Monday, January 26, 2009

Soup Time

I love soup in the winter. My grandmother used to can vegetable soup and it was just so beautiful sitting up on shelves in the garage in Mason Jars. I'm not a huge cook anymore since the kids are gone. Jim and I manage to get by with a lot of chicken and vegetables or salad. But come soup taste buds get going. This is one of my favorites. I have included the quickie version for those pressed for time, as well as the purist verison. For parents who wish to trick their kids into eating veggies, I used to puree cauliflower, carrots, onions and celery and smile wickedly as my two kids chowed down. Gotcha with those vegetables!
Cheesy Potato Soup
Quickie Version:
1 can condensed potato soup (do not add water)
1 lg. can chicken broth
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup (do not add water)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 baking potatoes, cut into chunks ( I leave the skins on)
2 carrots, chopped or coined
1 small onion (chopped frozen is good)
about 2 cups milk (I use 2%, but if you subsititute half & half for part of the milk, it's really rich)
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
Seasonings: about 1-2 tbsp of:
italian seasoning
worcestershire sauce
spicy or dijon mustard

Purist version: Make a bechamel (white) sauce that will give you about 2 cups and add cheese to this. You will subsitute this for the condensed soups.

Boil the cut up potatoes in a saucepan until tender but slightly crisp. In another large saucepot, saute the carrots, celery and onion in butter or oil until the onion is tender. Then add the chicken stock and the soups or the white sauce. Now drain the potatoes and add to the mix. Put your seasonings in and add the milk. Let simmer for about 30 t0 45 minutes. It will thicken as it cooks and you need to occasionally stir the mix to keep potatoes from sticking.
This is best served after it has rested in the fridge for about 24 hours. It tastes good after it's done, but the 24 hour rest really develops the flavors. Doesn't freeze well because the potatoes become crumbly, but that's never stopped me from eating it!

Enjoy it in a handmade bowl! I'm having some for lunch today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In the line up

Small cups awaiting handles.
More candy tray versions.
Thrown wall vases with a valentine theme.
Family requests for a smaller, thinner, daintier cup
for those people who like to dring their coffee at the scalding stage resulted in these little cups. I really am not crazy about throwing 1lb things individually, so I need to get this form down pat and then throw off the hump.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Candy Tray

The before and after shots. I really loved the greenware version. I am trying another tray in white clay to see if I prefer it brighter. Dang it is hard to get an idea exactly into reality!
The response at the Mississippi home show to the trays was very good. I plan on having some for Treasures of the Earth in February.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The New Dog

Here he is in the office at the studio, just exhausted from watching me work. You may have to suffer through an inordinate amount of photographs of this new pooch, because I am enamored. My goal was to have a dog that I could bring to the studio with me for company. There have been some slight adaptions that I've had to make. Yesterday saw me climbing over the dog gate to get into the studio area to work. He was not happy about the gate, a management decision to keep him safe from bolting out the front door when someone came in. My front door is just about 40 feet from a major highway with a cruising speed of 50mph. Today I moved the gate further into the gallery so he can run to a window and watch the cars without being able to race them. We were both happier with the arrangement.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bottle realities 2

Again, I'm trying to decide how I like the glazes. I made these in brownstone because it has more tooth than my white stoneware and isn't as finicky but the color of the clay really tones down the glaze colors. Feet treatment is bothersome. I thought I would really be thrilled with the contrast of bare clay, but perhaps that was a decision made after a long day, in the midst of glazing delusion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bottle realities

Front and back views of the fired bottle/box forms. I'm still trying them on for size.... the jury is out on the glazing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reentry to planet earth

That's what Jim and I call the "coming back to the real world" after an extended visit to folks, friends, one child and the acquiring of a new dog. You are out there in a galaxy far, far away from work, home etc, and then it's time to come back to a world of time schedules and gravity.
We spent quite a lot of time in the car over the holidays and I am very grateful to be done with that for a bit. However, my legs were unaccustomed to the concrete I normally stand on about 8 hours a day, and told me in no uncertain terms after returning to it yesterday.
These are a few highlights from the last 4 weeks. New dog: retired greyhound, Cherokee, who is doing very well with the climate change from Florida. We have snow today, probably the first he has ever seen.
Spence, child of the eighties in name only, a true throwback to the 60's. Peace, love and rock and roll.
Happy New Year and Inagurial Day to you all!