Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Three Days of Christmas

I don't know about you, but I still have shopping left to do. For some reason, it's the men on my list who are hard to buy for. My sister is easy: anything I like, she'll probably like. My mother is not difficult either, although she will never actually say anything that she wants, except pottery. One advantage of being a potter is that I always have that gift option. I try to reserve that for years when I am impoverished, since pottery every year might get a little tiresome.
I'm a little more flush (ha! very relatively speaking) this year than I sometimes am, despite car troubles and the recent adoption of a thousand dollars worth of vet bills in the form of three kittens that Doug and I found abandoned under a dumpster. Still, it's the 22nd and my shopping is not done. It's on my list for today.

On my studio list are soup tureens. These are different from regular casserole dishes in the style of lid, and the size. Two quarts is a reasonable baking dish size, but nobody ever serves only two quarts of soup.

We have bags and bags of green beans frozen from last summer's gardening, so my current favorite soup recipe is this one:

4 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups ham, cubed, cooked
1 cup onions, chopped (1 large)
4 cups warm water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh dill, snipped or 1 teaspoon dried dill, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth

Paste the flour into a little of the water. Put it all into a stoneware tureen and place into a cold oven with the lid on. Turn oven to 325; let it cook for an 90 minutes, then remove from oven and let it rest, covered, for fifteen minutes. Serve in the tureen!
It's great for cold days like today.

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