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Saturday, September 11th, 2010

End Of Summer Chowder

Lately, all I can think about is soup.  Soup and fresh bread to sop it up with.  I took back all of the books on preserving I borrowed from the library and took out a bunch of books about soups and bread.  I made Mollie Katzen’s corn chowder for dinner on Friday with BLT’s and the whole pot of soup was gone by lunch this afternoon.    I ate a bowl for dinner, a bowl for dessert and one more as a midnight snack.  I finished off the last one for lunch today.  When soup is good, it’s good.  

I used to go back and forth about cookbooks but now I’m totally confident.  I have officially and finally decided how they work for me.  They’re just ideas.  I think I have enough home cooking experience and hours of cooking show viewing under my belt to understand general principles and proportions.  So, when I had neither waxy potatoes nor a single stalk of celery on hand I decided to run with it anyway because I did have a bunch of corn languishing in the fridge.

I didn’t have any celery but a little something flickered in the back of my mind.  A traditional mirepoix would have carrot, onion and celery.  Another (in case you want to read more) might have green pepper or tomato.  So I poked around in the fridge and found a couple of carrots and substituted them in place of the celery.  I poked around a little more and turned up, under a shocking number of bags each containing a single lime, two russet potatoes.  Why not?  The end result was very pleasing and I’m glad I wasn’t deterred from putting all of that corn to good use.  That’s right.  I used it all up just in time to run out and buy some more.   I need some kind of 12 step program.

The contents of my market bags has changed a little.  I still bought some corn and more peaches but I my arms were also weighed down by bags of white and sweet potatoes and apples.  There are still plenty of tomatoes and melons to be had but I sense the shift.  I bought plums last weekend and made cake planning to buy them again this weekend for knoedels.  Only to be told that they’re done.  Done?  How can that be?  I’m going downtown tomorrow to see what I can find.  I refuse to believe it’s over.  Refuse.

Meanwhile, I’ll get started turning my sacks of potatoes into more soup.  I borrowed the Soup volume of the SmartCook Collection.  A book I would have otherwise passed over except that I had a flicker of name recognition for the author, Delia Smith.  It’s broken up by season and, on first pass, I’m wanting to make all the soups in the autumn section.  I also have Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Bread Bible.  I was pretty happy with Artisan Bread but I’m feeling ambitious.  Maybe I’ll actually read it and learn something instead of just looking at the pictures.  I’m trying to talk myself out of new bread pans.  Must. be. strong.

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