cleaning up our act

meatless monday
notes from maggie's farm

homemaker's of yesteryear had a dedicated day for each homekeeping task, and their schedules generally went something like this:

since monday is laundry day on notes from maggie's farm, we're cleaning up our act and we're starting with the laundry room.

picking out a few of our favorite things

and then soaking in some inspiration.  is your dedicated laundry area more shabby than chic?  do you even have a dedicated laundry area?  a closet, a nook, a mudroom, in the house, in the utility room, off the garage?  wherever it is, could it be an oasis for you?  really?  a laundry room you ask?  well, sure it can and it ought to be since it's where you'll perform some of your most dilligent work.  let's make sure it is as cute and cozy, or sleek and shimmering, as the rest of your home.  it doesn't take cash as much as it takes vision.  we've pulled together some laundry room eye candy, on both grand (in case some of you are Rockefellers) and small (if most of you are like me) scales, that just might be the nudge you need to clean up your act.


and how about this one?  I love the art on the walls,


but we're not all laundry today.  we still have to eat.  and in true from maggie's farm style, it's going to be meatless, and marvelous, with little effort.  we actually hang all of our laundry to dry these days (and we'll go into all that tomorrow, on tips for tuesdays) so we need something that can simmer slowly with little attention as we go back and forth between loads.  enter this easy roasted tomato basil soup, which can be just about or all from scratch.  today it's all about easy, so we're going just about. (we'll save the big labor for another time because we have loads of loads laundry to do.)

(just about all) from scratch roasted tomato basil soup


1 small onion, diced
1 large rib of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4T sherry vinegar
1 T butter
4 16oz cans roasted tomatoes
1 pint half and half
1 small bunch basil,  stemmed and chopped

saute onion, celery and garlic in butter until transparent.  add tomatoes and sherry vinegar, reduce to a simmer, and cover.

simmer on low, stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking, for as little as 1 hour, and up to 3 hours.  the longer this simmers, the more concentrated the flavors, and ease of breaking down the tomatoes.  after simmering,  blend with an immersion blender (or standard blender, in small batches, or food processor, in small batches , optionally, if you don't have an immersion blender on hand.  but really, get yourself one.  they're easy to work with,  cheap, and fun!).  this will yield a chunky, more rustic soup base.  you can skip to the addition of half and half and basil here, or for a silkier soup,

ladle soup into a chinois over a bowl (you can use a standard sieve, here, too),  and strain, pressing solids against the walls of the sieve.  return the strained base to soup pot,

add half and half, and chopped basil. (yes, i now wish to be addressed as samurai farmer chef because check out that chopping!  now that's some impressive chopping going on, huh? huh?!  okay, i'll get over myself.  later on.  eventually.  that mezzaluna makes me a little hard to live with.)

and it's ready to serve!

garnish with basil, pass salt and pepper at the table. 

want a touch of decadence? a spoonful of sour cream, cream cheese, or my fave, creme fraiche would be to die for, but too much and that might just be literal, so no heavy hands here, friends---just a little dab'll do ya.  

and now, you're a member of
the lads and lasses that launder in style club.

tomorrow is ironing day!  not all that excited, huh?  well, it's going to go a lot smoother (haha...see what i did there?) than you'd expect with tips for tuesday, on notes from maggie's farm
see you then!

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