Thursday, September 15, 2011

Something in the Leaves

Shh, I have a secret.

I put my Halloween stuff out tonight.

I know!  I know!  It's going to be 80 degrees this weekend!  And yes, Halloween is a month and a half away.  But when I've gotten down at least three of those pumpkin spice lattes, and it takes me an extra twenty minutes to get home because in the 8 weeks we've had here without rain people have forgotten how to drive when it SPRINKLES IN OREGON, I start itching to open up those boxes in the garage that smell like cinnamon and Market Spice tea.

"When the Halloween decorations come out, that means it's fall cooking season," I said to Matt, trying to get him on board. He thinks putting out Halloween House before fall officially starts is, quote-unquote, "ghetto." However, he starts talking wistfully about cool weather favorite foods like meatloaf, pot roast and, his very favorite, bean soup.

Bean soup was some crap I threw in a Crock Pot before spring hit earlier this year, one night when I didn't want to have to worry about cooking. He loved it so much, he sat me down with a pen and paper and had me write down "everything I did." And I'm glad I did, because six months later, I totally wouldn't have remembered what I threw together that became his favorite soup. But last night I dug out the recipe, a thank you for hauling in all those boxes for crazy old me. With dinner all taken care of by the time I got home, I had enough energy to (almost) finish Halloween-ifying the house. Still a few little details to be added, but I've got a little time. But hey. Why not make the month out of the year you get to enjoy your favorite holiday a month and a half?

Here's to uncovering your favorite things about the changing seasons.  And re-learning old habits, like how to drive in the god-damn rain. You'll be needing that for the next ten months.

Matt's Favorite Bean Soup
1 package of ground Italian pork sausage from New Seasons (this is important!!), browned in pan
4 cups vegetable broth
6 cups beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes (I use 1/2 quart of home-canned tomatoes... need to can those again this weekend. Hmm.)
1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 bag frozen spinach
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans

Crock pot all for a work day.  Pick up some bread at the store.  The good kind, don't skimp on bread. You'll end up sad and eating cardboard. Come home and enjoy whatever it is makes you joyful on these quickly-darkening nights.

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