The Best Remedy for a Summer Cold

Summer colds are the worst! Not that a cold at any time is any fun but having one when it’s hot and humid just somehow makes a stuffy nose, aching body, and fever worse.

Every June and then again sometime in December I get a cold. It’s not really a cold, it’s a sinus infection, but it has all the wonderful symptoms of a cold just lasting longer. The one in December isn’t as bad, or at least it doesn’t seem as bad because there doesn’t seem to be as much a demand on my time then. In June however there is so much to do outside with the garden and inside with painting projects and other home improvements that get put off until the weather is nice that being down for even a day puts me behind.

One of the best remedies for a summer, or any cold is hot soup and fresh bread. I know you might think that a hot bowl of soup on a 90 degree day isn’t comforting, but for some reason no matter how hot it is outside, that hot soup coating my throat when I’m not feeling good, picks up my spirits right away. This is where planning ahead really comes in handy.

Last fall when I was canning all the wonderful tomatoes from the garden, I managed to make two large batches of Tomato Soup and freeze it for just such an occasion. This meant all I needed to do was defrost a couple of bottles, make a loaf of bread (check out my latest post at Simply Grateful Cooking for the absolute best Gougere Bread recipe), and enjoy.

Does it get any better than that? Homemade soup and I didn’t have to do anything other than heat it up. I am definitely going to look into freezing more soup bases this year, as long as I can find the space.

Being sick is awful but having dinner done in the freezer makes it a lot more tolerable, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.



Carrot Creatures

It has been a busy couple of weeks and time just seems to escape me.  For some reason, finding time when I’m not thoroughly exhausted, to write a blog post is getting harder as the fall weather takes a firm hold of Michigan.

The garden is lush and green, but without the sun and long hot days, I’m not sure the hundreds of tomatoes on the plants will ever see red.  I’m hopeful, but realistic enough to have a back-up plan.

The sweet potatoes are still spreading like wildfire, but I’m not going to begin harvesting those until October or later.  The last of the beets are going to be pulled and canned tomorrow, but today I pulled out some carrots.  I’d left quite a few in the ground after harvesting some baby ones earlier in the summer.  I couldn’t believe what I pulled out.


And that’s just a few of what I pulled.

What was really interesting though, were the wonderful carrot creatures I unearthed.  Wouldn’t these make great monsters for Halloween?


Well, they aren’t going to last that long.  Already I used a bunch of them today in a Tomato Alphabet Soup.  Surprisingly this soups base tastes a lot like Speghetti-O’s — go figure.  That’s okay.  It was reminiscent of my childhood without all the additives and preservatives.  A perfect accompaniment for dinner on a beautiful Michigan fall day.

Tomato Alphabet Soup

  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 3 Medium Onions Sliced
  • 4 Cups Fresh Chopped Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-4 Large Carrots Chopped
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Alphabet or Orzo Pasta

Saute’ onion in butter until tender.  Add tomatoes, carrot, and chicken broth and bring to boil.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes until carrots are very tender.  Using a stick blender, puree soup.  Strain soup through thin screened strainer and return broth to pot. Bring back to boil and add 1 cup of alphabet pasta.  Cook until pasta is tender.

A quick and easy tomato soup to warm you up on those cool Fall evenings.

Fall has hit here hard and fast and although I might have liked the heat and sun a bit longer to harvest more tomatoes, I love the change and am enjoying the cool temperatures, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.