Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at barbiewb@hotmail.com.

By Barbie Butz

I’ve been “Zooming” lately and enjoying the opportunity to see the faces of many friends. I don’t have a camera on my computer, but I posted a picture of daffodils in my garden, so my space would not be blank.

Speaking of daffodils, did you plant bulbs this year? Remember that Lee Swam started a campaign several years ago to make Atascadero a “daffodil city” and we need to continue to decorate our city with those delightful flowers. Keep your eyes open for their blooms!

I hope you are enjoying the cute commercial on TV for our Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County’s Operation School Bell program that provides new, appropriate school clothing for children in need in our county. We appreciate the participation of the members, parents, and the happy children in the commercial.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Please visit our Thrift Store at 667 A Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, which is a key source of funding for our philanthropic program, Operation School Bell. For more information, visit alslocounty.org or call (805)782-0824

I hope you’ve been enjoying some of the spring-like days we’ve had lately. However, we know that we’ll have some more cold ones coming along, so here are some “soups on” recipes to weather the chill.

The following recipes are from my 1951 New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 bunch leeks, sliced very thin

1 cup celery, sliced very thin

1 quart milk

2½ cups potatoes, cut fine

5 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Cayenne about 1/8 teaspoon (optional)

Directions:

Cook leeks and celery 10 minutes in 3 tablespoons butter, stirring constantly. Add milk and cook in double boiler 40 minutes. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 10 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter, add flour, milk with vegetables. Cook until potatoes are soft, and season with salt, pepper and Cayenne if using. Strain or not, as preferred. Serves 6-8.

Note: This next recipe calls for peanut butter and I’ve not tried it. I’m just including it because I think it might be fun for kids to try. It will be a change from the usual PB and J sandwich!

Peanut Butter Soup

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon minced onion

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups scalded milk or part chicken stock, canned or homemade

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped salted peanuts for garnish

Directions:

Cook onion in butter and peanut butter 5 minutes. Add flour, and stir until smooth. Add scalded milk or chicken stock slowly, cook 20 minutes in double boiler, and season to taste. Sprinkle with chopped, salted peanuts for garnish. Serves 6

Note: This next recipe for fish chowder is easy to make and delicious, especially if you use cream and if you let the chowder season a day before you serve it.

Fish Chowder

Ingredients:

1 pound fillet of haddock

2 cups cubed potatoes

2 strips thick-cut bacon, diced small

1 small onion, diced

2 cups cream or whole milk scalded

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook fish slowly in small amount of water until fish flakes when tried with a fork. Remove fish and separate into flakes. Cook the potatoes in the same water until tender but still firm. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until done but not crisp; lower the heat and add the onion and cook slowly, stirring often, until the onion is golden brown. Add the fish, bacon, onion and salt and pepper to the potatoes and fish water. Put the cream into the onion pan, heat, and add to the chowder. Reheat, but do not boil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serves 4.

Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe.

Cheers!