December 7th, 2010

round tuit

Ain't done yet

Next up on the ol' to-do list:

Gotta clean the house, since company's coming. Progressive dinner is this Saturday, and we're in charge of the entree. I'm thinkin' steak au poivre, with roasted veggies, horseradish cheese, and Hawaiian rolls.

Which means I've got to go shopping today for a coupla PISMOs to butcher. Oh, yeah, and finish decorating the fershlugginer tree.
camp cook

Pumpkin Soup recipe (by request)

I was asked for this recipe last night at the Clergy Christmas Dinner. Glad to oblige.

1 cup chopped onion (a medium onion is about 3/4 cup, so go large)
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
5 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups chicken broth or stock
4 cups pumpkin puree (I never use canned pumpkin*)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian flat-leaf parsley)

Plan of Attack
1. Put a bit of olive oil in the bottom of your pot and add onions, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and salt. Cook a bit until onions start to turn shimmery.
2. Add broth and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. Puree soup. (I used my stick blender, since that's a whole lot easier than transferring the contents to a blender in batches, and besides, I was cooking 4 1/2 gallons of soup.)
4. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 more minutes. Stir in heavy cream.
5. Serve with a garnish of parsley.

*Deanne and I get a lot of compliments on our pumpkin pies and now, our soup. Every year, I cook up at least one large pumpkin and freeze it in 1 1/2 cup portions (our pie recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin). That way, I always have fresh pumpkin on hand. I really think it makes a difference. Our pumpkin pie does not look (or taste) dark and overspiced. Our pumpkin soup is as smooth and light as anything made with butternut squash. Remember, pumpkins are squash.

Making merry, in a staid sort of way

Pictures from last night's Clergy Christmas Party, with Venturers catering.

Michael slinging hash Michael slinging hash
Connor and Makayla chopping apples Connor and Makayla chopping apples
But he's feeling much better, now
Waes hael! Waes hael!
Kaila gets the nibbles ready
Deanne gets her just desserts Deanne gets her just desserts
Aw, she's so sweet
The table is set The table is set
Ready for serving
The guests eat, talk, mingle The guests eat, talk, mingle
Fun times
Ring out, wild bells Ring out, wild bells
Brazil First UMC's handbell choir helped with entertainment

hound of heaven

Helpful girl

Deanne must have been loading the dishwasher, but got distracted; she isn't in the kitchen. But Sassafras is standing by the open dishwasher door, licking the plates. We call it our pre-wash cycle.