Friday, September 30, 2011


"I trust in Nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility.
Spring shall plant and Autumn garner to the ends of time."

~ Robert Browning

Annabelle Abstract
'Fading Memories'

"We do not remember days; we remember moments."

~ Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

Remember September

~ awesome Autumn fare, perfect while tomatoes are still in abundance
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)


3 lbs. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 'upeeled' large cloves garlic
1 tsp. finely choppped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried
1/4 tsp. (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock


4 slices rye bread
(toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side)
1 Tbsp. grated raw red onion
1 cup (or more) coarsely grated white cheddar

  • Soup: Preheat oven to 400º. Wrap garlic cloves in tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour or longer depending on thickness of tomates. Cool slightly. (Can be made ahead, refrigerated, and reheated before finishing recipe.)
  • Unwrap garlic packet and peel or squeeze garlic from peel. Transfer garlic, tomatoes and any accumulated juiced to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper and stock and bring t a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 mintutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Topping: Preheat oven to 350º. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on large foil-ined baking sheet. Float toast slice in each bowl, buttered side up and divide grated cheese generously over top. Top with grated red onion. Bake on tray for 15-20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. (If desired and needs more browning, preheat broiler and finish for a minute or two under broiler.) Serve immediately. (4 servings)
Note: Easily doubled ... the soup is delicious and stands on its own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


"Softly the evening came.
The sun from the western horizon
Like a magician extended his golden want o'er the landscape;
Trinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest
Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


~ adapted from Fine Cooking

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large diced yellow or red onion
3 diced carrots
2 minced cloves garlic
2 chopped yellow/orange peppers
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
pinch cayenne pepper or more to taste
coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 quart organic chicken broth
1 lb. chopped fresh tomatoes (or 14.5 oz. can diced)
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup well-rinsed chickpeas

  • Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add squash, cayenne, salt & pepper.
  • Add broth, tomatoes (juice) and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and kale had wilted, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste. (about 8 cups)


Friday, September 09, 2011


“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”

~ G. K. Chesterton

(Hubbard Lake, MI)


(with or without crab)

~ Serve chilled for lunch or supper
on the remains of a warm summer day

6 plump peeled and seeded ripe tomatoes
minced clove of garlic
2 peeled and seeded cucumbers
1 chopped red onion
1 chopped sweet onion
1 coarsely chopped red pepper
1 coarsely chopped yellow or orange pepper
2 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 fresh lemon
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
dashes of Tabasco to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
sliced black olives to taste
1/2 lb. good lump crab
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  • Into a large glass bowl rubbed with cut garlic, place chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers.
  • Combine tomato juice, olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco. Pour over chopped garden vegetables.
  • Add dill, olives, and crab. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill thoroughly.
  • Ladle into chilled bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a bottle of good Michigan wine and warm crusty bread. (6-8 servings)

Note: Take proper time to hand-chop vegetables. The results will not be the same using a blender or food processor. Since tomatoes are at their peak, as long as you're chopping, double the recipe.

"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou."

~ Omar Khayyam