Saturday, February 14, 2009

Braving a cold winter's night with soup + classy impromptu salad dressing #2

Last Christmas day my family and I trekked over to Lake Tahoe for our first time to experience snow (!!!!). My dad rented a cabin "that could comfortably fit 10-12 people" but in reality could've fit 20. Seriously, there are residential cabins out there that could house 20 people. Anyway all ten of us plus my three cousins made the trip at around 4pm on December 25 and arrived there at around 9:30. It was EXTREMELY cold but we enjoyed every moment of it, especially because we got to snowboard!

What we did NOT enjoy was our first night. So arriving at the driveway we had to shovel the snow off the garage door. Then we entered a 49 degree F / 9 degree C (if I can recall correctly) house, tired, hungry, cold, and cranky. The heater was broken. We literally could see the fog coming out of our mouths when we breathed. We had to wear our winter clothes inside the house.

My mom cooking in her parka. Nice.

While some of the boys tried to figure out the heater issue my mom and I decided to cook some dinner. We didn't have much supplies... To be frank I wasn't in the mood to open a can of beans and chop onions. Everyone was cold and the only thing that could've helped us was soup. We didn't have any soup supplies except for...

Excuse the ugliness and the extremely not vegan taxedermied snake in the background.
The snake came with the house.

Behold the V8 vegetable juice. We bought this because my American cousins don't eat enough vegetables (sorry guys, potatoes aren't really vegetables) and American restaurants don't serve 'em. During my stay in the US I drank this everyday so I could get a dose of veggies and vitamins. Anyway we ended up making fake soup: V8 juice gently simmered with Italian spices, chili pepper, salt and pepper. I think I may have added powdered garlic (too cold to peel and chop fresh). All the spices were found in the kitchen cupboard.

Too simple to make, it shouldn't even be blog-worthy. But it had a cold-winter's-night story so I thought I'd share. Moral of the story: always make sure you have V8 juice on you in case you're stranded in a freezing cabin.

We brought some Boy Bawang (extremely garlicky deep fried corn kernels) from home which made an excellent crouton-like topping. Yum with the ever dependable white rice.


The next night after a full day of snowboarding I had to make salad dressing. We were in the middle of winter and all my mom got for veggies were salad greens. With no dressing.

Something good always comes out of a salad dressing dilemma, I always say.

This time the only acid on hand was bottled orange juice and the sweetener, strawberry jam. Orange juice isn't as tart as kalamansi juice so we had to add a good dose of salt. It was a good "gourmet-tasting" dressing.

Strawberry Citrus Salad Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
1 heaping tablespoon of strawberry jam
1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Add the juice, jam, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together -- try to break up the clumps of strawberry with the whisk. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking the whole mixture together. Add salt and pepper to taste. If still too sweet, add more oil or splashes of water.

Me making the dressing with Pop, my oil pourer. I had to keep on wearing a beanie to hide my Medusa hat hair.

Hmmm I think this is my last Christmas entry! Finally. Now I can get on with more current stuff.

Bro #6 enjoying the sun and cool air on our way back to the Bay area.

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