April 24, 2018

Food and weather

Simple split soup based on this recipe from Bittersweet Blog. Perfect for a chilly day.

 Last Monday when I walked to yoga it was 42˚, raining and windy. Although hardly anyone in Seattle deigns to carry an umbrella, I brought one along because I didn't feel like doing yoga in wet clothes. I was thinking about a dog walk recently where my pants were soaked from the knees down, and a repeat was unappealing. I brought an umbrella because, seriously, I'm way beyond the need to look 'Seattle cool.' This sucks, I was thinking as my umbrella blew inside out, and I struggled to get it righted again. Bleh. I didn't want to arrive at yoga in a bad mood, so I began looking for positive notes and cheerful signs along the way.

My 'winter' smoothie. Perfect when it's chilly. Recipe follows.
Sign number one. I passed an elementary school where the kids were at recess, running around the yard shrieking and laughing as if it were just a normal day. Wow, I thought to myself, it is a normal day as far as they are concerned. They're from Seattle, what do they know. They were all so happy it couldn't help but shine a little (not-sun) light on me.

Sign number two. An actual light. The yoga class meets in the community center located at the lake, across the walking path from the beach. At the last intersection where I cross the roadway that circles the lake, and enter the path, there's a walk signal operated by pressing a button. Within two seconds of hitting the switch, the traffic light turns red and the walk signal turns on — instant gratification. Press the button, stop the traffic, walk across the street. I love it! I press it even when there isn't any traffic, just in case. It's the little things, right?

Harira with eggplant and chickpeas from Isa Does It. Recipe here. Perfect when
big flavor is desired. You can read my soup review here.
Sign number three. The first view of the lake always gives me a little thrill. Depending on the weather, and time of day, the water has a different look — always unique and beautiful. Last Monday it was deep blue-grey and glowing, in spite of the gloom.

Miso cauliflower gravy from Chow Vegan. With air-fried tofu, steamed broccoli
and something else over rice.

Sign number four. It's a short walk to class once I hit the lake walking trail, and when I arrived on Monday, I was startled to see a woman in a bathing suit heading from the beach into the lake. She went into the water at least up to her waist before I left to enter the building, and was shrieking and laughing. I watched for a few minutes to make sure she was okay, but saw she had a friend (dressed appropriately in a warm coat) watching from the beach, so I figured she was fine, having fun, and not trying to commit suicide.

This Monday, one week later, the walk was completely different. It was in the low 50s when I left my house, the sun was shining, and the day promised to be gorgeous. There was a chilly breeze but that didn't stop the locals from wearing shorts and tees. By the time I walked home it was in the upper 60s, and so warm I took off my coat— finally! Today it's in the 70s, and although the locals are in tank tops, I'm still sporting my long-sleeved tee.  And, in spite of the fabulous warmer weather, I was craving my winter smoothie this morning.

Back in February, I started occasionally making a breakfast smoothie that I could sip for breakfast during the colder months without making my teeth chatter. I've even made it for the grandkids, who now request it. It's so simple I feel silly sharing a recipe, but in fact, I measured and wrote a recipe — and now I can't find it. It doesn't matter, though. When I made it this morning I didn't have a recipe, but it still turned out creamy, comforting, warming and soothing, so let's just say the recipe is flexible. The key is no frozen fruit — the opposite of a traditional smoothie.

Winter (or spring!) smoothie
  • one medium-to-large ripe banana
  • two medjool dates, pitted
  • three fresh strawberries (optional but good, esp. in spring)
  • 1/2 cup plain soymilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • two tablespoons hempseeds
  • one tablespoon chia seed (optional)

Place all in a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth. If it's too thick for you, add more soymilk, one tablespoon at a time, but it's meant to be thick and creamy. The result will be slightly warm and delicious. Serves one adult.


  1. That is the single reason I can't consider moving to Seattle. I was wholly charmed by the city, but as a person who's deeply, terribly affected by weather, I would be clinically depressed in no time. All that rain does result in some seriously lush, gorgeous greenery though... Hang in there, it's got to clear up soon! Summer is on the way, ready or not.

    Happy to see you're keeping warm with my soup, by the way. :)

    1. It's been beautiful and sunny here since last weekend. Today was 78˚ and tomorrow will be 80˚! It should last until this coming weekend, when we'll likely see some rain. I'm used to it and it barely bothers me (it did when I first moved here) unless the glum weather lingers too long into spring. I think this year the weather nearly everywhere has been grim. At least it isn't snowing! By September or October, I'll be wishing for rain. :)

  2. Seattle and London sound like they might have been having a bit in common these last couple of days. Your optimism is infectious - I shall be looking at my walk to work with some fresh eyes! I could to with a smoothie now too!

    1. This past week has been sunny and warm — with one day reaching 80˚F! Yesterday I quickly planted a few things because I knew rain was coming today. It looks like though the temps will be cooler again, the rain won't stick around. I hope your weather has given you some warmth and sunshine, too!

  3. Glad to hear all the signs added up to a better mood for you. :-) seeing that you tried out my miso cauliflower gravy certainly brighten up my day. Now to make a warm smoothie. :-D

    1. The weather has been much better lately, at least some days. :)

  4. This smoothie sounds so cozy! I have a warm smoothie on my blog, but it's veggie-based. I love that yours is still sweet, like a comforting warm dessert of a drink.

    1. ‘Cozy’ is the exact right word for it. It’s the feeling I’m seeking whenever I make the smoothie, regardless off the weather. It’s my cozy, comfort smoothie.


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