Garden Rows

Sunday, October 9

Philosophical Vegetables

90% of this dinner came from a garden, just not my garden.  I could have easily grown the main ingredients here in the Midwest.  Pumpkin, onion, garlic, potatoes, bell peppers.

What you see here is Pumpkin soup with rye bread from the Bread Basket, and bacon ranch potato salad.  (see the bottom of this post for the recipes, or check the recipe tab at the top of the screen for other yummy edibles)

This was a good dinner, but it just was not as satisfying as the dinners I have made this summer with ingredients from my own little garden.  There is something to be said for the fruits of our labors.  I think that so often we get wrapped up in what has to be done, and how little time there is to do it that we forget to look at our accomplishments and appreciate all the amazing things that we manage.  These things do not have to be big.  They can be little.  Lots of little things add up!

Thankless, never-ending tasks like laundry and dishes. Who wants to do any of that?!  But don't you feel better once you have made a dent?  What about washing the car?  It's one of those things that falls by the way-side in my drive way, but once it is done, (I mean really done including dusting inside!) it feels so much nicer.  I am a little proud of my clean car.  When I actually clean it, I tend to keep it nicer longer, you know, like clean the trash and junk out every time I get home :~)

This may seem to stray far from the gardening topic, but really I am just going out of my way to prove a point.  When we invest ourselves in what we do we pay closer attention to the details.  Our accomplishments are a bit sweeter when we can take a look at the bigger picture of what the tiny details create.  A cozy home, a loving family . . . a beautiful garden!

Making dinner tonight got me to thinking about these things.  I knew dinner was going to be pretty good, but wouldn't it have been better if the ingredients came from my own garden?

That is just what I am going to do.  We have to dream.  So I am dreaming up a little place where I will have a little house with a big garden.  A place where my husband and I can be proud of our dinner, because we grew it ourselves!  I have been called naive, a romantic, these types of things.  As long as we remember to keep a little reality in sight than a little whimsy helps keep the practical more interesting.

Pumpkin Soup

2TBS oil
1 medium onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 bay leaves
2 cups cooked (about 3/4c dry)
      1 can navy beans
2 cups or 1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
*In a large soup pot, heat oil until hot.  Add onion and garlic; saute until golden.  Cover with 4 cups water (use bean cooking liquid if cooking beans from scratch)
*Add mushrooms and bay leaves; bring to a simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
*Add remaining ingredients.  Adjust consistency with water as needed.

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3lb small red potatoes cooked and quartered
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 cup red pepper sliced thin
4 green onions, sliced
*Mix dressings and seasonings in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly.  Refrigerate any leftovers.


I was in a bit of a hurry making these recipes and did not follow all directions to a T.  Make to your taste!  A recipe is only another person's idea really, unless we are talking baking where there is actually science involved!  We will leave science for another day and leave today with dewy philosophical ideas.

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