Joyful Living


I get hundreds of emails a week. Most of them are forwards from friends of jokes, cartoons, poems, videos, slide shows, essays and the like. I love them all, even them ones I have received one-hundred times or more.

But few of these forwards have touched me as deeply as the following video.

Michael Fishbach is a former tennis pro and is now a naturalist, conservationist, tour leader, and a self-described investigator of the natural world.

In this 8-minute video, he narrates his encounter, with a humpback whale entangled in fishing net and near death. For over 60 minutes he and his small crew cut off the fishing net and end up saving the whale. The entire incident was videoed.

It is a wonderful story all on its own. However, what is so exhilaratingly beautiful is watching the whale after he is set free. If ever there is a video that chronicles sheer joy of life, this is it.

If you do not have time, or just simply do not want to watch the entire video, the joy part begins around the 6:22 mark.



NOTE:  This story should not be confused with the post I shared a little over a year ago titled, The Whale. That was a different whale and rescue in Northern California near San Francisco. There was no video of that rescue.wwwww

Featured Recipe    Mushroom Soup with Sherry

I love mushrooms and I love mushroom soup. This recipe is especially delicious because I add some sherry at the end. The sherry takes humble mushroom soup and makes it gourmet.

This recipe is for two, but can be doubled. Since it is a cream soup it is very filing and makes a nice light dinner if served with a salad and/or some crusty buttered bread.

This is what you will need for 2 people:

½ pounds mushrooms

3 green onions*

¼ cup butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons sherry

Salt and pepper to taste

*For a slightly more subtle onion flavor use a small diced shallot in place of 2 of the green onions.

Here is what you do:

Clean the mushrooms with a brush and/or a damp paper towel.

NOTE: I still cannot find my mushrrom brush. Must have pulled one of my favorte tricks. I threw it away by mistake. I miss it.

Reserve two of the mushrooms. You will see my reserved mushrooms at the top left of the cutting board.

Coarsely chop the remaining mushrooms. I just slice each mushroom one way, then turn and slice it the other way. I do a rough chop. That means not every piece is the same size. I have different sizes and shapes of mushroom pieces.

I mean anyone can chop mushrooms into even sized pieces. It takes creativity to chop them into different sizes. Plus it is so much more interesting and pretty.

It is your soup after all. So cut those mushrooms any way you like.

I do not slice the last two, reserved for garnish,  mushrooms yet. I prefer to slice closer to the time I will use them.

Wash the green onions, cut off the root and about 2 inches off the green tops. Slice two of the green onions and.

Slice the third green onion and set aside for garnish. In the picture I have not yet sliced that third green onion. When I do, I will place the slices in the blue bowl behind it and reserve them along with the mushrooms for when the soup is done.

At this point I am going to share how I organize this. The rest of the recipe goes pretty fast. I find if  I line everything up in some semblance of order near at hand it makes finishing the soup easier and I don’t have to go look for something.  I also measure out the chciken broth and the cream so I do not have to stop in the middle and do that. That is what you see below.

You may have a better system. If so, I would love to hear about it. I am always looking for great ideas.

In a pot over medium heat melt the butter………………..

……………add the mushrooms and green onions and sauté  for 2-3 minutes. Make sure all of the pieces are well coated with butter.

The aroma of the mushrooms cooking right now is simply heavenly. Smells so good in my kitchen right now.

Stir in the flour, the dry mustard, and the salt and pepper.

Gently mix the dry ingredients into the mushroom mixture very throughly.

Stir in the chicken broth.

Slowly and gradually add the cream and stir to mix well. I hold the cream in my non dominant hand and stir with my dominant hand.

Simmer until thickened and smooth stirring constantly about 3-5 minutes, give or take.

Add the sherry and heat through.

 While the soup is heating slice the mushrooms you will use to garnish the soup.

Ladle into soup bowls. Add the garnishes.

Serve with a salad and/or butter and bread or crackers.

Bon appétit!!!


½ pounds mushroom               $2.00

3 green onions                         $0.18

4 tablespoons butter                 $0.40

3 tablespoons flour                   $0.24 

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard         $0.09 

1 cup chicken broth                  $0.64

1 cup whipping cream              $0.99

3 tablespoons sherry               $0.36

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $4.90
Cost per person = $2.45

Quote of the Day

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

G.K. Chesterton


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4 comments to Joyful Living

  • That video was awesome. I went on a whale watching cruise this year and saw several humpbacks doing that but they hadn’t suffered any nylon net trouble. They are wonderful animals.

    This mushroom soup looks delicious. It’s one of my favorite soups.

    • Roberta

      That is great you were able to see whales on your whale watching cruise. I went once and no whales. 🙁 Next time. Glad you like the Mushroom Soup.

  • Dear Roberta,
    Just made this soup for dinner. IT WAS FANTASTIC! As my “Mr. L.” put it, there is no going back to canned mushroom soup! I had a leek to use up, so threw that in (had a feeling you would approve of the substitution/thrift). It was so delicious. I will be making this again soon. Your recipes are wonderful – so organized, delicious, and I love your emphasis on keeping food costs down. Keep up the great work!

    • Roberta

      Approve of the leek….. I LOVE it. Inspired. Raises the soup to a whole new level.

      Thank you so very much for the kind words.