Archive for September, 2009

Recipe: Carrot ginger soup

September 24, 2009

This is a reconstructed recipe for something I remember from Pisticci, our old favorite in New York (just about the only thing about New York that we miss), with some consultation of other recipes. It makes a simple but flavorful soup that is good warm or cool.


Carrot ginger soup

A large bunch of carrots
A piece of fresh ginger root about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) long
2 cups (5 dl) chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup (2 dl) plain yogurt

Peel the carrots and chop into small pieces. Peel the ginger and chop fine. Boil the carrots and ginger together until soft.

Drain the carrots and ginger and blend in a food processor until smooth.

Pour the mashed carrot/ginger mix back into the pot, add the stock and stir it in well. Cook on medium heat until it just starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and let cool to lukewarm.

Stir in the yogurt a little at a time, blending well.


Georgetown Days

September 19, 2009

This weekend Georgetown is celebrating Georgetown Days, the kind of little local celebration small towns often have. The goings-on are modest enough– the local historical society museum is open, a crafts fair at the library, a chili contest and beer tasting at the hardware store– but it’s nice to be living in a town that has that sense of history and community after all those years in New York. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have been organized terribly well. We walked out today hoping to visit the museum and crafts fair, only to find out that the museum wasn’t open yet and the crafts fair is tomorrow. But it was a gorgeous sunny fall day and we enjoyed strolling around and stopping at the farmer’s market before heading back to the museum. The museum is in the oldest house in town, dating originally from the 1600s, and has a charmingly eclectic assortment of household artifacts from the area spanning the 1700s to early 1900s.

Back to school

September 17, 2009

I have had a couple of weeks of classes now and I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester. I’m teaching on section of Greece and Rome and three sections of World History 1. They all come one after another in a big four-hour block Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which can be tiring, but all of my classes are enjoyable. It’s always nice to teach something I actually know, so teaching Greece and Rome is a pleasure. All of my World History classes are energetic and talkative, which is so much easier than trying to deal with a class that won’t talk. Each has its own personality, as well, in that strange way that classes do. The first class is cheerfully disorganized, which I can deal with since that’s more or less my own teaching personality. The second is opinionated and argumentative and can be hard to keep from breaking out into chaos, but so far they’ve been responsive when I need to call them back into line; despite having a number of people with strong and diverse opinions, there has been no nastiness or lack of respect. My final World History class is my favorite, though: the mood in class is one of earnest enthusiasm and interest and despite being at the end of the afternoon they have never lacked for energy or things to say. I count myself lucky to have all these kids for the semester.

Virginia and Maine

September 1, 2009

Since my computer went bust on me and had to be reset to scratch, I haven’t written up my recent activities properly, but here’s a short run-down:

E. and I made a short visit to Virginia to spend some time with Kris. We got to meet her new gentleman, Dan, as well as her cats, whom we haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know before. Highlights of our trip included a half-day horseback ride, a performance of Much Ado about Nothing, and barbecue at the Blue Ridge Pig. Dan did a super job of cooking for us and we were introduced to Bananagrams, a fun new word game.

Back at Heather House, we found that we had a wasp problem. For a while we were catching and evicting a wasp a day or more from upstairs, and we found many dad wasps in the attic. We never saw where they were nesting, but we did eventually see where they seemed to be going in and out of the house. The last straw was when I found one underneath my pillow as I was going to bed. We called an exterminator who dusted the attic with something deadly to wasps and sprayed the outside of the house. Since then, we haven’t had any more trouble.

We spent a few days up in Maine visiting with family at the end of August and went to my cousin Kate’s wedding. The wedding was held outdoors on a farm and would have been really lovely except for the fact that hurricane Danny was blowing by offshore on the same day and brought cold wind and rain with it. The day before had been sunny and warm, and so was the day after, but that one day was pretty miserable. Still, they made the best of it. They had a tent with walls and heaters and there was plenty of good cheer to go around. It was a short and simple ceremony, but also beautiful in its simplicity, and the reception was bountifully supplied with wonderful food, much of it grown right there on the farm.

We’ve had a full and enjoyable summer of travelling, but I’m glad that fall is now here and we’re settling down again. My classes start tomorrow and I’m a little nervous, as always, about settling in with new groups of students. I’m teaching three classes of World History 1 and one class of Greece and Rome this fall, the same as I did last fall. The Greece and Rome class will be pretty much the same as before, but I keep trying different things with World History, which is part of the fun.