Saturday, October 24, 2009


Accounting something or other. Real sexy reading material. So instead, let me draw your attention to that bowl of soup up in the top part of the photo. If I had it my way, I'd be sitting down to a bowl of that good stuff, toast topped with melted slivers of Gruyere and Swiss, and a scoop of sauteed kale with pepper flakes, about every other week. But of course, that would involve a heavy haul of of the heaviest of the fall harvest bounty through rain and snow, so I will just take what I can get and look back to photographs during the leaner times in the pantry.

Butternut squash-onion-apple-potato soup. With milk and nutmeg. Absolutely heavenly slipping down the throat. Best of all, the recipe was completely improvised, just me making use of the stragglers from my CSA box (no more! sigh), going off a vague memory of ingredients I'd seen thrown together in Googled recipes in the past, and magically it turned into one of my favorite soups thus far. That combination of nutmeg and onion browned in butter, I think, is the secret here.

My friends are generally of three minds about recipes. Some swear by them, some use them as starting points, some adamantly refuse, point blank, to be tethered to any predetermined combination or amount of ingredients. Personally, I love when all things in life can be approached intuitively - cooking, crafting, you name it. But as I've often discovered in this journey through learning the ins and outs of sewing, knitting, crocheting, photography, and now cooking and baking, intuition and improvisation often presume a certain basesline comfort, a home territory of experience from which to expand upon. So I'm content - for now - to stand at my kitchen counter with my laptop and Google for guidance, knowing that as I move through life, the moments such as the one above will grow in frequency and in sophistication. Just as I look back on my first tote bag or my first skirt, and I remember how much I struggled with the measurements and the topstitching and, well, everything because everything was so new, and I see how far I've come.


Antoinette said...

I love fall soups! We are getting a real autumn season in Austin this year and are making the most of the soup weather! I was looking up some recipes for potato and apple together last week -- when it comes to soups I usually just use recipes as a starting point. There's so much room for customization!

Stephanie N. said...

Have I told you lately that I heart your blog? Such wit, such wisdom.

I think I'm in the middle group, too - I use recipes as a starting point, but can't remember the last time I followed one to the letter, except in baking bread or something like that. I'm sad to be saying goodbye to our CSA for now, too. Kale sauteed with pepper flakes - love that.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I can easily imagine what I want to taste and just cook in that direction. But I often I use a recipe to jump start my imagination.