Month: November 2012

souffle baked

a moving account

We’ve been doing some serious sorting around the house, long overdue.  I am not speaking figuratively of this sort of startling renovation of the Raisin; I mean going through closets and drawers and the boxes of papers and drawings and photos that have accumulated.  Most of the paper correspondence in these boxes is vintage material.  After the advent of email, the volume of letters from far-flung pals was sharply reduced.  Gone are the days of the little thrill when you recognized (or didn’t) the handwriting on the outside of the envelope, the rustly feel of airmail paper, the interesting stamps. It’s kind of hard to recall a time before email, but in one of my boxes, I hit a vein of slippery, thermal-paper faxes, and I remembered that when two of my closest friends moved overseas, we began faxing letters back and forth.  Typing these letters made them much easier to read, and one of these friends, when she received the first one, said—well, it’s nice to get the letter so fast, but it’s kind …


squash court

  I came into possession of some gorgeous poblano peppers, which have been looking mighty fine in the market even as all the produce around them begins to show signs of jet lag.  So I set out to make my friend Julie’s “Three Sisters and One Spicy Brother” squash soup, which is some mighty soup, but when I unearthed the recipe in my bin of scraps and magazines, I found I lacked a few of the things required to produce it.  The principle missing ingredient was time: one of the sisters is white beans, and I did not have time to soak and cook them.  There was no big, looming deadline, really–I just wanted this soup for dinner.  Right behind her recipe in the bin was an old squash soup of mine that was pretty tasty, as I recall.  But sitting there on the counter next to Julie’s recipe and the peppers, it started to take notions into its head.  A hybrid version resulted. I’ve made it a couple of times now, because the poblanos …


Monday morning: I am a quarter back

It’s come and gone, and here we all are in recovery mode, with plenty to digest on all levels.  I read lots of articles and blog posts in this last week about the murky and shameful historical origins of the holiday, and I think good citizenship demands being aware of those.  I also think the opportunity to gather and be grateful is one worth hanging on to.  I’m all ears if you want to weigh in on this one. In terms of less weighty lingering questions, I rank at the top of the list “what to do with the leftover consequences of a crucial miscommunication regarding mashed potatoes?”  See below for the answer. My breezy Thanksgiving report: I am glad I brined the turkey, but sad I overcooked it (not before undercooking it first!  I am nothing if not thorough).  I am woefully sad about the gluten-free gingerbread recipe that snookered me into buying a $9 bag of weird flour that will languish in my freezer for eons.  I am happy about my gravy, and …