Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cabin Fever

I dreamed that Tom and I were in Alabama, standing outside of a rustic looking cabin that was perched on a mossy rock outcropping right next to a big waterfall. It was beautiful. At first we were on vacation, but then it turned into some kind of Hunger Games scenario…we were inside the cabin, and our dog was with us. Tom was going to have to leave the cabin to go somewhere but there was something bad and deadly happening in the woods around the cabin (which now looked exactly like our house on the inside). I was going to stay in the cabin with our dog but I might not be safe from whatever the bad was outside, so we nailed old wooden pallets over all the windows and doors and tried to make the cabin look as empty as possible. I was instructed not to build a fire because we didn’t want anyone to see smoke rising from the chimney. Inside, it was dark and cozy. Tom left, and I was alone with our dog, just waiting for this bad thing to come and try to get me. If it did come, I was supposed to go to the top of the upstairs and climb up through a little trap door into the attic space and hide there, presumeably with the dog.

This dream pairs well with the following meal:
Especially in the event of Hunger Games-type scenarios or anything that happens where you can’t leave your house, it’s a good idea to have a wide selection of dry goods in your pantry, like lentils, beans, rice and other grains. Plus these items are all usually super cheap, even when you buy the organic options because 5 pounds of organic black beans will last a long time. Go to the bulk section of your local co-op or grocery store (hopefully they have one!) and go crazy. Just buy a five pound bag of one type of bean you’d like to try, and one type of grain you’d like to try. You can make soup or stew with just beans, a grain, and water, but you can add any vegetable, broth or meat if you have it on hand. In this case, just because I am thinking of it, let’s say lentil soup with carrots and brown rice. Close all the doors and windows in your house or apartment, draw the curtains or pull down the shades, light some candles or a kerosene lamp if you’re lucky enough to have one, and make this soup.

You’ll need 2 cups of lentils (dry), 1 cup of rice (dry) and as much carrot as you want. You’ll need to pre-cook the rice (put the cup of rice in a pot with a tight fitting lid and add 2 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40-50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.) Meanwhile, put the lentils and enough water to cover them by about 2 or 3 inches in a soup pot, bring to a boil and simmer. Throw the carrot in at some point, and simmer until the lentils are soft. Serve the soup over the rice or throw it right in the pot.

Eat it curled up in a quilt on the floor in the middle of your living room with your dog (or other pet) by your side, listening carefully to the sounds outside in case The Bad Thing might be nearby. Extinguish all lights if you hear a rustling. Bon apetit!

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