Sunday, December 2, 2012

First & Last

Today was the first Sunday Soup without the Fix-it Guy. For those of you who don't know, he passed away last month. We're all still in a bit of a shock, and even with the large crowd today, he was conspicuously absent.

The Fix-it Guy often wore a pair of yellow fleece socks which his wife, The Fleece Lady, made. At his celebration of life, I told a story about these socks and how they reminded me of the Lucky Duck song we used to sing at camp.

Oh, wasn't it a bit of luck that I was born a yellow duck
With yellow socks and yellow shoes
And I may go wherever I choose
Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack!

I explained how it made me happy every time I saw him walking around in those socks, and so I had asked The Fleece Lady for a pair of my own. She'd told me, "No problem. I made a bunch of those and never sold a single pair. He was the only one who liked them."

I was pleased to see that after telling my story, I am now no longer the only member of the Lucky Duck Yellow Socks Club. There were at least a couple of pairs today at Sunday Soup, and the Fleece Lady reported brisk sales of them at yesterday's craft fair. If you're a local, you should get yourself a pair to remind you how happy and lucky we were to know The Fix-it Guy. And also because who doesn't feel happy wearing bright yellow socks???!

The soup today was chosen for The Fleece Lady. While it's true that no matter what soup I make, she always says, "This is your best soup ever." I happen to know that eight bean soup is definitely one of her favourites, so I made it today. It went over very well, and there's just enough left for supper.

We had more people here for this last Sunday Soup of the year than I can make up names for in my exhausted state. Why am I so tired? Well, that's because earlier in the week, The Southerner and I both got a cold. One of us went straight to bed for two days and is completely well. The other of us fought it all week and then collapsed today, leaving me to do all the chores and entertain the hoardes. Okay, that's not really true...he did iron the napkins and sweep the house before holing up in my writing cabin during Sunday Soup. And he looked so worn out and pathetic, I couldn't help but feel badly for him, even if it is true that if he'd just gone to bed when I told him to, he'd be well by now the poor dear.

So that's it...we wrapped up another year of Sunday Soups. In the spring, we will have been at it for five years! Who would've thought it would end up being such a wonderful thing? I think we did ten Sunday Soups this year (missing May & November). It's a far cry from the first two years when we did 52 each year, but I have to say this is WAY easier! I hope you all have an excellent holiday season, and we'll see you on January 6th, for a whole new year of Soup, Fun, Frivolity, Conversation, Friendship, and Food.

Happy New Year, y'all! Love The Chef & the Southerner!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It's all about the scones

While the all-local summer vegetable soup was consumed by the quarts, and apparently enjoyed, and these stellar carrot-basil bread rolls were a hit, everything was a bit out-shone by The Actor's contribution to Sunday Soup...homemade scones and clotted cream.

There was some debate, and also downright rebelliousness, in regards to which order the jam and cream go on the scone. Since The Actor brought them, is everyone's senior, is English, and I did it his way without being told, I tend to agree with him. Jam first, clotted cream on top. But as The Southerner is bound to say, "No matter how you put the stuff on, it'll eat."

And eat it we did!

Also, I must give credit where credit is due, and so I want to point out that four of the eight vegetables in the Summer Vegetable Soup were grown by The Southerner! That's right! He was responsible for the delicious broccoli, zucchini, celery, and spinach. The corn and potatoes came from farms on the island, and the carrots and onion came from the interior of BC, probably the Okanagan.

This is just a small bit of the bountiful broccoli harvest The Southerner has going this year. With more on the way!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh, Canada!

It's been ages since I've updated. I have my reasons, and only one of them is sheer laziness (June). In April, SS fell on the first. I'd been waiting years for it to line up that way so I could play a joke on everyone and make pizza in honour of April Fools Day. The Southerner and I have given up dairy though, so pizza was out (at least the way we make it). We decided the opposite of dinner is breakfast, so we made stuffed French toast and filled the crockpot with berry compote. Then we wore our silk pajamas. Oddly, our island has become such a casual place, no one even noticed our pajamas, and most guests were simply confused by the breakfast for dinner and stood around looking at us like, "Okay, when are you going to bring out the soup?" So...that fell sort of flat and I didn't really feel like blogging about it. That'll teach me - don't mess with people's Sunday Soup!

Then we didn't have SS in May because I was on the road promoting my brand new book!

And as stated previously, I was just lazy in June. I think we had spinach soup and honey cornmeal bread.

Today, is Canada Day, so it seemed logical that we should either have a red soup or a white soup, or a combo. We decided to go with Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper. And the Southerner made it himself, from start to finish! Including roasting the peppers. The soup was absolutely yummy, and the last-to-arrive guests were lucky to get any, and they finished it off. In fact, they might not have scored any, but the Neighbour and the Actor couldn't eat anything spicy, so I defrosted some mushroom-onion soup for them. I thought the spice was just right, but if you decide to make this recipe, the Southerner advises going easier on the cayenne than it calls for.

Due to lack of planning, we realized at the eleventh hour we didn't have any bread made, so I whipped up some pizza dough, and made garlic-basil twists (just roll a piece of dough into a piece about the thickness of your finger, and twist it or tie it like a pretzel - then brush with basil-butter & fresh ground pepper when it comes out of the oven). They were a big hit and went fast. Luckly, the Fleece Lady and the Fixi-it Guy brought extra snacks, as did a few other guests, so once the bread was gone, there was still stuff to much on.

In just four days, I will hit my 5th year anniversary of landing in Canada as an immigrant (the Southerner landed a few months later), and next year, assuming our paperwork goes through, we should be citizens, but we'd like to take a moment here on the blog to say, "Hey Canada, thanks for having us! Thanks for a wonderful community that lends itself to creating Sunday Soup, and thanks for all our new friends. Happy Canada Day, everyone!"

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The soup was super yummy today. I can say that and not sound vain because I made it following a recipe. I know! Me? Follow a recipe? But this one is so good, there's no point in messing with it. I made the Curried Pumpkin Soup with Green Apple from this book. Delish.

And just for the Southerner, I made plain old homemade white bread - Italian style - I guess you would call it. He loves it and most of the time I make us eat that hippie whole grain nutty wheaty type stuff! He is in heaven with the leftovers!

We had a nice turnout today, but lots of soup for the freezer too (I made 8.5 quarts, which might've been a bit excessive, but it freezes well). Missing the Pastry Chef lots today, as she's moved away...but hopefully she'll be back to visit soon and we can do some baking. After all, next month is birthday month for both me and the Southerner. She has to come back and make us a cake, right? RIGHT?

I recently received one copy of my new book from my editor (it comes out April 26th, in the US and May 1st in Canada), which was admired by all because of its stunning cover (I can say that because I had nothing to do with the cover).

All in all, a nice time with lots of great discussions and the only mishap were some candles that melted all over the window sill. But that's a first world problem, isn't it? We are so blessed. I hope you are too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Month to the Pastry Chef

Thank goodness the Pastry Chef was so excited to see her birthday cake that she showed up at twenty to four because we were able to put her to work! She made the mistake of asking how she could help, and the next thing she knew, the Southerner had her sweeping the living room. Meanwhile, I was working furiously on her cake, trying to get it iced so I could make the bread. twenty to four.

In spite of her worries that the Southerner might get boring or the wrong birthday candles, I did talk her into letting him go to the store for them, and she rolled out the dough for this flat bread*, while I fried it up. We filled the house with smoke, which is why I usually make it long before the guests arrive, but it was so tasty, everyone forgave me.

I checked the blog yesterday to see when the last time was that I'd made one of my favourite soups...split red lentil with onion and lemon, and it was last February, so that's what we had. This is a very popular soup, so I made a lot, and we put a pretty good dent in it.

Lots of people showed up (they'd heard there was going to be cake) and we had a very fun time. There were even two miniature donkeys in the yard! The Engineers are creating a mini-farm on their one acre, and they recently got two tiny donkeys and they brought them along... as a sort of Sunday Soup Show and Tell. They were unbelievably cute, but it was too dark for the Southerner to get a picture.

As you probably know if you read this blog, the Pastry Chef is not only a fabulous, beautiful, lovely person in her own right, but she also has a wonderful family. Very nice parents, and she's the sister of the late Sous Chef. A year ago, the Sous Chef told me that the Pastry Chef would like a maple syrup cake ** for her birthday. We never made it though, because the Pastry Chef couldn't come to soup in February or March. So, yesterday, I made a maple syrup cake. It's supposed to be a sheet cake with icing, but the Pastry Chef requested the heart-shaped layer cake pans, so I doubled the recipe and made three layers. I needed something to fill it with, so I whipped the thick part of coconut milk (chill it and it will separate from the coconut water, then you just whip it like whipped cream) mixed with maple syrup. I put that between the layers, and then iced it with maple syrup icing.

After eating a piece, the Writer said, "You should be granted full Canadian citizenship on the strength of the cake alone." So I guess you could say it was a success!

Here's a picture from the Southerner of me and the Pastry Chef.

Happy Birthday, Pastry Chef!

*For the bread, I used olive oil instead of shortening.
** I used coconut oil instead of butter in the cake, and hippie vegan butter in the icing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And we're off...

Happy 2012 Everyone!!!!!

Toooooo exhausted from the holidays to write much.

Soup - White bean and carrot

Bread - Corn muffins with red pepper and onion

Guests - Many! We are so blessed.

Special treats - Yummy fruitcake, homemade pita, Christmas bread, blue cheese dip & crackers, pesto may0 & chips.

Tea - David's Three Lemon

Cutest Guest Award - Tie goes to Miss Sophie & The Pastry Chef who cuddled all evening!

Quote of the Night - The Chef: We have such nice friends.

Highlight - The Southerner did the clean-up!

2012 is off to a GREAT start!
May it bring you joy, peace, love, and lots of soup!