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archive for June 25th, 2012

i’m melting

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Recipe: chinese sweet peanut soup

Skiers know when it’s going to be a bad summer. We knew this back in March and April when we were skiing snirt (snow-dirt) instead of snorkeling hip-deep powder. A paltry snowpack has big implications for the wildfire season. We’ve been hoping against it all winter, dreading it all spring. That summer solstice cooldown was merely a tease. The current full-on heat wave has been dealing triple digits to the plains and temperatures in the 90s here at 8500 feet. That is hot. Unusually hot. Terribly hot. Fire fighters are playing whack-a-mole around Colorado as wildfires spring up and grow with a ravenous appetite, fed by drought and these hot, dry conditions. And it’s only June.

grateful when the sun goes down (little clouds casting long shadows)

if only those bad boys would deliver on the rain

Despite the weather, I hosted a tea party this past weekend. In the tradition of our stitch-n-bitch crew which hasn’t knit a single stitch in the last 3 years of gatherings, we had a tea party where not a one had a cup of tea. Figures, right? It was just too damn hot. The ladies opted for a lavender lemonade, strawberry soda, mimosa, or good old ice water.

setting up

plenty of delicious noms

For the uninitiated, it’s a curious thing to witness the routine of (my) food pals greeting one another. They squeal or tilt their heads and sing, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!” with arms outstretched for hugs and kisses, but hands full of stuff. What stuff, you may ask? It’s practically a swap meet when we congregate. We make food things or hunt down cool finds and we gift them to our friends. I’m realizing more and more that people who don’t engage in this behavior are just plain missing out on some serious love. I received two jars of homemade kimchi, homemade Greek yogurt with cherries, homemade Indian lemon pickles, foraged cattail pollen (!!), foraged black currants, an elderberry rose hips elixir (foraged, of course) for Jeremy who was feeling under the weather, handcrafted caramels, and Fresh Paper for extending the life of produce (organically).

check it

Oh, and my pal, Kat, brought me a tin of Lyle’s Golden Syrup so I wouldn’t have to make imposter (aka Yankee) ANZAC biscuits anymore! The only thing I could imagine being more fun than a food gang is if all of my friends were Patagonia distributers… right?!?!

In this ass hot heat, I only want to eat cold things. Every now and again, you can find me searching for something in the freezer and then suddenly plunging both arms into said freezer just for a few seconds of relief. If I had a walk-in freezer, I would indeed be walking in. A few months ago (this heat has been getting to me since we rose above 60°F) I had a hankering for a soup I used to love when I was a kid. Soup? Yes, soup. You can have it hot or cold and I’m sure you can guess how I’ve been enjoying it. I found a recipe on Bee’s site that looked absolutely perfect.

start with peanuts

and soak them overnight

Use unsalted peanuts, because this is a sweet peanut soup. I just happened to have a ton of peanuts in the shell leftover from the Lunar New Year. Don’t worry if you can’t get the skins off the peanuts, because when you soak them in water overnight, the peanut skins slip right off the next morning. After removing the skins, give the peanuts a rinse and then drain them.

place peanuts and fresh water in a pressure cooker

yes, a pressure cooker (set on high)

**Jump for more butter**