Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Autumn Daze and Purple Soup

So, there you have it. Summer has officially come
to and end. On the calendar anyway. I however plan on taking just a bit of summer with me through at least the first couple of weeks of autumn. As long as the tomatoes last and the blackberries keep ripening. Ah, the tastes of harvest. I think fall might actually be my favorite season. Well, my favorite weather anyway. I have rhapsodized about the spring thaw and championed the cause of those lazy summer days, but really the autumn with its crisp, clear mornings and warm, bright afternoons is a delight almost incomparable. Take time to notice. This is one of our last nice days for a while. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 45 with some rain and snow. Therefore, this will be a short post, so I can get out on the porch with my book. Ok, you caught me...bookS! What I really want to share is the fun I have been having experimenting with all those yummy veggies that are so abundant right now. When mom said, "eat your greens!" she left out a whole rainbow amiable esculents. I have discovered that... Asparagus is heavenly in omelets. Tomatoes go
with everything. Zucchini is probably the hardest working veggie out there. Broccoli is yummo cooked, raw and everwhere in between. You can grow eggs in the garden. And kids have a really
hard time eating purple hashbrowns now matter how good they taste.
Last night we had purple soup for dinner. See these adorable purply spuds! Ok, so I do not have a recipe because I really cook better on the fly and the rules are more like guidelines anyway, right?
Seasonal Purple Soup
So, I started with a pot of boiling broth and water. Added some salt and pepper. Threw in cubed purple potatoes, shredded purple cabbage, and a big chopped up leek. Added a couple of cloves of garlic (which happened to also have purple skins) and a sprig of fresh rosemary cuz I had it in the garden. I let that cook down until the potatoes were soft. Then I pureed about two cups of the soup and added it back in for some thickness. It was purple. We ate it with some whole wheat flatbread and a tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Seriously, does not get better this time of year. I think the soup would be good with left over chicken or even a bit of a quality sausage if you like things spicy! Go to the market and see what is fresh, then just start throwing things together. You might be surprised at how much you like this way of cooking. Happy eating...
Quote of the day: "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread; places to play in and pray in; where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
--John Muir naturalist and explorer

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Many Blogs Could A Blogger Read If A Blogger Could Read Blogs?

Nearly a year ago, I posted a tiny communique about blogging. Not very long and truthfully not that interesting. But I have been thinking again about it as of late and would like to, if you will all indulge, revisit the subject. And I have a favor to ask. The original blog from December of 2008 read in part...
"What an odd phenomenon is the blog world. Who are we to think that we have anything to say that anyone would want to hear? Most of the time, I doubt that my own family (i.e. those obligated by blood or marriage to at least pretend to be interested) particularly cares what I have to rant or ramble about. Are we truly a narcissistic society, so caught up in our own opinions and postulations as to believe that others would want to read them, to the tune of thousands of bloggers, publishing thousands upon thousands of posts each week? Clearly, yes, we are. BUT truth be told...I love it!...I love the sneak peek into the daily (even if mundane) lives of friends and family. Do I think that it would be better for us to bind these ties face to face? Yes, but that is not the reality of the times we are living in. I live 100's of miles from my "hometown". Also true of my college home. My friends and family are spread literally from border to border and from sea to shining sea. We have, however, this place to converge, to rally, to reunite, to associate, to mingle, to share, to connect and reconnect. So, while there may not always be a lot to say, keep saying it. Real people, real lives. Ordinary and humdrum at times. Remarkable and Amazing at others."
I still believe this to be true, perhaps even more so now. I have seen some remarkable things over the year since my somewhat trepidatious entrance into the blogosphere. I have "met" some amazing people, reconnected with old friends and drawn closer to family. I have seen babies born, and couples wed (not necessarily in that order)...birthdays celebrated and anniversaries marked...rejoiced with some friends and cried with others. Am I alone in my sentiment, sickeningly saccharine as it may be? Do any of you have experiences with this medium that have touched, inspired, angered or fed you? I want answers I tell ya! So here is where the favor comes in. I want to know who you are. Am I getting to read all the bloggers' blogs who hit my blog? Please, if you read this...leave a comment. If you have an experience, share it. If not, just say hi so I can go check out your blog! If I already know who you are...leave a comment anyway so I don't look like a big dork standing in the corner all by myself waiting for someone to ask me to dance.
Quote of the Day: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss philosopher

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Mother Invented Necessity...or Something Like That!

I do not love sewing. I know how to sew, although my lack of attention to detail dictates that no one ever look on the inside of a garment I have made. Ever. I do keep a scrapbook, but it will certainly never win any awards or make it into one of those cutsie magazines. I cannot knit and I crochet like I have feet where my hands should be. My quilts would undoubtedly be crooked if I ever got around to making any. There is dust on nearly every flat surface in my house and at least one rotten vegetable in my fridge. I am no good at throwing dinner parties. I cannot decorate to save my life and there are no "best dressed" awards in my future either. I will never be PTA president.
That being said... I do enjoy cooking and if you do not like what I make for dinner, there is always toast because I am nice. Sometimes there is even homemade butter to go on it. I love the outdoors, camping, yoga, hiking and biking. I love God. Music is a high priority in my life. Making music, and listening to it brings me great joy. I have at least 5 books going at all times and I still love to read aloud to my kids, even though they all know how to read themselves. I am funny. I still like to color and glue stuff to construction paper. I can think of at least 10 things to do with an old box and I recycle like crazy. I also compost my kitchen scraps. I love to garden, and while it never looks perfect, it brings me pleasure (also fruits,veggies and eggs). I always vote.
Ok, so the point? My friend Brenda recently lent me a book about mothering and the opening paragraph was all I really needed to read to get that little light bulb to go off. Although I am finishing it anyway.
"Can you imagine what the world would be like if all the mothers in the world were exactly alike in how they behaved, in their approach to motherhood, and in the strengths and talents they shared with their families? I confess I feel great relief in knowing that we can each be our own kind of mom, a complete original unlike any other mother on the face of the planet. If we as mothers do something we absolutely love alongside raising children we absolutely love, we will almost guarantee that our children will be raised in an atmosphere steeped in joy."
--Debra Sansing Woods It's Okay To Take A Nap
That is the point. I could shut up now and all you moms out there would have received the message that I want to convey, but if you ever read this blog you will know it is hard to shut me up. But really, is not that all we want for our kids...to be "steeped in joy". What more is there? If I begrudgingly go about activities that I don't enjoy in the name of "perfect" parenting, where does that leave me or my kids at the end of the day. I am guessing tired. And not just nap tired! Sometimes I have wished that I was a different kind of mother. The kind that could knit and sew and bottle peaches. That was good at making them do chores and teaching them to always send thank you cards. That each room in our house was straight off the showroom floor complete with handcrafted quilts on the beds and stunning one of a kind baby scrapbooks on the shelves. And, and, and... But that's not me. In the end I think there will be more joy in my home if I learn to capitalize on my strengths. Do I have to know how to do everything? Nope. Do I have to drive myself crazy trying? No way! Can I learn new things? Of course! Can I find joy in those "must-do's" of motherhood? Certainly! Will I constantly strive to be a better person, friend, wife and mother? I will!
This is me. I am one of a stinkin' kind! And in the end I want to be the kind of mother who finds joy in doing things I love with people I love (and also mopping the floors).