Saturday, January 31, 2009
Cream of Cauliflower Soup in my Great Grandma's Soup Tureen
This last week, I've been distracted and very busy with my job and a personal family crisis. The dust has settled a bit, so I'm finally able to upload some photos and share recipes. Tomorrow, I'm carrying on my tradition of making a very small (and very intimate) Super Bowl Sunday. Truthfully, I'm not much of a spectator sport person. I can watch a horse doing it's ballet at a dressage competition for hours-- and I can walk the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course at the AT&T Golf Tournament (I live 30 minutes away) and watch famous golf pros and celebrities hit a golf ball, while the marshals tell us to "hush". But, football? I just don't get it.
However, my husband and son enjoy football, so this is my annual contribution to help them to enjoy the American National obsession of watching the Super Bowl. So far, I have narrowed down a few dishes I will be making. One of them comes from Kevin, at Closet Cooking. He posted a 7-Layer Dip that I found appealing because it's made with fresh ingredients. I'm not a food snob, but I try to make things from scratch as often as possible. I'm blessed to live in the Salinas Valley of California-- where I have year-round access to fresh vegetables and Driscoll berries. I grow my own tomatoes and I have an herb garden because I live in the sun belt. To those of you who live in freezing cold weather-- I'm sorry! I struggle to make living here affordable and it's so worth it. I have all the ingredients for Kevin's recipe. I also found a recipe for Shredded Pork Taquitos, from Pam at "For the Love of Cooking. I also found a recipe for Caramelized Onion Dip from "Dinner with Julie" that looks easy and how can I resist anything with balsamic vinegar? Of course, I will make my own Chili Con Carne recipe, that I've adapted from my Mexican "Nana". I use ground beef, cumin, chili powder, garlic and pinto beans. Mine doesn't use kidney beans. Call me a purist, but my Mexican DNA shudders at the thought of it.
Enough of my weekend plans for cooking and baking... oh, did I mention that it's in the mid-70's right now? It's BBQ time!
Last week, though, we had rain and cold weather. I was so thankful, because our local farmers need rain to supply the brands of produce that you are buying in the East Coast. I live near Earthbound Farms and I buy their products on a weekly basis. Sorry...I'm sound like I'm boasting. I guess I am-- it's just that I love my hometown of Monterey, California!
Ah, the Cauliflower Soup. I decided to make "Pioneer Woman's" recipe for cauliflower soup. I had some frozen homemade chicken stock, from the roasted chicken I had made a couple of weeks ago. I tweaked just a couple of things. It was Ree's photos of her soup tureen that reminded me... I have my Great Grandmother's Soup Tureen in bubble wrap in my garage storage! I decided to start using it. All I know about the tureen is that my grandmother was born in 1902 and it belonged to her mother. My German relatives come from Southern Germany-- "Bavaria". They owned a a very successful hotel & restaurant. I've visited it, but it was finally torn down in the 90's. That's probably where my love of cooking gene came from.
The recipe was delicious-- though, next time, I think I'll use fresh thyme (that is thriving in my backyard) for a little extra flavor. The German side of me loves cream-of-anything soups. My "must have" ingredient is fresh lemon juice. It's what gives soups, in my opinion, that wonderful brightness of flavor. Try it!