Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Miso Soup (Page 91)

RECIPE #1031

  • Date: Saturday, September 19, 2009 -- 12pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I picked this recipe because I have been trying to make some progress on the Soups section in The Book. This recipe was quite simple. I took some wakame (a type of seaweed) and soaked it in warm water to soften. Then I drained it. I stirred white miso into some dashi (see post below). Then I heated the remaining dashi, stirred in cubes of tofu and the wakame. I simmered it briefly, then added the miso mixture and some sliced scallion greens. That was it! This miso soup had exactly one flaw: there was WAY too much wakame! The seaweed completely took over the soup (as you can see in the picture). I have had many, many versions of miso soup in my life, and never have I had one so overrun with seaweed! Other than that, the recipe was lovely. The flavor of the dashi broth with the miso made a perfect base for the soup. The cubes of tofu and scallion greens were in perfect proportion to the broth. If only there had been about 1/4 as much wakame it would have been a fantastic miso soup! I will certainly make this recipe again, with that slight modification!

The recipe is here.

When I signed up to teach 330 students this fall, I had the idea that it wouldn't really be that much more work than the 150 or so students I have had in previous semesters. It turns out I was wrong about that. The lecturing itself isn't really any more work. Standing in front of 250 students is certainly different than standing in front of 80, but it isn't any more time consuming. The administrative part of teaching, however, is definitely magnified by the larger number of students. At 9pm tonight I was still in my office, more than 12 hours after I arrived in the morning, responding to emails and filing academic progress reports to the advising office. The extra work doesn't bother me -- in return for the 330 students this term, I am not teaching in the spring. It's a deal that definitely works out to my benefit. But as I was filling out this paperwork for the advising office, indicating which students are currently failing my course, I realized something that bothers me a bit. My 330 students are divided into two classes: a class of 80 and a class of 250. In the class of 80 I know each student's name. Many of the students I have talked to individually on a number of occasions. I have a good sense of who is struggling and who finds the class to be easy. I know the students, at least to some degree, and I enjoy that about the class. In my 250 student class I just don't know the students. Sure, I know the couple dozen of them that come to office hours, or talk to me after class. But I'm sure I couldn't put names to faces for more than 40 students in the lecture hall. Filling out the paperwork, I realized that I didn't even know who most of these failing students were. It would be very difficult to learn all 250 names, and I decided early on in the semester that I wasn't going to do it. But this is the first time I have ever taught students whose names I didn't know. And I don't like that about it. If I wasn't already at work until 8 or 9pm half the time as it is, I would just suck it up and learn the names. But between the 330 students, and moving into a new house, and my research, I am swamped. So I guess this will be the semester that I don't know my students' names. Hopefully the only such semester...

No comments: