Ligurian Vegetable Soup

Your Royko Recipe for February, 2018

Ligurian Vegetable Soup
This chunky, flavourful soup comes from Liguria, which is the area around Genoa.
Serves 6 to 8.

1 large coarsely chopped onion
2 large ribs coarsely chopped celery
2 medium peeled, coarsely chopped carrots

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. shredded Savoy cabbage

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 cup coarsely shredded romaine lettuce-or escarole 3 medium peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice potatoes
1 1/4 cup drained, coarsely chopped plum tomatoes

4 cup rich vegetable Stock-or use chicken stock
1 cup fresh, shelled peas-or use frozen peas
1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves minced garlic

8 to 10 slices toasted Italian bread
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, onion, celery and carrots in the olive oil over moderate heat until they are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add cabbage, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until cabbage is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in potatoes and tomatoes, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Increase heat to moderately high, add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Combine parsley and garlic and stir into soup. Cook for 5 minutes.

Ladle over a piece of toasted bread and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bye bye, South Pacific

Sydney, Australia

Danica is on the loooong flight home from Australia. It was 22+ hours, getting there. It could be more, getting back. Toronto is expecting two more snow storms this weekend. That could mess up the landing schedule.

Her first touchdown in Canada will be in Vancouver, for refuelling and customs clearance. That’s right, she gets off the plane with her luggage, goes through customs, then gets back on the same plane and flies on to Toronto.

[Update] Danica is home, safe and sound after minimal delays getting to the gate at snowy Pearson Airport in Toronto. She is surprisingly fresh and alert for someone who just spent 24 hours travelling.

Making the half house whole

I am surprised and pleased to see that an effort is being made to restore the shape of the old building, at least to the extent of completing the front peaked roof. The design looks pretty good, to me. The pair of semidetached homes will continue to fit the street.

Of course, the opportunity to add floor space was irresistible. The extra half-storey will add value and help pay some of the bills, which are probably major. What I don’t get is why the other side didn’t get the same treatment. It has been unoccupied for two years, so this would seem like the perfect time to do it.

Here’s a “before” shot.

If you missed earlier posts about the half house story, the removal was made necessary when a basement lowering operation went disastrously wrong.

Shen Yun politics

The promotions don’t tell you, but Shen Yun is not a PR initiative of the Chinese government (as I had assumed from the TV ads). Danica saw the show in Sydney and says it contains propaganda, alright, but not from the government, from Falun Gong, the religion.

You’ve probably been accosted on the street by Falun Gong believers, eager to let everybody know about persecution by the Chinese state. Although I don’t personally have any use for religion … heck, I don’t even like Star Wars … I don’t like religious persecution, either. So, rock and a hard place.

Danica provided this explainer link. The writer makes this point: “No matter how good the cause is, sneaking propaganda into a performance is a sure-fire way to leave the audience feeling tricked rather than moved.”

The whole story

I posted the funny part of Ian’s banking experience recently, but when he offered me some amusing but recycled jokes as blog content, I said I was holding out for original material.

The whole banking story, complete with amorous yearnings, arrived with permission to publish, granted as follows: “Anyhoo, Billy Boy, do what you wish with this.”

Last Sunday I was hungry. See?
by Ian McPhail

So I went into the bank of NS at the corner of Bingham and Kingston Road to get some dough out of the machine.

I got some dough alright, but the machine “ate”my bankbook.

So, after putting an “Out of order” sign on the machine, I returned the following day.

I explained to the teller what had happened. She, in turn, went to check the machine; returning to inform me that there was no chewed-up bankbook in either of the two machines.

Now I’m not casting aspersions on this girl, however, she seemed to be more interested on what was on her lap rather than helping me out. I’m sure it was an iPhone that held her attention.

Anyway, I thought, screw this. I thanked her, then headed for my home branch at Woodbine and Danforth. AND! I got the teller I’d been looking for!

You see, my major concern was this: On the first page of one’s bankbook is one’s account number, and let’s face it, there’s some pretty smart crooks out there.

Nancy, (a girl I’d love to date if I wasn’t as old as her grandfather) told me that there was no way anyone could access my bank account. No way, unless they had my password. (I was almost tempted to ask her, “If I give you my password would you go out with me?”)