Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Ultimate Soup Swap Experience

Picture your cozy home furnished with fireplace on a chilly winter's day, a page-turner of a book in hand and a steaming aromatic bowl of soup set down next you. Now picture a day when you can make soup and bring it to a friend's house in individual quarts to swap for 6 different flavors. It's an adventure every time you try a new soup from the swap and almost as exciting as the engaging story you might be reading while trying a spoon full.

Our good friend Knox ( created a cultural revolution known as soup swap. He officially established January 23 is "national soup swap day" a few years later and we understand that 70 others around the world participated along with us to celebrate the idea of sharing soup stories before swapping 6 quarts of soup.

And it's not just good company and good soup, it's competitive. There are prizes for "first soup picked" and "last soup picked". Our host Carrie created a "most innovative soup" category as well.

This year the "most innovative" prize winner brought the first dessert soup beautifully packaged with three chocolate dipped biscotti. So of course, we all went for the chocolate soup (but only 6 out of 10 actually got the soup). This close to Valentine's Day it was an obvious choice. Now all we have to do is store it properly (we are told we can even freeze it) and hope the experience is as decadent as it looks.

Vive le chocolat!

For more information on soup swap:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Neighborhood Restaurant - Tutta Bella

There is nothing like the friendly neighborhood outing, giving us a feeling of 'small town' within a city. Tonight was girls night for four tired career women (minus one who had to cancel an hour before our reunion to go back into the office, thereby forgoing the wine and whine) when we rendezvous one Thursday a month. Usually Glenna chooses the fare but we try to rotate with different ideas about what and where. Glenna chose the location before canceling. The evening started out with excellent service. The waiter was absolutely enthusiastic resulting in adorable. He reminded me of the small gregarious restaurant owner who loved food so much and indulged in his ability to welcome you into his "home". As if that wasn't enough to start out a perfect evening, I recognized Eric, whom Liz informed me is their restaurant manager. Now we were really treated like queens. It is the ultimate "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" experience when you are greeted with a hug and know you'll get special treatment even if you're not a regular. Tiramsu magically appeared on our table with three spoons, and when it came time for the bill, it was apparent that Eric was looking after us in that department as well. Two words: tip big. So we did. Thank you friends at Tutta Bella!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Farnito Carpineto Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

One word for that wine, PERFECTTO. I don't speak Italian, but I'm fluent in good taste when it comes to drinking or eating Italian. So, we had friends for dinner and I went downstairs in our musty old basement which feels more like a crammed cave - not the French 'cave' [kah've] that is a wine cellar, but the American cave which is like a black hole (you could seriously get lost we have so much junk). I grabbed a nice bottle from our private stash, a crate of wines we for some reason or another stored in a corner collecting dust, looked Farnito Carpineto 1994 on the internet and read that it's blah blah, incredibly smooth, blah blah and about a $50 bottle available from a private distributor. Good enough reason to open among friends and share a wonderful experience. It was also a relief given the numerous 1995 Barolo's we've tried from the half case I purchased around 2001 and each time, felt disappointment. We clearly are not connoisseurs at storing wine or understanding what is important to drink now or at a certain date. But tonight was finally victorioso. I'm a little tipsy now. And after making a rich gateau au chocolat a la Arnaud Besson, I'm ready for a good cup of tea to help digest. A santé!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Figuring it out

Even though I'm in the type of business that consults on web sites, I'm still trying to figure this blogging stuff out. Other than facebook, like every other overwhelmed mom, spouse and career woman, I just don't care enough to devote my "off" time on a project that requires work.

But something has shifted. Maybe it's the new realization that I like to write. Whether or not I am any good is another subject. I won't ask you to judge because I don't want to hear your thoughts before I can really get this down! Practice makes perfect.

So, I read somewhere that burn-out at work is caused by doing something that you don't feel passionate about. Well, it said a lot more than that. But I realized that maybe it isn't so much work to start a blog. I'm passionate about reading. At night after our child is sound asleep, I read and read much to the dismay of my husband, when he feels like we could be doing other things. But I am nonetheless fanatical about it. And so, now it's this. I'm reading because I love words. I love the meaning of words. I love the poetry of words. But I'm driven to hone my voice and to help others find theirs.

She's taking a nap. So I can do this.