Despite the news that hamburgers are the new Hummers and I am Killing the Earth (don't I care?), I persist with my carnivorous ways. Oh, how can I be so cruel? To add insult to injury, I am going to vote in the primary election today for the state superintendent of schools or something like that and I intend to vote for the candidate who wants to expand the school choice program. SH says he is going to vote just to counter-act my vote. After all, the only people who should be able to send their kids to private schools are rich liberals who Support Public Education, kinda like B and Michelle and all those poor people in Manhattan who can't live on $500,000 a year because they pay $40,000 a year in private school tuition.
Anyhow. I feel like cooking. I am making Marta's Ropa Vieja and lentil barley soup. Note that the soup recipe is some kind of vegan nonsense. (By "nonsense," I mean all those people who abjure meat as a political act and expect everyone else To Care As Much As They Do, as opposed to those who for health or just can't stomach it reasons don't eat flesh. Harpo, please don't jump on me.)
The beginnings of the ropa vieja. Does this look fabulous or what? Don't worry, Marta. The celery is for the soup.
Anyhow, the soup recipe doesn't call for any meat, but I decided to be Chilean about it. As in, when I lived in Chile, I made vegetable soup one day and invited a Chilean friend to eat with me. She was very polite and ate her soup, but when she finished, she asked hesitantly, "Umm. There is no meat in this soup?"
"No," I answered. "It's vegetable soup."
"But there is no meat!" She was quite confused.
"Yes. Vegetable soup. No meat."
She dropped it, but I could tell that the idea of a soup without meat was surreal to her.
I decided Alejandra was right and soup should have meat in it, so I am altering this recipe just a wee bit and throwing in a few meaty beef bones. Meat makes things taste better, even baked ziti that already has a cup of cream and three cups of cheese in it.