Friday, December 20, 2019


Have you read enough articles about setting your priorities for the busy holiday season? All those recommendations and ideas go out my windows the closer I get to the big day. I'm scrambling to get packages sent (I found a secret post office where there are no lines), to decorate the house (I've cut back a lot from previous years), to stuff cards into envelopes with my husband (a good time to talk of good friends), and to try to avoid holiday traffic (go early or late). Laundry? Cleaning the house? Dishes in the sink? Not on my need-to-do-this-minute list right now.

Long ago I set my priority: enjoy the holiday, with an emphasis on JOY. All the scurrying around is part of the fun. But sometimes, like we all do, I need to take a deep breath and remember why I like this time of year. I think of small things: the birds at the feeder right after the rain, the other customer who bagged my groceries without asking, the lights on houses in the neighborhood and downtown, the friendliness of strangers, the toddler reaching for the falling leaves as they drifted down from the sky, and someone walking by in regular clothes but with a Santa hat on his head. Small things can bring a smile to my face.

At home, I can stop, make a bowl of soup, add some good bread, and read an engrossing book by the fire. I've recently been reading biographies and memoirs set in different locations: an Irish farm, the area in the West defended by the Oglala Sioux leader, Red Cloud, and Czechoslavakia from its founding to the present day. And some good fiction too.

Here is one of my favorite wintertime soups. 
Take a moment and warm yourself with a bowl of soup and a good book.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (adapted from Delish)

You will need a total of 4 cups of chicken broth
a large handful of mushrooms
1 cup of wild rice
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breasts (or purchase already roasted breasts)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp thyme
1 tsp sage
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup of heavy cream

First Step:
Bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil and add a large handful of mushrooms. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Chop the mushrooms.

Second Step:
Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil and add 1 cup of wild rice. Cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Third Step:
In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, and liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Add chicken or turkey and cook until golden, 10 minutes. (Skip this if you purchased roasted breasts. Pull the meat from the bone and place in the pot with the other ingredients.) Add thyme, sage, & garlic. Stir till fragrant, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add flour and whisk until golden. Pour in the last cup of broth and the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add wild rice and simmer for 20 minutes.

Good eating and good reading. Happy Holidays to All!


  1. Thanks for your blog and recipe! Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  2. You are welcome! Thanks for reading my post and enjoy the soup!

  3. From Mary by email: Your blog makes me want to sit in front of the fire with my bowl of soup and read, but…I have too much to do right now. Your point exactly. I’ll take advantage of catching up on reading and relaxing in front of the fire next week.


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