Today I heard from the recruitment coordinator that I have passed the first culling stage of applicants for the job I applied for a few weeks ago. I also heard today that I have to complete my interview either today or tomorrow – considering I have to travel into the city for it, I opted for tomorrow … a bit crappy that they give an entire 24 hours notice, me thinks. Oh well, tonight I’ve decided to fine-tune my understanding of the word “procrastination” and trying not to think about it, because I know when I do I’m going to get myself into a tangled stressed little knot and stuff up the interview tomorrow … the best interview I’ve ever done is one I went totally unprepared for and did everything off the cuff. Not that I’ll be quite that bad tomorrow, but I’m seriously not going to do much prep whatsoever – I’d like the job, but I’m quite happy where I am on the whole, so I’m not stressing out if I don’t get it (and actually doubt that I will get it – perhaps another reason I’m not tying myself into knots!). I guess one thing is that if they’re in a rush to complete all the interviews this week, that perhaps we’ll be put out of our miseries quickly too and get the results promptly … one thing I do know, though is … “que sera sera … whatever will be will be …” 😀
In the meantime I’ve been chasing away the wintry weather blues with a nice big pot of home-made Minestrone Soup … especially warming and inviting with 1 1/2 cups of red wine poured into it haha. It is truly very rich, and truly very delicious, and a recipe I ended up having to copy for Mum ‘cos she loved it so much when she was here … I have to admit with all the cold weather we’ve been having this week it was perfect to come home to a pan of soup that just needed heating through, and will continue to keep me happy for the rest of the week! 😀
If anyone’s interested, here’s the recipe – along with a piccie of tonight’s dinner bowl:
1 cup dried kidney beans (I actually use tinned kidney beans instead)
3 rashers bacon (I sometimes omit totally and use a bit of olive oil instead – and sometimes I chop the bacon up and add to the soup after it’s cooked)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
7 cups beef stock
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, scraped and diced
½ cup courgettes, sliced
½ cup celery, chopped (including some of the leaves)
1 tablespoon dried basil
4 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded (this batch I cheated for the first time and used a tin of crushed tomatoes)
1 cup shredded cabbage
1½ cups red or white wine
½ cup macaroni or star pasta
salt and pepper
grated lemon rind
grated parmesan cheese
Soak the dried kidney beans in 2 cups water overnight. In a large saucepan fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the cracklings and reserve them (this is actually in the recipe, but nowhere in the recipe does it state what to do with them after they’ve been reserved … in fact it doesn’t say what to do with ANY of the bacon, so sometimes I plop them into a sandwich to make an old-fashioned British “Bacon Sarnie” and at other times I chop it up and leave it in the soup for some added goodness). In the fat remaining in the saucepan gently fry the onions, coarsely chopped, until they are golden. Add the beef stock to the onions, add the soaked and drained beans together with the crushed cloves of garlic. Simmer beans gently for about an hour or until cooked (or obviously less if you’re using tinned kidney beans).
In another saucepan heat the olive oil and add the potatoes, peeled and diced, the carrots, scraped and diced, the courgettes, sliced, the celery including some of the leaves, chopped, and the dried basil. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes, stir in the tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and the shredded cabbage. Mix well.
Add the vegetables to the beans and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the wine and the macaroni or star-shaped pasta and cook a further 15 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle it with a mixture of grated lemon rind and chopped parsley. Serve with grated parmesan cheese (truthfully I never bother with the lemon rind, parsley or parmesan cheese, as it’s rich enough without it).