All Roads Lead to Soup

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A week of computer hell, has caused me to get a bit behind. I'll spare you the details. Fortunately, things in the kitchen can trundle along without me. Persimmons are arriving by the dumptruckful. Winter squash provide bowls of soup as colorful as house paint. Mary Boyer showed up with more raspberries- a complete surprise so late in the fall. Best of all, it looks as though we're going to have chestnuts again. And of course, it's sweet potato season.

The chestnuts, sweet potatoes and butternut squash all lend themselves to good and easy soups. We're using the squash presently They are great because all you really have to do is bake them. Select your seasoning, put them in the oven and go away. The chestnuts will be next. They take a little more work. They may get a blog entry all their own, because besides making fabulous soup, they reminded me of how just such a soup once helped me recover from a nasty night in Lisbon with a bunch of merchant marines from Guinea-Bissau. Later in the fall will come the sweet potato soup. It will get a nice long run because last year the recipe won a prize from the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

For now, sweet potatoes may show up in a pie. I'm not promising, but the other day, the church across the street had a fish fry and one of the dessert choices was sweet potato pie. I don't recall ever having made one myself, but my father has a great recipe, so I'll use his. Also, a few months ago Kathleen Purvis of the Charlotte Observer published a really interesting pie crust recipe using vodka as part of the liquid and lard as part of the fat. I love lard pastry so I've been looking for an excuse to try it. I'll be riding with Kathleen from Memphis to Oxford, Mississippi next week when we both attend the fall symposium of the Southern Foodways Alliance. I'm looking forward to both the drive and the conference.

posted by Bill Smith at 4:53 AM


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