Monday, October 25, 2010


I love fall. The crisp air, the colorful leaves, the scurrying of critters collecting food for winter. Its new and exciting after the long, hot summer. As I sit on our front porch and look out at God's creation I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. It takes my breath away as I think about it and write this entry now.

With fall comes the desire to bake...even more than usual if that is possible. The warmth of the oven is a welcome event when the kitchen is cold and the rich, deep flavors of cinnamon and ginger seem to bring on thoughts of thanksgiving and Christmas. I have actually been known to long for a wood fired oven...something about it seems so homey and practical. But I will "settle" for electric and plan to bake my afternoon away regardless of my heat source.
I usually dig out old recipes and start menu planning for the coming month. There is a renewed interest in this when my options change with the seasons. Pasta salads get put away and out come the soups, chowders, casseroles and oven-roasted delicacies. Today being Monday, is a stay at home day for me. In addition to the cooler weather, today it was raining. This is an open invitation for baking. First I made a loaf of bread, then bagels, then ginger cookies using a recipe from our pastor's sweet wife. I could have easily continued, but I would have to grind more flour. So I started a crock pot with dinner and then for lunch there is soup...

Potato Soup

5 slices of uncured bacon or a chunk of ham
3 T. butter
1 large onion chopped(or 1/2 cup dried)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
10 peppercorns

1.5 lbs of potatoes, washed and chopped
2 quarts of chicken broth(I used home-canned, salt-free)

1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sharp cheese, shredded
sea salt

In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon until cristp, or saute the ham until starting to brown. Remove the meat to a small bowl. Add the butter to the drippings and then saute the onion till its translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until they are both starting to brown and caramelize. Chop up the reserved meat and add back to the pot. Add the potatoes and the broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and let simmer for an hour or until potatoes are tender. When tender, you can mash some of them with a potato masher to thicken the soup.

 Continue to cook until the desired consistency. Add the sour cream and cheese stirring until well blended and cheese is melted. Add salt to taste.

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