Monday, November 24, 2008

Western North Carolina Blizzard.... Southern Style

It snowed a few flakes, so of course, school was cancelled on Friday. We live in the south eastern U.S. There were times on Friday when I thought it was a beautiful blessing, and there were other times when I was cursing my fate. It was wonderful to be home with the kids. The day slowed down entirely, and we have soooo needed that. We crafted, we cooked, we played outside, and we even made it to our local tail gate market. It was wonderful, and somehow incredibly challenging by the end of the day. I don't know why, exactly, but there was rough housing, squabbles, and out and out tantrums. The noise level and neediness just sent sent me sailing. I was reduced to tears by dinner time, and thinking that maybe I need a bumper sticker for my mini van ( can't believe I shared that I actually own one.) The bumper sticker should definitely say "I used to be zen."

The next day, my hubby went out of town for the weekend. I have to admit that I felt desperate. And then, just the help I needed arrived in the form of a phone call. My wonderful friend called and asked if my daughter could spend the night. Yes. Yes. Yes! It was so nice to focus on just my little guy. We went for two really nice walks, and the picture above is him fishing with the stick that he dragged with him on half the walk. I really struggle to find time to give each child undivided attention. Being completely present with him that evening and the next morning was good for both of us. I felt my mind still and my heart fill with joy. It is just so amazing to watch him navigate his world and listen to all of his revelations. The world is such a magical place to him.

This is the soup we ate all weekend. I just had to take a picture of it because it contains the lone butternut squash that grew in our garden. We were thrilled to roast it, but even more thrilling was how it tasted. This is the recipe and the bread that we ate with it is below. I've made the soup twice, the first time with a friend's gift of a Lumina pumpkin from her garden. This is a white pumpkin and it makes the silkiest most amazing soup I've ever had. I decided to try the same recipe for butternut squash since we had it. It was still superb. I used vegetable stock instead of chicken. Magnificent. The bread is from a recipe that my sister gave me and is kind of like popovers, but even yummier. Plus, it's idiot proof, and doesn't flop like my popovers have a habit of doing.

Gougere With Mustard, originating in the French Countryside. Gougere are cheese-filled pastries,which are served as an appetizer or salad accompaniment.

1-cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter
1-cup water
4 medium eggs
½ cup finely diced Chantal or Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and the inside of the outer rim of a spring form pain. Sift together the flour and salt. In a large saucepan combine the butter and water and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the saucepan. Cool 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition with an electric beater until smooth. Stir in the Chantal cheese and Dijon mustard. Place the prepared rim of the spring form pan (base removed) onto the baking sheet.Spoon the mixture around the inner edge of the rim, making about 8 piles.Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until well-risen and golden, 40-50minutes. To serve, cut into chunky pieces. Serve hot.

Serves 4

A.J. Rhodes 2006


Cheryl A said...

Oh, it's that neediness that kills you. I'm glad you made it through the weekend.
PS I will tease you for driving a minivan!

Liz said...

I saw a sticker that said
" I used to be cool"!

Anonymous said...

Hi! The recipe sound yummy! And I do love getting snowed in. Especially when we can actually get out. We went to the library on that snow day and stocked up!

serenitymeadow said...

Sometimes its really hard to be a mom when you are so wishing for some solitude time. Believe me, I understand very well. I am glad for you that you were able to share some precious time with your little boy. Your recipes sound really good. I imagine after all the turkey and all that comes with it...I will be ready for some good soup and bread over the weekend. Thanks for the recipes. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you have a cozy, warm, and crafty weekend.