Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good Morning...

The sun peeks through the icicles hanging outside my kitchen window. I look, I smile, I go for my camera, and now I must turn my thoughts to "the work project" that is filling these days. I hope to visit you all soon... Wiz

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Track Soup

I dropped in on Elizabeth Gnome this afternoon. I hadn’t seen her in some time, and with the warmer temperatures, today was a good day for a ski around the forest broken up by a visit with this dear friend.

As I approached her small cottage, the smell of something delicious came wafting on the breeze, mingled with the faint scent of wood smoke and balsam. I knocked, and after a short wait the door opened, emitting a cloud of steam that obliterated all but the feet of the gnome who I was sure was beckoning me in. I ducked down to enter the tiny cottage, we hugged the familiar hug of friends, exchanged greetings, and Elizabeth offered a mug of mead. (To be honest, I had been looking forward to this treat).

The source of the wonderful smell was a large kettle over the open fire: Elizabeth was making Track Soup! Like fresh asparagus, strawberries or maple syrup, there is a season for this delicacy, and when the conditions are right, the opportunity must be seized, and Elizabeth Gnome was seizing it on this fine February day. She is proud of her cooking (as well she should be), and on this day when she was feeling that all was right with the world, Elizabeth shared her recipe. I have scaled down the amounts so that it will serve four people (rather than the traditional 73 gnomes):

Track Soup

Tracks of deer, coyote, fisher, mouse, rabbit etc. (you can not have too many)
Onions – 1 large
Garlic – 2 cloves
Butter – 3 tablespoons
Milk – 2 cups
Water – 1 cup
Potatoes – two large, cut in cubes
Cottage cheese - up to 2 cups (as desired)

1. Melt the butter in a kettle over a medium fire
2. Chop the onions and sauté them in the butter for a couple of minutes
3. Mince the garlic, add to the onions and sauté a couple more minutes
4. Stir in the deer tracks, mixing well
5. Add two cups of milk and one cup of water
6. Stir in the coyote tracks a few at a time as the liquid is heating
7. Add the potatoes, cover and bring to simmering.

8. Reduce the heat slightly and add the remaining tracks, being careful not to incorporate any excess air.
9. Simmer 5 – 8 minutes (until the potatoes are cooked)
10. Remove from the heat and stir in a cup or two of cottage cheese. (Depending on how cold the cheese is or how much you use, you may have to reheat the soup slightly to melt it).

Serve immediately.

Cook’s notes: Fresh tracks are essential. Pass up any with dull edges caused by time, and avoid those from areas where mosses and grass tufts have been scattered by deer digging for food. Elizabeth was ecstatic over having found some porcupine tracks, but in my opinion this is an acquired taste, and they are not often found. For best flavor, serve and eat as soon as possible after the cooking process is complete, as coyote and fisher tracks lose flavor rapidly.

Bon appetite!
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

News Bulletin:
Gopher Leaves Forest, Becomes Psychic!

The sly little gopher knows your thoughts... Is it animal instinct? Intuition? Magic? Are your thoughts that simple??? His laughter can be heard all the way back to the forest...