I love soup for supper! In fact, I've never met anyone who doesn't enjoy a steaming bowl of great soup, along with some good bread and a salad on a cold winters night! Last nights inspiration came from a wedge of Rogue Creamery's "Smoky Blue" that was leftover from our Winter Solstice party and a bottle of Tawny port that I hadn't yet put away! Add a bit a bacon, some potatoes and a generous ladleful of cream and you have a very elegant soup that you'll definitely want seconds of.
Here's a description of the Rogue Creamery smoky blue from Rogue Creamery.com. It's guaranteed to make you want to run out and buy the biggest chunk of it that you can afford! The fragrance alone is incredible but the cheese is buttery, wonderful and delicious . So far I've melted it on hamburgers and pork chops, crumbled it into salads, made this soup and served it with pears, grapes, apples and crusty bread. Rogue Creamery smoky "Oregon Blue" can be found at any great cheese counter near you! Don't buy it just on my recommendation though…Ask for a taste. Your taste buds will begin to tingle and your senses will dance…I promise!
"A long, gentle cold-smoking over shells from Oregon hazelnuts infuses Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue cheese with an added layer of rich flavor and terroir. Sweet cream flavors and caramel notes balance earthy flavors of smoke and hints of roasted nuts. The result is a cakey yet smooth blue cheese reminiscent of candied bacon." Rogue Creamery.com
This recipe is very simple. Just saute a cup of chopped onion, 2 cups of thinly sliced leeks, some fresh sage and about a cup and a half of diced, organic (if possible!) bacon with a half a stick of butter in a stockpot until gently browned. Add 3 cups of diced yukon gold potatoes and 6 cups of good chicken broth and a bottle of rich ,dark milk stout and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add about a tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/4 cup of slow roasted garlic and 2 and a half cups of crumbled blue cheese, for this I used a combination of the smoked blue and some stilton. Stir in the cheese(it melts easily) and add a pint of heavy cream. (I said this was delicious but I didn't say it was low cal!) Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then give it one or two turns with an immersion blender ! This last step isn't necessary, but I like my soup a bit creamier! Last but not least, I added some chopped green onion and caramelized pear for a pretty garnish. A twist of a pepper grinder makes it piquant, but you probably won't need any salt!
I served this last night as a main course with a simple salad of fresh pear, walnut, golden beets and red onion dressed with a French apple cider vinegar and a bit of garlic oil and of course, lots of crusty good bread! A glass of hard cider is the perfect compliment for this soup, or a white wine that's a tad sweeter, perhaps a Viognier ? There is plenty left over for tonight so I will probably serve it as a first course with a pear and pecan puree and a tiny bit of shredded organic ham for the garnish. It will be a delicious first course alongside the chicken that I'll set to roasting in the oven very soon!
So tell me. What are your favorite soups to keep you warm on a cold winters day?
To stay in touch with me please feel free to go to Redecorating the Soul where you will receive regular updates featuring recipes and information about my new books and coaching programs. My official website is www.bethschreibmangehring.com
So many people freak out when you talk about guns and for good reason. The death toll continues to climb. The NRA is holding us hostage when it comes to weapons and our second amendment rights and guess what? It's one of the things that's help get us into the current sad state of affairs that we're in. We need strong and no nonsense gun rights legislation and we need it NOW. I don't know about you but I've had enough. It's a disgusting state of affairs.
But first a story.
The first time I ever touched a gun was in the company of a woman named Dolly Temple who actually reminds me quite a lot of the women shown above. She was a tough Southern woman who was married to a very wealthy Dr. She was a whole lot like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies and I loved her. She was a duck hunter and she took me out shooting with her one day. My mother was appalled.
I wasn't into killing animals then and I'm still not. I had respect for her though because I never saw her kill anything that she didn't eat and use all of. She was a good hunter.
However, 29 years ago my life changed. We lived out on our farm and one night we awoke to our basement door being bashed down. This was before the age of cell phones and our shotgun was downstairs. The dog didn't bark and suddenly there were very loud footsteps tramping through the house and rummaging through my kitchen. I'm a cook so I've got big knives. I was terrified. My son Alex, just a baby then was asleep in his crib.
Jim stood upstairs with a crystal decanter in his hands ready to break to use as a weapon. I was on the land line with the police, this was before cell phones and 911.
Talk about 10 minutes of agony.
When the police finally showed up it turned out that it was our barn boy who had gotten totally drunk, taken a quaalude and blacked out. It also turned out that we were lucky. He had a record in 5 counties and plenty of warrants out for his arrest.
Shortly after that I learned to shoot. One of my closest friends who was head of East Cleveland homicide taught me how even though I was unbelievably reluctant. I still remember the day. He and I guy who was an ex Vietnam vet took me up back to our pasture and they set up a target. Then they put out more firepower than I'd ever seen in one place. Before I even shot one of them I got all the rules. I went through about 6 guns that day, learning about each one of them. They wouldn't let Jim watch, but he came up later and I still remember Rick saying.."Ok Jim...watch this!" and then I'd aim and hit the target. I won't lie. I felt immediately safer knowing that I could protect myself if I'd needed to. I learned to shoot well. I learned gun safety and I have never been afraid of guns since then.
For the record. I think assault weapons are awful. I cannot think of one instance that I'd ever want to shoot one. No one needs one. I shot lots of handguns that day and I hated the semi-automatics. They were too easy, hence all of the issues that we're having right now. I'll never forget what Big Al told me. He said that if you couldn't handle the problem with 6 bullets, than you shouldn't ever dream of picking up a gun and I still think that he was right. I don't know anyone with the exception of a military man or woman that I'd trust with a huge assault rifle or even a semi automatic handgun. They've had the training to know when and how to use one. The civilian population is buying them for emotional reasons and conspiracy theories. No wonder we're all feeling a bit skittish. They are purely a symptom of testosterone poisoning and out of control toxic masculinity as far as I'm concerned.
What upsets me a lot right now about this assault rifle fueled environment is that the good liberal gun owners have had to go underground. We've given away our right to even talk about the second amendment which is why it's been claimed by a bunch of guys and gals openly carrying around their guns as if they were phallic extensions. I know that I haven't spoken up because I've been so horrified by the violence and if I even mention that I enjoy shooting, I get looked at and spoken to as if I were the anti-christ. I get the ..."I don't approve of guns" or "I would never have a gun" . Fine...don't, but stop demeaning those of us who feel differently. We've given away our right to talk about the second amendment with any real power because the liberal gun rights activists are not speaking up. Perhaps we're the reason that they can so easily paint our candidates as wanting to take away their guns.
No more. This liberal is out of the closet. I enjoy shooting and I'm very glad that I know how to. I'm also a peace loving rock and roll hippy. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Be Visible. Take a stand. No more senseless gun deaths.
I love this photograph. Don't know where it comes from but I so appreciate it.
Warning. This is long. Some parts of it may offend you, but please give me a chance here.
"I just can't believe how weak and useless the liberal intellect has become. There is so much evidence of tampering in this election, but there isn't even a bandwagon to jump on. I feel useless. What is America? It is the largest, most heavily guarded exploitable human base the world has ever seen. We are thinking and acting like slaves. Don't get me wrong- I'm not talking about the "injustice"- I'm talking about my pride. We really could do something, right? I'm just at a loss. Protests are weak. Protest songs are weak. This Facebook post is weak. Can we please figure out how to be a threat? This is 100% a cry for help. "
My newsfeed is like a giant American suicide note.
Please. I will protest with you."
I read this on Monday. It broke my heart. I decided to repost it because it really mirrors my thoughts about what has happened in this country. This person just had the balls to say it.
I'm pretty encouraged by all of the conversation , the Pantsuit Nations and marches occurring ....these things are fabulous and I'm proud to be a part of them.
But, talk is cheap unless it's also followed up with real action.
Just ask the Suffragettes. Gaining our right to vote wasn't pretty.
Ask anyone who marched for Civil rights. It wasn't pretty.
We fought like hell for the right to choose. It wasn't pretty.
I hate to say it, but it's time for a revolution. It's happening anyhow and no amount of liberal intellectualism will ever take the place of real organizing and action. I'm a product of the 60s , birthed from strong minded parents. I watched my hippy sister march. I marched. I taught my son to do the same. My husband too.
This is different. These days, getting liberals to agree on anything is an exercise in futility. We're so intellectually soft that it's become terrifying.
Keep your wonderful conversations about love, life , spirituality and humanity alive. We need those, but they are only one part of this equation. They're also hugely personal. They mean everything to you and that's wonderful but in the end you have to fight this new normal with the facts.
Remember. There has been one thing that we've all been able to galvanize around and that's a safety pin. Why? Because our desire to protect each other is strong. That's tribal... not intellectual.
So when the author of the quote above questions what we stand for, I get it. We're so busy throwing self help philosophy at what is clearly a direct attack on our American rights that it's as scary to me as anything I'm listening to from the new administration.
Why? Because we're missing the point. Self help is personal. It's not political. Not right now.
I know what the new administration stands for.
The destruction of the first amendment. The destruction of the free press and a free internet.
Guns should be unregulated. Period.
Neo Nazi philosophy. I refuse to use the term " Alt Right" I'm a PR person first and foremost. "Alt Right" is sexy and it's worked. Even liberals are so intrigued that they can't stop saying it.
The absolute denial of climate change so that the planet can continue to be plundered for profiteering.
The manipulation of the election and the tampering of our vote to remain in power at all costs, even if it means bending over and taking it from the Soviet Union.
Women are exploitable , fuckable and simply put here for male gratification.
LGBT's , Blacks , Muslims,Mexicans and Jews are not as American as European white folk.
Bullying is acceptable.
I'm sure I've forgotten something.
So... what do we stand for? Until we figure it out and hone the message to the simple points that we can all agree again, we will continue to be exploited as the quivering intellectual , "all we need is love marshmallow that we are. "
I'm not saying stop loving. I'm not saying to stop talking.
Love and direct action are not mutually exclusive.
What I'm saying is that in the end, a safety pin is the thing that moved us into action and that's because in the end you will do whatever it takes to protect someone you love in harms way.
By putting one on, you should hopefully begin to understand what has made the revitalized conservative movement so powerful.
So instead of bitching that the Press is rolling over, demand that they don't.
Instead of worrying about being discriminated against, demand that your voice be heard. If you see racism, bigotry , antisemitism , bullying or misogyny in action, demand that it stop.
Call the police. Use the media. Demand that they work for all Americans, not just a chosen few.
Demand Net Neutrality.
Call your congressman and senators ( all of them , not just the Democrats) everyday. Make them nuts because you're bugging them so much.
Troll Donald Trump and Mike Pence on twitter because you can. I do it everyday just because it's fun.
Stop complaining about false news. ( I know I'm going to take a lot of shit about this one, especially from some of my nearest and dearest) Frankly that was always up to you . Instead of being spoon fed, check and recheck. Research like you had to in school. Report false news. Demand it be removed like it has been, but stop saying Social Media is the enemy. It's a marketing tool and a place to connect. Donald Trump and the neo nazis just used it better.
Run for office. The Tea Party, now the ruling party infiltrated at grassroots levels. We liberals were very busy laughing instead of listening.
Here's the deal. In the end Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by millions. That's not a mandate for Donald Trump, especially since there are now calls from some of the most brilliant computer science minds to audit this election.
We know that it's been tampered with, by Wikileaks and the Soviet Union, but we expected that somehow our government would do the right thing and make it all better.
The government is not our mommy or our best friend.
Grow up. They were too busy trying to win elections.
Changing this is up to us, not them because in the end, they care about preserving their jobs too... just like you do.
Do not get complacent. Do not let me hear that you're tired and need a week long break from all this, because frankly you don't have the luxury of that kind of time.
That is about as middle class as it gets and it's a completely exploitable tendency. Trump won the emotional argument because he obliterated the concept of time.
With 24 hours in each day you can certainly devote 30 minutes to protecting this country from fairly certain disaster.
I If you can't figure out how to put your emotions aside here and simply take direct, focused , constant and calculated action, we will continue to roll over and lose this battle for the soul of this country.
Stop being so afraid to be heard and seen. I wonder what would have happened if Our founding fathers , Susan B Anthony or Barack Obama had done that.
If we just can't do that then we're not the America we think we are and frankly that would be pathetic.
I do not accept this new normal and neither should you.
I'll see you in the streets.
Please share if you are so moved.
I don't know who to attribute the picture of the founding fathers to, but I love it. I wish I'd taken it.
This is where I'm at at this point. Donald Trump is not my President. I do not accept the results of this political coup by the FBI and the Soviet government. You shouldn't either, regardless of your party affiliation. What happened in America last week should really serve as a wake up call. The election results should be declared null and void and we need to vote again. They've only begun to uncover the evidence of foreign meddling and Donald Trump was the perfect puppet for them to install. An arrogant narcissist whose ego could be purchased for pennies.
This election was criminal on so many levels, and the Democratic Party was as much to blame. They need to start listening. Their pity party is absolutely as revolting to me as the Trump teams gloating. Put on your big girl panties Dems and let's elect candidates who represent the concerns of all.
To those who voted for him. I don't have to shut up and accept him. I do not have to give him a chance.
I'm completely done listening to that....
He's shown his cards. His transition team is full of hate filled bigots, racists, homophobes , misogynists and war hawks. I will never be complacent about any of that.
I will be spending the next 4 years working peacefully to find DJT's successor and expose the creeps who put him into power. I hope you won't settle into fear based slumber ... I hope you will join all of us who see the terrible mistake that's been made and help us create a peaceful, abundant and productive America that is safe for all.
Stop being afraid. This transition team is using the weapons of emotional terror to try to keep us quiet. Don't buy into it. Being this afraid and angry leads to being incredibly weakened. It leads to powerlessness, inertia. You know this. How many of you still are incredibly depressed and scared by the election? Be in action instead. Choose joy. Meditate. Organize. See the present and future you want instead of the one you don't. Abandon upset and let the force be with you instead.
See you in the streets.
This is not my photograph. I've found it all over the internet but I cannot find who to attribute it to. Please let me know if it's yours and I will immediately assign copyright.
So here's the thing. Hillary is up by almost 2 million votes with millions still uncounted. Donald Trumps ties to Russia that the FBI passed over are now being closely examined by the White House. You can read them yourself if you want here.
Donald Trump still hasn't released his taxes, which isn't illegal but you should be wondering what's in them. After all, we get plenty of threats if we don't pay ours. The President Elect is refusing to acknowledge the impact of his rhetoric on the country and in other news, hate crimes are happening everywhere, being reported and he's still not calling for an end to the violence. These are not encouraging signs for his Presidency. If Clinton's popular vote keeps climbing, and is not addressed, there will undoubtedly be a resistance movement that grows that is enormous and larger than anything you are currently seeing in the streets.
Resistance isn't romantic and it's often deadly.
Maybe this is what's necessary? I don't know. Frankly? I'd prefer to see it addressed now thoughtfully between all of us, even though that means that the most radicalized supporters from the right and left will have an "excuse" to amplify their violence for awhile.
Deepak Chopra wrote an excellent article about the internal shadow of our nation and when I read it this morning I was humbled. I've spent a lot of time with my own shadow so I was able to relate easily. The easiest way to describe it? You are what you resist.
That's why so many men fighting against LGBT rights often get caught with their hands in the cookie jar and support medieval solutions like conversion therapy. It's why really decent guys with wonderful wives get in trouble with pornography and young girls.
My first example was someone I knew early on who was a straight A student with a really bright future and a absolutely angelically beautiful face who was constantly preaching to me about behaving appropriately and in a ladylike fashion. She was eventually caught shoplifting and selling her body. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen anyone do. The shadow emerges because it needs to be dealt with directly.
Trust me. Everyone has a shadow side. There's just not enough space or time on this page to share mine.
It takes a lot of strength to look within and acknowledge that you are in some respects the very enemy you're fighting. I think that's what's made Donald Trump so appealing. He's made all of the excesses look easy and the accountability unimportant. That's appealing to anyone. The best thing I can say about what's happened is that the genie is out of the bottle.
The Democratic Party, home to all the people, the workers , principles of equality and justice for all has been exposed as being every bit as deceitful, manipulative and corrupt as the party whose misdeeds they're busy maligning. The Republican Party who has lined their mattresses by scaring the crap out of people , destroying our environment for their personal gain and using religion , nationalism and patriotism as the ultimate weapon against the country has been exposed as well for the shallow, hypocritical mass that they are.
In guns we trust.
Who loses? America does and because she loses, the planet loses. Her children lose.
Regardless of what happens with the popular vote it's not going to be an easy road for us for awhile and it shouldn't be, because we're a emotionally and spiritually lazy country. We cloak our own emotional treachery by going to Temple or Church once a week to feel better about what we don't do for each other. Same with all of the self help philosophy .
There are thousands of those books, I've got a few dozen on my shelf. You can whitewash anything to make yourself feel better about it.
Trump was elected on 15 second sound bites without any real plan , yet he sowed seeds of fear and dissension, making use of the right wings favorite weapon of fear. Fear of gays, women, Blacks, Muslims.
The Democratic Party didn't listen to its base, so busy were they trying to keep the first truly popular populist candidate they'd seen in decades out of office. Bernie had great sound bites, yet his plan was threatening to the Democratic Party status quo so they used classic suppression tactics..normally the tool of the Republican Party to stop his candidacy.
The only way forward that I can see is that we as Americans have to beat them, all of them at their own game. We have to talk to each other. Those of us who voted for Hillary have to acknowledge our quiet role in the acceptance of the suppression of the most popular Democratic candidate I've seen in my lifetime , simply because you were scared of the word Socialism and all of its 1950's implications.
I know many of you won't agree with me , but I also believe that we allowed the best female candidate we've seen yet to be destroyed viciously. That being said, that didn't happen in this election. That happened when all the powers that be forced her to suppress her femaleness and by that I mean feminist sensibilities. The Democratic Party should have pulled their heads out of their ass and let them campaign on equal footing. They'd have probably figured out a way to run together in the end and won. Then we wouldn't be fussing with this whole popular versus electoral vote concept.
Those of you who voted for Trump need to understand that even though you didn't vote for reasons of race or intolerance, that your vote has enabled all of those very things. Those of us with gay, bi-racial , female or Muslim or Mexican friends who are terrified find it very hard to accept that America voted in this tidal wave of intolerance on a sound bite of " I'm going to make America great again " . Do you understand what that means to me as a Jewish woman that you unleashed the KKK? Or to my bi-racial nieces and nephews? I talked to a gay Jewish man the other night who voted for Trump. I asked him why. He said because he was a "straight talker who would fix it. " I was gobsmacked. What does that mean? More sound bites and sound bites are way easier than self inspection.
Lots of us didn't speak up fully ( myself included) for reasons of political correctness. Democrats who were busy being kind and understanding were busy fucking ourselves, our black friends and gay relatives. They were also busy slut shaming Melania Trump with pictures from decades prior instead focusing on her husband. Just as misogynistic as the "pussy grabbing " comment if you ask me. Different group..same intention. How did you expect them to react?
Mind you when I say speak up, I don't mean slamming anyone about their beliefs. What I do know is that there are a couple of people that I could have had a conversation with that was respectful yet very direct on both sides of the aisle. I might have made a difference. You might have made a difference.
I thought it was interesting what my son said in the wild aftermath of Tuesday. " Political correctness is decadence. " I think he's right. Political correctness is just a way to keep the shadow in place. Keep the shadow in place without bringing it into the light and you've got room for all kinds of revolting things to slither and hide under it.
I'd add to that that thought, Political Correctness is tone deaf.
On both sides. Just the fact that the last weeks headlines were all about a Democrat named Anthony Weiner should shine candlelight into that crack. How about that FBI, who's busily trying to "protect us" and at the same time suppressing relevant information about the President elect and his connections to hostile governments?
For gods sakes people wake up. We've all been played by ourselves. That makes us a really easy target for anyone.
All of us, Democrat and Republican are responsible for this mess. Our shadow sides are out there fighting with each other for all of the rest of the world to see. The only way through this mess is to stop fighting with each other and look within. Do your homework. Have conversations. Forge alliances with the very people you claim to hate. March together to stop the radical ideologies that would love to keep us from living in peace with each other.
Follow the money. On both sides. Make no mistake. Domestic Terrorism in this country is being instigated by our leaders. Radicalized Islamic terrorism is a convenient threat to keep us focused on something other than our relationships with each other. The biggest threat to our current state of false democracy is if we all begin to talk to each other, to begin to forge common ground without them.
That's power. Time to take the country back. All of us, together.
Watch the movie Zeitgeist if you dare.
and then watch V for Vendetta. That ones closer than you think if we don't come together peacefully now. This would be terrible for all of us.
See you in Washington.
I don't know where the glorious mural picture came from. Thank you to whoever took it. It's just wonderful.