I’ll be up front: I’m no stealthy nutrient-pusher, a la Jessica Seinfeld. You remember Jerry’s wife, and her book about getting vegetables into your kids by lacing their mac ‘n cheese with cauliflower puree and their peanut butter cookies with carrot mash? Partly my objection to this way of cooking is my own sheer laziness: I hate fiddling with Cuisinarty appliances, even plain old blenders. And partly it’s principle: I think good food should speak for itself without concealment.
(I mean, I love peanut butter cookies and I adore carrots. But together? They’re no heavenly Reese’s-style collision waiting to happen! Chocolate chips in the batter, yes. Carrots? Yikes!)
That said, I have one sneaky dish that I make every fall just to see if anyone notices. Well, and because I adore it.
It starts with this humble, homely ingredient:
“Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” Beethoven once said.
“So Beethoven, You Want Cheese on Your Chili?” I once said.
I love soup. Love, Love, Love it.
I love Halloween. Love, Love, Love it.
Life is like a patch-work quilt made of bits & pieces of the past, the present and plans for the future. A masterpiece “scrap” quilt only looks as if random chaos miraculously morphed into balance, beauty and order. However, an experienced quilter knows that looks can be deceiving.
Ever feel stuck about what to say? For somebody who goes through as many words in a week as I do, both written and spoken, you might be surprised to learn that I’m often a big blank. Either I can’t think of anything worthwhile to contribute, or I have so many different wisps of things to talk about that I can’t latch onto just one to grow, or maybe I’m feeling too private about certain details – good tale, bad timing.
Whatever the cause, I can’t get going. (And yes, I’m talking about a way of being as much as a way of blogging. )
So what do I do in tongue-tied times like those?
It’s that way this autumn on the farm. Delicious. The weather, harvest, the sunlight… the whole lot of it. In addition to being my favorite time of year, it’s the time of year when things are busiest – lambs to market, garden (or what little of it there is this year) to preserve, school begins, a cow to breed, horses to ride. Come with me as we take a look around…
When I think of October, I think of all kinds of color.
The colors of autumn leaves, orange and red and gold.
The colors of Halloween, orange and black.
The colors of a flannel shirt, red and green plaid.
And the color Pink.
Research says that one color truly stands out in a crowd. One. This courageous color grabs the eye. It energizes our psyche, stimulates thought and undeniably makes a statement like no other color. The famous fashion designer, Bill Blass, offered a simple guideline when he said, “When in doubt … wear red.” People have definite feelings about color. What is your take on red? You have an opinion, one way or the other … even if it lies under the surface of more pressing priorities. Market research says so. The magic of red is this: There is no complacency in the life of red.
(Above: my newly acquired “crimson red” antique cubby.)
Show me a handmade quilt and I’ll show you a happy Paula. I’ve been known to covet friends’ family heirlooms, swoon over intricate versions hanging in museums, and, yes, buy a treasure or two that called to me in an antique shop. I love many mass-market quilts too — in fact I sleep under one every night — but I hold a special place in my heart for those hand-stitched works of art.
So why am I having twinges of quilt guilt?