Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

everything but the kitchen sink soup

Alas it befalls me to tell the tale of lunch. It is one of those days wherein lunch must be made. Mike is, again, sleeping. I should point out here that Mike is not lazy. Rather, he works while the rest of us sleep and so must sleep when we are up and about in the day time. Anyway, It was the middle of the day. I am still recuperating from a violent bout of asthmatic bronchitis or as I like to call it, pneumonia. And yet I am hungry. I think that some of the meds make me more so.
The fridge is a fright. There- it is out. There are things in that crisper that should never be named. I beheld the spectacle with woe (and hunger) and no small amount of fear. And then, armed with the ever present fat free half and half, and left over chicken broth, I resolved to make the soon to be famous, 'everything but the kitchen sink soup.'
There was asparagus and garlic and broccoli. there was a pepper and some grapes. No silly, I did not use the grapes. One does not add grapes to the soup unless one comes from the west coast. There were a few desultory apples. There was a longish portion of baguette left from the once and former accidental potato soup, which might make rather nice croutons if coated with some olive oil, mustard powder, onion, dried basil and dusted with parmesan.
And the carrots were still crisp enough to be lightly steamed and served just so.
And behold: there was lunch.
While I was about lunch, I found some prehistoric filo dough in the freezer and resolved to make use of those three slightly shriveled apples to concoct what can loosely be called dessert. I am no master of filo dough and my hat is off to the chefs who make it look easy to roll up some chopped apples and hazelnuts with nary a shred in the fine leafs and make it look wonderful. But I will say it was not actually on the plates long enough for us to bemoan its lack of gustatorial beauty.
And so you have the tale of lunch. And the fridge is clean.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

accidental soup

Recipe for roasted burnt garlic and potato soup
I was hungry. I was sickly, trying to get over a tenacious debilitating upper respiratory infection. Mike was sleeping. We were down to a few old potatoes ( the ugly ones that no one wants to bother with, too puny, too gnarly). I may have been running a fever. 
Are you feeling sorry for me yet?
So I peeled the potatoes and began the boil. Found half an onion in the fridge, some garlic in the garlic keeper on the counter and tossed it all in the pot. After the potato softened I drained the pot, leaving a little of the original water in it and added the chicken broth left over from who knows when 
and then! the coup de gras ...fat free half and half. 

I put it on a low flame and went back to the couch and forgot about it. 

Until Mike woke up and asked  what I was burning. 
I leapt from my nest and ran to the kitchen-about four feet, and found my soup in a near burned condition, thick and browning at the edges and just barely salvageable. and it was the. best. soup. ever. 
Have I re-invented the twice baked potato soup of some once and former time? It is delicious. The burned garlic makes it so. The onions are indistinguishable and the consistency is of mashed potatoes and extra gravy. 

The first time, since I burned it, I did not need a roux. I was tempted to add butter but declined. Mike added pepper. I could imagine left over ham, or capers and anchovies or indeed even a de chickenifed vegetarian version. I suppose you could pre roast the garlic, make biscuits from scratch and add sherry, if you are so inclined, but I am satisfied with the simplicity of my accidental soup.
It is the hit of the season! A humble soup. A gratifying fare, and as I bake the pillsbury grands rolls from a tube to go with it, and consider an extra dab of butter, I thought I would share this story of my new re invention. 
Welcome to our winter table.

on lists and to do's

For me a list serves as a kind of placeholder. Once i write it is like a mental bookmark. I am more likely to remember it! Like Marilyn, I often loose them. Like Theresa, my list making has changed over the years.
I keep journals and sometimes make a list in them and I use computers, spreadsheets and iphone reminders and pencils and pens. Like I said, it is soothing to me and gives me some sense of order-I can put something on a list and let it rest there for a while. It is safe. I will not forget it. Sometimes I even make a painting out of it.
You might even say I love list making. It is an extension of my writing and it centers me. So much for the lofty side of list making. I poke fun at myself. My lists are optimistic. They are a look at what I would like to accomplish but I do not use them to beat myself up. 
It is interesting to see all of the different approaches and methods and opinions of lists. I like it when the conversation is lively. Being sick has given me a chance to participate a bit more.As I get back to work I will not have this much to say. 
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas , Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Solstice, New Year and all that your wishes are fulfilled:)
Here is a copy of a list I made in a spreadsheet in 2009. Some things have been done and others are still in progress...and some other things were accomplished and never made the list!
I will be making a New Years list. Will you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

this time

I made a list of twelve things I would like to finish. 
I decided to split them between quilted and knitted things, six of each. 
I know I have more things buried in my stash but this is a good place for me to begin. Some are already mostly done. 
One quilt needs a binding. 
Two are ready to be sent to the quilter. I have two shawls that are nearly done and just need a border. 
Then I allowed myself a couple of new items-more later. 
and I added an entry for 'guest finish'. I crack myself up.

I am feeling better. Still out of work for the week due to this bronchial infestation but today I have not coughed at all and that is a relief after three weeks of constant hacking. Thankful to modern medicine. 

This year I have put up no tree, done no baking-yet, done zero shopping. Just made neckwarmers. As always I feel like it is not enough. But my kids are adults. And we are all able bodied working folk, so none of need to be showered with extraneous stuff. Each year I think I do not need to over do ( And mind you with four kids and various spousi there are a lot of stockings to fill)
and I plan to scale back and always I feel like I am not doing enough. This may be the year I do not reneg on my promise to myself and let go of the mania. Just this once.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December poem

I have used the nine or so lives of this house. 
they are neatly crossed utensils lain just so on an encrusted plate,
In a glance I recall exactly what was there
and what was used to create it
and who made the art and what it is made of and
I know where the light switches are
on which side of the wall when you enter the room
and what the wall feels like 
and the smell of the paint as it dried lingering for days until it became cool and powdery to the touch 
and the first flaw and the layers that compounded
and the when it began to look like it needed a new coat and the time it became apparent that there would not be one.
how many steps to the stairs and which way to turn to go up and the table by the door that must be avoided so as not to leave a nasty bruise on the thigh.
I have used this small house and it has been a theatre for the dramas of my company
each actor performing simultaneously in their own private act.
Sometimes the effect was cacophony and poly rhythmic
and other times a quiet as the ticking of the clock on the wall-the one that stopped at ten past two and was not restarted for years.
and when it finally resumed its tick tocking,
the cat was alarmed and strove to get to the closest point on top of the adjacent wardrobe to investigate. She nearly fell off. I took a picture. the things you will see if you watch: all happening right in front of you and all around you and inside of you. 
all combined until you think you are one with it and then it vanishes
and all you have are your own thoughts tick tocking 
and it is enough

Sunday, December 11, 2011


these- I have three
or these.. ! have four.
The thing about being sick enough to stay home from work, is while you are home you do not have the energy to actually do all of the things that you would like to be doing at home. I would like to be accomplishing something more than napping and coughing but I am not likely to be doing so for the next few days. So this is me, upright for the moment, wishing I were doing something more constructive and trying to be patient while the body gets better.
**I did find a few buttons**

Saturday, December 03, 2011


About 2500 stitches in a little over six hours. Binding accomplished.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

no news is good news.......

Gratuitous cat picture...33 inches, and not even trying.

Macy's Window.
Very steam punk.

Not much Quilty news here lately. I have been commuting to the city and enjoying the holiday atmosphere.
Hmm a new Apple Store in Grand Central Station.......