October 26, 2006

Winter Go Away

I dislike cold weather very, very much! I like every season except winter. All the beautiful flowers and gardens that were growing and alive and vibrant are now dead and brown. The grass is beginning to turn that ugly brown color, jackets are a must now and the days are getting shorter. This is why I dislike winter so much. Oh, I didn’t mention the cold, bone chilling wind and nasty rain (sometimes freezing rain- YUCK!) and cloudy skies.

But, with everything bad, must come good. There are good things about winter: Thanksgiving and Christmas, the first beautiful snow that sticks to the pine trees, making snow angels with my niece and nephews, hanging Christmas lights and garland, and the best part- the food during the winter months. Foods like soup, stews, chili, turkey, pumpkin pie, rack of lamb, fresh dinner rolls, ham, cookies and candy…I could literally go on and on. This is my favorite time of the year, but it’s my least favorite time of the year too. Truthfully, if the weather could just stay above 50 degrees I would be fine, but that doesn’t happen here in the Midwest. Oh, well there’s some things we just have to live with.

Today I have a wonderful soup that Jan Prenger gave to me to enter into the company cookbook and when I saw this recipe, I just had to try it. I made it last week on one of those really cold nights and served it with French bread. It makes a really nice light dinner or a very impressive first course. I garnished mine with sun dried tomatoes….yummy.

Yummy Pie

Tomato Bisque
Jan Prenger

1 med onion-thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped chives

In heavy saucepan, sauté the onion in butter for 5 minutes, Add tomato, bay leaf, brown sugar, basil, cloves, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes.Remove bay leaves and cloves. Puree rest. Strain if you want a very smooth soup. (I like the little pieces of tomato) Add cream, milk and heat well, do not scald. Serve sprinkle with Parmesan and croutons.

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