Early December and White Bean Soup

IMG_3022Yesterday, Clif and I woke up to find 6 inches of snow in the yard and in the driveway. Clif took out Little Green for the first snow throwing of the season while I shoveled the backyard pathways to the wood pile, the bird feeders, and the compost bins. Liam barked and leaped at the snow as I shoveled, and it made me laugh to watch him.

I am a summer person, but when I get used to the cold, I actually do enjoy winter, that still time of muted colors when the birds crowd the feeder. Tufted titmice, nuthatches, finches, woodpeckers, and last, but certainly not least, the chickadees, my favorites, all come to the backyard feeders. Indeed, we have so many chickadees here that once upon a time I referred to our home as Chickadee Place. As my friend Barbara once observed, chickadees may be plentiful, but they are not common. No, they aren’t, and chickadees are always a welcome sight at the feeder.

White beans are simmering on the stove, and soon I’ll be making a white bean soup in my Crock-Pot. I’ll use fresh sage and thyme that have weathered the cold. I’m thinking of adding the last of the gravy and a bit of leftover chicken stock, so it will be more like a stew than a soup. Celery, onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. Perhaps a sweet yellow pepper. A hearty meal for a cold night. Add homemade bran muffins, and we’ll have a pretty good meal, as Clif might say.

Today will also be a day to take stock of Christmas presents, to assess what I already have and to decide what else I might need. I’ll be placing a Daedalus order, something I always enjoy doing. Good books at reasonable prices. What’s not to like?

As I’ve often noted, we are a family with a modest budget, and, accordingly, our presents are modest. But modest or not, we enjoy giving and receiving them. We plan ahead, we make some of the presents we give, and despite the hecticness of the season, we do our best to make things merry.

No bah humbugs at Chickadee Place.