Some like it slow
by Sharon Ashwood on November 19th, 2008

Speaking as someone who turned out a book called RAVENOUS, it’s pretty clear I have a welcoming attitude toward food. I’m not a picky eater. I like it all.


One of the things catching my interest right now is the slow food movement. No, this has nothing to do with lazy vampires, geriatric werewolves, or zombies in need of arch supports.


In case you haven’t heard of it, slow food is the opposite of fast food: fresh, locally grown, home cooked, and enjoyed for its quality rather than its convenience. It exists alongside ideas like the hundred mile diet, organic food philosophies, and supporting the small local producers and community markets. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area of the Pacific Northwest that’s rich in farmland and wineries and that has a selection of world-class restaurants invested in promoting agri-tourism—which could be defined as “come visit and stuff your face till you drop”.


What does this have to do with writing?  Slow food makes a better author.  While I’m right in there with the “loves chocolate” brigade, for me there’s a price attached to that sweet indulgence:  word count.


This is a sad state of affairs for someone addicted to Hawkins Cheezies and who loves her glass of chardonnay, but garbage in, garbage out. When production counts, I have to avoid the junk snack aisle because sugar, salt, and preservatives make me groggy and (even more) stupid. It’s a hard-won lesson, but if I want to indulge in a not-so-virtuous treat, I have to wait until I’ve done my work for the day.


How very boring. Of course, nothing prevents me from eating well except my own unwillingness to tear my fingers from the keyboard and rejoin planet earth. I love to cook, so I really have no excuse. Here’s a recipe I’ve had for years that I absolutely love. For “slow food” it takes hardly any time to prepare:


Bunny soup (no, we’re not cooking Bugs)




Cook until soft:


2 lbs carrots, scrubbed and chopped

1 potato

Pinch salt

4 cups of stock or water


Saute in olive oil:


1 small chopped onion

Crush garlic (about a teaspoon)

1 tsp grated ginger

Handful of chopped cashews


Add sauted mixture to carrots and put the whole thing through a blender (or use a hand blender) to make a smooth texture. Whisk in


one cup of yogurt

dash of sherry


 and heat through. Garnish with more cashews.






4 comments to “Some like it slow”

  1. 1

    Mmmm…I love carrot soup and this one sounds divine. I love anything with ginger in it and the cashews is a really nice touch. I’m headed to the grocery store this afternoon and I’m definitely going to pick up some fresh carrots!

  2. 2

    I live with a pro cook, so he handles all the things like, you know, dicing and braising and whatnot. He can’t even watch me chop an apple without getting hives. Something to do with cutting toward my fingers :???:

    We garden a lot too, so this winter we have 10 bags of frozen pureed squash that will be future soups. I think I’ll run this recipe by him, and we could replace the carrots with squash… Ack, I’m editing again!

  3. 3

    I agree big time with you, Sharon! Junk in, Junk out. I really try to eat healthfully, especially when I’m on deadline.

    Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver?

    We do shop at a local farmer’s market, but not as often as we should.

  4. 4

    Bunny soup sounds yummy! Unfortunately, I’ve watched our local produce markets and u-picks disappear one by one over the years in favor of shopping centers and housing developments. A sad state of affairs.

    But Sharon, thank you for the disclaimer that we’re not cooking Bugs, lol. It’s like having to tell people when they see dolphin on a menu down here that no, we’re not eating Flipper!

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