Parsnip and Apple Soup, a Sweeter Fare for Meatless Fridays

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I love apples! Seriously. Love them almost more than chocolate. Biting into a warm, crisp, just picked apple in autumn is only one step away from doing the same in summer with tomatoes. Living in Michigan, where apple production ranks number three in the States, the harvest of this fruit peaks in late September through early [Read More...]

Tortellini Onion Soup

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His name was Bill, though William seemed to suite him better. He was not very tall, only about 5’ 6”, a bit overweight and prematurely balding. He had bright pale blue eyes that smiled from behind thick wire rimmed glasses. Bill was a man of fine mettle, and a friend of a friend’s husband. We [Read More...]

Portobello and Beans Vegetarian Chili, Meatless Friday

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The Garden Society at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan, had many volunteers and a core group of five women. The society began in 2005 and continues to this day. I retired from the group in 2013, leaving it in the competent hands of the dedicated Master Gardener, Ann. The garden society’s goal was [Read More...]

Sweet Corn Chowder and Friday Suppers

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For me, this soup is the ultimate in comfort food. It is smooth and creamy, heavy on the carbs and sweetened by the corn. My grandmother also liked it for its ease of preparation—especially on meatless Fridays. When I was a young adult and still residing at my widowed grandmother’s home, we shared busy though [Read More...]

Fighting Depression with a Winter’s Soup

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As an avid vegetable gardener I have often kept a root cellar, or something similar, for storing harvested produce. In one house it was literally a hand dug portion of the basements exposed to tree roots and in another a fieldstone basement. Putting food by just seems like a natural progression for those of us [Read More...]

Swooning Over Oxtail

Image from public domain, Wikimedia.org. Stillleben mit Deckelterrine, brauner Tonschale, Brot und Weinglas. Öl auf Leinwand, 18th century.

As a child, my first memory of a soup is Oxtail. Not so much for its flavor—though it is delicious—but for the adventure at my grandmother’s side. In late winter, after Christmas and before Lent, I would often spend a weekend at my maternal grandparents’ house. I delighted in the quietness and solitude that their [Read More...]

Tomatoes! Make ‘em Stop! Practical Gardening Gone Wild

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I don’t know why I agreed to the request from the woman who lives downstairs. Linda had asked that I grow some tomato plants for her—one ‘Sweet 100s’ and a second ‘Champion’—oh and would I mind maybe bush zucchinis and a single cucumber plant? I no longer worked the grounds at the retreat center and [Read More...]

St. Benedict’s Soup

It was the weekend before I was to make my final profession as a Benedictine Oblate. I wanted to honor St. Benedict in a personal way and created this soup as a briw.  In Old English the briw was the evening meal of soup or broth—a lighter fare, with the heavier meal consumed in the [Read More...]

Suffering Succotash Mother!

She preferred to be called Mother Bailey. She was a stately Scottish woman; tall and handsome with wild blonde-gray hair that no matter how desperately she tried to secure it, frizzed and blew in all directions. Her eyes were a steely-blue and reminded me of thin ice over a lake. Much like her homeland she [Read More...]

Seeing Stars and the Holy Trinity

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I love apples! Seriously. Love them almost more than chocolate. Biting into a warm, crisp, just picked apple is only one step away from doing the same in summer with tomatoes. Living in Michigan, where apple production ranks number three in the States, the harvest of this fruit peaks in late September through early October. [Read More...]


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