Another tale from the kitchen paired with a poi video! You heard it here, folks

BAM! How’s that for you? I know some of you must have given up on me returning, so I wanted to check in with something powerful. I have a great time with this kid almost every weekend, he’s so quick to learn and fearless to try. That second one is really the key. He walked with me in the Multnomah Days Parade, and was impeccably dressed. We have some very special events and specials going on at the studio on lessons of all sorts.

The school year has started and I was called upon to work the first three days of the year at a high school. That early in the year the best a substitute can do is be a placeholder and not lose a student.. If the rest of the year goes like the first three days–and of course it will be–I’m in for more weirdness, improvisation, creativity, frustration, and bizarreness. Isn’t that what teaching is about?

In more delicious news, I’ve got a recipe for you. It started with a recipe from a place we’ll call “shmolive blahden.” I tailored the ingredients to what I had on hand and what flavors we like. The result… let’s call it Zuppa Le Pip.

Meat

8 oz of Italian sausage Roll the sausage into meatballs no larger than an inch in diameter.
15 slices of pepperoni Chop to pieces no larger than the meatballs.

Throw these into a large pot and get them sizzling on medium-high heat.

Veg

2 cups of potatoes I like small yellow or red potatoes. They require less overall slicing time, and I think they cook more evenly. I cut these about 1/4 inch thick, an inch wide. Peeling is up to you.
2 shallots
I think of these like friendly onions. Other onions are at worst menacing, at best irritating. I sliced them about the same as the potatoes.
4 cloves of garlic
Minced. This is pretty much standard for me in cooking.

Toss these in the pot with the meat. Add a little oil if necessary. Stir and sautee them until the shallots start to go clear and the sausages are nearly cooked.

Liquid

2 boxes of chicken broth

Add to the pot and heat to a boil.

1/3+ cup whipping cream Or use half & half, what have you. Tonight I went light on the cream, but I encourage you to pour a little more. I don’t encourage you to leave out milk entirely.

Wait to add the cream until later in the simmering time. This way you don’t risk burning it.

Seasonings

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves

2 cups finely chopped kale

Simmer on medium for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove the bay leaves, if you find them.

Great final touches

Tomatoes We have a bowl full of beautiful little tomatoes of several colors. I took about a half cup of gumball-sized tomatoes and stirred them in the pot minutes before serving. As soon as their skins pop, it’s Dinner Time. I usually find myself eating around tomatoes in soups but these were brilliance. So very very fresh, so bright.

Parmesan cheese I recommend shaved Parmesan because it stays in nice big pieces instead of dissolving into the soup.

The housemates agree that I nailed it tonight. Cheers to that!

I hereby declare it Weekend, and to usher it in I offer Sonny, winner of America’s Next Top Model Dog. I snapped this goofy picture in between his poses with the breeze blowing gently against his ginger red hair.

Oh, Herro there.

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