Ahhh, fall... my favorite time of the year, and not just because my birthday is coming up! I've always loved fall, and sweaters, and new beginnings, and... soup. Yes, I'm serious. I am a soup lover. My husband might even go so far as to say I have a slight problem with soup. In his meat-and-potatoes view, I'm possibly a soup-a-holic.
There is something about the way fall arrives just after the hottest time of the year, which also happens to be my least favorite season. I'm a sweaty mess for most of August, and it is always a relief to have to dig out a sweatshirt instead of contemplating how much naked flesh I am willing to inflict on my poor defenseless neighbors.
Yesterday was a beautiful day down here on Cape Cod. The temperature hovered around 60 degrees outside, and I decided it was just cold enough to justify making soup. Lately, I've been on a potato-leek kick, so I decided to mix it up a little and make some cheddar broccoli instead. I had picked up a ginormous bag o' frozen organic broccoli florets at B.J.'s on my last trip, so I trundled out to the garage and grabbed a some from the freezer.
I covered them with chicken broth and shook in a bunch of minced dried onions, and left it to simmer. It started smelling good, and pretty quickly the broccoli had thawed and cooked and was falling apart, ready for the next step. I was just about to start dumping in the cheese, when I looked into the pot to give it another stir. Something caught my eye - at least a dozen somethings, actually.
BUGS! Little tiny fruit flies or something, apparently frozen in with the broccoli. Bleah! The more I looked, the more I saw. I scooped out a couple and looked under a toy magnifying glass I dug out of the toy chest to make sure I wasn't looking at discolored broccoli buds. Nope, BUGS.
No soup for me, people. Luckily, it is time for another one of my fall favorites to appear in the store again - Honeycrisp apples. One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote was an ode to the Honeycrisp apple, and my ardent passion for this particular variety has not waned in the last two years. I have been known to (gulp) order them on-line from an orchard in NY state, and they get delivered in their own little individual foam cradles.
The funniest thing about these odd passions for certain foods is how they get passed down to the kids. The soup thing is apparently skipping a generation, because I can't get either kid to willing eat any kind of soup. The Honeycrisp thing, however, has become just as much of a passion for my daughter as it is for me. When I brought home the groceries last week and was putting them away, I said to her, "Guess what time of the year it is?" Not even a heartbeat passed before she yelped, "HONEYCRISP! WHERE ARE THEY?!?" and came storming into the kitchen to search them out.
Sigh. I'm so proud.