The wildest rain and hail storm blew in, unlocking the door...
Leaves began to turn...
As pages blew open.
Who's that over there??
Oh my, it's Mister Bingley!
Little Women calls at this time of year as well...
Cuddle up in a corner, and all of a sudden the laughter of the March sisters skips in.
During breaks I carefully rattle through the box of dried roses from spring.
I flutter about, doing this and that.
Dusting, going through drawers.
I stand in the studio in front of the painting door.
An eye there, a brush of hair here.
Then it is evening.
The evening that brought us fall.
One storm and here it is.
A garden kissed by autumn.
Flowers begin to get crispy, their leaves changing from green to golden.
The air is moist, the light is blue grey.
I wash some of the garden leeks.
Trimming and chopping.
I decided to make a rustic potato leek soup, for the first time, in my own invented way.
I have read many a recipe on how to create this exquisite concoction.
But still, I opted for invented :)
I washed and chopped up the leeks, putting them in a pan with olive oil and a dab of butter, cooking them down slowly. Careful not to brown them.
While that happened, I drizzled a good helping of olive oil into a dutch oven, just enough to pool a little at the bottom. Then I tossed in 8 washed small/medium potatoes (skins on), that I cubed into small pieces.
I did say this was rustic, didn't I?
As the potatoes began to brown and break down, and were about 3/4 of the way cooked, I put in 5 cups of chicken broth. I tossed in a hearty pinch of salt, a small pinch of pepper, one 12 oz. can of evaporated milk and a fistful of granulated sugar. Oh ya, and half a stick of butter :)
(Why sugar? Once, while cooking at a gentleman artist's house 18 years ago, he told me it brings out the flavor of the potato beautifully and makes them more tender - then tossed some into the potatoes he was cooking. I remembered that, and gave it a go. It worked amazingly. Even if it was or wasn't true, do it anyways ;)
I then tossed in the leeks, with the oil they were cooked in, and stirred again.
I stirred and stirred as the mixture came to a boil.
Then I turned the heat to med/low and covered, setting the timer for 30 minutes, and stirring occasionally.
The soup began to thicken up, and I used a potato masher to mash the veggies and potatoes up a bit.
I opted not to puree the whole thing, but to just mash it by hand enough to break up the potatoes a bit, but still have little bites of potatoes and leaks on the spoon.
We ate a bunch that night.
However, after it was cooled and put in the fridge overnight, it thickened like mashed potatoes.
So, I put in 4 cups of water, a teaspoon of Knorr powdered chicken bouillon, and a dash of pepper.
I boiled it up stirring with a whisk, and it was even better.
Point is, if you want to add the the extra water, powdered chicken bouillon and pepper early on, when you initially add the milk and chicken stock, you can :)
It was delicious.
I wasn't sure how Mister Lovee would react, as he doesn't like creamy or white saucey foods.
Last night he said, I want to talk to you about that soup.
Then he went on to say that when he was a kid he took the train into NYC with his grandma to pick up some supplies for his bar mitzvah. She then took him to Radio City Music Hall for a show, and then out for the best potato soup he ever had in his life.
Then he said, this soup you made brought me right back to those very memories, and was just as good if not better than the soup I had on that memorable evening with my grandma in New York.
So, I guess the invention worked :)
I garnished mine with sliced avocados and basil.
Let me tell you, it was decadent.
I highly recommend it.
You can also garnish it with a dollop of sour cream.
And even add some homemade bacon bits for a kick, if you are a meat eater.
But just as is, with the creamy avocado and basil, oh my!
I had pomegranates from the garden for dessert.
Mmmm, so fresh.
Pumpkins and gourds of all kinds are falling from the sky.
No really Chicken Little, they are ;)
Down they come, to reachable heights.
Although there are about 6 so far up in the tree, I am not sure how they will come down.
Concussion style probably ;)
A few have obliged us with an easier way to grasp.
Down they droop.
Did I tell you the oranges are ripening sooner than usual?
Normally it is January or later when the orange trees ripen up.
I have snuck ever so many so far.
The skins are so oily and fragrant.
So oily in fact, the the orange oil drips down my hands as I peel the orange.
Just awesome, love the scent.
They are so fresh and ever so sweet, it's astounding.
Of course, as I am photographing, someone walks right into the picture.
Hi Miley, you sweetie.
Oh, you want me to go running around the yard with you?
Okay, let's go...
Let me remind that, all the while, everything I am doing inside and outside, Matty is following behind me.
And if I turn around, he gets right behind me again.
And when dad comes home from work, it's wrestling time, which Matty instigates and loves.
He is always there.
Just not always in the pics, as he scoffs and takes off if I point the camera his way.
He must get that from me :)
Anyhow, we set out, admiring giant dahlias for however much longer they stay.
Brisk jaunts through corridors of bushes and trees...
Admiring pink clouds outside the gypsy wagon.
Noting that one of the pecan trees is holding on, not wanting to turn yellow just yet.
All the while, some mischievous magic tries to nip at our ankles.
Some sort of autumn tickle in the soul that turns up every year about this time, is here.
It's not like the frolic and flutter of Halloween.
It isn't just holiday excitement.
It's more like, getting cozy in our worlds, or something like that?
I don't know, but it allows for more pensive comforting moments, it seems?
Time indoors and time to reflect perhaps?
It's a feeling.
Can you feel it too??
It can't just be me, it must be you.
It's such a quiet week, with a distinct shift.
I hear clanking of knitting needles, and a foot on the sewing machine pedal.
The oven door opens, something baking.
The clicking as the stove flames turn on.
The soft boil of soup.
I smell fire in the air, and coolness on my nose and toes.
What do you hear?