We spent the weekend in Sedona, Ariz. Sedona is beautiful all year, but after witnessing it in the fall, I think this might be the perfect season to visit. The temperature was hovering around the seventies. The leaves glimmered in shades red, gold, and yellow. The sun shone on the beautiful river and the gorgeous red mountains. It was breathtaking. This city is sometimes called "Red Rock Country."
Sedona is a haven for spiritual and metaphysical enthusiasts. Instead of Starbucks or McDonald's at every street corner, you will find psychics and chakra balancing centers. There are more massage places than I have ever seen in one town. Small shops line the streets with beautiful art to observe or buy. The food is out of this world. There are so many restaurants offering local wines and produce. You can take in the awesome red rock views while you dine. You can also dine by the river.
The southwest cuisine is my favorite type of food found in Sedona. Hatch green chili is in season right now and you could smell it roasting on every block. My entire family loves green chili. I bought my uncle Kenny a t-shirt while we were there which reads, "keep calm and chili out." I wished I could have bought one for every member of my family. They all would have loved it.
Many members of our family gathered there in Sedona to memorialize my great aunt, Millie. She passed away a few months ago. We met at a park beneath coffee pot mountain. It was a gorgeous setting. My cousin, Monica, gave the most touching speech. When she finished speaking, she turned on Aunt Millie's favorite music and we all got up and danced. It was beautiful. We sat down to eat and to tell stories about our memories with my aunt. We browsed through old photos too. I love looking at old photo albums. I kind of miss having the actual print to hold on to. There is something special about having the physical photo and the way you could tell the decade by the type of photo paper you were holding. I also like photo albums. They had some of those old ones where you stuck the corners of each photo down onto black paper with little corner frames. I really enjoyed looking at old photos. I found a photograph of my mom when she was my daughter's age. She looked just like her. It was incredible.
After spending the whole weekend in Sedona, we got home late in the evening. We were hungry and the refrigerator was sparse. I really didn't feel like heading out to the store. After all, I had just taken a nice hot bath and slipped into my comfy clothes. Claud said, "Why don't you just make asparagus soup?" I told him we didn't have any asparagus. He reminded me that I had cut the stems off of asparagus a while back and placed them into a bag in the freezer to make soup with later. Great idea.
Claud really has a knack for finding food when others would swear there wasn't any. I remember one evening many years ago when he whipped up a meal with the most bizarre combination of food. It was all we had left in our kitchen. I can't remember all that went into it but I do remember there was a sliced hot dog involved. I also remember that it was delicious. So, I wasn't surprised when Claud discovered my frozen asparagus and suggested the soup.
Time: 35 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 scallions, chopped
4 tablespoons sharp cheddar, shredded
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Saut the onion in this oil. When the onion becomes transparent, add the garlic. Saut for another five minutes. Add the asparagus. Add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. With an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend together the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cheddar cheese and scallions.
Luckily, I had one onion and a few cloves of garlic. I had some soup on the table in about a half an hour. Surprisingly, parents of one of Daphne's friends dropped by to introduce themselves to us and brought us a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers. That was the perfect complement to the soup. I couldn't believe our luck. We sat down, at soup, cheese and crackers and discussed how nice it was to get together with our family in such a beautiful town. I think Aunt Millie would have been happy with how it all turned out and how her memory was honored by her adoring children.