We are slowly making progress in settling in and immersing ourselves into our new neighborhood and city. In our former neighborhood, we watched the city pass by our front porch. Here, we watch only a portion of the neighborhood at the end of our cul-de-sac. It's very quiet. Sometimes we hear only the chirping of birds as they stop by for a bite at neighborhood avian "cafes".
I must admit that, so far, I'm missing having to step onto the front porch to retrieve our mail. It's only a short walk to the mailbox but it doesn't hold the old-time feel of hearing the mail deposited on the porch.
Speaking of the porch, ours has a southern exposure and the plants are adjusting nicely and showing off colorfully. We are working on getting fencing up on the side of the house for Oliver to enjoy some alone time outside. For now, he has to be on a leash anytime he goes out. He and Andrew are enjoying their walks here. There are lovely parks with comfortable pathways to be explored. I believe Oliver thinks we are on vacation and is wondering when we'll go home!!
Meals are still fairly simple as we get the kitchen unpacked and situated. We are both excited about the ample pantry that is already full and waiting to be tweaked. Here, the farmer's markets are on Tuesday and Saturday. Our favorite farmer, Linda from LE Garden, is here on Tuesdays. I was busy last Tuesday but Andrew paid the market a visit and came home with, among other things, a bunch of beets. Since he's been working so hard, I decided to use them in one of his favorite dishes--cold beet soup. It isn't exactly like his mother made but close.
Cold Beet Soup (Clodnik)
1 bunch (about 5-6 smallish) beets
1 medium onion, sautéed until translucent (2-3 minutes)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Plain yogurt or sour cream
1. Place the whole, unpeeled beets into a large saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until soft--about twenty minutes. Let them cool in the liquid, saving the liquid. Slip the peel from the beets and slice them.
2. Add the beets, onions and chicken stock to the beet liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook an additional ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and cool.
3. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender/food processor), puree the beets in the liquid. Chill for several hours to overnight.
4. When ready to serve, stir in fresh lemon juice and yogurt or sour cream to taste. Top with fresh dill.