Posted tagged ‘soup’

“Turkey is undoubtedly one of the best gifts that the New World has made to the Old.”

November 25, 2017

When Gracie and I went out earlier, I was surprised by how warm a morning it is. The sun is shining, and there is a slight breeze. It was quiet except for music from the radio of a car being parked next door. The car belongs to a man who works for my neighbor, the landscaper. When he opened the car door, the music stopped. It was quiet again. I was still in the backyard waiting for Gracie. She took her time. I didn’t mind, though, as I got to be outside enjoying the morning for a bit.

My groceries are being delivered in a while. I open the door, and they are brought to the kitchen where I start putting them away. When I shopped, I aways hated bringing the bags inside the house as it took so many trips. Now I complain about putting the groceries away.

Last night for dinner I had leftovers. They were almost as good as the Thanksgiving meal.    They reminded me a turkey is never a single meal. It seems to last forever. First is the grand meal then hot turkey sandwiches that night, cold turkey sandwiches piled high with stuffing and cranberry sauce the next day or two then turkey salad and finally turkey soup. My dad was a champion at picking the meat from the turkey bones. I think he looked forward to it every year. Not even the smallest piece of meat escaped him. He left an empty carcass.

This weekend will be a quiet one. I have nothing planned. Tonight I’ll watch a new Hallmark movie. I don’t know what it is, but I can guess. The possible plots are easy: two people will meet on a plane or a train or at the airport and fall in love, a curmudgeon will do a Scrooge like make-over and love Christmas, a kid will get his wish, someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas will find it in his or her heart and in doing so will fall in love.

I’m watching the antithesis of those Hallmark movies on a program called Homicide for the Holidays. I figure it will counteract all the sugar from Hallmark. I just watched a detective at his desk talking on the phone about murders during a house invasion on Christmas Eve. Behind the detective were Christmas decorations. A gold garland outlined the window and cards were strung on a string across it. Quite festive indeed!

“We take a last look out of the window at the night, and I send a silent wish to everyone out there for this kind of warmth.”

October 26, 2017

The rain has been a deluge at times and hasn’t completely stopped since Tuesday night. We’ve had somewhere between three and four inches of rain. Streets are flooded. Yesterday my mailman said he couldn’t get down the street beside mine as there was such a huge puddle he was afraid his truck wouldn’t make it. Gracie squats as close to the door as she can. She is no dumb animal. I have to go to the dump today so I’m hoping for a lull.

When I was a kid, rain and leaves meant walking carefully on my way to school. It was easy to slip and fall. The wet leaves covered the sidewalks as if glued to them by the rain. Mostly the downed leaves were yellow. It was a yellow brick road.

We didn’t carry umbrellas, and I didn’t have a raincoat. I always got soaked. In school, I’d just have to sit and wait to dry. At home after school, I usually put on my pajamas and slippers. They were my cozy clothes. I always wore slipper socks with anti-slide bottoms. I got a new pair every Christmas. Even now I have a couple of pairs, but they are old, and stretched. The toe ends are longer than my feet, and I have to keep pulling the sock part up, but that doesn’t matter. My feet stay toasty warm.

A cold spell is coming which just means the weather will be more seasonal. The nights will get down to the 40’s. It’s time to use my blanket and snuggle under the down.

Stews, casseroles and soups are winter meals to me. My mother would sometimes fill our lunch box thermoses with soup. She always included Saltines and a dessert. Most times she remembered the spoons, but sometimes she didn’t so I’d slurp my soup from the thermos cup being careful not to let the soup spill. I wasn’t always successful.

I haven’t gotten dressed yet. I am comfy and cozy. In a while I’ll drag myself upstairs, get dressed, fill the car with trash, brave the rain and go to the dump. When I get home, it’s back to cozy.

“What hath night to do with sleep?”

October 1, 2017

Welcome to October: fall, football season, pumpkins on my front steps, cold nights and crisp mornings, leaves turning and falling and a sharp, slanted sunlight. Today is all of those. Last night it was in the high 40’s, and I needed an afghan. This morning my house was only 64˚ so I turned on the heat until it was warm. I’m wearing a sweatshirt. First we had sun then clouds and now sun again. I’m watching the Patriots.

Here on the cape, this is the best month. The tourists are mostly gone except on the weekends, and this is the high season for busloads of guided retirees on weekdays. They stop at Cuffy’s for sweatshirts with Cape Cod across the chest, and at Christmas Tree shops for who knows what.

This is the season for soups loaded with fresh vegetables, especially squash. I love butternut squash bisque, and it is on my fall menu, those recipes I want to make.

The colors of fall are beautiful. I always love the first appearance of mums. The bright yellows, the muted reds, the bronze, the whites and the lavenders sitting out front of farm stores always catch my eye. Sometimes I stop and buy only one or two, but I have been guilty of mum buying sprees so I’m cautious.

It’s time for me to decorate my house with my yin and yang decorations. I have gourds which look real, pumpkins of all sizes, some lit, some unlit, and garlands of colored leaves. My Halloween storage boxes are filled with rats, really ugly life-like rats, ravens, monsters, skeletons and witches. I have purple and orange lights. I’ll start after my nap today and finish tomorrow.

A nap? Yes, I am in dire need of a nap. I didn’t turn off my light until close to three this morning then I was tossing and turning. I heard the cat throw up, and I just ignored her and turned over. The dog woke me at eight. She needed to go outside. I dragged myself off the couch and took her out. It was a good thing I did. When we came back inside, we all, the three of us, went back to sleep, but it wasn’t enough for me. I slept for only an hour, but I’m still tired and grouchy. I’m even hoarse. I did find a hairball Maddie had tossed up and cleaned it. I’m so ready to join Maddie and Gracie in the land of Nod.

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

May 15, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up this morning. I had turned off the heat so it was only 63˚. Outside is damp and cold and filled with clouds. It will rain again. Right now it is 49˚. Such is spring near the ocean.

Mother’s Day was wonderful. My friend Tony feted his wife Clare and me. The table was lovely. Beside our place settings were cards and wrapped chocolates. My candy was wintergreen patties, one of my favorite. We started with shrimp cocktail and salad followed by dinner: chicken and mashed potatoes and hot rolls. I do love my mashed potatoes. Dessert was a light, creamy lime tart. Everything was perfect except I didn’t win our game of Phase 10. Clare exalted in her victory.

I have despaired of ever seeing the sun again. I have memories which are beginning to fade over time. Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few items on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few things on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

 

 

I bought my house when I was 29. It came with nightmares. The mortgage was half my monthly salary. Out of the rest of my salary, I had to pay everything else including groceries. I was penurious. Buying the house meant no more traveling every summer, no more eating out and a moratorium on new clothes. It was make-do. I had little furniture. The phone guy came in and remarked I seemed to be living primitively. My desk was also my dining room table. My couch was my bed. All the furniture was in the downstairs bedroom renamed the den. Gradually I filled every room with furniture and doo-dads. My pay went up while my mortgage remained the same. It took five years, but I was finally able to travel again. I went to Europe. I was fulfilling my childhood dream to see the world, and, for the first time, I had a house and home waiting for me. I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better than that.

“Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said?”

March 4, 2016

The snow is already covering the tops of branches. The roads are wet, and I think they’ll probably freeze when the temperature goes down this afternoon. Gracie and I finished four errands, and I couldn’t wait to get home. It’s cold.

The dump was fairly empty. Smarter people than I stayed home cozy and warm. I was the only one in the hardware store which does make sense. I guess whatever you need in a hardware store isn’t always immediate during a snow storm. The cat food stop was a necessity. Agway didn’t have many people either. My last stop was to buy lunch. I bought chicken noodle soup, the ultimate comfort food. Rita, the magician of soups, uses egg noodles, huge cuts of carrots and lots of chicken. I even bought two.

On days like today my mother often packed soup for our lunches. She’d fill the thermos bottles and make sure we had plenty of Saltines. Most times the soup was either tomato or chicken noodle. I liked eating from my thermos. I’d slowly and carefully pour the soup into the cover trying not to splash then I’d put the stopper back to keep the rest of the soup hot. I’d crumple the crackers into the soup. They sucked up all the liquid but that’s how I liked it. My mother also packed desserts, usually cookies. I was never big on fruit for lunchbox dessert. I always thought fruit was a snack. Dessert needed sugar and maybe chocolate.

We’ll only get a couple of inches of wet snow. I keep looking out the window watching it fall. The flakes change direction. Now they are from the north. A while back they seemed to come straight down. Because there is no wind, the flakes aren’t frantic. They fall slowly, individually.

All the bird feeders are filled, and I threw some on the ground under the deck. There were a few goldfinches still clad in winter drab dining al fresco this morning.

I feel a nap coming on!

“Worries go down better with soup”

October 23, 2015

Today is windy and cold. The heat even went on this morning but it shut off once the house got warm. My street, usually quiet during the day, is aflutter with workers and noise. The roofers are still across the street and another truck is down the end of the street working on something in another neighbor’s house.

I think I’m on the road to recovery, but I’m exhausted. I still have that deep voice suited for those obscene phone calls and I still have a cough. I love my afternoon naps.

When I was a kid, we used to buy Smith Brothers wild cherry cough drops. I loved them because they tasted more like candy than medicine. It was easy to finish a box eating one right after the other. I liked the bearded Smith Brothers on the package. They looked so serious and stern befitting men who made medicine. Mark’s beard was better than his brother’s.

Cough medicine always tasted awful. My mother would come in with the bottle and the spoon, and I’d cringe knowing what was coming. The cough medicine was always thick, and if I had known the word vile back then, I’d have used it. I opened my mouth reluctantly knowing I really had no choice. My mother was relentless.

My mother had her sayings and warnings for winter, her truisms. Starve a cold, feed a fever was one of them. She believed in the medicinal power of soup be it chicken or tomato and that’s mostly what we ate when we were sick. I always believed it worked. I felt warm inside and out, and it was never too much to have to eat. We had the bundle up or you’ll catch cold admonition if we dared go without a hat because as every mother knew most of your body head escaped through your head. We would never go outside in the winter with wet hair because we were bound to catch a cold. I used to think wet hair attracted cold germs.

When I was a kid I never doubted my mother and her medical knowledge. I know better now about hats and wet hair, but my mother was right on about soup. Yesterday I had chicken noodle and saltines. I could have been ten again.