Saturday, October 27, 2012

.....scram, Sandy, scram.....

.....it's been a soggy fall.....

....lots of rain, gusty wind and many days of practice for what's to come in the next few days for us......





.....now, I am a Florida girl and hurricanes were a dime a dozen growing up in the southeast part of the state.....the Atlantic churned and crashed into the coastline more times than I can remember......and my family had the ritual down......we would make sure we had water and batteries, my Mom would tape X's all over the sliding glass doors that surrounded our pool with brown masking tape, we'd fill the tubs to the brim, turn on the news and then we would wait.....

.....now, it's not that there haven't been bad hurricanes......we certainly had a few; but we did spend a lot of time waiting.....the post wait was always full of adventure, however.......there were many afternoons jumping in puddles or heading to the beach with our boogie boards to ride out the last of the surf from the final bands of the storm.......

.....hurricanes up here are a different story.....people are freaking out......I pulled into the grocery store today, not even thinking about the fact that Sandy is 24-36 hours out and couldn't find a parking spot anywhere close to the store......the water, juice and soda isles were trashed; their shelves empty to only cracked water bottles left alone to dribble their slow leaks......the canned soup aisle was bustling with a rowdy crowd and batteries were being pulled off the shelves faster than they could be restocked.....the wine and liquor stores were the same way.....I only know this because I dragged all three of my children into the wine store to buy a few bottles to hold us over......we made a hurricane in there ourselves when Brody and Callie flew off the rocking horse in the section of the store they have for kids.....I must say, that was a first for me today.....a play station in the corner of the wine store???......

.....yes, I dig Darien, CT.....

....sorry, I digress......

......I will say, in my new state's defense, most of our county did lose power for over a week during hurricane Irene; so there is reason to prepare......but over half the people in the grocery store today acted like the second coming was happening.....we have one more errand to run tonight and then we will hunker down.....and wait.....and pray......and hope it isn't as bad as the media is making this storm out to be.....

.....we will relish in our inside time......I have loved being a homebody lately, even though this home is temporary......it is where we rest, we play and we thrive......we have several recipes left to try, so baking and simmering will certainly be happening around here.....

.....we got a head start earlier this week.....


....it was the first time we let Brody loose during our mixing, sifting and folding.....he was particularly fond of the eggs, so we let him crack away.......of course, we were left to pick the shells out of the batter.......although, all worth it to include him.....





....and certainly worth the laughter of watching him figure out the best way to lick the bowl.....


....the girls decided to drop globs of icing on the cinnamon bread, opposed to drizzling it in wavy lines so that every bite would get a sweet kick to it.....but then again, we also made it apple cinnamon bread since I am still trying to use up our apples......so anything goes in this kitchen, really......


....and once the dessert was in the oven and the kids had lost interest, I searched the pantry for dinner.....

.....there is nothing better to me than feeling so in tune with my home that when I want to cook, I have every ingredient on hand for what I am craving at that moment......it goes something like this:

.....I begin to get ideas of what to throw in my what's for dinner tonight thoughts and I reach for everything that comes to mind.....the kitchen is full of what I need as I am opening, chopping, slicing, simmering, roasting and sauteing.....it is a blessed, secure and satisfying feeling to whip it up effortlessly......I can hear the kids playing and laughing down the hall and I am alone in my kitchen as the creativity flows......uninterrupted kitchen bliss.......it does not happen often, but when it does; I am in my element....

....small joys.....

.....then Stefan comes home after a long, wet commute to the aroma of a hearty meal......a full home, the smell of family......there is nothing better for my husband, either......this past week it was *beef and veggie tomato soup.....my grandfather was an executive for Campbell Soup in his heyday and as we would always say in his presence, soup is good food......

....this concoction is a keeper......


.....also a keeper is my baby brother, Chad.....


.....a bachelor party brought him to NYC from the west coast and he carved out two days for some time with us.....the kids loved the visit because if anyone knows how to play, it's uncle Chad.....

....he also does things I would never do.....like encourage an entourage of seagulls to hang with us.....





....I could hardly take pictures there were so many of them......I am always jammed up they will poop all over us and drop their potential germs or disease on our skin......I have had that happen enough to know it's a disgusting experience and honestly, I have never really liked seagulls......so I shooed them away as uncle Chad and the kids waved saltines at them.......

.....talk about mixed messages......



....post seagull experience, though; we ate, we laughed, we talked, we played with the kids, we explored Darien, we drove by the new house and then I accompanied Chad to the city.....just in case he needed an escort.....

......besides, it had only been 6 days since my last visit and I was feeling a little need for city speed......








.....it still awes me how I can be in the city and all of it's familiarities one moment and 38 minutes later hop off an express train and set foot on our coastal suburban city......I am truly living best of both worlds......

....time to hunker down....



*Beef and tomato soup recipe-

1lb ground grass fed beef
16 oz tomato puree
1 chopped white onion
1 cup of chopped spinach
2 cups of chopped green beans
several garlic cloves
chopped black olives
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

Saute onion and garlic. Add meat and brown until no longer pink. Move into a large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Add water to desired consistency. I also added salt, pepper, cumin, chili pepper, and paprika. Simmer for a few hours on the stove.

Delicious and easy to re-heat!

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