Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Day It Drizzled

The day it drizzled, William walked into my office and asked if I would make the soup, again. The potatoes, leeks, and cabbage soup. It's cool weather soup. I'm disappointed in myself for not writing down the recipe from the first time I made it... that time, I was measuring everything, because William likes to know exactly what and how much. It's not how I normally cook, but the discipline has its benefits... like being able to duplicate a good recipe. I kept saying to myself, write this one down, but I didn't. It made me nervous, this second time, about being able to recall the steps, the ratios, and making the same soup. Fortunately, it's a simple soup... and it goes something like this:

Leek~Potato~Cabbage Soup

1 clean, diced leak
2 cups red potatoes, bite size
2 cups of diced cabbage
1 carrot, diced
4 ounces of butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup half & half
6 cups water
1 tablespoon parsly
white pepper & salt, to taste

William doesn't like long strands of leek, so I quarter the length of leek, and then slice those narrowly, and set them aside. Then I sliced the potatoes into bite size pieces, and diced the carrots. Using a heavy-bottomed stock pot, I melt the butter, and before it browns I toss in the leeks, cooking them until some are golden on the edges, and then with a whisk in hand, I sprinkle in the flour and mix the flour into the buttery leeks. Next, I add the potatoes and carrots, some salt, some pepper, and stir those around, over low-medium heat. Now, I add about six cups of water, and let all of this get lightly bubbly, then reduce the heat, so it's just simmering. I test it for salt, dash in some parsley, add the half & half, or cream... cream is tasty! I hold back the cabbage until the potatoes are nearly softened, because I want the cabbage to stay a bit firm... no soggy-mushy cabbage, for me. And re-test for salt and flavor... maybe a bit more pepper? Everything is simmering away, and ready to eat when the cabbage and potatoes are cooked to your liking.

The day it drizzled, I made this soup, and then went out into the garden to pick spinach for quiche. I decided to add beet greens, too. Those are my latest garden crush! I like beet greens in my smoothie, and beet greens salad, and I figured they're a lot like spinach, and would work fine in a quiche. I was also looking forward to seeing bright pink splashes of color in the dish. Pretty.

In the garden, I saw our squash are growing... we call that part of the garden our Lasagna Garden! We have high hopes. The branches we trimmed from the apricot tree are full of blossoms! Very concerning: The apricot tree is not full of blossoms! Oh-gob, did we prune the wrong branches?? Won't that be crushing? We have high hopes for apricots, too. The tree is leafy, but not a single bloom. The spinach is leafy, too, and manages to thrive in spite of my hens, who visit the garden beds and upset everything... which brings to mind the fence I want to put in, so the chickens can "free-range" in a controlled zone.

Quiche is good for using up eggs, but nothing is using up our eggs as fast as the are hens laying! We give away eggs, all the time! They're are such good, generous hens. Perhaps it's time for me to think of earning a little egg money. I love sharing, but as I cannot get blogging to pay, I really should be a sensible farmer, and see about making cash for scratch. Any takers? Local folks, who would like fresh eggs from hens who eat organic food, free-range, and are sublimely happy? $3 for half a dozen. They're pretty and delicious!

The day it drizzled, I washed dishes, and gazed out the kitchen window, thinking about my mom, my brothers, my grandmother, and I felt pangs of homesickness, longing for the days when we were often together. I thought about summer plans that need to be made, and plans for spring break. I thought about Pride and Prejudice, which I am reading, again. A book like that can lead to all sorts of lovely thoughts... travel, pinafores, baking, love, relationships, passion, reserve, silly things, and silly notions, and long walks in long skirts. Lovely... the book, the thoughts... the drizzly day.

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