I think this is Week 18. I’ve kinda lost track. What I haven’t lost is very much weight since my last missive.

Fortunately, I’ve now stayed below 230 for a couple of days, so I may be in that new decade. I have been bouncing from 235 to 229 for several weeks, now. And, to be totally honest, I have not been trying very hard.

It’s winter. It’s cold. I need to walk but I’m lazy. Even the gym was too far away in my lazy state of mind.

A few days ago, I started looking into a gym closer to home – there’s one that is a half-mile from our front door. Yesterday, we signed up. It doesn’t cost anything with our Medicare Advantage Plan, so Monday, I start on the treadmill. And as soon as I build up a bit of stamina – and the weather gets a bit warmer – I’ll be walking to the gym.

Baby Steps.

We’ve both been eating reasonably well – just too much of a good thing. It’s definitely time to get the portions back under control – and to start moving, again.

Victor made a pot of soup for dinner, tonight. And there will be plenty of leftovers for a couple of lunches. There are no quantities listed – it’s soup. Make it as thick or thin as you like.

Sweet Potato Soup

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • White Beans
  • Onion
  • Garlic Powder
  • Aleppo Pepper
  • Chicken Broth
  • S&P

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into cubes. Cut carrots into bite-sized pieces.

Sauté chopped onion in olive oil. Add sweet potatoes and carrots. Add chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add beans.

Remove a few cups of vegetables and set aside. Blend soup with an immersion blender. Add reserved vegetables back into the pot.

Check for seasoning and add additional S&P, if desired.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of Aleppo Oil, if desired.

***Aleppo Oil – mix Aleppo pepper and olive oil and heat over low heat until fragrant.

And out of the freezer came Schiacciata – a bread from Tuscany I baked a while back.


I used a recipe from Bianco Lievito.

Italian Schiacciata

from Bianco Lievito


For the Biga

  • 1 kg Bread Flour (W280 – 320)
  • 440 gr Water at 16°C (60°F)
  • 10 gr Fresh Yeast (or 2gr if you use dry yeast)

For the Dough

  • 1000 gr Biga
  • 250 gr Bread Flour (i like stone milled flour)
  • 400 gr Water
  • 40 gr Salt
  • 40 gr Olive Oil
  • 5 gr Malt Powder
  • 1 gr Fresh Yeast


For the Biga

To prepare a good biga that have the right final temperature (around 20°C or 68°F).

Form a rough dough and let it ferment for 18h at 19°C-20°C (66°F – 68°F).

For the Dough

Mix the flour, biga, malt, yeast, and a first part of the water into the stand mixer bowl.

Halfway through the process, add the salt dissolved in the remaining water, working the dough until it is well-kneaded and elastic. Finally, finish with the olive oil, adding in many times.

Move the dough onto the table, form a loaf, and grease the surface with olive oil.

Let the dough ferment at 26°C – 28°C (79°F – 82°F) for 2 hours (approximately), until it will double its volume.

Move the dough onto the work surface and divide it into desired portions. Let each portion rise on a floured table, placing them cut side up for 45min.

After this time, arrange the dough in a well-greased iron baking pan and stretch it with your fingers until covering the whole pan surface.

Wet the surface with an emulsion of salt, oil, and water and add to taste some rosemary leaves all over the surface.

Let rise for about 30min and bake.

Bake at 220-230°C (428°F – 446°F) for about 30 minutes, slightly opening the oven door during the last 5 minutes of cooking.


The recipe is a bit convoluted and definitely takes some time – but it’s really good!