Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rainy Summer Days

I haven't really talked about my work situation yet, probably because it's hard to explain. See we're insanely close. My co-workers are not only my best friends, they are my little family. But I guess that would happen to anyone if you too had to sit inches next and across from one another, all sharing the same stainless steel tables for hours on end. We're talking 12-16 hours at a time. Once we worked all day and straight into the night and then got so lost into our work, time was forgotten in general. Imagine our shock to look up and see the big hand pointing to seven the next morning. So what did we do? Walk outside and watch the sun rise up, together - and then go back to work. We know each other so well; how we react, our goals, our projects, our obstacles, our lives. The inside jokes are countless, brewed up imaginary worlds created by highly creative minds stay trapped in that building, but the love that we share is what binds us together. That is why when the day is over, the last icing bucket is closed, and our spatulas put away, no one leaves until we are ready to walk five feet from the store door to the parking lot, together. The invisible rope still wrapped around us, we talk and hug, find out plans for the evening, and say good bye two or three times (its gone as far as six).

As usual, this day ended like most except for when we walked outside, the hot Texas summer air was thicker than normal and instead of the warm sun rays we crave after spending all day in a refrigerated building, the sky was dark with omniscient clouds. We looked to the north and saw a thing of beauty, rain falling in the distance. The natural breaking of the clouds and the sheet of rain made us stand in awe watching. But then, before you knew it, gusts of wind blew and the wall of rain came straight for us. It hit us hard, the unexpected suddenness and intensity taking our breath away. In second we were drenched. I ran for my car, determined not to get even more wet, but the boys pulled me back, and just like kids we played in the rain. Finally I gave my last hugs soaking as if I had taken a shower and escaped to my car. Once home one of my boys called me to make sure I made it back okay, because they're amazing like that. And in the end I got exactly what I needed, a big bowl of soup to take the chill out of the summer rain.

When I first got into cooking, it didn't take long for me to discover the most wonderful recipe website out there, I love it because it's so well organized and most recipes come from home cooks (like me!) who get reviewed and most of the time come with pictures. And it even gives all the nutritional value, such a bonus feature. This recipe is cheap, easy, fast, plus amazingly healthy so I had to try it but like I said, I wanted soup so I added more broth. This is the original recipe but if you do it like this, just might get liquidly pasta? I'd recommend adding more vegetable broth, making a soup, and calling it a day.

Spinach and Black Bean Pasta (soup)

1 (16 oz.) package whole wheat rotini pasta
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (more for soup)
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup diced tomatoes
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Reduce heat, and mix in spinach, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir in the black beans and broccoli. Continue to cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir the tomatoes into the saucepan, and continue cooking 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Serve over the cooked pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

C McC said...

Dear Jules,
I can taste the soup now and smell the rain!
Love you Aunt CArol