Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Autumn Gifts

It's Fall Nature Table time and the boys and I finally got around to assembling it this afternoon. I participated in the Autumn Seasons Round Exchange recently and received these incredibly creative, wonderful items from my swap partner Grace to put on the table!

A Fox and the Moon applique in an embroidery hoop (an idea which I am stealing!)

Robin and real Georgia Buckeyes

Thank you so much Grace!

With the weather not feeling like Autumn for so long and the leaves refusing to turn until recently, it was hard to get the mojo going to put the table together. But as the days cooled and the leaves began to fall, the boys have begun to bring more of their natural treasures into the house. Here are a few of my favorite things on the table...

This season the Jizo Bodhisatva sits at the center

We have our witch and kitty mixing up spells before her cauldron

A little squirrel gathering up buckeyes (for our lack of acorns ;) ) for the winter

I'm so glad we finally got around to putting together our altar of Autumn Celebration. It makes me feel like the season is really upon us now and we can enjoy the gifts of Fall.

And lest you think I'm shirking on Food Week ;}...

In addition to the tomatoes, my dad also brought us squash from his garden. Though I miss the bounty of fruits that come in the summer, Fall always gifts us with those vegetables that just seems so right for the colder weather.

Feeling the need for the warm comfort that soup brings, I decided to do the Winter Squash with Fried Sage Leaves recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (probably my favorite cookbook, even though I'm not a vegetarian).

So this is what I am going to tell you about tonight's endeavor... my soup sucked.

Did you really think I'd get through this week without some culinary mishap? I took a picture of the soup and was so excited to sit down and eat it and when I did, all I could taste were crunchy onions. I didn't saute them long enough. Which really sucks because I really don't like the texture or taste of raw onions.

So here is a pretty picture of my darn soup which I found almost inedible. And you want to know what else sucks? I have a TON of this soup left...

Here is the question of the day. Can this soup be saved? Will time just soften up the onions so that they're not so darn crunchy and obvious? Will cooking it longer soften them up? Or is this a lost cause I should just think about using it tomorrow for some crazy paper mache arts and crafts project with the boys?


nicola@which name? said...

marina, your nature table is so beautiful! i love all the wooden figures. i must admit, our seasonal corner is almost always nature brought in from outside. i love seeing the variations being shared in the blog world these days!

the soup...i say keep cooking it. i am thrilled for your cookbook recommendation, because i am a vegetarian (although mike isn't) and i don't have that one!


Tan Family said...

Oh, I love your seasonal table! That exchange always produces such lovely gifts that can be used. Beautiful post...autumn is here!

Anonymous said...

keep cooking, i forgot the onions last time i mad pumpkin soup & them in last, just add some boiling water & cook it off again, after that puree the whole thing in a mixer, it'll be fantastic!
loving your nature table!

Anonymous said...

loving the nature table and the jizo addition.

on the soup... you have me giggling over here. the picture is SO pretty though. could try cooking longer, maybe add some more water (or stock). i mean, what's the loss at this point? or you could just store it up and cook it longer when you want to eat it again. oh my, lol.

thanks for the book recommendation. what are your favorites from the book? i'm curious what it also has in it.


Simple Mama said...

I love the nature table. And Jizo especially. I was reading about him and I love that he's a protector for women, children and travelers. So wonderful.

As for the soup - cook it longer - the onions should soften and then I agree - use an immersion blender or stick it in batches in a regular blender to smooth it. It should be fine.

kristin said...

such loving and warm photographs. your seasonal table is truly inviting and inspiring. looks like a wonderful exchange to be a part of.

(congratulations on winning the crown! :))

Jenne said...

Oh I love that cookbook! It's my go-to book most days. I haven't tried that soup myself though but I will b/c it sounds really great (in theory anyway). The butternut squash gratin she has in there is to die for. I have my own butternut squash soup recipe I'd be more than happy to send if you'd like. It's wonderful! Do you have a food processor? That's how I blend my soups.

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Hi Marina, Your nature table is so pretty!
I guess you have figured out by now that there is still hope for the soup.
I think it is great that you are challenging yourself in the kitchen!

EarthyMama said...

Hi, I love your nature table. Its beautiful. As for the soup...usually when I mess up on a soup (which I do frequently bc I can't cook :) I turn it into a casserole, by adding rice or couscous or beans and whatever else I can think of then bake it. It's pretty good about hiding "mistakes"

Hip Mountain Mama said...

I found you here from MDC...your nature table looks great and so does the soup! Thanks so much for sharing!

Christine said...

beautiful nature table and i love what you did with the pumpkins. i have never seen them with carrots and apples. i like that. and i wanted to say that while the soup looks great, i know exactly how you feel having so much extra soup that is sucky. i did a huge pot of potato and leek soup.

Simple Mama said...

Did you salvage the soup?

taimarie said...

Beautiful nature table. Now I am so curious if you rescued the soup!

Tahara said...

I love your nature table Marina!...I wish I could make that soup :-)