The weather turning cooler turns my thoughts to soups and I made pumpkin soup yesterday. This involved cutting off the top and hollowing out a small pumpkin (about three pounds) and filling the interior with layers of toasted French bread and Swiss cheese. Cream gets poured on top of that, with pepper and nutmeg to season. Then it's baked at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for a little over 2 hours. The recipe didn't say to do this, but I put it on a pie plate, which was a good thing since the cream boiled over a little. You scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh with the cheese and cream when you eat it. This was pretty tasty, but not really worth the amount of work and time involved. I think I'll save my French bread and Swiss cheese for onion soup in the future.
After having my soup supper, I braved the metro to go to the Voices in the Glen Scary Stories concert. It was slightly challenging to get into he Vienna station, which was packed with people returning from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. (I am, by the way, glad that I did not attempt to go to this, as the people I know who did never made it onto the mall due to the crowds.) Apparently, large events on weekends don't cause trains to run more often. Combined with the track work on the Red Line, I got to Takoma just a little bit before the concert started.
Bill Mayhew started things off with a nice little jump tale, followed by a seasonal joke. He really should have had more time. He was followed by Jane Dorfman telling "Mary Culhane and the Dead Man," which she does very well, making this one of the highlights of the evening for me. She also told a local legend called "The White Dog." Ralph Chatham finished off the first half with excerpts from a novel by Jack Vance. This didn't really work for me, because there were too many things happening to keep track of mentally. I should note that, in my opinion, literary stories often suffer from the differences between written and spoken language. Ralph told well - but the material just isn't the sort of thing I can listen to well.
After a break for cookies and cider, the evening resumed with Anne Sheldon telling the English folktale, "Tibb's Cat and the Apple-Tree Man." She followed that with the other highlight of the show, a Robert Frost poem called "The Witch of Coos." It was definitely not what I was expecting from Robert Frost and was wonderfully creepy. We moved from creepy to just yucky with Tim Livengood telling "The Dissolving Rat." Finally, Margaret Chatham told Jane Yolen's "Mama Gone" (a literary story which does tell well, because Jane Yolen understands oral language) and "How to Turn Into a Witch."
All in all, it was a nice mix of stories and a fun evening, worth putting up with metro's inefficiency for.