Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will wonders never cease?

I'm going to post about tonight's supper. I don't think I've posted before about any kind of cooking. It seems that most of the blogs I go to have some cooking sooner or later. Sometimes, I don't even read those posts. Just not my thing. I wish it were. Because, no doubt my boys would love it if I were constantly in the kitchen turning out all manner of yummy meals, snacks, treats. Lord knows they get no thrill from my knitting, crocheting, embroidering.
I'm not saying they go hungry. There's usually a reasonable variety of food around, just not always hot, fresh, home-cooked and ready-to-eat. Drat.....
So, anyway tonight I am featuring a facsimile of my Grammie's soup. She just turned 90 and though getting quite frail, her days still include a bit of home-cooking. I think she's probably what is called a "foodie". The first time I saw magazines like Gourmet and Food&Wine was at her house. Her "Mountain Chili" had a following among certain skiers at Sugarloaf in the 1970's. It was not unusual for her to make donuts in the morning, shaking them in a brown paper bag with sugar in it. They were dark, but not chocolate. I think they were molasses, and I wonder if this is a regional thing, as I've only ever seen molasses donuts in boxes from local commercial bakeries at grocery stores here in Maine . Mmmm.... makes me smell burning leaves and want to dip my molasses donut in a cup of cider. I'd even be willing to rake some leaves for it.

Grammie's Jamaican Chicken SoupSo, today, I am featuring a soup I made when I wanted some of my Grammie's soup. I don't have a recipe. I just faked it. It tasted a little like hers. I could have tried to get her to tell me but phone calls are a huge challenge because she is so hard-of-hearing. I think I'll still try to get it and then I can see how close I got.
Here's my try...1 carton chicken broth
1 can pumpkin
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped/cubed cooked chicken
1 cup or so of chopped carrots
1/2 cup brown rice
1 can evaporated milk
1 leek
1 cup frozen peas
1-1/2 tsp allspice
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
In a pot over med-high heat, I put in the chicken broth and rice and let them come to a boil, while chopping the carrots (add) then the leek. I let it all simmer while I picked last night's lovely roast chicken. Then I added the canned pumpkin and diced tomatoes (without draining).
I turned the heat up a little to give the rice and carrots a good thorough cooking. I could have diced some potatoes and put those in first instead of the rice, but we had mashed potatoes and gravy with the chicken last night. I also let it cook because I wanted to reduce the liquid a little. If I had more motivation, now would be time to make biscuits, (or dumplings? I've never done that) or cornbread to go with it. I don't know if it matters when to add the spices. (BTW, it's called "Jamaican" because I think she got the spices in Jamaica, and I'm not sure what was in that little old crumpled paper bag.) Mine really wasn't as spicy as hers, so it probably needs more of the chili powder. And it definitely needs more of the allspice or something. I put Tabasco sauce on the table for my family who goes for that sort of thing. I did wait to put in the frozen peas until the last 5 or 10 minutes and the same with evap. milk. I have made cream soups before and you don't add the cream 'til the end. I admit that I only used the evap milk because I hadn't planned to make this soup, or I could have gotten some light cream. I wonder if it would taste better with parsnips in it (I love parsnips), or thyme, or nutmeg? What do you think? And I would have liked to put of dollop of sour cream on top, especially if it was really zingy-spicy.
I don't know why this pic is sideways, but I'm leaving it because this post really calls for a bit of fall color, and I love the way this tree shades from green to a rich orange. And then there's picture I tried taking of a summer planter that I brought indoors at the office. I don't know what kind of flower that is, I just wanted to get a vibrant close-up of the colors. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong photographically? I set it for close-up, and the camera focused down at the level of the dirt, instead of the flowers that I wanted. What's that you say, the camera came with a manual? That explains all this? Oh, yes I know but every time I sit down thinking I will read the whole thing once and for all so I can get the most out of my camera, I get bored or distracted or something, and now, Oh where, oh where did I leave that little booklet. Sigh.... well excuse me, I have to go program my VCR. It keeps flashing "12:00 -- 12:00 -- 12:00"............


Mainah said...

I don't know that I've ever had this soup! I'm going to post your blog entry on my Facebook page, then I bet Anna will see it and make it!

Wish I could help with your photo thing. Erik is better at that than I am.

Can do mom said...

I have to run but just wanted to get a comment on your post.

That soup looks DELICIOUS! I want to make it ASAP. I'm a soup gal - I LOOOOVE soup when it cools off around here. I think you're too hard on yourself about your cooking! Anyway, can't wait to try the recipe.

My mom, girls and I are heading south to a cute little town just over an hour away. It's an annual tradition and today's the day so I've got to run. Hope you have an excellent weekend!