Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Early Autumn Color

Glass Gem corn

Wild Persimmons

Sassafras leaves

Seek-No- Farther apples

Poke berries

Glass Gem corn (again -- thanks, Dannie P.!)

Monday, October 12, 2015

My New Favorite Soup

The cooler rainy weather we're having seems to call for soup. I've made this potato/kale soup twice now -- and suspect it will become a menu regular. It's fairly quick and lends itself to all sorts of changes. Plus it's delicious.

You begin by sauteing chopped onions and garlic (and peppers in this variation) in your soup pot. I used bacon drippings for the little extra dash of flavor but oil or butter would do equally well. (The first time I made the soup, I sauteed some slices of smoked Andouille sausage  with the onions for even more flavor.)

When the onions are translucent, add diced red potatoes, chicken (or vegetable) broth, dried thyme (or oregano,) reduce heat and simmer till potatoes are tender.

Mash the potatoes in the broth. (I used a potato masher -- an immersion blender would work but I prefer the potato masher as it leaves the chunks of pepper more or less whole.) Stir in chopped kale (I used some collards as well,) Half and Half, and salt and pepper. Simmer till greens are well wilted, taste to adjust salt and pepper, and serve.

Potato Kale Soup (4 servings)

2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 red jalapeno (if you like a bit of heat as we do), seeded and chopped small
oil, butter, or bacon drippings
6 red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
Dried thyme or oregano
2-3 cups Half and Half cream
Salt and pepper
Kale, torn in bite-size pieces

Saute onions, garlic and peppers. Add potatoes, broth, herbs and simmer till potatoes are soft. Mash potatoes in pot with potato masher. Add Half and Half to desired consistency and kale. Simmer till kale is tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

A bowl of this hearty soup with a salad and bread is a perfect supper on a cool rainy day.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Falling into Sync with the Season

Layla is puzzled as I shift the decor about. Away with the summer blue and white and in with the colors of fall!

I change the pantry curtain and pillow covers in the kitchen, as well as the pillow covers in the living room.  The paintings of white lilies give way to an autumn landscape and a group of quilters.

The blue and white quilts I made that have hung from the loft railing are replaced by two antique quilts -- suitable for this time of year when my Pagan friends honor ancestors and my Christian friends are looking forward to All Souls Day.

A part of some Pagan traditions is an Ancestor altar -- I actually  have (year round) a wall covered with family pictures and a cabinet  and a shadowbox packed with family mementos.

Our corner cupboard, which held blue and white china all summer, becomes (in my mind) a tribute to the past -- shells and fossils, stones and bones, a pre-Columbian Native American bowl (the brown clay one on the right, second shelf from the bottom,) a Mayan frog, and an unknown gentleman are amongst the  objects that say Fall to me. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Blast from the Past . . . or Is it?

Continuing my purge of my workroom, de-accessioning books. going through files and folders and mysterious boxes of stuff, unopened in thirty-some years, I came across this newspaper clipping from 1972. 

I remember when the Fascinating Womanhood thing hit Tampa -- and I remember being a little appalled at the whole rigmarole that insisted that wives who wanted to be happy must follow a routine that seemed to be straight out of a Fifties sit-com. I never owned a copy of the book but I did skim through one at a friend's house. Wives were advised to act 'child-like' (well, except for when they're meeting their husbands at the door, clad only in Saran wrap --a highly recommended ploy for adding that certain something to a dull marriage.)

Women were warned against being too capable -- one suggestion was that the woman start a project and bungle it badly so that the husband can come to the rescue, thereby feeling manly as the little woman collapses on his chest and flutters her eyelashes at him. 

At its worst, FW tells the woman that if her husband is mad at her, it's her fault -- she hasn't played the game right. This is a chilling idea, especially when viewed in the light of domestic abuse -- where the abuser often blames the victim -- and the victim often feels guilty for having provoked the abuse.

The whole idea of basing a marriage on manipulation of this sort seemed to me to be degrading to husband and wife alike. So I never signed up for the classes, even though a friend of our was teaching them. (Maybe John wishes I had...)

Later that year our first child was born. When I ran out of reading material during labor, John brought me some magazines. Among them was the inaugural issue of Ms. magazine -- the popular voice of the Feminist Movement. I recall thinking as I perused its pages between contractions that this probably wasn't for me either. I would just bumble along under no banner.

As I photographed the clipping and thought about doing a post on it, I decided to check the Internet for a little more info. And to my surprise, I found that Fascinating Womanhood is alive and well  -- classes are being taught in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Utah, and Virginia. (It seems to be especially popular with Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.)

There's a wonderful essay HERE with quotes from the book that made me grind my teeth to think that women are still buying into this.

I would have thought that, outrageous as it is, Fascinating Womanhood would have gone the way of the artifact below (also from the Workroom of Lost Things.) 

(I am posting this using Claui's Hot Spot -- we still don't have our server back. I'll try to blog visit this evening but don't be surprised if I'm silent for the next few days.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Just to Say. . .

Though we never lost power during all the rains and our weather is glorious now, our internet server is down. I am briefly at the library to post this notice.  Will be back when the server is mended.