Friday, August 26, 2011

fall colors

blueberry picking at Hatcher's Pass
The fern in our woods have turned a ruddy brown overnight. We are getting ready to chop more firewood for winter, and teatime is happening about twice a day on average lately. Fall colors surround me...

This is my old (o l d) Bible. My stepmom gave it to me when I was sixteen, and that was over half my life ago. Clear tape holds the spine together (I thought of using duct tape, since this is Alaska, but couldn't quite bring myself to it). And we've been reading Justin Morgan Had a Horse (the kids love it when I sing the title to the tune of "Old MacDonald") - and though I was never into horses or horse stories as a kid, I am loving these classics by Marguerite Henry. 

Made this soup tonight - chili corn chowder, off the cuff, which is pretty much the only way I know how to cook (recipes are just suggestions, right?). This is by no means a foodie blog (we'll leave that to the fabulous Joy the Baker) but this was darn good. Let me tell you...
1. Get a big pot. Chop up some reindeer sausage (or, for you non-Alaskans, ham or kielbasa would work) and a whole onion. Yes, I said a whole onion - just go for it. Throw it in the pot and cook on medium. 
2. Chop some celery - I used three stalks, and I'm amazed that I actually remembered an amount to tell you, because I really don't keep track of measurements - and throw that in, too. I would also toss in some garlic, but I forgot to this time.
3. Find a five year old who likes to open cans, and get him to work on two cans of diced tomatoes, one can of green chilies, and a can of tomato paste.
4. Stir in about...I dunno, a half-cup of brown rice. On top of that, toss in a few cups of chicken or turkey broth. I make this in big batches and freeze in containers, so I had to wait for mine to thaw. Dump in the tomatoes, add a few chopped green chilies, and drizzle a little molasses on top. Stir in the tomato paste, and maybe add a little flour and water if you don't think it's thick enough.
5. Add a bunch of corn, and keep simmering until the rice is done. I also added some shakes of black pepper, and if I weren't sharing it with the kids, I would've added some cayenne, too. Serve with shredded cheese and a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream. And if you ask the kids if they want a "dollop" of yogurt, even the non-yogurt eaters will want some just because it sounds so cool.

Sophie is not fall-colored. She is also not allowed on the counter, but that didn't seem to matter because she wanted to be part of the photo (I guess it still doesn't matter, because she's asleep there right now and I'm not doing anything about it - she's good company). 

And, some beautiful fall things that you might like...
French Press Cozy - Mustard, Plum

Peasant baby dress Red Damask Size 0-3 month 3-6 months 6-9 months 9-12 months 12-18 months 18-24 months 2T 3T 4T 5T 6 7 8

piper jane's reversible pinafore - pop garden - 18 - 24 mo, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T

knit baby earflap hat or photo prop, newborn to 3 months - cranberry red with stripes, ready to ship

October Splendor Series - Brass Findings - Earrings with Green 2

Quick side note - JM handmade, mompotter and Baruch's Lullaby are all nominated in Babble's top 50 Etsy moms of 2011! You can vote for all of us! JM Handmade is "Joanne" (currently in 12th place), mompotter is, well, mompotter (and kicking our tails in first place!) and your very own Baruch's Lullaby is currently just 2 clicks away from 3rd place, as "Shannon." It just takes a few seconds to vote for each of us! Thanks! Hope you are having a lovely fall!


bananaorangeapple said...

What a lovely post. I don't think I could handle eating a reindeer, but here in Australia we eat the animals that make up our coat of arms so who am I to talk?

I will have to check that story out. I do love a good horse story. Thanks for reminding me, I have one I want to review on my blog.

mamacateyes said...

Did you ever watch the Cajun chef on PBS. Justin was his name. I don't like Cajun food but watching him was GREAT fun. "you put in pinch" all the while he is standing there shaking more and more in. He measured in handfuls and pinches. Isn't that what makes cooking fun?

GingerPeachT said...

Aww you live in Alaska and getting cold weatHer again? I love fall!! I live in the swamp of Louisiana so it's still scorching here :-)

Tj from cast team!

Thea said...

We're stubbornly enjoying the last breath of summer around here, but the mornings are chill and the gutter full of leaves, so it's close. I know it is.

Beautiful post, and thank you so much for linking to my shop! You're too sweet.

Kathleen said...

Did you make your own reindeer sausage? Brrrr - looks cold there already (I know, I am a wimp!) Love the Henry books and I read everyone I could get my hands on - as well as any other animal story the libray had. The classics are still my favorites ;-)