When I found out I was moving to Okinawa, I told myself to embrace it. (Truly, it's the only thing that's really made this move work.) Embracing is NOT the same thing as accepting (clearly). Embracing, to me, meant wanting to learn/understand/do. So, that's exactly what I try to do here. Today, that meant doing - and I loved it. :0)
(Here I am at the local dive shop trying on new booties!)
Actual snorkel photos to come. (Our friend Kristle has a really neat underwater digital camera.)
I can't believe how beautiful coral really is in real life. Some were so vibrant they looked fake. The brain coral looked just like, well, you guessed it. And the coral that sways with the current? Beautiful.
And who did I spy among the coral? A baby sea turtle! It's the only thing I have ever really wanted out of snorkeling/scuba diving and it happened on my very first trip.
I can't live my life under the sea so it's back to the kitchen - for the time being at least. Here's a delicious recipe that comes from the November 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.
- 4 1/2 tbsp butter
- 6 C thinly sliced celery with leaves (preferably organic; about 12 stalks) plus chopped leaves (for garnish)
- 18 oz. unpeeled ripe Bartlett pears, cored, diced (generous 3 C) plus 1/2 C finely diced (for garnish) (*We used a can of diced pears since the commissary was out and it worked just fine.)
- 1 1/2 C chopped dark green leek tops
- 3 small Turkish bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 C (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat.
- Add sliced celery, generous 3 C diced pears, leek tops, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Cover; cook until celery softens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
- Toss in flour. Stir in 3 C broth; bring to boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until celery is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves from soup.
- Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth. (*I highly recommend using an immersion blender. I love our Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender.)
- Return puree to same pot.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired.
- Rewarm briefly.
- Divide soup among bowls; garnish with 1/2 C finely diced pear and celery leaves.
(If you're curious, yes - this soup does turn out to be a very light green!)