A Cathartic Soup for a Cathartic Day

As excited as I am to announce the winner of my very first giveaway, I have to preface it by saying I chose a pretty bad day for the contest to end. Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and I don’t feel 100% right about getting all congratulatory and celebratory on such a solemn day. So, know that I am excited that there is a winner to announce, and I’m very happy to be able to give out this truly wonderful software – I just may not have all of the capital letters and exclamation points to show it.

Without further ado, I would like to congratulate…(drumroll please…) Mollie, our winner! Mollie said:

“I liked the "Snow in Love Quick Page" it was really pretty and it is getting closer to the winter season. I would use the software to add to my scrapbooks. Since I have never tried digital scrap booking it should be fun to experiment with :)”

She was actually the one and only person to enter, which just goes to show that sometimes it can be worth it to get out there and take a stab at something.  You never know what will happen! I do wish that there had been a greater turn out, but I’m thrilled that someone will be able to try out and take advantage of the My Memories software, as I was so fortunate to do.

I’d also like to remind everyone that even if you didn’t win, you can still get a discount on the software ($10 off, plus a $10 credit at the My Memories online store) – all you need to do is enter in the following promotional code when you go to check out: STMMMS25846. Easy as pie! L suggested that perhaps more people didn’t enter because scrapbooking is not intuitively food related, but if that’s your hesitation I urge you to get the software, anyway. I created a really wonderful project on food memories from this summer, and have every intention of creating my very own cookbook as I continue to create original recipes. The sky really is the limit with what you can do with this program.

Now. About this Yom Kippur thing. Over the past few years, I have struggled to find a way of observing many Jewish holidays that fits with my own, decidedly liberal set of beliefs when it comes to religion. I won’t go into all of that, but suffice it to say, I wasn’t entirely sure whether I was fasting on Yom Kippur because it truly meant something to me, or if I was just depriving myself of food and drink for 24 hours out of routine and habit. It just so happened that as Yom Kippur approached this year, I was struggling with my weight a little bit. I had unexpectedly dropped a fair number of pounds, and was in the process of trying to figure out if it was going to stabilize on its own, or if it was really something I should be worried about. It made me rethink the idea of going 24 hours without eating – would that really be a good thing for me? Should I put my health in jeopardy over an observance that I wasn’t even confident I agreed with anymore?

When I mentioned it to my roommate, she suggested eating, but not indulging. I took that idea and mulled it over, and it transformed into this novel way of approaching the Day of Atonement. To me, the point of this day is to look within myself and pinpoint the areas in my life, especially my relationships with others as well as myself, that could be improved upon. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, I think this is a healthy practice to do every so often. On this day each year, I take an introspective look at my decisions and actions, and ask myself how I can be a better person in the year to come. This day necessitates a freedom from distractions, and eating modestly and choosing plain, unassuming foods seemed to complement this idea perfectly. I would eat simply, keeping my love for robust flavors and colors at bay – I would eat for sustenance and health, but not for delight.

I woke up this morning and had a cup of plain greek yogurt, which held me over through services. When I got home, I had a wheat puff and a plain egg white omelet – no salt, no pepper, not even a drizzle of oil to grease the pan (cooking spray came in handy today). I’m not carrying my usual 30oz. water bottle around with me, but I am drinking sparingly to prevent any serious dehydration or discomfort. Yes, the calorie count is low so far. I’m thinking that a handful of plain, unsalted almonds is in my near future. But I feel good about my decision. Neither hunger nor gluttony is getting in the way of my ability to observe this solemn day. I think I’ll make this a new, personal tradition – a new way of interpreting a religion that will always be a part of my life, even if that role has been continually changing since that first day of Hebrew school all those years ago.

I do want to leave you with a recipe. In keeping with the notions of modesty, simple health, and atonement, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you a “Detox” soup that I tried the other month. It’s a cold broccoli stalk soup, full of kale and other quintessentially “cleansing” vegetables. In the end, I couldn’t eat it cold – I’m just not a cold soup kind of girl – but thoroughly enjoyed it warmed up. I even stirred some leftovers into an omelet later that week, which was excellent, too. I paired it with a decidedly un-modest (but totally delicious!) parmesan biscuit, so I think I’m going to merely link you over to Dinner with Julie, where I got the recipe for that. But the soup…the soup was refreshing, everything I would imagine a detox soup should be. I might consider adding more herbs in the future, as well as making it either broth- or milk-based rather than stirring in the yogurt at the end. 

One Year Ago: Israeli Spice Chicken

Broccoli Stalks Cold (or Warm) Soup, courtesy of Health Nut
Yield: 2-4 servings1

The Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small broccoli stalk, sliced
1 cup kale (or other leafy green)
2 cups combination of broccoli florets, cauliflower, and carrots (or other vegetables of your choice)
½ medium onion, chopped
fresh thyme
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon freshly minced ginger
¼ cup greek yogurt, whipped

The Method
Place the oil and onions in a sauté pan over medium heat and allow to sizzle for about one minute. Next, add the rest of the vegetables (including the broccoli stalks) and ginger. Cover the pan and cook until all of the vegetables have begun to become tender, 5-6 minutes. Season with pepper, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree with 1 cup water and the thyme leaves until smooth. If serving warm, swirl with whipped yogurt and serve; if serving cold, chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before adding the yogurt and serving.

1I halved it, and still ate it in more than one sitting, which is why I’ve given the range – the original indicates that it’s meant for just two people, though.


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment