Saturday, December 22, 2012

What To Do?

The tragedy in Newtown last week left a heavy burden on my heart.  So many questions, not the least of which is What can I do?  Anyone speaking from a pulpit last Sunday had to address this as well and fortunately the Gospel for the day had something to say.  John the Baptist is addressing a restless, clamoring crowd who after being baptized asks him What should we do? And his unequivocal answer is to give away your extra coat and food.

So for once I took the Bible literally and did just that.  I marched up to the attic where two perfectly good coats were in storage just in case.  This morning I dropped them off at the Emmaus homeless shelter in Ellsworth and hope they will wrap someone in warmth over the next few weeks.

And the crowds asked him “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."  

Luke 3:10-11

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Carrot Crop

Yesterday we harvested our late-fall carrot crop and I spent most of the morning today making a big batch of carrot soup.  Growing a late crop was new to us this year-we planted the seeds in August when the harvesting of the garlic made some space in the garden.  We’ve had temps in the teens which didn’t seem to harm the carrots, but we had to wait for a warm day for the soil to be loose enough to dig them.  Here’s the recipe for the soup, adapted from Moosewood Cookbook.

Herbed Carrot Soup

2 lbs. carrots
1 medium white potato
4 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. dried thyme
1-2 T lemon juice, according to taste
Yogurt, for garnish,
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Clean and peel carrots and potato. (Boy, did this take a long time! A word to those who don’t grow carrots-the ones from your garden are not nice and uniform like the ones in the supermarket-they are of varying sizes and shapes, from long and skinny to short and stumpy, with many strange deformities.) Cut into pieces, put in a soup pot and add the water.  Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté onion and salt in oil over medium heat until onion is soft.  Add garlic and herbs and cook about 5 minutes more. Add lemon juice.

When carrots are tender combine them with the onion mixture and purée in batches in a food processor. (This is when I wish I had an immersion blender!) Return to soup pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt and chopped parsley on top.

So that’s our carrot crop for the year-soup for three meals.  Sort of seems like a lot of trouble and a small pay-off, but it tasted great and as Garrison Keillor admonishes on the Writer’s Almanac, I did good work.