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Hi, my name is Candy Onion. Today I met Karen at a Webster Groves Farmer’s Market. Karen saw I was two dollars and took me home. My Farm Dad told her I was a Candy Onion which means I am sweet and good to eat raw and if she sautes me I will caramelize beautifully. Look at me. I super cute. Look at my hairs. They are braided. Karen and I are best friends. ‪#‎CandyOnionBesties‬ ‪#‎ILoveKaren‬ ‪#‎EatMe‬ ‪#‎SoBeautiful‬ ‪#‎BraidedOnionHairs‬ ‪#‎FarmDad‬ ‪#‎TwoDollaLyfe‬

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“What do you do for self-care?” she asked, in her perfectly coiffed bun, perched upon her head, every hair in place, gleaming with the tears of procrastinators and less beautiful people. Her legs were daintily crossed, her manicured hands poised above her papers, waiting for my response.

Slouching in my chair, I chuckled nervously, trying to think of one piece of evidence that made me the type of person who did yoga outdoors, meditated for hours with a singing bowl, and slept before 10pm. “I’m just thinking of everything that I have to do,” I blurt, failing to answer the question, suddenly aware of how non-unique my response was.

“Do you do anything for fun?” she asked. I scanned the walls, looking for a non-existent clue, remembering the times when I had a boss who asked every Monday, “What did you do over the weekend?” I was doing it again, scouring my mind for just appropriate enough levels of revelry, as if I had options to choose from. What was an answer that would make me sound fun, but not too irresponsible? Wait, am I allowed to lie? No, I’m not a lying person. But I could be, if that meant that I would become a fun person.

“Well, I know if something is difficult, I will ask a friend to go out to eat. Sometimes, I eat pastries!” I answer. Relieved, her painted eyebrows danced, her eyes sparkling. She brought the pen back down, a sparrow pecking her paper, scribbling (I imagine), “Eats her feelings!”

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Created two lazy recipes today.

Stoplight Salad

A medley of crunchy bell peppers and chickpeas in a crunchy, spicy, creamy sauce. Good for potlucks or a quick and filling snack.

1. Dice red, yellow, and green bell peppers.

2. Drain can of chickpeas and rinse with water.

3. Combine peppers and chickpeas.

4. Drizzle olive oil, Italian dressing, Tapatio sauce, and mayo to taste.

5. Season with freshly ground pepper, curry powder, sea salt, and a small amount of sugar to taste.

6. Toss. Serve.

Zucchini Chicken Rice Porridge

A comforting meal that is warm and gentle on the stomach. I would imagine that it is good for introducing children to solid food, and could be used as baby food if pureed.

1. Thaw one piece of boneless chicken thigh meat.

2. Rinse basmati rice, dried peas, and dried navy beans. Pick out irregularities. The ratio should be 2:1:2 of rice to peas to beans.

3. Slice zucchini into coins, and then in halves.

4. Put ingredients into rice cooker.

5. Add water to cover ingredients. The water should be twice as high as the ingredients. Season with garlic powder and dashi (Japanese soup stock – my flavor was mushroom and seaweed, which gives it a savory, umami taste).

6. Switch rice cooker on.

7. When rice, beans, and peas have become soft and are cooking into a porridge, add small dried shrimp (these will add flavor and saltiness).

8. When everything has become a porridge, stir, and press wooden spatula into chicken meat to ensure that it is done– you will know it is done when the meat comes apart easily in strings. Stir to combine. The zucchini should have been incorporated into all of the porridge, and its original shapes should be gone. Add salt to taste.

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It’s cold, drink broth.

Apparently drinking broth by itself is now a thing in Southern California, which also means that people are also piping up about how it’s been a thing for centuries in numerous other cultures.

Being a Californian in the Midwest, I’m only barely attuned to such trends by way of food bloggers. But I just drank a bowl of the best chicken broth I’ve had in a while and felt super proud of myself for making it. Not all of the ingredients are from scratch, but it was a lovely, savory, nourishing flavor profile. This recipe was just what I had on hand, so feel free to substitute. And it was also cooked how I felt like cooking it (least effort), so feel free to change.

Ingredients:

-mushroom dashi (Japanese soup stock) – one packet

-4 cloves crushed garlic

-dried seaweed, garlic, tofu, green onion mix – one packet (from miso soup)

-two chicken thighs, defrosted

What to do:

1. Put everything in a rice cooker. Mine is a ginormous one, not that it should really matter. This is not an exact science.

2. Pour water over chicken until it is an inch over the chicken.

3. Steam.

4. Check at intervals, making sure you don’t run out of water. When the water level is under the chicken, or when the chicken is almost done, or when you’re back from a meeting, take a fork and knife to cut the chicken to the bone to see if there is any redness.

5. There is redness. Out of immense fear of salmonella and desire for more broth, add a ton of water. More. No, more. And close the lid and let the rice cooker keep doing its thing.

6. Check the chicken. No more red!

7. Add salt to taste. Don’t burn yourself. Blow on the spoon before you put it in your mouth. Blow on it more. You are the big bad wolf. There you go. Hot! Did you burn yourself? You were too eager. It’s all your fault. Now your tongue will be fuzzy feeling.

8. Drink up.

9. Mix soy sauce with sesame oil and maybe chopped garlic and dip your chicken in it, and pair with whatever you feel like. Not chocolate. That’s just wrong.

The broth is a beautiful golden color. Feel proud of yourself. You made something beautiful.