Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Last of May

The Cook was covered up with edits on her book today so I, The Southerner, made the soup. OK, she coached me a bit but it was more or less my thing. I called it Parsley Pesto Soup since one of the main ingredients was a batch of the Fleece Lady's parsley pesto. Also in the mix were potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, fresh onions, dried onions from The Farmers, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. It cooked up without a hitch, scented the kitchen nicely and had rich mustardy colour that made it easy on the peeps. It was hearty too and seemed to be well received by the crew which included The Fixit Guy, The Fleece Lady, The Neighbour, The Brits and some newcomers we met at The Roxy on Friday night. We'll call them The Bikers since they arrived by bicycle and we hope they come back. Oh, and of course The Cook herself emerged from her office to hang out on the porch with us and have a cup. She was bleary-eyed but cheery. Though no one complained about my creation, I'm sure all will welcome her back to the helm of Sunday Soup next week. Thanks to everyone who dropped by and we'll see y'all next Sunday.


The Southerner

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Souper Star Sister!

So last night I got to rest on my laurels, or the kitchen chair, really, while The Older Sister made the soup, the bread, and the butter. Okay, I helped, but she did a lot of it and not only was the soup fantastic, but The Fleece Lady proclaimed it "One of the top 5 Soups". Seriously! And she's eaten a lot of them, so that is a high honour.

Unfortunately, Older Sister did not hear this high praise because something came up and she wasn't able to make it to SS. We were also missing The Southerner because he really needed a nap. This is because The Fix-it Guy and The Southerner have been working really hard fixing stuff and he was too worn out to socialize. He slept on The Neighbour's futon couch and her cat, Tigre, kept him company. He's feeling much better after a couple of hours of sleep and soup, bread, and the wonderful salad that The Writer brought. No not me, the other writer.

You know, I don't know if he already has a nickname or brain is not really functioning. But he's a writer, and so that is his nickname. Anyway, The Writer and his lovely wife...hmmm...I know she doesn't have a nickname....hopefully today she won't mind being The Lovely Wife and in the future, when I'm not so tired (from resting on my laurels), I'll come up with something better...anyway they brought a fantastic bean salad and boy was it yummy. Lucky for us, there was some left over and it's all ours! Yay us!

And The Fleece Lady brought her raw vegetable dip, so we scored big today. It was lovely and sunny out and we were on the porch. Oh, and you probably want to know what this fantastic soup was, don't you? It was Leek-Potato-Spinach. It was supposed to be Kale-Potato, but The Fix-it Guy kept The Southerner busy so late last night that he couldn't go to the garden and get us the kale, so we improvised with lovely veggies that we had from The farmers market.

If your'e interested in this simple soup, it works with pretty much any veggie that you have and you can make a variety of combinations based on what sounds good to you. It is 1 cup of water for every 1 cup of veggies and some salt. Generally, at least 3 cups are potatoes to give it some body. Once everything's mushy, you just puree it add a little cream and adjust the seasonings. Voila. Soup! Ours was 8 cups of potatoes, 2 cups of leeks, 4 cups of spinach (packed) and 14 cups of water, plus a cup of cream.

That's about it around here. Hope you had a great week and you have another fantastic one coming up. Eat well!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Y'all will have to forgive me, this will be a short post, and probably lack my usual enthusiasm. It's been a long weekend, and not just because here in in Canada it is May Long Weekend (tomorrow is Victoria Day, as in Queen Victoria).

On Friday, our beloved Grinder passed on over to the other side and so while SS was joyful today, and we had lots of laughter and good food and wonderful friends, The Southerner, Miss Sophie, and I do have heavy hearts. Along with many other SS regulars who knew and loved Grinder too. You can read more about him here and here, if you're so inclined.

Briefly, the soup was Tomato Orange (as pictured to the left) and The Southerner made cornbread. We had some of the regulars, some who come occasionally, a friend here from Toronto who also brought a friend from the States and lots of sunshine. It was also probably the loveliest, warmest day of the year so far and we moved SS out onto the porch.

Anyway, more next week. In memory of our sweetie pie, I leave you with this picture.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom & Grandma, and all the other mothers of kids, cats, or others (?)!

Today's soup was a white bean puree with sundried tomatoes and kale (from The Southerner's garden plot). You can read more about the soup here because I did make a variation on it (spinach instead of kale) last December, if you want the recipe. Oh, and I also used some scalded heavy cream instead of soy milk today. New SS motto: Hardening your arteries one Sunday at a time!

It has been a great weekend. We spent a bunch of time doing weekendy type things, like picking kale and going to GIRO (the recycle centre/thrift store). If you want ANYTHING all you have to do is say aloud, "I really need some bamboo ski poles to use as walking sticks" and then if you are patient, they will show up at GIRO. This is what The Southerner has been saying aloud for some time now, and while we were standing around chatting (another big activity at GIRO), someone walked up with bamboo ski poles to drop off for donation. The Southerner was on them like a duck on a june bug because just because he asked for them, doesn't mean someone else might not be standing by to beat him out. I was thrilled (heavy sarcasm) to see that the GIRO gods had not only answered his prayer once, but twice. And now, I too am the proud owner of a pair of bamboo ski poles. Two pairs for $6! Such a deal. The Southerner had ulterior motive plans too. He is going to sharpen the metal ends so that we can pick up garbage on our walks. Oh, joy! Will the fun never end?

Two weeks ago, my request to the GIRO gods was a stack of dessert plates that matched and wern't too ugly. I am happy to say I got a set of 14 for $2. This week...I needed teacups because tea at SS has become almost as important as the soup. The first person to arrive gets to pick the tea for the big pot, and this has really encouraged some people to arrive early (yes, I'm talking about The Brits and The Neighbour. Tea is very important to Brits, but The Neighbour just likes to be the first one here!). Of course, I was rewarded again and got a great deal on some bone china cups and saucers - 8 for $4 plus six dessert plates thrown in).

While standing around the bike parts (Attention GIRO gods: we do not need any more bike parts!) we ran into a couple that we met at The Commons last year when they were visiting. They have a tiny trailer on a piece of land that they hope to retire on someday (probably not in the trailer!) and the woman informed me that the china I'd just bought was really great.

"You can drop it and it will just bounce," she said.

I decided just to take her word for it. She came to Sunday Soup today too and so I must "name" them. I think I will call them The Part-timers. Anyway, Mr. Part-timer had to go back to Vancouver, but Mrs. Part-timer brought lovely strawberries and made some new friends very quickly that way. It was nice to have her and we hope they both come back soon!

Just as we were closing up shop, The Musician came bounding up the stairs, "Am I too late?" He still had 22 minutes before seven o'clock, so we let him in. We would've let him in any time, of course! We had a nice long visit and many strawberries were eaten along with bread, The Fleece Lady's fantastic vegetable dip, and of course, soup.

All in all, a very nice weekend. I hope you had a great one too!

P.S. For those of you wondering how the cooking lessons with The Sisters are going, we are taking a short break while they get over their fevers/flu (?). And don't worry, they have not been over here since last Sunday, so you don't have to worry about their germs. Hopefully they will be well enough to make next week's soup. I sent lots of soup to their house this week, so I'm sure they will recover quickly! Get well soon, girls.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One Year Anniversary!

So I went to see the male half of The Brits today to get a shiatsu massage and let me tell you that if you've never had one, and you live here on the island, just stop what you're doing and call to make your appointment. Very cool. You can read more about it here. In addition to the treatment, he reminded me that I'd totally forgotten to update this blog!

I didn't actually forget last night. We went to a play and I was too tired and hungry to update when we got home. And then today, it just sort of got away from me. So here I am, ready to update.

First, if you're missing something in the above picture (the glasses, not The Southerner, who I'm keeping) then you left them here. Doesn't he look soooo cool? Whoever you are, you must have a small head because they fit The Anthony Pinhead. Not that The Southerner IS a pinhead, he just has one like all the Anthonys (one reason we were happy he took my last name when we got married - the more pinheads the better!).

Okay, back to the business at hand. I did my first author interview here (if you tried this link earlier, it was wrong, but is fixed now). Oh, wait, that's not what you came here for, is it? You want to know about the first Sunday Soup anniversary! Well, I was a little confused about whether we should celebrate the 52nd soup or the first anniversary and I seem to have told a few people different things!

Anyway, we had a great time, with a vegetable soup that included the first greens from the community gardens (kale and bok choy). I made Parmesan & black pepper crackers and Italian herb crackers and served them with cream cheese and homemade raspberry chipotle sauce (yumm!). We had about nine guests, including The Sisters who have not starved while their parents are away (because the whole island is feeding them). In fact, they brought some lovely scones that they baked themselves! Also, The Walker and her husband, Mr. Smiles finally came to SS! To be fair, they tried once during the winter, but it was dark and snowing and they never did find the house (although they helped dig someone's car out of the snow because that's just the kind of nice people they are!). We were glad to see everyone, and they all left before 6:30 so we were able to stick a note on the door that said, "Went to the play!" and go see some fun theatre at the Theatre Centre.

Stay tuned because I'm teaching The Sisters to cook (we made red beans and rice the other day and also pizza dough and homemade pizza) and they are going to make the soup! If not next weekend, then the following one. You won't want to miss that! I'm looking forward to just sitting in the chair and saying, "Now...chop that!" and "Stir the soup!"

Good eating, everyone!