Sisters of St. Michael's, Savory Soup Recipe, and Finding Time for Writing

A few weekends ago I attended a teacher conference sponsored by the Northwest Inland Writing Project. This spring conference is held annually at St. Michael's Academy in Spokane. This parish is high on a bluff overlooking northern Spokane. Each time I visit this place I am in awe of the serenity, views, and beautiful Tudor-Gothic architecture. Maintained by the priests and Sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, it is a perfect location for this conference. The Sisters, staff, and students do an outstanding job of providing a welcoming place for us to gather for two days with other teachers in a learning community focused on literacy education. This year it was chilly the second day before lunch. The kitchen staff made a savory soup that was a perfect menu option as we gathered in the dining room to eat and further discuss our sessions on literature and writing . Being the recipe collector I am, I had to ask the cooks about the soup. It had a distinctive taste and I couldn't put my finger on what the combination of flavors were. I did recognize the zucchini and knew that any tasty soup with zucchini as an ingredient would be perfect at the end of the gardening season when harvesters like myself are searching for one more use for that large summer squash. The cooks were very accommodating. Not only did they discuss the savory chowder, but went and got the recipe and gave me a copy. This recipe is a keeper in my collection.

Zucchini Garden Chowder
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 TB minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 can (14-1/2 oz. ) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn
2 cups ( 8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pinch sugar, optional
additional chopped parsley, optional
In a Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat,saute the zucchini,onion, parsley, and basil in butter until the vegetables are tender. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually stir in water. Add the bouillon and lemon juice; mix well. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes,milk and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Just before serving, stir in cheeses until melted. Add sugar and garnish with parsley if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings ( about 2-1/2 quarts).

( the beautiful classroom of my friend Sister M.)
I also presented a workshop at the conference. It was entitled:
Top Ten Reasons I Find Time for Writing in My Language Arts Class
These reasons may help you as a teacher, writer or artist. Here is a summary:
10. The more we do it, the better we get.
Fluency, fluency, fluency
Time, time, time
Authentic, authentic, authentic

9. It allows all of us to see writing as a recursive process.
Writer considers topic, audience, purpose, and form
Prewriting, drafting, responding and revising, editing, formatting/publishing
Writers are free to move in any direction back and forth throughout the process

8. It provides opportunities for having fun with words.
Word choice, word walls, words in literature
Warm-up activities
Creates motivation

7. I can use my favorite examples of well-written text.
Poetry, poetry, poetry
Things that make my students laugh
Quality writing about topics they care about

6. It provides a structured format to use the gradual release model.
I do it, we do it, you do it.
Structured formats
Collaborative writing

5. It helps my students view themselves as authors.
Writers’ notebooks, sharing their lives
Writing as gifts
Opportunities to share and publish

4. It helps my students see that reading writing connection.
Immersed in good models of text
Work with the structures of text
Read, read, read

3. Writing gives students opportunities to show their thinking.
Graphic organizers
Responding to reading
Writing for all contents

2. It will give my students a glimpse into my writing world.
Model my process and drafts- warts and all
Learn together to create a writing community
Gives me more opportunities to write

1. I want to find time for writing in my classroom because I am passionate about writing and writing instruction and I want my students to share that passion.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the recipe. Now I see the ingredients, I know why it tasted so good - evaporated milk, butter, lots of cheese. You can't beat 'fat' for giving us that delicious mouth feel and very satisfied stomachs!


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