The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold Front

The arrival of an Autumn cold front, with the promise of blustery winds and brooding clouds is always a comfort to me.  Taking me back to my childhood, when I spent so many hours outdoors after being released from the frequently stifling effects of school, of being still at a desk and doing mindless work, I felt liberated!
Like something freeze-dried and zipped-locked into plastic, add fresh air, the colors of the land and sky, the sense of exploration and freedom, and I was re-freshed.  I expanded.  
I expanded to meet everything half way in my environment, and sometimes more than half way, extending a curiosity that had been stuffed into a box.
Fortunately I had places to roam, and until I began working after school, endless time....these days still bring a sense of excitement, an open awareness of being big, enormous, as big as the universe!

So I walk when I can.  Wide open spaces beckon.  There aren't many folks on the paths when the wind is blowing a gale and numbs the ears, but a few intrepid souls pass me on the trail.  We smile at one another knowingly.  I can see that glint in the eyes, an expression of vibrancy.  Sometimes the more challenging the weather, the sweeter the walk.
I'm reminded of Lizzie Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, walking through Autumn wind and rain, over the moors and through fields, to visit her ailing sister Jane at the neighboring manor.  Which would someday be Jane's by the way....
And what awaited a bedraggled Lizzie at the end of trek, trailing her muddy hems?

Of course!

Roasted Root Vegetable* Soup

1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
4-5 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large leeks, cleaned and cut into 1 1/2 in. slices
5 cloves of garlic, left in the peel
1/3 C good olive oil
1 T salt
1 T smoke paprika
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t cayenne (more if you want it spicy)
1/4 t ground black pepper
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of sugar
8-9 C good vegetable stock
(*You could easily roast sweet potatoes, parsnips, and other veggies to add to the soup)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chopped veggies and garlic in a big bowl, drizzle with olive oil and mix with all the spices.  Roast veggies on a baking sheet until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

2.  Remove the peels from the garlic.  Working in batches, place the roasted veggies and enough stock to mix into a blender, then pour into a stock pot.  Add all the stock so that the thick puree is the consistency of soup, then bring to a simmer for a half hour to blend flavors.  Adjust seasoning.

This is a simple, satisfying soup that can be doctored in many ways.  Roasting the veggies brings out their sweetness.  It is especially yummy served with something crunchy on top like roasted pumpkin seeds, thinly sliced apples or homemade croutons.

from The Crepes of Wrath blog

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