That stank like hell, but still excited the hunter instinct in my cats, and the underdeveloped biologist instinct in me.
Bart ate a whole lot. It’s eating in the photo above.
I have absolutely no idea whether he was a he or a she or an it. I realised I know nothing about caterpillars and butterflies.
After we spotted him, Bart lived in the bouquet for another two or three days. I watched him when I could. His habits were delightfully simple. He would crawl all over the bouquet, selecting yet another stem of glass to chew on. After a meal, he’d crawl back into the middle of bouquet and sleep. About forty minutes later he would wake up again, eat again, go to sleep again, repeat.
Closer to the end of three days, he started getting frantic.
Then he disappeared from the bouquet.
I discovered him by chance, trying to crawl up a kitchen wall, under the watchful eye of Jolie. My father transferred him back to the flowers, all the while grumping about me being afraid of my new friend.
Bart nervously crawled all around the bouquet, eventually disappearing somewhere deep inside it.
That was the last time I ever saw him.
I’m still sad for him.
Even the directory for the files of this post is called ‘sob’ (acronym for ‘story of bart’).
I kept the bouquet for a while longer, hoping that he would emerge fully transformed. Unfortunately the bouquet chose that time to begin disintegrating, and the power of stench emanating from it far outweighed the power of my curiosity about Bart’s transformation, if any.
Thus endeth the tale of Bart the Caterpillar.
Here are two edits of a random lavender photo to lessen the pain that you no doubt feel after reading the above.
So, the Cookbook Challenge. It is finally upon us, with this lovely recipe of a ridiculously cheap and ridiculously rich pea soup.
It comes from a book on vegetarian cooking I picked up from a stall run by Seventh Day Adventists. It is the best vegetarian cookbook I’ve been able to find in these lands. Most others make excessive focus on the usage of milk and eggs, and other ones usually include fish.
I’ll write more about the cookbook (the tiny part of which you can see in the top left corner of the first image) when I take a proper picture of it. For now, just enjoy the recipe of a simple pea soup.
10 cups of water
1 1/2 cups split peas, uncooked
1 carrot, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon dry basil
salt, pepper to taste
Cover peas with water, boil, then cook for 30 minutes. Add carrots, onion, and spices. Cook on small heat for about an hour or longer, until peas are soft. Serve.
(It says something about my cooking, when notes are longer than method, no? I think it says something about my life in general.)
I used 2 cups of peas, and also added some pepper to it. Skipped bay leaf (didn’t have any), added pepper and some garlic instead. Spices went in closer to the end of cooking time.
The cooking time will depend on the age and proper storage of your peas. It can be anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours. With good quality peas it shouldn’t take longer than 2.
The original recipe calls for 7 to 10 cups of water, but I found it to be quite thick at 10 — almost a porridge consistency. If you find yours too thick when it’s done cooking, add a bit of boiling water to it, and adjust salt and spices accordingly. If you like your soups a little less chunky, you can give this a few whirls with an immersion blender once it’s cooled a bit.
Once it cools, it may separate. This is totally normal. Just mix it well.
[ETA] I apologise for a spot of faulty formatting of this post that occurred earlier today! All part of meltdown, should be OK now.