It’s rare that I’m off on a Saturday. The normal days off are Sunday and Monday, so when Diane asked me if I could switch with her this weekend, I thought, what the heck… let’s see what being off on a different day is like…

The first thing I did was totally screw up Victor’s routine. Saturday is his laundry day, house-cleaning day, and general put-around-the-house time. That ended up going right outside the window.

Since I had already screwed up the routine, I decided it was time to do some Saturday Cooking!

We’re expecting the first big frost this weekend, so I thought I would start by harvesting some of the greens out back and see about making a pot of soup.


I am of the school that any and all greens can go into soup. It matters not that we buy these things in little bags marked “salad.” They can be cooked. Trust me on this. And cooked, they got!

I had a nice butternut squash that became the base. I peeled, cubed, and roasted it first, and then it went into the soup pot with onions and garlic that I had chopped and browned.

And then went a couple of quarts of chicken stock Victor had made the other day. Whenever I roast a chicken, Victor takes the carcass and makes stock. Half stays in the ‘fridge and half goes into the freezer. It’s nice to have a man around the house…

I then chopped up the two lettuces and added them – along with a Murasaki sweet potato I had peeled the other day but not used. Waste not, want not, ya know…

After simmering and pureeing it with my immersion blender, I caramelized an onion, added chopped chard, and when it wilted, I added it all to the soup, added a bit of salt and pepper, some shaved cheese and chopped chard for garnish.


Nonna took a look, made a grimace, and then proceeded to eat her entire bowl. She liked it.

Hot soup calls for bread, so I made a loaf of the Sicilian Focaccia Ragusata we had when we were in Sicily last year. I used a can of Greek eggplant and tomatoes instead of the sliced eggplant in the recipe and it came out great.


And since I had dinner and bread made, I needed to make dessert – so I made a Pumpkin Pie.


A couple of weeks ago I made about 16 pints of pumpkin pie filling and canned it all. After making it all and getting it into the jars, I went to see how long I needed to pressure can it and everywhere I looked, it said don’t can pumpkin puree. Had I read that prior to making 16 pints of pumpkin pie filling, I wouldn’t have done it. But I had already made it and I didn’t have room in the freezer for 16 pint jars. So… I canned it anyway. I did it long enough and hot enough that I’m not concerned about it growing anything… Waste not, want not, seconda parte.

The filling is great – just add 2 eggs and a can of evaporated milk.


Work tomorrow, Monday is my annual physical, and we have a rare out to dinner on Wednesday with friends from California…

The excitement just never stops.