Rain Drops

It rained. .. a little.  January is usually the wettest month of the year.  This year we are in a governor-declared drought emergency.

Data released Jan 30, 2014 http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

In the image above, Napa and Sonoma Counties (North Bay) are in extreme drought.  There’s only one more drought level higher.  But it rained, just enough to get the roads wet and slippery and hang the mountains and valleys in the clouds.

My husband was out taping vines despite the consistent rain drops.  We tape the new vines to the trellis (the tape is green in the photos below) to train the vines to grow straight and encourage more fruit production.  We also tape older vines to the wires of the trellis to support them, so when they bear fruit the vines can hold up their own weight.


tape and rain drops

I had the opportunity to take a trip up Spring Mountain, which straddles Sonoma and Napa counties as part of the Mayacama range.  I brought my camera, hoping I might get up above the clouds far enough to take a nice photo for you, but no luck.  I could barely see where my car was parked.  As I came back down the mountain, I did see seven deer and three turkeys.  Only a little water and life is slowly returning.

The cool cloudy weather inspired warm comforting soup for dinner:

Broccoli and Potato Soup

1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
½ white onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into coins
1 bay leaf
3 Russet potatoes, peeled, washed, and chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
4 cups vegetable broth (I used boiling water and added two boullion cubes to the soup)

Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil together in a large pot.  Add onions, garlic, and carrot.  Stir to mix with oil, but then allow to cook 4 minutes over medium heat – want the onions to start to become translucent, not burn.  Add bay leaf, potatoes, broccoli, and broth.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  That’s it!

Adapated from this recipe I found online.