The first thing I want to do when I'm traveling is to look for where food and home goods are sold. The everyday products people buy fascinate me. They're as important as the local history. Plus, I love food and home goods!
Years ago I spent hours in a gigantic grocery store in Provence, France. I was with my sister-in-law and our kids. As I went down the aisles exploring everything, nothing was off limits; I examined the stationery, the kitchen supplies, and all the packaged goods. I lingered even longer when I got to the fresh produce, the meat, the fish, the cheese, and especially all those desserts. I was in bliss.
A few days later, when we needed a few things from the store, I asked, "Does anyone want to come with me?" Their response, "Oh no, not the grocery store, not again!" I guess I'd overdone it, but they were all so polite, who knew?
At the farmers market the other day, I picked up a head of cauliflower and a fennel bulb, not because I knew what I was going to make with them, but because they were in season and beautiful.
I went through the notebook where I write my recipes and fun ideas I want to try. I found a note that said cauliflower, fennel, and Parmesan soup-try it! So I did.
It was really good! The addition of the Parmesan made it very interesting, I would definitely make it again.
Here is the recipe:
Cauliflower Fennel Parmesan Soup
Taste the soup to see if it needs flavor. Add bouillon cubes one at a time, checking the flavor after each.
You can also add more Pecorino Romano; it's up to you-you want a nice balance of flavors.
Only add salt and white pepper at the end if it needs it.
Pour hot soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve with extra cheese you can pass around.
* Adding cottage cheese instead of cream to blended soups is my mother's trick and it's a great one. The result is a light and creamy mixture that is delicious.
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Walking down the street in NYC, I notice a woman putting red lipstick on while looking at her reflection in her handheld mirror. She’s homeless, living out of the bags that encircle her. Oblivious to her surroundings, she holds the lipstick in her hand and, with determination, she starts moving it around and around her lips, causing the definition to disappear. After pausing to carefully check her image in her mirror, she continues applying the red color.
The motion feels eerily familiar. . . .