Posts Tagged ‘irony’

I first heard of celeriac because Harriet Smith mentions it in Gwyneth Paltrow’s film version of Emma.  To be honest I only looked up the vegetable because the scene was running in my head like a parallel to my feelings.  You can’t really find it in grocery stores, and even the farmer’s market, sell grains in bulk, entire sections devoted to vitamins and organic produce stores didn’t have it.  But when I happened to be at Whole Foods with a friend this week, I checked and sure enough, there was the knobby root with the cropped remnant of celery stalks on the top.  “Knobby” is actually an understatement.  Celery root (celeriac) looks like dirty brains.  Anyway, I chose one – a smaller one that was still heavy; denser is better.


After showing off my find to everyone in the house – my 81 year old grandmother has never even seen one – I sat down to find a recipe for what I’m impudently renaming “Irony Soup.”  Every recipe I could find had onions and leeks.  I don’t have either on hand.  Onions I usually leave out anyway.  Leeks I have never used and for that reason I was hesitant, besides knowing they’re in the onion family.  Ginger I had – for the first time I was going to try grating my own straight from the root, into some recipe or other.  So at the last minute, before heading to the grocery store to pick up leeks, I did a Google search for a soup with celeriac and ginger.  What I found, here: http://straightfromthefarm.net/2009/03/07/celeriac-and-ginger-soup/ is Irony Soup.


No onions even to be crossed off of the recipe.  An entire head of garlic.  Carrots and cream and potato and herbs, some of my favorite soup ingredients (you know – for the two or three soups I’ve ever made or eaten).


Chopping the vegetables and peeling the garlic took way longer than I expected, but this is just what one would expect from Irony Soup.  I chopped away.  I forgot the salt when I first started simmering the mixture, so maybe that’s why the vegetables took so long to soften.  I also improvised on measurements a bit and added celery just to enhance that edge of the flavor.  Making it up as you go following general guidelines is also apropos for Irony Soup.


The celeriac and ginger smells wafted through the house while the soup simmered.  Because I started late and the softening process took longer than expected, I had to interrupt the soup and go to a party.  I resumed this afternoon.


I paired my serving with buttered wheat toast, because you want to make sure you have something you like at your side when you’re trying something new.  The soup came out ideally creamy and thicker than most soups I’ve had.


And just like irony whose poignancy lingers, the ginger is strong, with a bite still felt after you swallow.  It’s full of healthy things, low in calories, so it won’t boost your energy all that much, and low in fat so you won’t end up regretting the experience.


In this house, where we like to share things, the batch will probably serve more than four.


To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I am not so good at evangelism.  In my imagination I have the boldness and the things to say.  But people never act their part prescribed by my imagination.  And “people” includes me.  So when at work yesterday I set down my book and almost heard God putting words into my head to open my mouth and say to the girl sitting there, I was quite surprised. 
Talking to strangers is never so difficult after I’ve opened my mouth at first.  She was wearing a head-covering, the kind girls wear in the Middle East.  And I suppose that is where her family is from.  She probably grew up in the United States.  Right now she is in community college, having earned her diploma in a public high school.  It is possible she knows the mainstream American culture better than I do.  But she has a little bit of that cultural slant that comes from being Muslim.  Whether she approves or disapproves, she is accustomed to their mindset. 
I told her that I had been reading about the story of Cain and Abel, and did she know it?  Muslims share some stories with Christians, so I was curious what she may have heard about it.  Actually she encountered the story in public school, when they read East of Eden and studied its influences.  She said that her class decided Cain was a pragmatist, and even though he may have been marked, was more likely to survive in the world, to do what worked for him.  The world, they agreed, was more like Cain.  He would expect what he found there, and know how to thrive.  Abel, he is the kind of guy who tells everyone what they should do, and God likes a man who wants to do what is right.  But people don’t like prophets, so he would probably be shot. 
And while most of my new friend’s high school class though that was sad, she said it made her laugh.  I think she was appreciating the irony. 
But I asked her why God would let the world be that way, where those people who please Him are more likely to get shot.  “I don’t know; I guess god knows what he’s thinking,” she said. 
That was the end of our conversation.  I don’t know what God was thinking having me bring up Cain and Abel with her, but I trust Him.  No objections. 
This morning I went searching for a quote by the Catholic, GK Chesterton.  And on one of the sites the sidebar advertisement was for a Muslim matrimonial website.  With the veil surrounding the face it is hard to tell, but the smiling woman on their ad looked a lot like my friend.  What do you make of that? 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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