Sunday, November 10, 2013


It's worth noting that attitude and gratitude rhyme, not because I'm thinking of writing poetry, but because it reminds me that gratitude is an attitude. It's easy to rail against the upsets of the day, to focus on the negative. It seems to me that doing so is a very popular attitude at the moment. Seeking to find blame elsewhere is fashionable, too.

Taking the time to be aware of the positive things in our lives is far more rewarding I think, but a road less taken a lot of the time. I'm as good at grousing about what isn't working, isn't available, isn't happening as anyone.

As I approach the time when I will need to choose a new health care provider, it seems that I'm feeling grouchier each time I go online to explore the options. It's not because I have no options (see, a thing to feel grateful for...right there), but because finding the one that fits seems to be like finding the way from one end of a maze to the other. I know there is a path, but the twists and turns are so confusing.

Leaving that fraught subject, let's turn to autumn, a source of great joy and something else to be grateful for. This year we have had perfect fall weather. The nights have been cold enough to bring out brilliant color on the leaves of the deciduous trees...bright scarlet, intense yellow and gold, deep burgundy and russet. As I drive around doing errands I've been making sure that I take time to appreciate that glory of autumn while it lasts. Soon the rains will come, the leaves fall, and life will get more hectic. Is that possible? Well, it does seem to happen each winter holiday season, so why not this year.

Our entry project, begun in the early days of May, is finally finished, inside and out. We will be welcoming my Mom and favorite sailing sister-in-law through the new russet door into the tiled and pillared entry very soon. That, perhaps, is the thing I am most grateful for today. My Mom hasn't been here for a few years, so I'm looking forward to cups of tea and lots of conversation with both Mom and Sailing Woman.

We'll be late getting home, so I made a nice pot of soup, which I can reheat once we get home. If you like the flavors of chicken pot pie, you'll love this soup. Full of veggies and chicken chunks, I even found a way to use some of the caramelized onions I made in the crock pot. It's a soup as comforting as a big hug. Sending a virtual big hug and my gratitude for her abundant love and caring to my favorite Lexington sister-in-law B. I'm very lucky to have her in my life, even if we live too far apart. In truth, I am very lucky as far as sister and brother in-laws go. Thanks y'all!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
all the flavors of pot pie except the crust
2 medium red potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz. sliced, cleaned mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
pepper to taste
1 stalk celery, sliced
1-2 medium carrots, halved and sliced
1/4 cup caramelized onion
2 large chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch dice
1 can low fat or non-fat evaporated milk

2 cups mixed frozen vegetables...I used frozen peas, frozen corn and frozen green beans

Ingredients for this recipe are cooked in two pots. In on heavy bottomed saucepan, place the red potatoes and chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

In the second saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, thyme and pepper. Stir to coat the mushrooms, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 4 minutes, stirring once. Uncover and add the celery and carrots. Stir well, then cover and simmer 4 minutes. Uncover and add the caramelized onion, chicken pieces and the milk. Stir well, then cover and simmer 4 minutes.
Uncover. Add the cooked potatoes and stock. Stir well, then taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Add the frozen vegetables, stir, and cover. Simmer 4 minutes. Serve, adding biscuits on the side if desired, to finish off the "pot pie" riff.

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