Somewhere Along the Way
Somewhere Along the Way features a variety of easy-to-read commentaries on the ups, downs and in-betweens of life as viewed from a back yard swing. Subjects range from those as playful as accessorizing and gift-wrapping to empathetic interviews with war veterans to the hilarious frustrations and delicious rewards of gardening, groundhog included. Music and pets are oft-visited topics.
The articles, which originally appeared as columns in Columbia Tennessee newspaper The Daily Herald, are rich in gentle humor, down-home nostalgia, occasional serious ponderings, and quirky characters. Whether read cover-to-cover or ten minutes at a time, the collection's varied look at everyday existence is life affirming and uplifting.
Chris Fletcher, former editor of The Daily Herald, dubbed the writings “…a welcome break from the frenetic pace of our modern lives” and considered Wilmoth’s stories and themes to be “…at once intimate and universal.”
Author Karyn Henley added, “Wilmoth has the rare ability to touch your heart as well as your funny bone.”
At times light and funny, at times serious and contemplative, Wilmoth Foreman's Somewhere Along the Way is an always entertaining collection of essays about life lived fully, and with meaning.
-- Alan Gratz, author of Prisoner B-3087
Sample column: Hankering for Some Very Vegetable Soup
For those of us who inherited it, the homemade-vegetable-soup gene kicks in about this time of year. Those who missed out on this gene should not despair. With or without inborn knowledge, there are almost as many routes to success in this culinary endeavor as there are kitchens. Here are a couple:
Ingredients can begin assembling themselves long before "soup's on." Liquids from steamed or canned vegetables, instead of going down the drain, can be collected bit by bit in a really big freezer bag. At soup time, these make a tasty, nutritious stock [liquid base that everything else is cooked in].
Likewise, leftover tomato slices, peeled and frozen, accumulate nicely to serve as a main ingredient.
For the big event, Soup Day, absolute musts to have on hand are potatoes, carrots, celery, onions. Choose a cooking utensil that's bigger than you think it needs to be and that, under reasonable conditions, won't stick.
Now, have at it. Step one: Hold that frozen hunk of vegetable juices under hot water until it will slide out of the bag. Heck, life is short; get the scissors and cut that bag off of there. Now, start melting that giant ice cube conglomerate over medium heat while you chop, chop, chop.
Begin with what will take longest to cook -- potatoes and carrots, then celery. Don't throw away those leafy celery tops. Chop 'em up and pitch 'em in.
Even if you don't love it elsewhere, herein okra adds umph. If it's put in early enough to disintegrate, it won't gross anyone out.
Got garlic? Chop it up and put it in, along with an onion. Stir before the potatoes and carrots glom on to the bottom of the pan.
Search the freezer in hopes of finding corn, peas, and such. Add a couple of handfuls of each.
Next, rummage through those canned goods. If you find some green beans, dump them in, liquid and all.
Stir. It's probably time to turn the heat down from purposeful to meditative.
For heartiness, you may want to throw in the towel -- scratch that; the devil made me do it -- throw in a handful of rice, or some pasta. Bowties are cute. Whatever. Now, it's time to add those frozen tomatoes. Canned ones work just as well.
Squash doesn't add much taste-wise, but it looks nice. At the other end of that spectrum, realize that cabbage, broccoli, and peppers hot or mild all affect the flavor big time. Your soup; your choice.
Peer at the spice rack. If anything sounds like it would add pizzazz, consider it. But don't get too adventurous; you've gone to too much trouble already to mess it up.
Want cornbread with your soup? Turn the oven to 400 degrees, heat oil in an iron skillet, and pour into it a concoction of [for a small skillet] a cup or less of self-rising corn meal, some oil, an egg, and enough buttermilk.
For the "tell me again what this button on the stove does" generation, the good news is, you can probably get delicious "homemade" results by buying bags of frozen chopped veggies, dumping them into a good-sized pot of hot water with salt, pepper, an all-purpose seasoning, and maybe a bouillon cube or two. Or bought broth. Crackers are acceptable in lieu of cornbread.
But for the old school, there's something intrinsically noble and satisfying about all that chopping.
Whichever route you choose, don't forget to stir.