Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cold Soup for Summer and Collections

If I like something, chances are I have it in multiples.

Well, except husbands and kids. I have one of each and that's enough.

But most other things.

If you don't pick up on the collection themes outside, then come inside and you'll see what I mean -- and what I like -- everywhere! I collect what I collect because I like it -- how it looks and how it makes me happy when I see it.

Some of it is useful, of course. I mean besides being so jolly to look at, it has function. 

But then, some of it just sits there and -- well, looks nice -- and that makes me smile. 

That's good because it means all the wrinkles in my face are magically transformed into laugh lines.

Just inside the front door you'll see roosters just sitting around. They don't do much else.

The Prairie Wood welcoming crew
Turn into the living room and you'll see acorns and bird houses and some little boxes.  I like for rooms to sort of have their own theme, but I guess I'm not very strict about that rule.

Oodles of acorns and bunches of boxes
 Continue into the dining room and it's more roosters and chickens.

A new rooster checking out the dining room

Down the hall, peek into the powder room. More acorns and a couple of fancy little chickens. There is also a rotating theme of seasonal guest towels. I'm not sure why the smallest room has multiple themes!

Rooster and summer flower season
Fancy rooster and chicken
Oak leaf and acorn guest towels

OK, try to keep up!

Around the corner and into the kitchen, the collections begin to multiply -- roosters and chickens, crockery bowls and pitchers, vintage Fiestaware, cooking utensils, serving pieces, piebirds, cookbooks ...

Cookbooks as props
My Favorite Husband would like to point out that there are many, many more multiples in the kitchen, but this is not his tour, so just ignore him.

Step on down to the den and there they are -- more roosters, vintage mixing bowls and a few cookbooks. Oh, shucks, you've seen those pictures already -- lots and lots of cookbooks!

Where does all this stuff come from? 

OK, I'll admit it. I do pick up little bits and pieces, here and there. I don't really set out to shop for ... let's say ... roosters. Roosters just happen and before you know it, there's a collection of them.

And here's another great thing about being a collector -- the giftability factor. I have tons of giftability.

An instant collection was tucked inside -- Thanks Anna!
Some of my family and friends like that about me. It is a quality I appreciate in others too.

But there are a few people who say it's difficult to find gifts for me.

I suspect they are not collectors, so they can't possibly understand how it works. They think I already have everything I need. Or they think I have all the roosters -- or whatever -- I could possible want.

To this I say . . . Silly people!

Navajo Rooster from New Mexico
Collections are never finished! And I don't have everything -- yet! Open your eyes next time you visit a collector.

Don't you see all those empty spaces for more roosters . . . or chickens . . .or bowls . . . or cookbooks?

Haven't you noticed that lamps can be elevated to the proper reading height by carefully placed cookbooks -- books that are not only the correct size and proportion, but also have an appropriate theme for the room?

Cookbooks lend a boost to a little lamp
Yes, there are more collections in other rooms, but I won't cover all of those collections today.

I've got to find a place for a new flock of chickens that showed up on my birthday . . . and a birdhouse . . . and a couple of cookbooks . . .

Bird + house
Oh, and this cute little salt & pepper set. A couple of must-haves I found yesterday at Anthill Gallery in Cobden, IL and they span two collections, so I must give careful consideration to their placement. 

Wonder where our roost will be? Dining
The Anthill Gallery is right down the street from Yellow Moon Cafe, where we had a very nice lunch, including a cold cucumber soup that was absolutely delicious.

I also collect recipes, you know, and . . . I'll definitely be searching for that cucumber soup recipe.

I hate to leave you today without passing along a recipe, so here is one of my mother's for a summery chilled zucchini soup. 

Just in case you have a few extra zucchinis hanging around somewhere.

Oh! And if you have a recipe for a Cold Cucumber Soup with yogurt and wine vinegar in it, it might be just what I need. 

Please leave any cold soup recipe in the comments, and good things may come your way.

I wouldn't even mind having a collection of Cold Cucumber Soup recipes!

Too many of a good thing -- impossible!

2 10 ¾-oz. cans of condensed chicken broth
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 lbs. (7 cups) zucchini, trimmed and sliced
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup dry sherry
½ tsp. salt
snipped parsley

In a large saucepan, bring broth to boil; add green onions and thyme. Add zucchini and simmer, uncovered, until tender – about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool before blending.

When cooled to room temperature, strain to separate the liquid from zucchini. Pour ½ the liquid and ½ the zucchini into the blender and process until smooth; return blended liquid to saucepan. Repeat with remaining soup and zucchini and add to saucepan.

To the zucchini mixture in the saucepan, add heavy cream, dry sherry and salt. Stir until blended. Refrigerate soup until serving. Garnish with parsley.


Anonymous said...

Cora, we joined our first CSA this summer and our cup runneth over with zucs! This looks amazing. On the menu for next week for sure.

Debra said...

Made your Ranch Potato Salad for family reunion & it got rave reviews! It was the Potato Salad weekend, as we had the Horseradish Potato Salad of Coastal Living + yours. What a time was had by all!