Monday, October 15, 2007

We couldn't have asked for a better day

Our October landscape clean-up day at the grounds of the county Extension was lovely - that kind of crisp Autumn day in Michigan with sunny primary colors of blue and green, with beginnings of red and yellow that we all can imagine from calendar photos ...
But the companionship of nice people working together gave me a real boost ... better than a flu shot for the upcoming winter!

Carol and her daughter Mindy brought a cauldron of homemade chicken soup to warm on the grill and Vickie's Junior Master Gardeners added their cleaned and chopped freshly dug vegetables from their garden to the pot, and by noon or so we had a Harvest Soup feast. Delicious!

I brought home the cooking tip of adding Jerusalem artichokes to soups and stews, and to reciprocate, here is my recipe for the boursin-style herbed cheese spread that we ate on rosemary foccacia bread:

Herbed Boursin Cheese Spread

2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese
1 pound unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
and a variety of fresh herbs, stems removed and leaves chopped:
baby chives, oregano, thyme, basil, 1 large sage leaf, 1 stem of rosemary
freshly ground black pepper

Beat the butter and cheese together until creamy, and stir in the herbs. Refrigerate overnight to meld flavors, and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

(By the way, for those of you with "inquiring minds", this is NOT a recipe I have ever served at home... it is what I call a "refreshment table" recipe, due to the cholesterol content. I figure adults can make choices even in buffet lines. You can make this cheese spread with low fat ingredients, but it just won't be the same.)

Finally, a note of public thanks to all the great volunteers who worked in the Backyard Herb Garden - you are all wonderful to contribute your time to this project and please know it is much appreciated. Thank you!

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