It has been about three and a half months since I moved. It’s fun to look around our apartment and see how far we’ve come. We actually have some furniture and it’s looking more like our apartment than the shabby place we started with. We drove out here in two cars, small cars. I pretty much brought my dog, my clothes and some pots and pans. This weekend was a landmark. We purchased a mattress! No more air mattress, hallelujah!
This was the largest purchase I’ve ever made and I wanted it to be just the right mattress for us. I care deeply for the world around me and I searched all my local mattress stores for an eco friendly option. The most eco friendly mattresses I found were way out of my price range and as much as I love the feel of a Tempur Pedic they are expensive and pretty toxic. So I went with something in between, it’s made with natural latex and all the wood in the box spring is from a sustainable source. No springs! After trying out a Tempur Pedic and sleeping on an air mattress for so long, every traditional mattress I tried was so uncomfortable, I felt every spring. So all in all I’m happy. The negotiating was brutal but I think both parties got what they wanted.
Before I bought the mattress we were doing well with our budget. We even got cable this past month. But with such a large purchase I feel like we’re back at square one with the money. So in honor of being poor, ha ha, I am going to make dinner out of things I find in my pantry and in my fridge. And so I present to you:
Lost Coast Asparagus Risotto
1 T Butter
Half an onion chopped
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup Lost Coast Tangerine Beer or your local brew
3 cups vegetable stock
Half a bunch of asparagus cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup grated cheese, I used cheddar made locally (if you use parmesan I would cut down on the amount.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat stock to a simmer over medium-low heat in a sauce pan. Melt butter in a large risotto pan over medium heat. If you don’t have a risotto pan (I understand this is not a kitchen necessity for most people, I am not most people. I am a risotto loving freak.) use a pan with high rounded sides, a wok would work. After the butter has melted add the onion. Heat until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Next, add the rice and stir using a wooden spoon, spatula or spoonula, coating the rice with the butter. Add the beer and stir regularly until all beer is absorbed. You will know the liquid is completely absorbed when you run your spoon through the center of the pan and no liquid floods the line your spoon made. Add stock to rice about a cup at a time. Only add more stock when your previous cup is absorbed. When you have about a cup left to go of stock add the asparagus to the stock sauce pan and let it blanch while you are waiting for your previous cup to absorb. Once that happens pour the remaining stock and asparagus into the rice and continue as before. Stir until absorbed. Lastly stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy.
You can use this basic recipe with wine, champagne or beer. Play around with it. Add different veggies too.