Jenny Rae Rappaport
I know, I know, I say that I'll come back... and I step away... and then, I come back again.

But really, for good, I'm here!  And based on the advice of my writing friend, Shane Halbach, I'm going to blog the modifications I make to recipes.

Why?

Because I cook a lot. Not as much as someone who might put dinner on the table seven days a week, but I think I do pretty well for having a two year old sous chef. =)

And I suppose I could make an entirely new blog, but I'm lazy.  Aren't we all?

Subsequent posts will have photos, I promise, but this current meal is now residing in a Rubbermaid container in the fridge.

Without further ado...

Kamut, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 cup kamut
2 cups boiling water
Good glug of olive oil (I refuse to measure olive oil in most recipes because it's simply easier to eyeball it.)
2 small onions
5 small carrots
1 bunch of parsley
4 ribs of celery, with leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. fines herbes
4 (14.5 oz) cans of beef broth
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup green lentils
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place kamut in a small bowl, and cover with the boiling water.  Let it soak for 30-60 minutes, then drain.  The original recipe calls for only 30 minutes of soaking time, which resulted in the kamut being "chewy". Ideally, kamut should be soaked overnight, according to my whole grains cookbook, but you can probably get away with 60 minutes yielding a better texture.
  2. Chop the onions, carrots, celery (including the leaves), and parsley into rough chunks. Place in the bowl of a food processor along with the two cloves of garlic. Pulse, until the vegetables are chopped finely, but still have some substance to them. You're not trying to make them into mush.  You may have to rearrange the contents with a spatula, in order to get everything evenly chopped.
  3. Put a good glug of oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven, add the vegetables, and saute over medium heat along with the fines herbes and the thyme. You basically want enough oil to lubricate the pan, but not to overwhelm the vegetables.  Since the mixture has garlic in it, I always, always start with cold oil, to avoid burning the garlic.  Saute the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes, until they've softened and are releasing good smells.  Salt, to taste.
  4. Add the kamut, the broth, and the bay leaves to the pot; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. If you've skimped on the soaking step here, you can probably increase the cooking time upwards of an hour, so that the kamut softens appropriately.  Taste, as you go along, for texture.  Add the lentils and a few grinds of black pepper; cook for another 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Add the chickpeas, and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Taste the soup for salt, and adjust accordingly.  Whether you attempt to find the bay leaves before you serve is entirely optional; just remember, they're not edible! 
Jenny Rae Rappaport
Lately, I want to blog about food. This is partially because I've been cooking a lot more--I like to cook, mind you--and partially because I've been experimenting a little more as I cook. I can usually get something on the table for dinner most nights, although Cora tends to delay stuff sometimes.

I'm a little behind on getting the photos for this and the next post or two off of my camera, but I figured, better late than never!

For St. Patrick's Day, I present the Country Rhubarb Cake.


I know, I know, it totally looks like a pie. But the recipe is from Darina Allen's Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why, and she calls it a Country Rhubarb Cake. It basically looks like a pie, but the inside... the inside is filled with ruby-red, glistening rhubarb.



And the cross-sectioning just shows how utterly delicious it is. The crust isn't a typical pie crust; it's more like a biscuit crust with a wee bit of shortbread, if anything. But it soaks up all of the delicious juices that the rhubarb releases, besides being tasty, so I really can't quibble about whether it's a pie or a cake or some sort of hybrid.

I followed the recipe pretty much as it was written with just one major change: I chopped the rhubarb up ahead of time, mixed it with the heaping cup of white sugar, then added some dark brown sugar into the filling, too. Then, I left it all to macerate, while I worked on the crust.

It goes beautifully with whipped cream.
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Jenny Rae Rappaport
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Jenny Rae Rappaport
So, I took a blog vacation.

A rather long vacation.

Something along the order of ten months and change or so....

I suspect that I don't have many readers anymore, but you never know. There may be a few of you lurking around in the darkness, peering over a corner, saying, "Jenny Rae Rappaport, what the hell ever happened to her?"

This did:


That's Cora Minami, who made her appearance on July 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm at 6 lbs, 14 oz via somewhat scheduled c-section. She has turned our lives upside down, literally and figuratively.

I'm sure that's something that all new parents say--in fact, it's probably been said in every language, in every civilization, since the dawn of time. But all of a sudden I got to be a mother--a MOTHER. A Mommy. I had my own baby. It was like all of the nine months of pregnancy pressed together and exploded, dovetailing with all of the longing of being a little girl who had played house and had baby dolls as long as she could remember.

Except Cora isn't a doll. She's a small living person with feelings and a tiny vocabulary ("hungry", "yeah", and "neh" for nursing). She laughs and giggles and drives me crazy sometimes with whining. She's creeping forward really well, and is THIS CLOSE to actually crawling. She's in love with Zoe, and desperately tries to express this love by happy, happy shrieks. Naturally, this scares Zoe, but there's not much we can do about it. Zoe loves her, too, of course.

But I'm babbling, which I suspect is something new parents do.

My point though, the thing I'm trying to say, is that I disappeared and I've returned, and I think I want to blog again. I even think I want to write again. So there will probably be more posts and more things to share; the character of the blog may change; I have a huge desire to post recipes and talk about my beloved little girl. To send things out into the ether, even if they never get read by more than a handful of people.

And in the meantime, bear with me about frequency, because this


is infinitely more important than anything else in the world. She'll be eight months old on Thursday. =)
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Jenny Rae Rappaport


This is not my baby--remember, my baby isn't set to arrive until July 25th! =)

But this is my cousin's son, Hunter, who arrived precisely on his due date of May 6th. Very punctual. =) Isn't he adorable???

Happy Mother's Day!

Jenny Rae Rappaport
What an auspicious topic for the 1000th post on LIT SOUP...

But really, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in THE HUNGER GAMES movie? Are you kidding me? May I quote from the ever-convenient Wikipedia about Katniss' physical description?

Katniss is described as "having long, black hair, usually in a braid, gray eyes, and olive skin". While this doesn't necessarily make her a person of color, it makes a pretty strong case for it. Especially considering this is the RACIAL MAKEUP of the MAJORITY of the people who live in the Seam, where Katniss is from.

And then we have Jennifer Lawrence.



Sure, she can dye her hair and get contacts. But there's no way in hell that she will ever be mistaken for having olive skin.

Ms. Lawrence may be a fine actress, but she looks nothing like Katniss Everdeen.

I am so disappointed in this casting choice. Way to screw up a beloved book-to-movie adaption from the very beginning. Consider this an open protest against the blatantly wrong casting.
Jenny Rae Rappaport
  1. That all of my friends in Japan that I've managed to get in contact with are safe. I should probably see if Shin is safe, but he lives in the central-central part of Tokyo, so I'm going to assume he is. (*Makes note to check*).
  2. That the baby has grown so much that my stomach is now getting kicked by a small human. It is a very bizarre feeling. =)
  3. That the baby furniture has arrived, been set up, and is almost intact; we're waiting on information about a replacement drawer support for a dresser--this is why I like to do major things early.
  4. That I now own THE LITTLE HOUSE COOKBOOK.
  5. That I have found a maternity bathing suit that is flattering, that fits, and doesn't seem to think that pregnant women should be wearing narrow little bikini bottoms.
  6. That my mom is coming over tomorrow to help me do laundry, since I can't lift things out of the machine and bend to get them in and out of the dryer.
And on that note, six things make a post. =) お休みなさい!