Monday, July 19, 2010

Late Nights and Lentils

Last night, which was a Sunday no less, I drove an hour up to my place of business to have a teleconference with a person I'm training in India.  I was at the office from 9:15-midnight and didn't get home until 1am.  It's amazing all the things that are different when you don't follow your usual routine.

For example, it usually only takes about 45 minutes to get there and back on a normal day.  There's never much traffic, but the distance is far.  Last night however, I failed to take into consideration that they do all the roadwork construction at night.  Luckily for me, I missed it going in to work, but I was significantly slowed down coming home, despite the late hour.  I'm impressed by those construction workers laying pavement at 1 am.

Additionally, the on ramp to the highway up at my office was closed, which meant I had to drive on a frontage road for a bit before I could get back on.  Driving on a frontage road is scary because you never know what sort of creature is going to pop out and scare the crap out of you.  I saw a couple of little dark creatures (like the size of a gerbil) dart across the road and a raccoon who shrank back when my lights blared it in the eyes.  It definitely had me freaked about a potential deer encounter.

Once I got to the office, I found that the normal entrance I drive through was padlocked closed.  I was a little concerned, but I'm still good on time, so I try the second gate.  This one is closed too.  Now I'm starting to freak out, because if I can't get in I'm basically going to have to turn around and go home, waste a night, and have no way to easily let my counterpart in India know what happened until an hour after I miss the start of the meeting.

Luckily, the 3rd and final gate was open, so I flew inside and parked.  Work is a bit creepy at night.  Our campus is quite large and there's still the occasional car parked.  The lights are all dim, etc.  The work part wasn't very eventful, but it was cool to be able to work across with a guy who is sitting in India without all the crazy travel.

On nights like these, I don't want to slave over a meal.  This lentil soup is a good fit when you want a tasty, hearty meal, but without a lot of work.

Late Night Lentil Soup
- 2c lentils
- 8c veggie broth
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 ribs of celery chopped
- 1-2 medium potatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp molasses
- ground pepper to taste
- 1/2c frozen green peas
- 1c chopped greens (spinach in my case)

Put the lentils, broth, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potatoes, cumin, coriander, molasses, and pepper into a large pot and heat on medium.  Simmer for 50 minutes.  Add the frozen peas and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Once the veggies and lentils are tender add the greens and stir in.  Serve and enjoy!

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