about what happened and then asks me if I feel tired or have trouble seeing.

"Well, I haven't been sleeping a lot these past few days because I'm catching up on a lot of work so I don't know if that's a result of sleeplessness or getting hit on the head." He gets really concerned all of a sudden and says, "Well, you really need to get more sleep. That's a huge problem." Excuse me? I know it's a problem! I want to sleep, too! But I just had a chunk of ice fall on my head!!!!

Well, it all checks out and then he goes, "I need to get the supervising doctor to sign off on this and then you can go." This is usual in a teaching hospital, they do it at UCLA as well. The resident/student will check you out, and then a supervising doctor will come and check on you and compare their diagnosis with that of the student's. Well, when my supervisor comes in (40 minutes later), she says "Sorry you had to wait so long. My intern only recently told me you were in here."

I'm sorry, what?! He's an intern AND he forgot me? WTF mate. And then she looks me over again and says, "Well, you have a concussion (which was not mentioned by the intern), but it's not serious (which was noted by the intern). You can go home, just make sure your roommate checks in on you every six hours (not mentioned by the intern)."

All this is just lovely, and then the hospital that took three hours to give me two 10 minutes exams charged us $6 for parking! On top of which, we ended up driving around for 20 minutes when we got home because all the spots were taken or blocked by mounds of snow.

So all in all, I got today:
1. School on a holiday
2. A long walk with heavy bags and snowfall
3. A bag of clothing with nowhere to go
4. A hurt hand
5. A burned throat

AND

6. A concussion

This day has all the signs of "The Worst Day of 2010" but I can't officially name it that until January 1, 2011. Until then Karma, please, gimme a break!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard-y Season!

Post February Storm #1


Middle of February Storm #2