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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chilly Weather, a Red Maple, and some Poems

Flowers for me today. I needed some cash, so off to the grocery store I trotted. The air was really chilly, and I loved it. There was a raindrop or too coyly kissing my face, and the breeze was actually cold. I wanted to feel cold, and I welcomed the little shiver and slight goosebumps on my bare legs. It was 90 one day last week, and the 80s held on, much like disco and the year, as if they would never die.

My plack pansies and petunias are thriving, and the black hollyhocks are coming up. We fired squash blossms last week for dinner, and harvested our first gourds. I am hoping my pumpkins will bloom by the end of October. Halloween is beginning to haunt the stores. I love just looking at the displays, and eventually, choosing one or two things for our decorations, though more and more, I like to make them, or use natural objects. With all my collections, I admit decorating space is at a premium, but a little dusting, rearranging, and a pumpkin or witch strategically placed is very cheery.

Today, I bought two carnations, one all magenta, one white with magenta edges and speckles. They were really beautiful, and 75 cents each. Once in a while, there is a cheap thrill worth having.

I am in the mood for soups. I find simmering them very comforting. I have made some good ones very quickly. Last week, I combined a 12 oz can of black beans with the 12 oz can of chicken noodle, any brand, added about 1/4 c diced/chili-lime tomatoes, a little pepper, fresh lemon basil, colantro, onions, and olive oil. I sauted the onions in the olive oil first, then added the rest. I let it simmer on low, after brining it to a boil, for half an hour or so. I served it with sour cream to top, grated cheese, fresh chopped hard boiled eggs, and more chopped onions. All sorts of edible chopped peppers are also good, both in the soup, and as topping, as is a little garlic.

I made an easy tomato soup, too. I used a good roux, 1 tbsp. flour and 1 tbsp butter blended off a hot burner. I added milk, about 1 c, and let it all blend over a low fire, come to a boil, blend over a low fire. I added aobut 1/4 20 oz jar of marinara and/or vodka sauce for pasts, three or four chopped plumb tomatoes, with seeds. Onions, fresh lemon basil, chives, dried or fresh. Salt and pepper to taste. I let it simmer about half an hour, same as the bean soup. Before it is served, it is somtimes good with a pat of butter or a dollop of sour cream on top, but these are optional. We also love oyster crackers. I do similar things with pumpkin soup, either with canned pumpkin added in place of the tomatoes and sauce, or with my own pureed pumpkins when I Have them. The Moosewood Restaurant has an awesome recipe, too.

A day later, I added more vodka sauce and about 2 tbsp water to the saved tomato soup, and made pasta sauce.

Have a wonderful fall, and remember to notice the maples are now turning red. Save a few leaves, admire the last of the mums and other flowers, and look for the late roses to bloom.

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