Kitchen Sink Soup, Squallish Weather, Latest Reads
We had plans today...We made plans despite the weather report in yesterday's newspaper. As I've heard it said before, the weathermen are undoubtedly the only profession to be paid for being consistently wrong. It hardly seemed likely they'd get it right today; after all the rain promised for yesterday never did arrive.
I haven't confessed to John but I woke at 5am this morning. Wide awake, full of anticipation, just like a child. I planned things I wanted to remember before we left home, I planned things I wanted to be sure to take note of during the day. I willed myself to stay abed and not disturb John. He so rarely sleeps past 5am. He got up about 7and I still stayed in bed, because I know he likes a little time alone in the morning and I distract him...I got up about 8am and then I heard it, the ping of raindrops on the bathroom exhaust fan cover...Change of plans.
There are no complaints here. Our plans will wait until tomorrow or the day after. Today is what it is. And it's lovely. Drizzly rain, heavier at times, gusty winds...It's what I call squallish weather. The sort of day when the rain is sprayed across the windows by the force of the wind and everything gets soaked even with the misty rain.
My first concern today (after breakfast of steak and eggs and warmed doughnuts) was my little garden. The peas are up and I feel as tender and watchful over them as babes...I did move the pots of radish and beets to the front porch because those containers do not have drainage holes. I didn't want them to drown! They'll at least get damp there on the porch because it is the least dry porch I've ever seen. We tend to forget that until rainy weather occurs. It is no place to shelter in a storm. You stand a better chance of staying dry on the back deck facing into the rain than on the front porch. Which is why the lettuce remains on the back deck. The rest of the pots do have drainage holes.
Fed the pets, did my Bible study and came to my second concern. Our plans included eating out. I needed to make a meal. And with rainy, squallish weather the most perfect food in my opinion could only be one thing. The first Kitchen Sink Soup of the cooler seasons.
I admit I've wanted to make soup sooner. I did make the Two Rivers Chili recipe (still not sure if that is definitely a keeper or not) but a pot of real homemade vegetable soup with whatever I can toss into it sure seemed the thing for today. I'll set aside a portion for Samuel who has been longing for 'homemade goodness' for weeks now while he's been eating takeout meals during his job training program. I've just slipped a cast iron skillet into the oven to heat for the cornbread batter. Preheating the cast iron skillets gives a nice crust to cornbread, key in my opinion to good cornbread. I'll add a spoonful of sugar to sweeten it just a little for my husband who did not grow up with the benefits of Southern cooking and doesn't realize that sweetness is not a prerequisite for good cornbread.
And with a meal plan, the day is suddenly wide open before me. I thought I'd share my latest reading with you. Not so much this time I'm afraid.
I put aside Grace Livingston Hill and then mooned about a week or so before settling down with a book again.
My next choice was by Elizabeth Goudge.
Miss Goudge and I are old friends. I suppose every reader has the experience of discovering for oneself their first 'real' author. I'd read many good books by wonderful authors but Elizabeth Goudge created a deep heart stirring. No one had to tell me she was a great writer. I knew it from the moment I picked up my first book by her. I have since collected many of her volumes (I still have a few more to acquire) and each time I pick up one of her books, my soul begins a deep contented hum.
I took another reading hiatus of about a week before choosing The Rosemary Tree. I confess it was while I was dibbling about in my yard that I brushed the rosemary bush at the back doorstep and suddenly I just knew I had to read this book. Strange but true, lol.
As always I find that as I age, these lovely stories are never the same. Each time I read them, my own life experience is different than it had been and I discover something new about the characters or about myself.
The Rosemary Tree is the story of love in it's many guises. The vicar and his wife, who have a troubled but happy marriage. A young man fresh our of prison who hides his fear of being abandoned. The grand dame of the manor house, who loved her brother and her home above all else and at the end of her life realizes what a great mistake she's made in not loving others as well. The headmistress of the local girl's school who loves only herself and the comfort she can acquire. A head teacher who loves no one at all, least of all herself. A young woman who has waited for love and an old woman who once knew love and finding it impossible to have turned all her love onto the vicar as a young boy...
Right on the heels of the reading of that, I picked up Green Dolphin Street. This book takes place in the 1840's and revolves around Marianne, Marguerite and William and the love triangle that results among these children. Marianne is 3 years older than William and falls in love with him at age 16. William is two years older than Marguerite, Marianne's sister. She and William fall in love. William becomes a sailor, ends up in Australia and writes home asking for the hand of his beloved in marriage. Unfortunately, William's memory is poor and he writes to Marianne...This book is about how the lives of all three are woven together and how each finds their salvation in love sacrificed.
I must say that this morning as I read one passage that dealt with a blustery autumn gale, I felt right at home listening to the wind pelting rain against our windows...sigh.
This book also was made into a movie in 1947 I believe, starring Lana Turner as Marianne. While the movie remains fairly true to the book, I must say that Turner was a miscast. She was neither dark haired or dark eyed and hardly the slender figure that Marianne is described as having...
Now then, I've taken nearly all morning to write that bit above. We've had our soup and cornbread lunch and it was very very good. I added just 1 teaspoon sugar to the cornbread and it did it no harm. To the soup pot I tossed in a handful or two of the Harvest soup Mix bought at the Mennonite store a couple weeks ago when Mama and I were out. It is lentils of various colors, split peas of various colors and wild and white rice, which made our soup quite thick, just as John likes it. He is now sleeping off the effects of warm hearty food. Though I tried not to make too much, there is more than enough to share with Samuel and for our supper tonight and shall no doubt be left with still more to store somewhere...I've no clue where as the freezers are truly well filled.
I made up my mind as we ate our dinner today that one of these days when I'm all alone I shall give in to a desire I've held since childhood of having a buttermilk and corn bread supper. In my childhood quite often when a woman began to lose weight this would be her reply when others asked how she did it. Truth be told, it is doubtful it was a reduction diet as much as a severe budget deficiency which necessitated the diet. However, it always sounded quite enjoyable to me. I was, even as a child, fond of crisp crusted cornbread and tart buttermilk served icy cold. If only one might find true buttermilk these days! Cultured buttermilk is nothing at all like real buttermilk with tiny little flecks of butter, creamy and tart and having a bit of body to it. Not sort of slippery like the cultured buttermilk we have today. And so as we ate our dinner today, it occurred to me that I ought to give in to this life long desire and just once have a supper of such. It would displease no one and perhaps be as satisfactory as I've always thought it should be.
Now I do believe the weather and the food have called me to nap as well...