Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Red Raincoat

Twas a rainy Wednesday morning and I loved it! So there I was in the mini-van waiting for the kids to take them to school, as I was enjoying the blaring sound of the car stereo: the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hit single Snow. Perfect music to go with the weather. Ok fine, it was not snowing, it was just raining but I love it anyways, and I love the music, so it was all good… for me it was still perfect music for the moment.

I get excited when it rains here in San Diego because it seldom happens. My husband says that if that’s the case, we should move to Seattle. I guess he wants to see me in a happy mood for most times of the year. But San Diego‘s weather is almost perfect and it can’t get any better… but with the rains right now I'm just loving the change in the weather.

So after I took the kids to school, I grabbed my red raincoat and I stepped outside not afraid to get wet. And like a little girl, I just wanted to splash in the puddle with my boots…and I walked and sang in the rain!

I walked to the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, our neighborhood shopping arcade. I love the area, it kinda gives you a feeling of Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow, only with a modern twist… and it’s just a 15 minute walk from where I live. We have a tall Christmas tree (it’s not like the tree at the Rockefeller Center in NYC) but it’s still tall enough to say that Christmas is here. Climb the stairs and you have a good selection of places to eat with an al fresco dining setting… it’s just simply lovely! Our favorite place to eat for breakfast is Champagne Bakery and Bistro… I love their crepes! Then I went to a store called Papyrus: I love to take inspirations from there. I don’t buy their cards, oh no, I make my own. Of course there’s Barnes and Noble, where I love to skim the pages of cookbooks and my favorite magazines… Hahaha yes I do sound like I’m el cheapo, right? Next stop is Bath and Body Works, where I love to smell and try every scent of their hand soaps and lotions… there are boutiques and jewelry shops, very tony! And oh our Mcdonalds is not your usual Mcdonalds, with its modern/eccelectic interiors, along with serving Panini, soups and several gourmet selections. I just felt like suddenly, I began to appreciate all the things around me that I usually take for granted. It’s one hallmark moment, that I wish I could permanently capture. That’s how much I loved the moment.

I spent most of my time people watching, and this time of the year is the best time to do that. I see people rushing frantically down the wet pavement. I see ladies all made up and clad in designer outfits. I felt amused because they don’t seem to impress me anymore, I was just there feeling content, as I sipped my hot cocoa…wearing my red raincoat.

In the few stores I stepped foot in, I saw people scavenging for gifts, trying to cross them off their lists. I saw kids bored in their strollers trying to get mom’s attention, but their moms were oblivious as they were busy scouting for anything with red tags. But what caught my attention was an old man trying to reach for a musical stuffed toy on a shelf. I reached for it and gave it to him, and with his fragile old frame, he asked me what I thought about the toy. I said it’s beautiful, and he said, ”it’s for my great grandson… not grandson, it’s MY great grandson… he emphatically pointed out, “I’m a lucky old man ain’t I? That I lived long enough to see my great grandchildren and it gives me profound joy!” I wanted to hug him, or wished he was related to me… and I wanted to take him home because I was afraid that with the rain, he might slip, or afraid that with the rain and knowing how people drive crazily, he might get into an accident. Cut it out Malou! Probably, he’s just like me, who wants to be out there in the rain… I greeted him "Merry Christmas"...I smiled and left him.

It was such a lovely morning walk… and when I went home, all wet, chilly and cold, I craved for a creamy rich soup. Oh what a morning.. a lovely morning indeed. I wanted to sing: "listen to the rhythm of the pouring rain"… ok enough… here’s the recipe for the creamy potato shrimp soup!

Creamy Potato-Garlic-Shrimp-Soup


1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 pcs. Potatoes with peel, diced
4 cups broth (chicken or shrimp bouillon dispersed in water)
1 cup milk or cream
butter -garlic croutons
1 stick butter
1 medium egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
pre-cooked shrimp

Microwave the potatoes for about 4 minutes. Then mash together with butter and the cracked egg. Don't mash it too well, you may want to leave some lumps so as to give the soup some texture. Set aside.

In a stock pot over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in butter. Add mashed potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Add a handful of croutons. Turn heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes get mushy and croutons are soft.

Remove from heat and add milk or cream. Season with salt and pepper. You may now add the cooked shrimp. Leave it for a few minutes to warm up. Garnish with croutons and toasted garlic. You may also add cheddar cheese if you choose to.


  1. This is a wonderful morning, to wake up and to be surprised that you have a new entry. Impromptu Diva you're on a roll here... thank you for posting a new one. I love it! Gotta try the soup now!

  2. I love this post...a very enchanting story accompanied with a great comfort food!!!

  3. Thanks again guys... I'm glad to know that I have avid readers like you...

  4. Hi! I discovered your blog through Joyce Wijesekara. Both Joyce and Christian were my classmates in High School. I just want to say thank you for sharing your recipes and I try some of them soon. Keep on blogging!

  5. Hi Bunny!
    I saw your posting on Facebook and I'm thrilled to see that you reposted it.
    I know you don't cook, but hopefully, my entries will inspire you.
    You may want to see the recipe I have on my entry: Sweet Imperfections... that's super simple and super delish...
    See you around Bunny!

  6. Beautiful story and beautiful soup...mmm. It cheers me up :)

  7. Even if I don't know you, I could picture you in that red raincoat walking and singing in the rain. Beautiful story Impromptu Diva. Makes me want to go out in the rain too (only if it rains today)

  8. i was in a red dress today and it rained as well! too bad you weren't here to make me that soup! looks super yummmmmmyyy!!!

  9. Hi Mary! Thank you very much. What's cooking in your kitchen today?

    it's fun, do it when it rains. thank you for the compliment.

    hi k! did you wear the red dress becuase it was your birthday?hahah! hope you had fun!

  10. I was introduced to you through the custard pudding that you made. I was a lucky recipient of that beautifully crafted box with heavenly delight inside it. Your custard pudding is extraordinary! It was a love at first bite I tell ya!You should open a cafe here in San Diego! And this blog of yours, makes me want to move in your area and sing with you in the rain. With a red raincoat too!
    Thanks for sharing yourself in your recipes and in your food. Merry Christmas!

  11. this is so perfect in our cold christmas eve. thanks for sharing!

    billy & cielo

  12. Oh Abby that was nice of you... thank you so much for the sweet words. I'll be sharing more recipes and more stories for as long as I know that there are readers like you who appreciate it... and who take the time to leave lovely comments such as yours... then it's all worth it!

    Billy and Cielo, the soup should keep you warm, especially if it is prepared with so much love! Merry Christmas!

  13. I want some of this soup!

    Happy Holidays to you and the family!

  14. Thanks for stopping by Cynthia.
    I am always thrilled to see you stop by... and grateful that I have met you (virtually that is) this year!
    Merry Christmas!


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