The rain is pattering on the roof of the house, the wind is blowing leaves through the streets and thanks to Daylight Savings Time, the sun set today at 4:32 p.m. Welcome to Fall in the Pacific Northwest. And yes, I do welcome Fall. It’s my favorite season, that time of year when hot cocoa becomes my afternoon treat, my slightly worn, super comfortable sweaters come out of the closet, leaves crunch underfoot as Piper and I go on our walks, and things slow down a bit from the activity of summer.
Fall also has my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. No presents or extravagant decorations, just a celebration of food, family, friends and traditions. I grew up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from my Grandmother’s apartment on Central Park South. One year my husband and I took our sons to New York City to watch the parade in person. We nearly froze but it was so much fun!
I continue to work on developing the habit of giving thanks, with morning journaling of the many things I have to be grateful for. It sets the right tone for my day, making me happier and more centered. I have so much to be thankful for. Whether it’s a cheery hello from fellow dog walkers, a wave from the mail carrier, a smiling store clerk, all make my life a little brighter. And of course, the love of my husband, sons and grandchildren.
Whenever I’m on the Olympic Peninsula, I enjoy stopping at Pacific Mist Books with their wonderful window displays.
Another of my favorite things about Fall is that it’s Soup Weather. A cool, crisp Fall day just needs a steaming bowl of soup to make it perfect. I eat soup nearly every day, with my favorite being chicken soup. Besides being deliciously tasty and comforting, it can help fight off a cold. I love to add some of the Fall root vegetables to my chicken soup this time of year, and this soup is easy to make and ready in less than hour.
Chicken and Root Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced (1 cup)
1 medium leek, sliced (2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
7 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed (or quinoa)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, carrots, parsnips and leek in the oil, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender. Stir in oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, chicken and wild rice or quinoa. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.
Soup Weather is a perfect time to read a good book. I’m so looking forward to reading Debbie Macomber’s latest book, Jack Frost. I absolutely devour her upbeat stories filled with gentle humor, faith and love. I respect and admire her tremendously, not because she’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author, but she brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. She is an awesome writer.
With the rest of her family on a cruise, Lindsay Calhoun will be spending her first Christmas alone, so she volunteers to plan an especially festive holiday party for her company. Her coworkers are grateful—except for tall, quiet Jack Taylor. Jack has always been a loner, but something about Christmas puts him in an unusually foul mood.
Despite Jack’s Scrooge-like complaints, the party is a success, ending only with a sudden snowstorm. As Lindsay cleans up and Jack looks for lost keys, they are the last ones in the building. Then the power goes out. The locks malfunction. Lindsay and Jack are stuck together with no rescue in sight.
Jack Frost is a celebration of the romantic magic of Christmastime, when something as simple as a gingerbread cookie can offer a new beginning, and when love can surprise us when we least expect it.
I’m working on the final edits for my latest book, which features a single woman, her quirky brother, an Italian café, and both new and old love interests. I’m also looking for a review crew for anyone interested in getting a copy in e-format and willing to write and post an honest review.
Enter my Soup Weather Giveaway by November 27 for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a copy of my latest novel, Reinventing Ruthie or another of my books if you’ve already purchased a copy. US only. Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 28 and has three days to respond to my email. Only by responding to my email can you win.