Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chaos and Mayhem!

There were so many people at Sunday Soup today, I can't even count that high! Okay, yes, I'm exaggerating a bit, but there really were a lot. To give you an idea, I couldn't even fit all the dishes into the dishwasher and that has never happened before! It was great fun. I made Tortilla soup which allowed me to be extra lazy because you serve it over tortilla chips, so I didn't have to make any bread!

The Fix-it Guy had friends here to play a jazz gig this afternoon and The Southerner and I rode our bikes down to the Village to hear it. People were looking at us the whole time like, "Ummm...shouldn't you be home making the soup???" We had it under control. Sort of. We did leave at 3pm to run home and mop the floor and make the guacamole and a few other things we'd managed to put off until the last minute.

All I can say is thank goodness for The Artist and her wonderful rhubarb coffee cake because there was a pretty good run on the soup and the cake distracted everyone nicely (and there are a few leftovers!). The Artist is new to Sunday Soup and we were thrilled to have her. She brought a friend that I have met, but unfortunately don't know well enough to nickname. Hopefully he'll come back though!

Just as everyone was making a mass exodus, The Musician and The Irish One showed up for tea and soup and we had a nice chat. Even though The Southerner and I make it a practice to get up and walk guests, if not to their car, at least to the door, we couldn't even haul our sorry butts out of our chairs when they left! The Irish One had to lean over to hug us. My excuse is The Southerner is wearing me out with bike rides and his excuse was he didn't get a nap. We're pathetic, I know.

The really sad part is that The Southerner (remember, his nickname is No Dog, short for No Need For A Dog) ate the leftovers from last night for lunch today and that's what I had planned to pass off as dinner tonight. Now I don't know WHAT we're going to eat. Maybe if I stall it will get dark and we can go to bed without supper. Oh, wait, it never really gets dark here, does it? I guess one of us will have to give in and come up with something.

Next time someone asks me, "What can I bring to SS?" instead of saying "Nothing" I'm going to say, "A vegetarian casserole that we can eat after everyone leaves." Haha! Just kidding. DO NOT BRING ANY VEGETARIAN CASSEROLES. That is just an old joke from last year when everyone found out that The Southerner needs supper afterward.

Anyway, have a wonderful week and eat well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Today I made one of my favourite soups. Three times. Yep, three times. It was made-to-order Egg Drop Soup day. I did this last year too, and it was a big hit then. When I went to the farm gate yesterday, they had tonnes of spinach, so I bought 8 huge bunches and I washed, chopped, and steamed (3 minutes) 6 of the bunches and put it in the freezer. Spinach is a great thing to have on hand for soups, stews, or pasta sauces and we eat a lot of it.

They had already sold all the green onions, but The Farmer is my pal, so he and I went out to the field and he picked me enough green onions for my soup. Have I mentioned I love living in a small community where I know so many people? Well, I do. The Southerner and I are very blessed (although it did take me about 2 hours to do my errands yesterday that probably would've taken 45 minutes if I hadn't stopped to talk to all my friends along the way - but really, that's the good part, right?).

Yesterday was egg day too. Every other Saturday I pick up 2 dozen eggs from the alpaca farm. Those alpacas are amazing. You didn't know they laid eggs, did you? Haha! They obviously have chickens there too, and I'm just being silly, but there's nothing silly about the freshness and beauty of farm eggs. I never even liked eggs before we moved here and now...well, now I'm typing this while The Southerner makes me an egg sammich for supper! Anyway, the egg drop soup gets poured steaming hot over bowls of fresh spinach and green onions. Yummm...and so easy to make. We had a nice group who conveniently came in waves too, which worked out perfectly for making soup to order.

And now, well, now, as I said, I'm being waited on by The Southerner, I'm sitting on the couch with Miss Sophie, and I'm updating SS after having just ridden over to see The Musician who gave me a whole bunch of rhubarb from his life is pretty darn good. And I hope yours is too. Until next lots of good food! Oh, there's the dinner bell! See y'all next week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Higher Consciousness of Soup

Today I made an announcement. I have reached two conclusions that will undoubtedly have some affect on future Sunday Soups.

The first is that I have decided it's no fun if I worry about running out of soup. So now I'm not going to worry. I will make a big batch of soup. I will have it available to the crowd. And when it's gone, it's gone! Last week was stressful, when it should've been fun. I prefer fun.

The other thing is that I am now cooking in the season. I actually always try to cook with whatever vegetables are in season. You won't find asparagus in a fall soup or butternut squash in the spring here at SS. However, because last year my goal was a different soup every week, I also tried to make sure that I didn't have two cream soups in a row, or two tomato soups too close together. Now that I have finished that one year and I'm free to make anything any time, I will be cooking with whatever veggies people bring me, or The Southerner grows, or I find fresh at The Farm Gate. That means that even though we had cream of spinach soup two or three weeks ago, we had cream of kale soup today. It's all good.

The Fix-it Guy declared that I have "reached a new level of soup consciousness" and I think he's right. Cook in the season, and don't worry for no reason! After all, if we run out of soup, there's always bread (and vice versa).

Today we had a smallish group, and it was very pleasant. The Fix-it Guy, The Fleece Lady, and The Southerner all donated lots and lots of kale and boy was it a green soup! It turned out lovely. It's a recipe that I got off the internet last year and I can't remember where so I won't post it, but if you're dying for a great kale soup, leave me a comment and I'll email it to you.

The Neighbour, The Younger Sister, Roxy Steve, and The Musician all put in appearances too. As did Tigre, but he hissed at Miss Sophie, so we sent him on his way. Oh, yes, and the raccoon dropped in near the end. Lucky for him, The Neighbour had already gone home. He likes to terrorize her house and I'm pretty sure that even though she's got a gimp in her giddyup, she would've hobbled for the hose and squirted him full-on (water is about the only way to keep raccoons away). We just said, "keep going you!" and he did. And then we talked about how beautifuly he was, because he truly is. As long as he's not destroying your house and eating all the cat food.

I made garlic knots for bread. They are very simple. Just pizza dough rolled into strands, tied into knots and baked. Then topped with garlic butter, Parmesan, and black pepper.

The Southerner finally got around to taking a picture of the Ugly Mugs, so I will leave you with that! Have a great week.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Going, going...quick add more milk!

Hi All. Nice to be back. After two guest chefs (The Older Sister & The Southerner), I am cooking again. I'm still covered up in edits, but now I have a cover too! Yes, it's true, that my book Restoring Harmony which is coming out NEXT SUMMER now has a cover and you can see it here.

I did manage to drag myself out of my office yesterday to go to the market in search of spinach. My plan was to make egg drop soup, which I made last summer and was fabulous. However, while there were whole tables of spinach last week, there wasn't spinach to be had this week. I ran into Roxy Steve and he requested that I make corn chowder instead.

I have a recipe for a light summery corn chowder and so I made that (leaving out the bacon) and ummm...well, I thought I had a lot, but apparently corn chowder hit the spot of SS goers today because by 5:15 I was not only adding the reserves to the crockpot, but adding milk to sort of ummm...stretch it out! In the end, we did have a bowl or two left over, but only because of the added milk!

We did have a first today. This was the very first Sunday Soup that I did not make the bread (except when The Southerner made his fantastic cornbread or the Older Sister made it a couple of weeks ago). What I mean is, it came from a bakery. Roxy Steve donated it. Definitely yummy, and surprisingly time saving!

The Fleece Lady brought a fantastic Cesar salad. Yummm...and she left me all the fixings so I can make some more. We had so many people here today and my brain is so fried from over 75 hours of editing (in the last 9 days!) that I'm not even going to try and recap. But did I mention my book has a cover? And that they moved up the publication date to next summer (not next fall, like I thought)? Oh, okay...since you asked me so nicely, I'll put the cover here for you.