Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SS Brought to you by fresh produce

It was brought to my attention today (by Carol), that I am a total slacker and forgot to update SS yesterday. I believe I have now forgotten two Mondays in a row! Bad hostess!!!

Last week I had an excuse (my deadline), this week...not so much. But anyway, here's the scoop.

The font is red in honour of tomatoes! While there weren't any tomatoes in my Red Beans & Rice, I did cut up several tomatoes that The Southerner grew and put them on a plate with salt and pepper. Also, all our windowsills are lined with tomatoes he grew. And there's more coming! Also, nearly every dish, except the desserts, included fresh, homegrown tomatoes. It's that time of year. Some of the fabulous salads were packed with island grown produce and everything looked as good as it tasted! We had about twenty-five or so people, which breaks our record for SS (Carol's birthday held the previous record) and we also broke the "I brought pie" record, but believe me...no one here, least of all The Southerner, is complaining about an abundance of pie. Yummmy!

The Red Beans & Rice was a hit, although there were a few funny looks as people bit into the sausage, but that was because they thought it was real sausage and didn't realize it was fake (or faux if you want to get fancy). I pretty much made RB&R the way our friend Ross had taught me, except I used Frank's Red Hot Sauce instead of tobasco because I like it better. It still forces you to open all the windows and doors once you add it to the sausage pan though...the vapours are pretty toxic and we were both coughing for a while (not on the food though). I'm sure some chemist or chef could explain it, but all I know is that if everyone around starts choking while you're making it, you're doing it right.

Only one person said they were disappointed that I didn't make an actual "soup", but the beans were somewhat soupy, so I think it counts. For the first time since I started SS, I actually made soup just for us on Monday night. Guess what kind? Yep...Creamy Roasted Tomato.

Until next week...or whenever I manage to remember to update... Everybody eat some soup!

P.S. The Southerner did not make cornbread because our kitchen was too packed with people. We now have a quart of buttermilk that needs to be used up, so I am just guessing that next week might be a cornbread weekend.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Southern Sunday

Hello y'all! Tomorrow we're having a Southern Sunday Soup...well, okay, it's only sorta southern (my part of it). I'm making red beans and rice, which is not really soup either, but sort of soupy so I guess it counts. My good friend Ross from Louisiana taught me how to make it last year before we left Tennessee. The thing is, a true southerner would cringe at my dish because, and this nearly killed Ross to do it, we made a vegetarian version of it using Tofurky sausage! In my opinion it was great! And even Ross admitted, albeit grudgingly that "it's not as bad as I was afraid it would be". Also, there are a lot of hippie-dippie Sunday Soup goers here, so it's likely to get a pass tomorrow too.

Tomorrow is our one year anniversary of moving to Canada, so we're having a special Sunday Soup potluck. I haven't decided what bread to make, but I might see if The Southerner (who is back from his trip down south, where he ate the vegetarian special every time he went out to eat - a grilled cheese sandwich) could be coerced into making a few rounds of cornbread. I think he loves the oohs and ahhs and attention he gets when he does this, so I doubt it will be too hard to convince him!

Our good friend, and occasional Sunday Soup attendee, Steve Elder, is doing a gig with his band in the evening, so I think that most everyone will clear out quickly around 7pm so they can hurry over to hear him play. The Southerner is probably going to go, but if we have people here who aren't going, I can hardly kick them out (even though Carol says I can) so I might end up giving it a miss. Of course that means I will have to do all the cleaning up eat all the leftover dessert.

Hope to see y'all here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quiet Sunday

It rained. Rain can do one of two things. It either brings everyone out and over for soup, or they all stay in. This time they all stayed in. Except Carol, her friend, and Calvin. Even The Southerner was gone.

I barely got the soup done, and it tasted good, but my brain was so fried from doing all my edits (7 1/2 hours on Saturday and 3 1/2 before making the soup), that at a quarter to three, I said to myself, "today we're having crackers". And that's what I served with the soup. When only two people showed up, I was really glad I hadn't forced myself to make two dozen muffins!

We had a nice chat, sat under the eaves and watched the rain, and by 5:30, they'd gone home and I was back to work.

Next week is our big one-year-anniversary-in-our-new-country potluck, so I expect things won't be quite so quiet then!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First Time For Everything

For the first time, I had to make the soup ON Sunday instead of yesterday. I am on a very tight deadline with my new book, but this of course, makes me very happy because it means that MY AGENT SOLD MY BOOK!!! Oh, wait, we covered that last week. Anyway, I ended up working all day yesterday and all morning today, so I just made the soup at noon. It's pretty much done now, and it's tasty, considering I mostly made it up! Yes, I like to live dangerously.

The soup is a cream cheese broccoli soup with egg noodles. Yummm! I have to take my lactose pills in order to eat it, but I think it's worth it. The Southerner is away today, so it's just me and the cats hosting today. Sophie got ready for her hostess duties by rolling around in the dirt, so she's not really white anymore. But she's still cute.

Okay...now I have two hours to come up with some sort of bread. I'm thinking...muffins? Yeah, muffins.

Oh, and by the way, here's another thing that makes me very happy, besides the fact that MY AGENT SOLD MY BOOK! The Cubs have clinched their division and we're going to the playoffs! Wahooo!!!

More later....probably tomorrow as I have several hours of work left to do tonight in order to meet my deadline tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I totally forgot to update SS this week. I have plenty of excuses, like I did two performances of a play on Sunday and I'm on a very tight deadline for my book edits. Cool reasons, eh?

But this was a special Sunday Soup so it must be blogged about! Not only did The Southerner make a most excellent barley vegetable soup, but we had a Guest Hostess! Carol stepped in to welcome the multitudes of guests in our absence. Okay, it's true, we came home from the matinee performance to find her sitting in the sun, reading...alone...but the soup was hot, the spoons had been retrieved from the dishwasher, and she was READY. We feel confident that should we ever actually have to leave town and put her completely in charge, she is ready. Carol can handle Sunday Soup on her own. Yay, Carol!

Calvin did not come. We're still not sure why, but I guess he just needed a little time to himself. Just because he is usually a social butterfly-cat does not mean he is obligated to come to SS every week. Although, he really missed out because I forgot to hide Miss Sophie and Grinder's cat food! We did send home a dire warning with Carol...The catnip is not long for this world. You see, if I leave it outside...the frost will probably get it sometime soon. And if I take it inside, Grinder will definitely get it, or die trying. It will become his reason for living. There will be no safe place for it within the house. As it is, I've had to hang it from the eaves, almost unreachable by us, just to keep it safe outside. In the house, the catnip should be afraid, very afraid.

By the way, The Southerner's soup was delish and everyone thought so. There were quite a few people sitting on the porch, enjoying the veggies of his labour by the time we had to go back to the theatre for the evening performance. He better be careful or I might start asking him to make the soup once a month! Nah...he's really good about cleaning the house when I cook. If he cooks, he might actually expect me to do the cleaning!

For those of you in the area, don't forget that on Sunday, 28 September, we're having a special Sunday Soup Potluck to celebrate our one year anniversary of living here in Canada! From 4pm on. Here's your chance to bring something (you always ask!). Except Roger...I still have your pie and ice cream in the freezer so you don't have to bring anything. Of course, Roger is the one person I know who doesn't have a computer, so he won't even know I said he's off the hook. Hmmm....I wonder what he'll bring?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Southerner in the Spotlight!

Due to the fact that MY AGENT SOLD MY FIRST NOVEL last week, I am suddenly very, very busy with edits! What a wonderful thing to be busy with! Because I am so busy, The Southerner is making the soup this week! He's making a lovely vegetable and barley soup and I'm shouting instructions from my writing room. I expect it will be most excellent as he has proved to be a very good sous chef and is perfectly capable in the kitchen.

Tomorrow's SS will be a little different in that we won't be here. Well, we'll drop in, but for the most part, Carol is the hostess tomorrow (so if you bring a hostess gift, make sure the card is addressed to Carol). The reason she is doing this is because The Southerner and I are acting in plays! Really. I used to be an actress, once upon a time, and he has been an actor for a while now. There is a lovely theatre here, run by the fabulous Antony Holland, and he asked us to do some one-act plays with him. The Southerner is doing The Duck Variations with Antony, and I'm doing a one-woman play called Waking Up. Anyway, we have a matinee at two o'clock and an evening show at seven o'clock, so we'll be running back to the house for soup in between.

One of the other reasons I have been so busy is because I was trying my hand at Little Susie Homemaker and I entered three categories in the Fall Fair today? My bread got third place, my cookies, while delicious to us, did not place, but my Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Cherry Chutney won FIRST Place! That's a blue ribbon! Not bad for my first time out, eh? And thanks to C-----, both the bread and chutney will be at SS tomorrow because she stole it from the table! She was terribly afraid it would go to waste, so I took my ribbons off and looked the other way while she made a run for it with the bread tucked under her arm. The next time I saw her, she looked as innocent as ever...so I guess no one saw her.

All in all, a very satisfying week!

P.S. You'll have to wait a bit longer for photos of the Ugly Mug Club mugs as we haven't had time to photograph them. And if you want to read more about my book and the sale, drop by my website: http://www.joelleanthony.com

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kale, Kale, Everywhere!

We're still waiting for the tomatoes to ripen and then all our gardener friends and The Southerner are going to provide me with a enough to make a gazpacho. Until then, I assumed I was on my own, but then our friend, Rick, offered us lots of kale from his garden. I was going to cook it up and then freeze it for later since we can't eat it all and then I thought, why not soup? So I dug around on the internet and found a recipe that looked pretty good, but one that I could alter some too. So tomorrow the soup should be a lovely pale green and very, very healthy! We better thaw out the pie Roger brought last week. We don't want to get a bad reputation for serving health food at Sunday Soup!

If I had a loonie for every person who told me yesterday, "I don't really like kale, but this soup is fantastic," I'd have...well, about two or three loonies (for the Americans reading this, loonies are Canadian dollar coins). The soup really was a big hit, and the cheese and onion bread disappeared fast. Luckily, Antony Holland (yes, THE Antony Holland, the famous Canadian actor who lives here but locally is almost more renowned for his baking) brought four lovely loaves of bread which everyone also enjoyed.

We had some...interesting...music, and below is a picture, taken by The Southerner, of the nutter Ken who made this crazy instrument. And yes, that is a garbage can!

At first he just played it like a regular bass, with his fingers, but here, he is using The Southerner's fiddle bow to...er...play some jazz. If that's not wacky enough for you, The Southerner has decided they should start a jug band. I'm not sure who's going to play the jug, but I know they're looking for a washboard player who can keep time. If you're interested in chasing cats from your yard, this instrument will do it. Every time the cats would come around, basking in the weak fall sunshine and getting pats (and catnip), Ken would pick it up and they would scatter fast! Of course, I'm just teasing Ken because I know he reads this occasionally. We enjoy both his ecentricities and his music!

Oh, one more Sunday Soup note. After reading Anne's comment last week about her SS and the possibility of using mugs, I totally stole the idea. Of course, my inclination was to go to Williams Sonoma and buy the two handle soup bowls with saucers that go with my dishes, but The Southerner thought we should try GIRO (the recycle center/thrift shop here). I was not too excited about that because...while I don't like to think of myself as a grown-up, I do like some grown-up things and matching dishes is one of those things. Anyway, I gave in because I was sorely lacking in funds. Boy did they have some ugly mugs. And thus the Ugly Mug Club was born. I now have seven ugly mugs, and I encourage anyone who comes to Sunday Soup, to bring their own ugly mugs. We might even have prizes for the ugliest one someday. Watch for pictures next week. Oh, and instead of $150 for WS soup bowls, we spent two loonies.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bread, Bread, and More Bread!

I didn't update yesterday because I was busy cooking. And it was my fourth wedding anniversary! The soup is a Lebonese inspired lentil, and quite possibly the easiest soup I've ever made. It's rich with cinnamon and tastes yummy. There's not much to say about it now though, so instead, I'll leave you with this little piece of wedding cake humor. Enjoy!

As I was drifting off to sleep last night I suddenly remembered that I'd forgotten to update Sunday Soup. It was probably total exhaustion due to having cooked for three days straight. Usually, I cook on Saturday and Sunday, but last Friday I was feeling like cooking, so I made a bunch of stuff then too.

I made practice rolls on Saturday and they were supposed to come out like sandwich rolls, but ended up more like hotdog buns. I might be a vegetarian, but I LOVE Morning Star faux hotdogs (all other ones are TERRIBLE), so I am planning to split and freeze Saturday's bread and use them with hotdogs. Yesterday, I made more of the same dough (a sort of light whole wheat/all purpose bun) and played around with them, making crescents and other shapes and then sprinkling them with poppy seeds, Italian seasonings, and Parmesan. The Southerner took this photo:


We had an out-of-town guest, some of the Regulars, and a few of the Occasionals for Sunday Soup, and while I wasn't that excited about the soup this week, it seemed to go down pretty well. It was a Lebonese inspired lentil soup seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and lemon. It looked totally different than it actually tasted because it had the appearance of any lentil soup you've ever had, but then had this sort of fragrant and almost smoky or exotic taste. This is not a soup I would make again, just because I was sort of lukewarm about it, but The Southerner thought it was pretty all right, so he can eat the leftovers.

We really cashed in on the desserts this week too! I made a carrot cake, as is my tradition for our anniversary, to share yesterday and Carol and Calvin brought chocolate chip cookies. After everyone had left, I discovered Roger had brought an apple pie (unopened) and then found a quart of ice cream in the freezer! I am going to freeze the pie and serve it next week.

Two last things...one of my cyber pals and reader of this blog, had her own Sunday Soup yesterday! She promised to post in the comments (and is probably just waiting for me to get my act together and post this) all about it and tell us how it went! And the other thing is just a teaser...we have a very special Sunday Soup coming up at the end of this month...more details soon!

Quick update: Anne has left a long comment in the comment section all about her first Sunday Soup! Make sure you read it, it's great. And I might be stealing her idea of using mugs instead of bowls, because it makes all kinds of sense! Thanks Anne!