Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love from the Kitchen

This past Saturday Arliss and I had the house to ourselves.  Traditionally my husband is in the kitchen, but with him at work, it was my turn.  Fall brings out the baker in me.  I love to make hearty soups, breads, cookies, etc.
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Arliss wanted to make cookies and I wanted to make some squash soup, so we each took our positions at the counter and got started.  Arliss collected eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, butter, and baking soda for his sugar cookies.  He was taught how to read recipes by his dad a few years ago.  While he put ingredients in the KitchenAid mixer, I cut up spaghetti squash and acorn squash into chunks.  Once the squash was in a saucepan to cook, I collected the other things I would need.  Arliss said he wanted carrots and celery in the soup too, so I rough cut these and put them in to cook with the squash.
I put the cooked squash into the blender to make it smooth, adding a cup of milk for a creamy texture.  Once the squash was mixed, I put it back into a 4 qt. pot to simmer.  A little salt and pepper and dash of pepper flakes were all I needed.  I found a recipe in a Williams-Sonoma soup cookbook for any other inspiration.  One recipe recommended putting shredded cheese in the soup.  I shredded extra sharp, white cheddar cheese and some Romano cheese, adding about 1 1/2 cups total to the soup.  While this simmered a bit longer I helped Arliss roll the sugar cookie dough into logs on wax paper for cooling in the freezer before he baked them.

As I dug around in the fridge I found apples, pears, and plums that were getting overripe.  The spiced pear jam I had made during our canning week was running low, so  I decided to make some more.  Arliss helped to peel and cut the fruit for the saucepan and soon we had more amazing smells wafting through the house.  I added a few cups of sugar, 1/2 of what the recipe said--6 cups seemed a bit much, then added a teaspoon of cloves.  I continued to cook the fruit down and prepared the jars for the jam.
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Some of the goodies from the canning week
Arliss and I ate our wonderful soup for lunch and started on the cookies while the jars of jam cooled.  I showed Arliss how to cut the dough into coins and place them on the cookie sheet.  He asked for sprinkles and began meticulously placing the sprinkles on the cookie dough.  I smiled at his focus and finished my tasks.

When our afternoon was finished we had 3 1/2 pints of spiced fruit jam, a quart of squash soup, and nearly 3 dozen sugar cookies.  Proud of our work, we set some aside to share with my folks when we visited them that night.  At bedtime, Arliss said how much he enjoyed our day together.  I couldn't agree more.

1 comment:

  1. Very well done, but how come I was only able to get 1 cookie out of 3 dozen!!!