Mom Memory/Mixed Bag & Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

       So last week's blog as I have been told by members of my family was a little on the blue side. Well I'm not gonna make any apologies for it because sometimes we think that living in paradise is aways a cake walk and that those that either have lived here all theirs or move here after have the dream for so long just live in bliss. Well hello to reality, yes we love where we are at and most of us wouldn't change it for anything, but sometimes, especially in the blues of winter it does get a little slow. But warmer times are ahead of us and the sun is beginning to rise earlier and setting later, so better times will get here, just could do without a little more snow or cold freezing weather we have been having, but in all, oh well.
      Now on with the show. I have mentioned several times an old friend of the family by the name of Al Crocker, well I have to tell you the rest of the story. A couple of weeks ago I went out early one Saturday morning down the Cove in West Dennis to do a little Quahog digging. A couple of the regulars were standing around waiting for the appointed sun rise moment to head into the water. Come to find out, one of the guys is Al's grandson, wow, small world, I had seen him before and even chatted a bit but never really got to talk to him. It was fun remembering Al's old place in Hyannis and how the hospital and doctors groups tried so hard over the years to get that property. How Al took both Steve and I out to the garden in the back and would pull carrots out of the ground, brush off the sand and we would chomp away at. Love meeting people that their family has had such an impact on our lives and talking about old memories.
      Every now and than I get a flash back to summers on the Cape when my Mom was still alive. It's been now over 25 years since she passed away and 27 years since she was last on the Cape. I remember one of the trips I made with just Mom and I while I was in college. I had a Old's Regency 98 Silver with a baby blue interior. Mom said that was the most comfortable ride she had ever had to the Cape. That was about a year or so after she had been diagnosed with cancer and had been already had a couple of surgeries. I also remember that was the trip, that we stopped at a rest stop along I-80 in Pennsylvania and I locked the door key in the car when we did a bathroom break. Fortunately someone had a coat hanger and a few lucky skills, even with it being electric locks, was able to pop the lock and all was well. Mom and I got to the Cape without any further ado.
      As I sit here I can see Mom all over the cottage, in the kitchenette preparing meals, sitting on the porch doing the crossword puzzle from the Christian Science Monitor, sitting inside in her chair knitting. And those times when Mom would look over and ask do you wanna play a game. Mom loved playing games and was always up for it, from Scrabble (which she would beat the pants off of anyone in our family to Quinto a numbered tiles game. She would play Rummy and we would always wrangle Dad into playing, who would and still does say "I'm not sure I remember how to play." That goes right before he beats the living tar out of whoever is playing. Other games included Hearts, Score Fore, For in a Row, Yahtzee and many others. Even if Dad did not play (which was not often), Mom would talk to the time to be with me, listen to me, be with me, and just have a genuine care and concern for me. Even after this many years, there are still times I miss here dearly, but given the option of having her back with all the cancer and having her in glory perfectly healed, I will give that up any day.
      I guess the take away from this is to you parents and grandparents, take to the time to step away from the electronics and spend some time with your kids, especially when on vacation. Who knows, possibly when they get older, they may put down the electronics to spend some time with you.
      Well time to check on ye old lighthouse. Seems that Nobska may be up sale, the house not the light, keep your eyes open for that gem, needs a little work from what they are saying, but to live there would be wild. Well summers wouldn't be lonely with all the visitors that come to check out the lighthouse. Anyway, I'll make a check on our light, need to be sure the tank is full of oil, the lens is spotless and sparkling clean and the wick is trimmed to burn it's brightest. Hope you can see it brightly from where ever you're at and pray that you have a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it on wonderful old Cape Cod.
      Ok this week's recipe comes from the x-wife, you remember the who is has set up shop in my hut here on the cape. Gotta tell you, she does come with a lot of good recipes. So not complaining too loudly, LOL. All kidding aside, she has come a long way since when we first met and got married. She is a wonderful baker and can make some mean soups and stews to go along, oh ya and she has already told me, she go, so goes her clam chowder recipe, seriously this is not a laughing matter, and the reason she gives for not entering it into a contest is cause she would have to give up the recipe and she won't do it. So instead of getting a clam chowder recipe you get her Roasted Garlic Potato Soup, which ain't so bad itself. So without much more delay let's get this soup onto the stove:

      This weeks recipe: Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

  •       5       whole  garlic heads
  •       2       slices   bacon, diced
  •       1       cup      onion, diced
  •       1       cup      carrot, diced
  •       2       cloves  garlic, minced
  •       6       cups    potatoes, diced
  •       4       cups    chicken broth
  •   1/2       tsp       salt
  •   1/4       tsp       pepper
  •       1       leaf      bay (optional)
  •       1       cup      milk
  •    1/4      cup      chopped parsley

      Remove white paper skin from each garlic head, (do not peel or separate cloves.) Wrap each head separately in aluminum foil, bake @ 350 for 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves and squeeze 1/4 cup of garlic pulp: discard the skin.
      Cook bacon in a large soup pot until bacon is crisp. Pull bacon out leaving grease, add onion, carrot and minced garlic, and saut'e for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover recuse heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender: remove bay leaf.
      Combine garlic pulp and 2 cups of potato mixture in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, return puree to pot, stir in milk and cook over low heat until throughly heated. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley. Service with bacon on the side. yields about 7 one cup servings.
      To make Vegetarian or Vegan substitute olive oil for bacon and vegetable broth for the chicken broth and if need use suitable substitution for milk product.  

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