What a ride it's been with this nasty cold. I'm feeling much better, not 100% but good enough to get out of bed and out of the house and that makes me feel good. In fact today was one of those days that I chose to stay in simply because I had no reason to venture out and the weather was truly horrible. Rainy, cold and windy...we lost leaves on trees we never truly had a chance to enjoy. This is something I usually expect in November but then again we're foolish if we think we can predict the weather these days.
I'm happy to report I went out to get a few things to spruce up my porch. Yesterday was as miserable as all get out much like today but I was on a mission. I went to Michael's to get some glass jars to store granola (for which I again stocked up on ingredients). I found these faux weedy flowers that you can barely see in the urn behind my lone pumpkin and the remainder of my salvia (wow, that stuff is hanging on!). The foliage in front of the little pumpkin is also part of the summer plants. They're just hanging on. I couldn't bear to pull it out so I just added the one lone pumpkins and then four small ones on the bay window ledge. Simple and very inexpensive. I've had the large pumpkin face clay container for awhile now. I just pop a big candle in it and it looks so cool at night.
I bought one mum and plunked it in this old galvanized pail I adore. This is not a rainbow mum that I made the mistake of getting last year...those different varieties died off randomly leaving a bunch of ugly spots in the plant. I'm convinced these varieties (above) are the ones that do well in our area and planted together should last about the same time. And heck, as late as I've been in getting my plants, I only have about 6 weeks to have it on my porch before it's obliterated in snow! Anyway, it feels good to be celebrating fall and Halloween. I'm a little disappointed in myself for worrying about lagging behind others, the 'Keeping up with the Jones'" mentality. I really abhor that but I think I was simply lying in bed too long ruminating about things I needed to get done. We've all done that, right? I think the porch turned out cute and I really want to make those little munchkins happy on Saturday.
At some point in the past few days---its all a blur, I brought in my ferns and decided to winter over some geraniums. I used to do that quite a bit as some geranium varieties are actually sensitive perennials. They tend to need a lot of water in the dryness of my home and they drop petals a lot (so do the ferns), but if you want to spend the extra time, they are worth saving and are definitely a bright burst of color and summertime happiness on bleak days. I get a lot of light in this corner of my family room. It's a happy place now!
Another great dish from Carla Hall in Redbook Magazine, like the granola recipe I wrote about recently. Unfortunately, I simply can't locate the recipe to give you a link in either the magazine, her TV show or just her name. So I'll try to give you a quick version and you can Pin it if you want.
By way of introduction (Ahem...), when I have a cold my go to comfort food is Chinese. We have a wonderful place just a few blocks away. My time honored remedy is two fold. First I order the Spider Maki, a sushi roll with soft shell crab, avocado and cucumber. The soy and wasabi clear my sinuses while the simple roll is light on the stomach. I also get an order of Pork Wonton Noodle Soup. A simple broth with loads of noodles and fat pork dumplings. A nice crunch and 'sinus opener' is provided by way of the green onions. I usually have this right before bed to again help with congestion and the carbs make me full and content. :)
So I found this recipe as I rested and perused reading material during my convalescence (I know, very dramatic). Everything is the same as Carla's, just condensed. Feel free to Pin. It's heavenly whether you're sick or not.
Beef Noodle Soup with Soy & Ginger
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced matchstick style
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 quart beef broth
3 T soy sauce
1 t toasted sesame oil
S & P
4 oz. noodles (spaghetti, Soba, egg noodle...your choice)
Cook the onion, ginger, garlic and scallions in the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cabbage and broccoli and cook another 5 minutes. Pour in the broth as well as 2 cups of water, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer 10 minutes and add noodles. Cook 5 minutes or until they are tender. Serve with a pinch of sliced scallions sprinkled over the top.
This cooks up very quickly as you can see but the chopping takes awhile. I happen to love chopping, it's relaxing for me. You may want to prepare the veggies earlier in the day and then the whole soup will go together super quick in time for dinner.
I've had a lot of fun making treat bags for the little kids that come to my house on Halloween. I spent the last two mornings working on them while I had my coffee. 110 bags. I kept thinking, "You need a job, Jane." We have a huge amount of young families that have moved into our neighborhood and it's alive again after the last generation (as in my kids and their friends) grew up and away. I see them walking to school in their uniforms, the same my kids wore, and to church as families on Sunday. The neighborhood is alive again after a little lull. It makes me happy. And it's weird, maybe not, but Halloween is always a miserably cold and rainy day here without a doubt. I always plan to sit on the porch and really get into the festiveness but the weather never cooperates and from our current forecast, it's not going to be pleasant on Saturday. With that in mind, I like making these little bags filled with chocolates and the tart and sweet, bubble gum and stickers, plastic spider and bat rings and creepy crawlers. I also add some crayons, pencils and erasers. This way I won't have those tiny little indecisive kiddos mulling over the candy with me encouraging them to take more than one... meanwhile their parents patiently standing in the rain, forced smiles on frozen faces!
Finally...thanks for all the well wishes. Sounds like a lot of you ladies have or have had a bug already this season. Or know someone with something similar. I'm happy to have it over with before the holidays. Emily had a touch of it and I brought her some of my soup last night. She was back at work today, I don't know if it was my magical soup or her good work ethic. And, did I mention that daughter Abigail is now the assistant basketball coach at the high school she teaches at? Go Abby! And if that's not exciting, son Jeff is planning a 30 day hiking trip along the Pacific Crest next August. And finally, my son, Kevin...well, we are trying to convince him and Mary Clare to take a little vacation at our condo in Asheville not only because they could use it but because we would love to have little Elsie in our clutches for a few days!!
So what's new with you guys? How's Halloween in your neck of the woods?
See all of you soon!