As the school year winds to close it is always useful to reflect back on what one experienced, accomplished, and did not accomplish in order to improve. I always try to take time to do this at the end of the year, as well as create my long term plan for the next year. This year I am lucky in two ways. The first is that I have an amazing co-worker to do this with. Whenever the two of us work together what we come up with is infinitely better that what I would develop on my own, and collaborating with this woman has helped me develop my teaching much, much more than I have in the past. The second way I am lucky is that I am moving – which means I had to pack my albums and scrapbooks today, which inevitably means reading through them. As I ready through my “teacher” scrapbook (a constantly evolving book of notes from students, colleagues, etc. – purely fun in nature) I was struck by how many positive comments I read about my teaching. Now, obviously I get very few complaints about my teaching in writing, and if I did I would not keep them in a scrap book. But after reading numerous notes that said “Thank you for listening to me” and “You were the calmest, nicest teacher ever” (a comment that never ceases to surprise me since no one else I know would describe me as “calm”) I have to stop and think – “hey, maybe I’m not such a bad teacher. Maybe I am teaching them something, and helping them in some ways too.” This, coupled with the kindness and “positivity” of my colleague has made this years reflection less about wallowing in what I did wrong, and has given me permission to take a look at what I did right – which is not only pragmatic, but quite uplifting as well.
This summer is going to be the summer of vegan cooking. Now I know every day is a day of vegan cooking in our house – we’re vegan and we cook. But we have just started getting our CSA boxes, and I am looking forward to having time to develop my own dishes and recipes based on which yummy produce we have available! In the past couple weeks I have been trying to make recipes that I haven’t tried before, and I have been inspired to try making my own as well. So, here is my first real recipe that can honestly say I created, not adapted. I was inspired by a description of asparagus soup from Vegan Table, but since I don’t have a copy of it yet, I had to go with what I thought it could be. This Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Potato Soup was delicious when I was sick last week, and I plan to make it again this week to use some of the gorgeous local asparagus we still have!
Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Potato Soup
1 bunch asparagus
4 yukon potatoes, cut into quarters, skin on
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
5 scallions chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp each of dried savory, dried tarragon
1) Wash the asparagus and put it on a foil lined baking sheet. Spray with some olive oil (or drizzle with 1TB olive oil) and put into a 475 oven for 25 minutes.
2) While the asparagus is roasting, bring the vegetable broth to a low boil. Put in the potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. They should be tender about the same time as when the asparagus is done.
3) While the asparagus and potatoes are cooking, saute the onions and scallions is 2 tsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Finally, add the herbs and stir for about 1 minute. Turn of the heat and cover.
4) when everything is done cooking, put it all in a blender. This is why I love our Vita-mix – it can take it! If you don’t have the fancy vita-mix, or another blender/food processor, feel free chop the asparagus, and then add everything to the potato pot and use an immersion blender. Blend it all and re-heat if necessary in the same pot you used for the potatoes. Then you are done!