Friday, October 22, 2010

Spicy Rosie

This very large bell was won by the Abbuhl family in Darstetten,
Switzerland in a singing contest. The red and white badge above the buckle is the town symbol, a castle with two towers.

It has been very interesting to watch the seasons move through their paces. I have been especially fascinated by the light. From my computer I view a short mowed area, backed by spindly trees followed by a swampy area that gives way to a hill. In summer, almost all of that is equally lit, but as fall has progressed, both in the morning and evening the yard and first rank of trees are in shadow, back lit first by the intense yellow of golden rod and then by the red-gold of the trees on the hill.

It has been equally fun to watch the light in the meadow and trees across the road. Now that fall has come, the sun no longer comes up in the eastern window, but shines through the meadow, back lighting the spinney. In the evening the sun goes down, leaving layers of light in great stripes behind these trees. The sad part is the sun barely clears the tops of the trees, except for a few hours in the middle of the day. However, my apricot/red trees are glowing, even when it is gray. There are enough trees that the wind in them causes a great rustling, which is a peaceful sound.

We are supposed to have a "dusting" of snow today. Now that, my friends, is really pushing it!
I think perhaps I had best have some tea to counteract it! Sometimes it is hard to choose, as I have a whole drawer full, claiming my attention. Aha, Kashmir Rose from Simpson and Vail. I reviewed this once before, but I suspect it was old, as it had little flavor. I purchased this in the summer, so I know it's fresh.

It smells wonderful, the note of lemon from cardamom and the rose from Rose Congou, a Chinese tea. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes with boiling water and that super aroma filled the kitchen. In tasting it, my first impression is the cardamom, but that fades into rose, with the solidity of the black tea underlying it. Nice plain or with cream and sweetener. You really should have some sugar cookies, too, but alas, I have none.

Last night I made a really good mushroom soup and as I did I thought what a super starter to a tea party it could be. I had about a pound of regular mushies and some baby bellas, along with 2 kinds of dried that were just hanging around. I sauteed them, in butter and olive oil, added some flour, cooked that a while, then whizzed it in the blender. I added it to some boiling chicken broth and beef broth- about half and half and simmered it for about half an hour, adding a good fat pinch of nutmeg, a little thyme and off the stove, about 1/2 cup of cream. It is so good. Using more than 1 kind of mushie gives it extra flavor. Oh yes, salt and pepper to taste. As a starter I would serve it with thin toast or something equally crunchy.

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