Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's soup-tober!

I've been super swamped with stuff lately. It seems there is a dearth of potential volunteers in our church these days. I'm doing what I can to help fill some voids, but it takes it's toll. And I think I'm still finding my groove with my daughters' uni schedules, trying to balance with my own pursuits and studies. But life goes on. . .



October is the shoulder month for us. here in Seattle. It's just chilly enough that we could use a bit of heat, but not so cold that we absolutely need to turn on the furnace. Mid-October, our house hovers around 62 to 63 degrees F.

We must be the very last neighbors on our block to turn on our furnace, full-time, every fall. Each year, we challenge ourselves to wait just a little longer. Last year, we made it to October 22. This year, we're hoping to make it to about the 25th.

How do we keep from freezing ourselves silly? Besides wearing multiple layers of clothing, using lap throws and staying physically active, we eat soup for lunch and dinner almost every day. Soup is a very warming meal. Even if I'm just reheating a bowl of soup or chili in the microwave, I feel warm just holding my bowl.

To supplement both the soup meal and the heat in the kitchen, I also plan some sort of freshly baked or toasted bread product to go with dinner. I time this to come out of the oven minutes before we sit down to eat. The kitchen table is just a few steps away from the oven. We enjoy the bread, and some extra heat. Breads might include: biscuits, Yorkshire pudding, muffins, cornbread, or garlic bread, all quick and easy to put together in the late afternoon/early evening.

I'm thinking of charging rent for that chair at the kitchen table that is closest to the oven.

16 comments:

  1. Our weather for the last few days was in the 80's...as in 86 on Tuesday...but we are down to the low 70's today. We are actually still running the a/c on the 80's days.

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    1. Hi Shara,
      I often forget that it's still warm in other parts of the US, while we've slid into the cool zone. 70s would be so lovely!

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  2. Ha! I like the rent idea. I also love soup in the fall.

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    1. Hi Kris,
      The biggest challenge is to find a new soup each day. It's a turkey and vegetable soup again tonight (had that on Monday, too). Oh well, a good way to warm up! And standing at the stove helps too!

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  3. You're a bit hardier than I am ... our furnace went on a couple of weeks ago. ... But a nice pot of soup (or cookies in the oven) do warm things up.

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    1. Hi DW,
      It's all relative, I think. I can take the cool temps better than most of my family. But we have definitely seen some chillier moments. I wore a knit hat indoors the other night while reading. And today, although it was by far the coolest day I've seen yet this month, I kept myself very active cleaning almost all day. That was a help.

      Cookies in the oven would smell so wonderful right now!

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  4. We've been enjoying a beautiful fall here in Denver with temperatures in the 70's. There have been a few cold spells with highs down in the 40's or 50's but with the exception of one day I've managed without the furnace. I just save up all of my cooking for the cool days!

    I also read an article that said that your body can actually adapt to cooler weather if you wear fewer layers and allow yourself to get chilly for a few hours every day. It was something about how exposure to the cold causes fat cells to morph into a specific kind of fat that the body burns to stay warm (apparently regular fat can't do that.)

    I'm trying to build up my tolerance slowly this year and hopefully I'll be able to keep the thermostat a few degrees cooler this winter without suffering! So far it does seem to be working. Normally I'm reaching for extra layers once the indoor temps fall beneath 75 but I'm finding that I'm actually comfortable around 68 now. We'll see how it goes when the winter winds start howling!

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    1. HI Cat,
      ooh how interesting. I'd like to turn some of my fat cells into something that would burn off!

      Good luck with this little experiment!

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  5. 63 is toasty! I grew up in the US and how I miss central
    heating - a rare thing in Australia. Sometimes it's colder
    inside than out!

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    1. Hi Barbara,
      I've heard that before about central heating not being standard where you are. I like the idea of just heating the rooms that you're using. It makes more sense, than to heat an entire house all at once. Even with closing vents and doors, to try and heat only what we're using, that doesn't quite work.

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  6. Mornings are cool here, but the afternoons are still warm. I'm ready for cool weather all day long. :)

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    1. Hi Belinda,
      Warm afternoons sound very pleasant to me. But I do appreciate the cooler nights for sleeping. Enjoy your lovely autumn weather!

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  7. I have to say, I really appreciate central heating and air. We're kind of on the opposite schedule of you -- it's still getting pretty warm here most days (Florida), warm enough even for our AC to come on occasionally. AC is the greater need here -- in addition to our comfort, the high humidity levels can have really negative effects if we don't keep the AC running over the summer. We keep it set at 80, which is higher than others have but not crazy by any means. I really dislike forced air heating so my goal over the winter is to turn the heat on as little as possible. We keep it set at around 65 and can get by with very few days of heat. I feel guilty about how much AC we use, but the winter is my time for penance! :)

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    1. Hi Laura,
      I think I can understand wanting A/C more than central heat. Humidity is so hard to deal with! Even here in Seattle, damp air bothers me if it goes on for too long. That's been one drawback to not running the furnace this month, it's just so damp. Doors warp, laundry doesn't dry well on the racks, the towels in the bathroom have to be washed again mid-week, because they just don't dry, and my hair is always crazy-curly! I picked up a bunch of those damp-rid canisters at the dollar store a few weeks ago. They seem to hold the mold at bay, at least!

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  8. Oh, I had also wanted to recommend a cookbook. We love soup here too and one of my favorite cookbooks is Love Soup by Anna Thomas. The soups are all vegetarian, but you can easily adapt to add a little meat if you like (we do sometimes). The book is arranged by season and have a really lovely selection of recipes

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    1. Laura, thanks for the cookbook recommendation! I'll look for it at my library. I have been feeling like I was running out of ideas for soup, lately!

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.