Sunday, October 27, 2019

Cream of Wild Rice Soup in the Kitchen

"Soup's on!"  Or that's what Gordon's hoping.  Gordon e-mailed, "It's fall and winter's right around the corner.  This is soup weather.  I love soup but usually go with Campbell's chicken noodle or Campbell's tomato soup.  I'm hoping you might know an easy recipe for a soup.  I'm not opposed to using the blender but not really into or have the time for roasting vegetables to add to a soup or anything like that."

If you can use a blender, there is no end to the amount of soups you can make.

And soups can be quick dinners on a cold night that satisfy -- meals that don't take up hours of preparation.  If having soup as a meal, I'd recommend having a few things on hand.  Like?  A lot of people like crackers with their soup.  Many like to add cheese.  Myself, I like fresh ground pepper added to my soup.  And, of course, if you're having tomato soup, many of us like to eat it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Let me talk about that for a second because Cheryl e-mailed about that.  Grilled cheese is something that a lot of us grew up with -- with our parents making it in a skillet.  This isn't difficult to do but a lot of people aren't used to using skillets for sandwiches.

So here are two easy cheats.  If you have a George Foreman grill (big or small) or a grill similar, you can heat up the grill and put a cheese slice in between two pieces of bread and fix the grilled cheese on the grill.  Another easy cheat is to put two pieces of bread in a toaster.  After they pop up, put a slice of cheese between them, put this on a sandwich and microwave for about 30 seconds.

So here's a recipe for soup, Cream of Wild Rice Soup:


  1. 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  3. 1 cup diced carrot
  4. 1 cup diced celery
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  7. 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  8. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  9. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  10. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  11. 1 cup unsalted prepared white beans (or about 1/2 of a 15.5 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained)
  12. 2 cups 1 percent milk
  13. 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked


In a soup pot over medium heat, add canola oil and saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic until lightly brown. Stir in kale, parsley, stock and spices. Bring to a boil.
In a blender, puree beans with milk. Add bean mixture to soup, bring to simmer and add rice. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve in warmed bowls.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size: About 2 cups

  • Total carbohydrate 38 g
  • Dietary fiber 7 g
  • Sodium 180 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Total fat 4 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 6 mg
  • Protein 12 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 2 g
  • Calories 236
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Total sugars 12 g

On the topic of food, a fast food world without French fries?  Can you imagine it?  This is from NPR's Planet Monday:

SARAH GONZALEZ: Wow. It really smells like potatoes in here.

Lamb Weston's potato innovation headquarters in Richland, Wash., is a place with potatoes everywhere - like, flying in tubes above my head.

DEBORAH DIHEL: So we're walking under potatoes right now, walking under...

GONZALEZ: These pipes - these pipes are carrying potatoes?

DIHEL: Yes. They're full of potatoes, like a monorail from Disneyland.

GONZALEZ: Deb Dihel is a food scientist here. They fry potatoes and then freeze them and sell them to restaurants and fast-food chains and grocery stores all over the world. And when Deb Dihel first saw people getting french fries delivered to them about five years ago in China before U.S. fast-food companies were partnering with delivery apps, she couldn't believe it.

DIHEL: This immediately got me nervous because I know how french fries are, and I know a lot about how long they last. So my fear was if people received cold or soggy or limp fries after they ordered them through a delivery service, they wouldn't order french fries again.

GONZALEZ: Deb starts envisioning a world without french fries and decides to reinvent the fry to stay warm and crispy for 30 minutes, up to 45 minutes, to encompass any situation the french fry might find itself in. And it's not the first time it's been done. When the U.S. started eating at drive-throughs, they had a similar concern.

DIHEL: Almost 20, 25 years ago, Lamb Weston invented a coating called Stealth, which was our secret coating that you couldn't see and you couldn't tell was on the french fry. But it was crispier longer, up to 12 to 15 minutes.

GONZALEZ: Stealth french fries to survive the drive-through. Now Deb needs to survive delivery.

DIHEL: Water is the enemy for sure.

GONZALEZ: The water is in the middle of the fry. That's what makes it soft. But the water naturally migrates out, and that water is what makes the outside of the fry soggy.

So they are working to find a way to keep the fries crisp for deliveries.  I am a sucker for fries.  Chicken tenders and all the others have never really tempted me.  But I do love fries.  I would rank Burger King as the tops for fries, I'd say McDonald's is a close second and, at the bottom of the pile, Sonic and Arby's -- both are soggy (at least in my area).

What's food like in your area?  That's actually something that this CNN report may make you think of:

A desert climate with temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius poses severe challenges for farming.
As a result, the UAE imports around 90% of its food, which is expensive, inefficient, and environmentally damaging.
There is also a threat that as the effects of climate change bite around the world, harvests in traditional producer countries are becoming less reliable, which could threaten their ability to sustain exports that the Emirates rely on.
Pure Harvest intends to resolve these problems through the creation of climate-controlled greenhouses that offer optimal conditions for growing fruit and vegetables on a year-round basis.
The company, founded in 2016, has already established a one-hectare facility - the size of a soccer pitch - in the Abu Dhabi desert which produced its first crop of several varieties of tomatoes in November 2018.
The warehouse has since been producing around two tons of tomatoes a day, which are retailing for around $2 (8 dirhams) for 300 grams.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

Friday, October 25, 2019.  Protests resume in Iraq with at least 2 dead and over 200 injured, Joe Biden waffles again, and much more.

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr called over the weekend for participation in today's protests.  Many heeded the call.   How did the government respond?  ALJAZEERA reports:

Iraqi police fired live ammunition and volleys of tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of protesters in Baghdad on Friday as anti-government demonstrations resumed after a three-week hiatus.
At least one person was killed and more than 200 wounded.
Security forces were deployed on the streets of Iraq's capital city on Thursday night in anticipation. The protests are a continuation of the economically driven demonstrations that began in early October and turned deadly as security forces cracked down, even firing live rounds into crowds.

This after the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, declared on Tuesday, "Iraq has come a long way, it is essential not to further undermine its many achievements. A climate of intimidation and fear is unworthy of Iraq’s potential as an open and democratic society. The UNAMI report highlights shortcomings and measures to prevent them in the future."

The October 22nd, Human Rights Special Report that Hennis-Plasschaert was referring to is entitled [PDF format warning] "Demonstrations In Iraq."  From the report:

This special report, prepared by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), outlines preliminary findings and key human rights concerns regarding the demonstrations that occurred in Iraq from 1 to 9 October 2019. Violence during demonstrations caused at least 157 deaths and 5,494 injured people, including members of the Iraqi Security Forces.1 Factfinding conducted between 1 and 16 October indicates the occurrence of potentially serious violations of human rights.2
UNAMI received credible reports of violations of the right to life, including deliberate killings of unarmed protesters and excessive use of force by units deployed to manage the demonstrations. This report also highlights concerns regarding the widespread use of repressive measures to limit publicly available information on the demonstrations, including arbitrary arrests, threats and harassment, confiscation of equipment, deletion of footage, attacks against media outlets as well as blanket restrictions on the dissemination of information through shutting down internet and blocking social media.
The international and domestic legal framework applicable in Iraq guarantees the right to life, the right to liberty and security of persons as well as the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, requiring the Government not only to allow assemblies to take place but also to enable peaceful protest, with measures in place to protect demonstrators.
UNAMI urges the Government to take concrete steps to prevent human rights violations and abuses during future demonstrations, to ensure accountability and to facilitate an enabling environment for the general public to exercise its rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
UNAMI calls on all demonstrators to exercise their right to assembly in peaceful and non-violent ways, in keeping with the law.

With at least one dead today and over 200 injured, there's no evidence that the Iraqi government bothered to read the UN report, let alone act upon its suggestions.

"Almost 150" David Greene said on NPR's MORNING EDITION this morning.  Why?  The United Nations?  Generally considered a reputable body, an official body, whose figures are trusted.  So if the UN says 157 dead and 5495 injured in the previous protests this month, why does NPR think the United Nations is serving up fuzzy math?    Jane Arraf was reporting from Baghdad as the protesters began assembling.

Jane Arraf: The main one is centered on a bridge that leads to the Green Zone where the US and other embassies are and government ministries.   And that's [distortion in audio] police are focused on keeping protesters out of.  So they've been firing tear gas that's wafting all over -- including to the edge of the protests where we are.  Those booms you might be hearing in the background?  Those are sound bombs.  But it's not deterring the protesters because Friday prayers ended just recently  and there are thousands and thousands of people [arriving? coming?] in here.  They are waving Iraqi flags and shouting slogans, calling the government to fall.  I was just talking to a man in front of me.  He has leg he lost to fighting ISIS and I asked him what he wants?  And he said, "I want my country back."  And that's the feeling that a lot of these people [have], that they've gotten nothing that they've been promised.

In this report (different from above), Jane insisted that the government was not firing on people.  Really?

This man was shooting at protesters and law enforcement during the protest, he was captured during his attempt to flee the scene,it turned out he is a traffic patrol officer in the Iraqi ministry of interior!!!!!!

In addition, Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "Iraqi police fired live shots into the air as well as rubber bullets and dozens of tear gas canisters on Friday to disperse thousands of protesters on the streets of Baghdad, sending young demonstrators running for cover and enveloping a main bridge in the capital with thick white smoke. One protester was killed and dozens were injured in the first hours of the protest, security officials said."

The cost of freedom is always high, but Iraqis  have always paid it.  I’m sorry for the horrible video but this is the democracy USA brought to Iraq a protester been shot in head with tear gas canisters


The first one killed is said to have been hit with a tear canister.  The video above is supposed to be of that protester after he was hit.

In fairness to Jane, the use of "live shots" and "rubber bullets" may have taken place as more protesters assembled.  Her reports were both filed (the two for NPR above) as the protesters began assembling.  The bullets may have taken place after the assembling was complete and the protests were in full swing.  Yesterday, Jane Tweeted:


In where my hotel has received security orders banning from staying in rooms facing river or on high floors where you can see Tahrir Square protest unfolding. Transported to Saddam’s time when entire hotel wings were blocked so we couldn’t see things.

At least two people have died as protests intensified in Iraq, with security forces using tear gas to repel demonstrators from approaching government buildings Friday, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq has told CNN. The official added that at least 95 other people were suffering from the effects of exposure to tear gas."

AFP: 2 dead as Iraq anti-government protests resume

- Two dead as Iraq anti-government protests resume

NIQASH journalist Mustafa Habib reports:

Breaking: The senior cleric in Ali warns of chaos in that will open the door to foreign interventions lead the country to dangerous scenarios, he calls on protesters & security forces to be peaceful and not to fall into the trap of violence (1)

Sistani criticizes the results of investigation commission about  killing 150 demonstrator during early this month, and he said: "The report didn't show all the facts, An independent judiciary must be established to investigate" (2)

  • Sistani calls on protesters not to attack public buildings, private property & security forces,also called on security forces not to attack peaceful protesters
    He also calls for reducing the salaries of senior officials & MPs & keeping govt jobs away from favoritism & parties (3)

  • Sistani calls for amendment of the election law to become a true representative of the voters, in order to persuade Iraqis to participate in the elections for peaceful change. (4)

    Click here for Mustafa's most recent article on the protests.

    So now we have 's campaign officially endorsing the launch of an effort to buy him the primary election through a super PAC that can collect unlimited cash from corporations and billionaires 👇

    In the US, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues as does Biden corruption.  War Hawk Joe had denounced SUPER PAC funding . . . until he couldn't raise money.  (His big donors have reached the legal limit and Joe's campaign struggles to reach out to Middle America and lower income citizens.)  Maggie Severns (POLITICO) explains, "Joe Biden's campaign has opened the door to super PAC spending on his behalf in the Democratic primary, reversing an earlier, self-imposed ban on outside backing as Biden struggles to match rival presidential candidates in campaign cash."  Others pursuing the nomination are speaking out.

    WATCH: Beto O’Rourke tells CBS News that Joe Biden’s changed stance on accepting super PAC money is “a confusing message for America.”


    Here in Iowa, is asked by a voter about and Super PACs.

    “Who gives a damn what billionaire donors think!?”

    A fired up Sanders responds: “I don’t need a Super PAC. I will not be controlled by billionaires.”


    Warren is talking to you . It’s deeply disappointing that you’re reversing your stance on Super PAC support during the primary. The path to beating Trump is not a movement powered by big money donors. It’s a movement powered by PEOPLE and Warren is leading it — not you.

    The turnabout is another sign of how Joe says one thing and does another.

    In a stark reversal, Joe Biden's campaign has effectively dropped its opposition to receiving assistance from super PACs, opening the door for wealthy supporters to spend unlimited amounts of money to try to boost him in the Democratic primary

    The following sites updated: