wanted: thanks to my swap buddy - you rock!!!
I woke up with sinuses too stuffy for contact lenses. Plodded off to work on a dreary, gray, drizzly day. The school day was a blur. Plodded home over piles of wet, soggy leaves and decided that I really, really could use a 20-minutes power nap on the downstairs sofa. Ha! The 20 minutes stretched into 45 and Cloud, the amazing half-Bass wonder dog, took up her usual position on the loveseat for her very own power nap.
When I woke up, I dragged myself upstairs and noticed 2 VERY LARGE boxes next to the front door. At first, I assumed they were for my son, as he sometimes shops online. Moving closer, I noted that they'd been mailed from PORT ST. LUCIE, FL. OOOOOO-EEEEEEE!!!! Must be my swap goodies!!!
I photographed the boxes on the floor, the boxes on the dining room table, the wrapped contents, the unwrapped contents and then had a little fun with them.
My swap buddy done good. The first package I pulled out was clearly some sort of ladle encased in bubble wrap. The largest, heaviest package - also bubble-wrapped - appeared to be a soup tureen. These were followed by a rectangular package beautifully encased in gold foil and tied with an elegant pumpkin ribbon. Hmmmmm - looks suspiciously like a cookbook. Next to come out were 3 cute little Chinese takeout style containers, each decorated with a fall motif and encased in gold ribbon.
I decided to open each in the order I'd removed it from the boxes. First was a loden green pottery soup ladle. Next, of course, was what proved to be a tureen. It's a beautiful shade of loden green, heavy pottery with a cream interior, and has a ribbed pattern. I was so excited! I've always wanted a soup tureen and this will be perfect for fall and winter. I could immediately picture it on my Thanksgiving table with pumpkin soup. I'd also been entertaining thoughts of inviting friends over for the OSU-Mich game and soup or chili would be perfect!
Soup and bread recipes will not be a problem, because I'm going to be busy trying the recipes in my new "Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread - A Country Inn Cookbook" by Crescent Dragonwagon. (I just love that name - Crescent Dragonwagon!) The intro says that Dairy Hollow House is a country inn and restaurant in the Ozark Mountains. It was started over a decade ago by Crescent Dragonwagon (there' that cool name again!) and her husband, Ned Shank, and Bill Haymes, a long-time friend. A first glance tells me there are some killer soups in there - Minestrone, Creamy Garlic Soup and White Wine, Oven-Baked Onion and Leek Soup Gateau, as well as a bunch of recipes for breads and cornbread.
I couldn't imagine what was in the cute little Chinese takeout boxes. But my swap buddy was way clever. Each contained a Penzey's soup base - Vegetable, Beef and Chicken. I made a pilgrimage to a Penzey's store in Columbus, OH, this summer and it was nirvana! I didn't look at the soup bases, though, so this is a double-good discovery. Everything Penzey's makes is wonderful and I'm sure that these will be no exception. By coincidence, when I slip-slided out to the mailbox on soggy, fallen leaves tonight - lo and behold, there was a Penzey's catalog in the mailbox. Now is that weird, or what??
I think my swap package and my swap buddy are the bestest! I love, love, love the tureen and plan to use it often. I'm taking the cookbook to bed with me tonight; it's the kind of folksy cookbook you can snuggle up with. And I can't wait to try the Penzey's soup starters. I only wish I'd made black bean soup today - that thought had crossed my mind, but come this morning, I was too tired to carry on with it.
Okay, now I do have one confession to make - I can't exactly figure out who my swap buddy is. I think it could be Adele, Alison or Andi - but help! - I'd like to be able to thank you by name and I haven't been able to sleuth out your identity.
I've uploaded the photos to Yahoo and Photobucket, but am trying to figure out how to link to the album. As soon as I crack it, I'll post the photo link. (I tried doing the links in here, but they're really small - like thumbnails. Must be doing something wrong.) Hopefully, it will be momentarily. :)