Well here we are again. We’re nose high in some historically measurable cold times and also confusing times. Not only do I have the pleasure of playing who’s right with our local meteorology and their adherence to fake news, I no longer need to put ice in my coffee. I’m not one of those we live in Michigan types but I am one of those we live in Michigan types. If for some reason we have another No Jacket February which we kind of had last year, I am still going to wear a jacket.
Always come prepared. That aside, one thing that mythically comes along with cold weather is colds. I think we can all attest to some unreturned hand shakes. If you sneeze then my hands give crickets. This isn’t because I’m a rude person. Working in the restaurant industry forces attunement and a focused understanding of how germs, bacteria and viruses work. Not only this but I’m tested on them, quizzed on them and periodically questioned about them during inspections. (Skip ahead to my remedy Peppa Soup made from our Detroit Famous Dry Rub)
Foodworkers are the source of about 70% of norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food. The lack of a regulated and recognized sick leave in the industry makes it hard to call off when those bills are due. Most of us are guilty of going to work when we're sick. But in the restaurant industry, that illness can quickly spread not only to coworkers, but also to customers. The consequences of sick restaurant employees coming to work can be devastating. Being profitable and a good corporate citizen go together. Every business wants to create strong relationships with customers, but that doesn't mean just sending more emails. Civic responsibility helps build a business that people genuinely want to support.
It will take government policy, business leadership and pressure from the public to deliver these benefits. As a country, we need to move to a place where all businesses take the high road when it comes to their employees. And we need legislation focused on Healthy Work Places to get there. In the meantime here is a remedy to warm our souls like a hot bath with the fan on.
Peppa Soup from our Detroit Famous Dry Rub
Peppa Soup Spice (1½ Cup)
Salt (or Smoked Salt
Red Bell Pepper
Ground and the combined with a small amount of Grapeseed Oil
Aridan Fruit (1)
Onions Diced (½ Cup)
Water (3 ½ Cup)
Vegetables or Additional Meats optional
So the 1st step is to gather all of the ingredients for the pepper soup spice and grind them up in a food processor and then coffee grinder or vitamix. If you don’t have any of these items a simple blender will do. But be warned. It is a slow and cruel unrequited love.
After you have your spice place it in a wide saucepan. Put some heat on that pan. The oils from the grapeseed should start to catch. Grapeseed oil also burns at a higher temperature so even the most inattentive eye should be able to pull this one off. Remember we just want to activate the natural characteristics of the spice and accunate them before diluting them with water. My father would call this technique “cooking the curry”. Frying spices can be the fastest way to build rich flavor. It is no different here.
After the auromas start to catch and before the spices start to burn add the onions. This can be done a little before hand to. All that matters is preference of texture. Same goes for additionals such as meats and other vegetables. Grilled, Sauteed, Pre-Baked or Pre-Braised will all change taste and texture as you enjoy this true delicacy. Add the Aridan Fruit and wait for boil. If you decided to use fish or meat or vegetables it is important to note that you mustn’t stir it all about. You need to enable the juices to permeate. After 15 minutes or so feel free to turn it off and let sit. On service garnish with a basil leaf and enjoy alone or with a nice refreshing beverage. This is excellent with a good lager or Guiness.