Or should I say rainy week? It's not that I'd want to live in a place where it rains all the time, but I do love the rain we're having. I wish I had the time tomorrow to drive up to the Laguna Mountains to photograph in the snow. It seems to fall on the evenings where I have to go to work the next day. Most uncooperative! When I was up there last weekend, it looked like this:
It was raining when I took that photo. I drove up hoping that when I got above 4,000 feet I'd find some snow. No such luck. The predictions are that the snow levels should be down around 3,000 feet this evening. The photo above was taken closer to 6,000 feet. I'd love to see the world blanketed in white, and have the sounds of traffic muffled by the snow. If it lasts until Thursday, maybe....just maybe....
But the canyons are green and the little seeds I've planted from those heirloom tomatoes I bought at the farmer's market are getting a good soaking. I'm excited about having tomatoes in my garden again this year. Meanwhile the chard is up and thriving, and I also planted radicchio for the first time. Why not? That's something that makes San Diego special -- all the things that grow here with barely a nudge from me.
I don't have a fireplace in my little house, but if I did, I'd certainly fire it up. These days are made for fireplaces and soups. I think when I was younger, I had this fantasy of being able to spend my winter days curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book, some classical music playing softly, and a bowl of hot soup on the table next to me. Well, I've got the classical music. I've even got an incredibly good book I've been reading -- "The Short Stories of Lydia Davis". She's a spare writer with an astonishing grasp of psychology. And now, thanks to a little "extra" time (what on earth is that supposed to mean?), I've got a rich, warming soup.
Chowders are wonderful repositories for this and that - the things you don't have a lot of but which add depth and complexity to a meal. I've made clam chowder before, and I thought of this as a variation on that theme. With some milk and fish stock as a base, you can pretty much add any of the standards of a good chowder. For me that included a couple of small potatoes I had gotten at the farmer's market - red ones that hadn't made it into another dish. I started with them, some onions, a couple of stalks of celery, a little garlic (of course!) and a red pepper, sliced and put into a pot to saute in butter before adding the stock and milk.
I'm usually conscious about the amount of fat I consume, but this rain and the cooler temperatures it brings has made me crave more of it than usual. So instead of using Earth Balance, I used real butter. Even added some cream to make it richer. Let's just say that when I decide to "sin", I don't mess around! I used canned crab meat, but if you've got the time and patience, you could use fresh, and you could combine different kinds of crab meat - snow and king are good choices. And because there was a little bit of corn left in that bag in the freezer, I threw it in as well. A pinch of salt, a dash of sugar and another dash of cayenne pepper brought the whole thing together.
The only part of the picture that doesn't match that fantasy? I have to work tomorrow. But fortunately I enjoy what I do! And I'll have some wonderful leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.
2 years ago