Nov 15, 2020

Interesting weekend

Saturday morning we woke up to blue sky, sun and very little snow. A nice change of pace.

However it still was cool out there.  We both did a good deal of computer work and catching up. In the afternoon we went to Canadian Tire as we had seen some items  in their flyer that appealed to us.  My goodness what a crowd, no control as to how many were going in. Most were wearing masks. We picked up an unlit 6 foot Charlie Brown tree for $40.00.  It seems that most of the trees are now pre strung with lights. I like using my own lights. Just before we left Colin spotted a lovely 7.5 foot tree posted on a large board in the tree section.  It did look lovely and was marked down from $299.00 to $149.00.  Turns out they were sold out and had just sold the floor model as well which explains why we never saw it with the other trees. As we were about to check out I saw a larger unlit tree high up on a shelf.  A strange place as you can’t see the tree, it was held in place with ties to the ceiling.  Turns out it was the $149.00 tree! While Colin looked for someone to help us I discovered that the tips of the branches were rigid and could not be bent at all. Plus I just thought it was too wide for our home. It turned out this tree had been overlooked and was still for sale. I vetoed the purchase. So we checked out with several items including a remote device that enables me to turn on my under the counter lights in the kitchen. I struggle to be able to turn them on – just too short to reach 😳  Hmm, I don’t think I ever posted about those lights, will do so in the weeks to come. Of course we purchased some lights for the tree and for another project. Once home I measured the width of that larger tree and it would have been much too wide for this home. Charlie Brown tree, it shall be.

Today, Sunday, I did laundry, worked with Colin to clean the house and made homemade tomato soup for the first time in my life. Thanks to my longtime friend Karen, I had the perfect recipe. We have known Karen and her hubby David from one of our first few trips down into Mexico, possibly as late as 2003 or 2004. We saw them a few times  along the road  and as happens we lost contact. Karen found me while online as her Mexico search took her to my blog. We have not seen each other for ages but once Covid is done, we shall.

The recipe for ‘Garden Fresh Tomato Soup’ can be found here. We still had leftover tomatoes from the garden.  These had been picked green and had ripened on our window sills but needed to be used. The recipe says ‘A quick and easy recipe for real homemade tomato soup like no other you’ve had before’. It also said prep 5 minutes and cook time 30 minutes. I guess we are slow, it took longer.

Rendering down the tomatoes. I did 1.5 of the recipe as I had 6 cups of tomatoes left.

The recipe calls to run the mixture through a food mill which I do not have. So we put the yellow colander inside another stock pot and slowly drained the tomatoes in, you can see the steam. Colin did it in two sections.

Then he used the back of a ladle to press out the liquid, leaving the tomato skins and the majority of the seeds in the colander.

If you have an emersion blender ( I do not have one) that would likely work or you could use a blender. Too much trouble for me. While he was draining the tomato liquid I began the roux. I decided to add a cup of milk.  This online recipe actually has over 2000 comments so if you read some you will get some ideas on possible changes. The milk was my only addition.

Many utensils and pots were used to make the soup. The white bowl on the right held the discarded skins, etc.

The soup truly was like no other you’ve had before.  So simple to make and yet so very flavourful. We will be making this next summer and freezing some. I read that many have just used canned tomatoes to make this.  I do have frozen tomatoes from the garden in the freezer so just might try it later in the winter. We enjoyed a large bowl of soup and have enough to enjoy for lunch another day.

Fortunately Colin offered to do the dishes as I was the brain behind this project. Yellow colander in the middle stock pot into which the mixture was poured from the taller stock pot on the left. I made the roux in the saucepan and the white bowl held the skins. Best soup ever.

What next? Time to rake more leaves.

Colin was getting ready for the next part of the ‘big project’ but managed to capture me raking. This is the first time that we have seen the leaves fall from this tree as we have always been gone. I never quite finished as the wind came up rather strongly and kept scattering my piles, but I did fill the bag. Phew, quite a busy day.

I saw the following today in an article by CBC News on snowbirds still flocking south, you can read that here.

Despite the Government  of Canada’s advice, folks are choosing to travel.  I think I would rather suffer this one winter in order to have many many years ahead to travel.

Looks like we are staying home.

*** Having so much fun. Halfway through this post Colin went into the sauna and chose Abba and Mamma Mia as his music tonight. I have been dancing in my computer chair. Once his sauna was done ( the music kept playing ), he had his bath and I was just finishing my final proofing. Guess what?  Some, well lots of dancing was involved. How fun. I will always remember doing this post. The other night he listened to jazz. It just might be a fun winter 😎






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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Interesting weekend”

  1. Glad you are finding ways to use up your tomatoes and to entertain yourselves.
    Hopefully this will be the last year that you use your travel guide.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the change of scenery.

    It’s about time.

  2. Linda and Russell says:

    We love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I may give it a try one day…sounds delicious. I always use milk in my canned tomato soup as well.
    I made my first batch of tortilla soup the other day. I’m trying to learn to cook some authentic Mexican dishes we can easily make on the Isla with local produce, etc.
    Enjoy you Fall…and keep on dancing!

    • contessa says:

      You are so very clever. You aren’t going to be able to head into Mazatlan so best to learn to cook with what you can get on the Isla. More difficult for you as you can’t bring anything food with you, unlike us in the RV.

  3. Karen says:

    I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the soup. I always have thoughts of oh gosh what if they don’t care for it when I share a recipe. It always takes me longer to make anything compared to the allotted time you are not alone here. Lovely picture of the dusting of snow on the hillside. I guess rather than beach walks your new exercise is leaf racking, well fresh air is fresh air. Thanks so much for short bread recipe, I used the second recipe and must say that they turned out perfect! I actually made a second batch today and made millionaire squares which is a layer of short bread a layer of Carmel and a layer of chocolate, I’ve never made these before but at least I know the short bread is good. Off to make gingerbread cookies first attempt, enjoy your day.

    • Contessa Jewall says:

      Which recipe did you make, the one that you keep in the fridge until you bake them? Or the English shortbread? You certainly are into the baking. Who is going to eat all those cookies? I made gingerbread once, it was soft gingerbread cookie. Turned out well.

      • Karen says:

        I made the old English short bread super easy! Works well for me, I am pretty sure these gingerbread cookies are soft,hopefully fingers crossed. Lots of this is little bags of homemade for gifts for a few friends, we don’t buy gifts for others so just a little something to say happy holidays.

        • Contessa Jewall says:

          Sounds like I should try that one as I have baked the other shortbread in the past. Then I can freeze it. We are doing the same here for others in the park. Cookies and a card.

  4. Paul says:

    I see you two are teenagers at heart…

    Love the spirit!

    Have fun you two…

    We are staying home as well this winter. It’s not bad if you have fun with life.


    Paul. Jan and Jazz.?

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