Thursday, January 4, 2018

Curl Up Time

With blizzard conditions here in the East for the next few days, it's a great time of year to stay inside, curl up and enjoy quiet and solitude.  We won't see 20 degrees for the next three days.  Horses are inside, cats are inside and I am inside.

This is the time of year to enjoy the quiet, curl up and.......

1) Read
There are always books to read and I am finishing up the new Bunny Mellon biography.  I generally read literary fiction or biographies.  You won't find any murder mysteries, sci-fi or romantic fiction on my bookshelves.  If you have not read Donna Tartt's books, add her to your list.  The Secret History and The Goldfinch are great books and long (but worth it).  Philip Roth's American Pastoral is another one to read.  Pearl Buck's The Good Earth should also be on everyone's "to read" list.

2) Stitch
It goes without saying that stitching is on my winter agenda.  My stash has grown a lot bigger in recent weeks, so there's plenty to work on.  I have added these recently:

And I love the ornaments from The Plum Stitchery:

3) Peruse Poshmark
In my new thriftiness, I peruse Poshmark and have found some great clothes here.  If you have not shopped on Posh you should check it out.  You can bid on clothing and everything is guaranteed. Just like anything else, there are bargains and there are not so great bargains.  This Tory Burch handbag is for sale for $115, a good deal.  See it here.

4) Watch Football
Like many people, I am watching the play-offs.  Only one of my teams is playing this weekend, but stitching, staying warm, on the couch, with a furry cat, is the place to be.  Any by the way, go Panthers!

5) Make Soup and Ragu
This is a great weekend to make soup and ragu, two of my favorite things to cook.  This is ideal soup weather and I recently made a great tomato soup from scratch with goat cheese.  Ragu is another dish I love to make as it takes a half day to cook so you need to be close to the kitchen.

Here is favorite soup recipe from the infamous Inn at Little Washington.  Enjoy!  This is always a big hit at my house.  Guests will love it!

Sweet Potato Soup with Rum Cream
Serves 10
3 T butter
9 c chicken stock
1 t curry powder
5-6 sweet potatoes
1/4 c maple syrup
2-3 twigs thyme or 1 t dried
cayenne pepper
1 c cream
1/8 t nutmeg
salt and white pepper to taste

Rum Cream
1 c heavy cream
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 t grated lemon zest
3 T good dark rum
pinch of sugar

In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and curry and cook for about 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In another pan heat the stock to a simmer. Add the sweet potato  to the onion then to the stock, maple syrup, thyme and cayenne. Cook about 25 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs and puree the soup in a blender or food processor in small batches and strain.  Return to the stove in a large pot and add the cream, nutmeg and salt and white pepper. Transfer the soup to individual bowls and top with the rum cream sauce.

Rum Cream
In a bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form, add the lemon juice, zest, rum and sugar. Continue whipping until the cream is almost stiff.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Stay safe and warm in the coming days and stay inside!

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