mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: pumpernickel

snowstorm soup (from the cupboard etc.). . .

snowstorm-soup

I’ve written about making soup a number of times: all day-beef vegetable soup; quick and easy vegetable soup; stone soup and so on. Tonight, I’ve been watching the weather report to expect some inches of snow to fall tomorrow between noon and midnight. However much snow that turns out to be, the first thing I thought about was to make a hearty soup from what I already have in the cupboard and fridge in the morning just in case the power goes out (which is an emergency we like to be prepared for.)

Leaning towards a veggie melange, I decided not to use the frozen beef and marrow bones that I have in the freezer. Instead, I’m going for onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, barley, broth and stewed tomatoes.

Here’s the actual ingredients I put together this morning: chopped vidalia onions, 2 stalks of celery and two small zucchini browned in a medium sized soup pot. Sent G. to look for carrots because I was out of them. He returned with four small ones from the tenant who lives downstairs (I invited her to share a bowl with us for lunch.) Added five large mushrooms cut into big chunks, soaked a handful of barley in boiling water; added a Knorr beef broth gelatin pack, spring water and a can of Del Monte stewed tomatoes. After soaking, added the drained barley. The barley will make the soup thicken as it cooks. One bonus of making this kind of soup is that as it is consumed, you can make more broth to bring the liquids back up and make more servings. We’re enjoying soup, not a stew, after all!

scones-1Might make a batch of “scones” to go with a cup of soup for lunch. This is a twenty-five year old recipe that is easy to make at the last minute. (a cup and half of flour, a 3/4 cup of milk; and half a stick of hard butter & a pinch of salt.) This is actually half a recipe but the proportions are easy to fit into a small size Cuisinart. I whizz the flour and cold butter bits together with salt; add milk and blend until it’s mixed. Scoop out on a cookie sheet with a soup spoon and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. It creates a buttery biscuit that someone famously said was missing the “scone powder.” It’s because there’s no leavening in it but the blobs of dough and butter crisped up on the edges are divine.scones-2

The soup will simmer while the snow falls and with it for supper, I’m going to try a sandwich idea I saw in one of the cooking magazines that either float through the house or that I saw at Barnes and Noble the other day: a grilled cheese sandwich with prosciutto and granny smith apple slices on pumpernickel bread. I have some nice grated swiss cheese and might add some gruyere, one crispy apple and a pack of prosciutto that I picked up at Whole Foods the other day. Glad all these ingredients are on hand that helps me to avoid making a trek to the grocery store this morning!

A gourmet sandwich and soup made from the larder for dinner; and a cup of soup with buttery scones for lunch! I guess we’re glad we’re going to be inside while it snows – plus we can watch the wild card football game this afternoon at 3:30 while the snowstorm gets going outside.

Sounds pretty good to me!

roses . . .

yellow roses

We’re having our first deep snow today. We count ourselves lucky because it’s almost the end of January, only about two months from the first day of Spring in March! G. went out and tested the snow to see whether it was heavy with moisture or whether the snowblower might be able to handle it.

For my part, I like to make a big pot of soup when there’s snow hurling itself to the ground outside. I couldn’t find a shin of beef yesterday to make a hearty beef-vegetable soup with carrots, onions and stewed tomatoes in a beef stock. Instead, I picked up a nice slice of ham which I will cut up and brown with some sweet onion and carrots, adding in dried green peas that soaked overnight. A chicken stock will simmer the ingredients to which I’ll add a bay leaf and a couple of whole cloves stuck into some chunks of onion, careful to simmer on low heat to keep the soup from burning.

Along with the ham and pea soup which I’ll puree in the Vitamix, removing the ham bits and adding them back in, I’m planning to make grilled Reuben sandwiches. On slices of dark pumpernickel bread, I’ll layer sliced corned beef, rinsed and dried sauerkraut, swiss cheese, a layer of Russian dressing made by combining ketchup and Hellmann’s mayonnaise with pickle relish, more corned beef and shredded cheese. On a stove-top grill pan, the buttered pumpernickel sandwiches will be slowly cooked with a weight (partially filled teakettle on paper towel) turned over and cooked until crispy, then sliced in half.

Seems like this would be a great supper to have if the Super Bowl were being played this weekend. We live in Massachusetts and find unfortunately, that we’ll have to go through another week dragging the Patriots through the mud before we can watch the game and then wait for the Roger Goodell shoe to drop. Seems rather partisan to drag it out for so long, don’t you think? Partisan for those who hate winners and want to besmirch reputations. What’s the name of that coach in Baltimore again? The Ravens coach who blew the whistle about under-inflated balls even before the Colts game last week?  We’ll see what happens. But I still hope the Patriots will beat the Seahawks next week. If they do carry it off, they’ll have proven that being in this crucible of public outcry won’t stop them from winning.

I’ll just have to think some more about what to cook for supper to watch the Super Bowl next week.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the sweet bouquet of long-stemmed roses that my husband brought home last night for no reason. That’s the best kind of surprise and the most touching.

Heck, I even put on my parka, scarf, boots and hat  this morning to clear off snow from the front stoop and to provide more space for our vehicles to move freely about the driveway.

One surprise deserves another, right?