Snowy Sunday: Time for Soup and Good Conversation

Yesterday started out as a gray, snowy day. Overnight about four inches of snow fell, which meant Clif had to go out with Little Green to clear the driveway and paths.

Liam, dog of the north, checked out the backyard while Clif worked out front.

Just as Clif finished cleaning the driveway, the sun came out, turning a dull morning into a sparkling day. I have discovered that my bathroom “blind”—where I can open the window and take pictures of birds—also gives me a pleasing vantage point to take shots of the snow and the backyard. As the photos indicate, everything still looks like a winter wonderland, but that is normal for Maine in February.

Here’s a zoom look into the woods, where you can see the snow blowing off the trees.

A snowy day is also a good soup day, and the day before, I had made a white bean soup with chicken sausage, ground turkey, carrots, celery, peppers, and plenty of herbs and spices. That way, all I would need to do was heat the soup when our friend Alice Bolstridge came for lunch.

All right. I also made corn bread, salad, and apple crisp to go with the soup. But the main part of the meal was done and could simmer all morning as I put together the other parts of our lunch.

Alice, a very fine writer, lives in northern Maine, which means we don’t see her very often. But this year, to add some dash to winter, which is even longer up north than it is in central Maine, Alice decided to come to Augusta during the legislative session to acquaint herself with how our state government works. She has rented a room in a lovely old home and goes to various legislative committee meetings, which are open to the public. On occasion, she testifies. Alice even has a blog—Alice on Peace and Justice— where she describes the various sessions she has attended.

No surprise, then, that the afternoon zipped right by as we talked about politics, books, family, and a myriad of other things that cascaded from these subjects. When it was late afternoon, Alice said, “My goodness, I stayed a long time.”

“I’m so glad you did,” I replied.

“There’s no pleasure like good conversation,” Alice said.

“None at all,” I agreed.

Alice is absolutely right. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, there are few pleasures that can compete with having friends over—either for tea or for a meal—and then sit around the dining room table where we talk and eat. It’s a simple pleasure, a respite in a world that is often busy and rushed.




44 thoughts on “Snowy Sunday: Time for Soup and Good Conversation”

    1. We used to shovel by hand, and one year our eldest daughter bought Little Green for us for Christmas. We will never go back to shoveling by hand.

  1. Good for you for good food and good company. I make the vegetarian version of the soup in a great old cast-iron pot that we got secondhand last year for a few dollars, and it has turned out to be the investment of the century in the under-ten-bucks scale. We had some snow the last couple of days, but today is semimelty, and dark and overcast all day. We went over someone’s house yesterday for a little new weekly/biweekly meeting, so that was great, to meet folks and be able to talk about life and it all in their home.

    1. As we would say in Maine, that cast-iron pot was a wicked good deal. Food, friends, and family. Can’t be beat. Unfortunately, our family lives far away. Thank goodness for our friends.

      1. Same here. One of the best things around here near Woodstock is community, including that they have a lot of things like yard sale and rummage sales and resale shops for charity. There is even that free store at the social services place downtown, just like in the old hippie days. This way people can move stuff along and others get to use it. They have one of the repair cafes around here too, and one more often in the next biggish town over, Kingston. I LOVE that people actually interact and are nice, seemingly like they were when I was younger. Of course the place gets flooded with people wanting to take selfies etc. like this past busy weekend, but it stays under control and the town feel is there even so. They still have a free drum circle on the green once a week, all that kind of stuff, active spiritual communities, great libraries.

      2. Wonderful! What one person doesn’t want might be just the thing for someone else. And when my daughter went to Bard, we often traveled across the bridge to Kingston.

  2. I do love to see your Maine winters! They are real winters with lots of the fluffy white stuff outside and hot soup inside. The addition of good friends visiting makes the season warm and special. Enjoy! Pauline

  3. Laurie, you are so engaged in life, in your world (the world) on a daily basis. You savor all of what life offers… a Snowy day in February, a lunch with an interesting friend, the birds in the backyard, a meal out. Your way of ‘being awake’ in life is a standard to live by. Thank you for sharing as you do!

    1. Having lived in Maine for most of my 60 years, I’ve certainly figured out winter. πŸ˜‰ Yes, we are having a big warm-up. This has been one crazy winter.

    1. I’m not sure. I would say at three feet, but my clumsy searches have not yielded any information. If I find out for sure, I’ll let you know.

  4. Lovely snowy scenes! It was a soup day for sure, and I made butternut squash soup with apples and onions – a family favourite. We’ve had lots of snow too. But it’s rainy today, and the birds are back in abundance — we woke up to plentiful birdsong two days in a row.

      1. Google the recipe and you’ll find one. One of the few soups I can make. Err — the only one.
        Mine calls for 2-3 lb Squash, 2 Granny smith apples, though perhaps any very tangy one would do; one large onion; half teaspoon cinnamon; 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I suspect you could omit this if needed); low-fat plain yogourt; 3 cups veggie or chicken stock. You can add a half-cup light whipping cream if you wish.
        I vary the amount of ingredients, but I like the soup a bit tangy so the key is to not make it too runny or use too much cream. My family loves it.

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