gerber daisySo tomorrow we take our firstborn to college. Although I’m rarely at a loss for words, this one has me reflective, sad, excited, joyful, curious, hopeful…and not very eloquent. So here’s a tanka poem I wrote a couple years ago, with maybe some kind of understanding.

Driving Lessons 

What you need to know
-signal, accelerate, merge–
I must teach you well

be as safe as possible
so you can one day leave me.

Bon voyage, my sweet. I will always be just a yelp away.


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This Blog Just Got Better

I have decided to start sharing my best recipes from time to time. Why? Because good food makes you happy and food writing is one of my fortes, so why not spread the joy? It’s a little early for soup season, but I have some sort of allergy thing going and I needed some relief for upper respiratory track. And I’m obsessed with soup year round. Any recipes I post here will be my originals, so please respect copyright. If you try this, let me know what you think. I’ll add a photo soon.

Sandy’s Italian Sausage Soup

This hearty, richly flavored soup smells wonderful and tastes best right after it’s made. The carrots are added just to balance the spice of the sausage with a bit of sweetness, so don’t overdo it with the carrots. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ small onion, finely diced
1 lb. link Hot Italian Sausage (I like Polidori brand)
2 cups (4 oz.) chopped white mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ medium yellow squash, diced
½ medium zucchini, diced
2 small, thinly sliced carrots (about ½ cup)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 quart chicken broth
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
½ lb. frozen small, round cheese ravioli

In a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onion for 3 minutes in the olive oil. Add the sausage and brown on all sides. (Note: If you only have mild sausage on hand, just add ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes when you add the sausage). With a spoon or metal spatula, cut the sausage into bite-size pieces and cook thoroughly. Lower heat to medium and add garlic and sauté for a couple minutes as the sausage finishes cooking. Lower heat if necessary, so the garlic doesn’t brown.

Add squash, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, oregano, and basil, rubbing the herbs between your fingers as you add them. Stir well and adjust heat as needed, sautéing for 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft and cooked through.

Add chicken broth and tomato sauce. Increase heat to high until soup begins to boil. Add frozen ravioli and allow soup to return to a boil, then reduce to a gently bubbling simmer. When ravioli are done they will rise to the top of soup (about 5 minutes). Serve warm.




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In Other News…

…it is still a beautiful world. Here is some beautiful flora from Cali-flora-nia. Fractals!






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And even beauty made by artisans and architects!



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