Once my sister thought she saw Stephen King at the mall eating soup(!). She went up to the man who had been eating with him and said, "Excuse me, was that Stephen King?" And of course the man said "No." But I like to think it was him, perhaps in town on assignment, doing research for a book. Stranger things could happen.
If Mr. King really was in my neighborhood, he'd probably be writing about psychotic, mutant critters, wreaking havoc on the neighborhood, gnawing their way into people's homes and taking over the universe. He could title it Creatures of Wrath. I say these things, because we do have a lot of critters around here. Namely tarantulas, snakes and scorpions. This week, I have found a tarantula on the front porch, a snake in the garage, and a scorpion in my daughters closet. The scorpion was dead, thank goodness. I don't have pictures of these critters - you'll just have to take my word for it. It's a creepy crawler world out there and I get the willies just thinking about it.
Here are some of the less formidable critters we've encountered lately ...
Mr. toad - who crawls out of the pot every time I water the ivy and clings to the edge until it's safe to crawl back inside again. So cute!
This one's hard to see. But Rocky the Flying Squirrel landed on the brick next to the back door after being chased by the neighbors big yellow cat. You can see the cat on the corner of the fence. Would you believe this is the first squirrel I've ever seen in my yard?
I am a fan of Stephen King ... and all books and literature for that matter. There's something so satisfying about curling up with a good book and a steaming hot bowl of soup.
Wonder what I would serve if Stephen ever came for dinner? ...
He's just one of those people you'd love to chat with.
I assume he'd enjoy a nice bowl of soup. Nothing fancy, since it's summertime. I'd probably make some White Chicken Chili. It's hearty, but lighter than regular chili and has a certain freshness to it.
I'm a little worried about the spice, though, as I'm addicted to the flavors of the Southwest. But living in Maine, Mr. Nightmare seems more of a chowda kinda guy. Oh, well. Stephen, if you're out there, you're welcome for soup.
White Chicken Chili
adapted from Williams-Sonoma.com
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tsp. cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 lb. Anaheim chilies, roasted, peeled and diced,
or 3 cans (7 oz.) whole fire-roasted chilies, diced
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 lb. diced cooked chicken breast
2 cans (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup cornmeal
Shredded jack cheese, sour cream and lime wedges for serving
In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the cumin, garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute. Stir in Chilies and 4 cups of the chicken broth, then transfer to a slow cooker. Stir in chicken, beans, oregano and cilantro.
Put the cornmeal in a small bowl and slowly mix in remaining 1/2 cup of the broth. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the chicken mixture. Cover and cook in the slow cooker on high for at least 3 hours. Thin the chili with more broth if needed.
Serve with cheese, sour cream and lime wedges.
Note: This recipe was originally for White Turkey Chili - but I subsituted Chicken instead and it turned out great.