Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup ~ Dining with the Dead

They say that around the end of October, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. While the mysterious netherworld intrigues, Sister Madly finds the living to be much more tolerant of her delightful petulance than the dead simply because they have no other choice.


However, her sister, Tallulah, had some sort of romantic getaway planned for something called an ‘anniversary,’ and in no uncertain terms implied that Sister Madly was not welcome to tag along, despite the fact that there was ample room at that seaside cottage. Seeing as the only other option was to face the holiday alone, Sister Madly figured she might as well consort with the Dead.

And what better way than with a traditional Dumb Supper? *

* A Dumb Supper is a dinner held in honor of those who have passed on, where the living remain silent while at the table in reverence of the dead.

It’s often said that the deceased guests of said Supper are ‘loved ones,’ but is this a requirement? Is she allowed to invite total strangers, even those whose lifestyles some might frown upon? She would love to mingle with the likes of Vincent Price, Somerset Maugham, and Ambrose Bierce. David Bowie. Sidney Bechet. Gene Tierney.  Jack the Ripper- he ought to be dead by now… right?


Apart from the proper Dumb Supper Invite Protocol, Sister Madly found herself baffled by one question in particular: how, exactly, does one invite the deceased to a Dumb Supper? To where does one send the invitation? Is it via carrier pigeon? Smoke-Signals? Or are the means much more mystical, such as through her decrepit old Speak-N-Spell which is definitely haunted?

It was during these ponderings that Sister Madly faced the reality of her accommodations: she doesn’t have enough room at her table to seat all of the Invited Dead- and by that she means she does not have a kitchen table. She would have to make due by seating them on the floor, Moroccan style, which would be no problem as she has an unholy amount of pillows stockpiled on her bed. The seating arrangement may be a bit peculiar as it zigzags through the apartment, with some guests sitting the bathtub and others in the kitchen,* but in the end even the Dead will admit that comfort and convenience is no match for a free meal.

* Jack the Ripper would not be seated near the cutlery. No need to place temptation within his reach.


When all was said and done, the total number of guests came to 13… and you know that THAT means!

But for those who lives are all sunshine and butterflies, it is said that the first person to leave the table of 13 will die within a year. Being the only living creature at this supper, it is practically guaranteed that this someone will be Sister Madly. Sure, she could invite the Professors to safeguard against this nuisance- no doubt they would totally be down for a free supper; but the ‘dumb’ part would almost certainly trip them up. There is always an opinion, observance, or unsolicited advice which deviant genetics forbids them from keeping to themselves, and Sister Madly thought it best not to offend the Ripper while in her apartment

So she decided to remedy this by adding to the guest list… until she reached a total of 37.


Well, way to go, Sister Madly! A meal for 37 will certainly be a strain on the weekly budget; the Invited Dead will have nothing to look forward to other than a feast of Ramen Noodles and Pickled Beets- which means you might still wind up with 13 for Dinner because of a poorly executed menu. What if the some of the guests are gluten intolerant? What if they only want Pop-Tarts? And what if the Invited Dead are engaged elsewhere at the appointed time? Sure, you won’t mind if some arrive fashionably late, but some may not show up at all, and you could very-well end up with only 13 for dinner…


Which begs the question: how is Sister Madly to know if the Dead DO attend? What if they have no message to pass along from the great beyond? What if they are painfully shy? What if they take sides on the great Bette Davis/Joan Crawford rivalry, and a otherworldly food fight breaks out right there in the middle of her apartment? She doesn’t own a mop, and her security deposit does not cover poltergiest…

Then there is the possibility that none of the Invited Dead are able to attend, leaving Sister Madly alone in her apartment with 38 bowls of Pickled Beet Ramen- a nightmare guaranteed to send her into hysterics.

Rather than risk years of intense therapy due to a Feast of Pickled Beets, Sister Madly decided to cancel the party entirely and buy some cider instead.*

* Nice & Naughty, to be exact.


  • 24 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 rainbow carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3-4 cups veggie ~ or ~ chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup (dry measure) wild rice, cooked
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste (used chipotle)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Oil for sauteing
  • Lg pinch tumeric (opt, for color)

Heat oil in stock pot
Sauté onion until translucent; 5 minutes
Add garlic, carrots, and celery; sauté 2-3 min
Add mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes
Mix in spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds
Add stock and coconut milk; mix
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
Mix in rice
Simmer to set flavors (10 -15 minutes)
Remove bay leaf
Allow to rest for 2+ minutes before serving

THEME SONG: Death is Not the End, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

40 responses

  1. John Dante

    Very cool! Never heard of a Dumb Supper before, so thanks for the enlightenment

    Liked by 2 people

    November 5, 2016 at 5:09 AM

    • I only recently heard of it myself. Maybe with better planning I’ll be able to make it happen next year!


      November 5, 2016 at 11:35 AM

  2. Might wanna check and see if that deposit covers poultry, you know how the Dead are about wings and drum sticks.

    Ya know Ms Madly, if you invite Jerry Garcia, who has professed that a friend of the Devil is a friend of his, he can bring Lucifer and Ice Cream!

    Liked by 2 people

    November 5, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    • Let’s see… the deposit does not cover alien abduction, nor spontaneous combustion. It does not mention poultry.

      The problem with Lucifer tagging along is that Lucifer is not dead. Besides, Halloween is his day- why would he waste the evening eating Pickled Beets?

      Liked by 2 people

      November 5, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      • Who doesn’t like being pickled? With an un-dead along, I see you being off the hook.

        He thinks it’s, Pickled Beetles”. I have no idea how he reached that conclusion.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 5, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    • I think Jerry would be grateful.

      Liked by 2 people

      November 8, 2016 at 4:53 PM

  3. amusingword

    WHAT A LOVELY BLOG NAME! Are you vegan? Looks like from the ingredients! I know I would love this soup with chicken broth and real whipping cream.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 5, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    • Thank you!

      Actually, I’m not a vegan, but I make vegan dishes now and then… also,my whipping cream had spoiled. :c/


      November 5, 2016 at 11:38 AM

      • amusingword

        Have you ever made pudding using coconut milk? I ran out of milk making a large boxed, cooked pudding mix, so I added a can of coconut milk to it and boy was it CREAMY! creamier than anything I’ve eaten since, making a boxed chocolate. I couldn’t taste the coconut. I would do it again if trying to impress with a cooked pudding filling.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 5, 2016 at 1:03 PM

        • I have not used coconut milk in baking- will definitely have to try it out! Thanks for the tip.


          November 5, 2016 at 3:01 PM

  4. Enjoyed reading! ^_^

    Side note: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds…you clearly have good taste in music. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 5, 2016 at 8:13 AM

  5. If you end up in the middle of a Joan/ Bette debate, you’re going to need something better than pop-tarts to soothe nerves.
    That soup looks yummy- I’ve not tried anything like that before

    Liked by 1 person

    November 5, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    • If I end up in the middle of a Joan/Bette debate, I’m just going to move.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 5, 2016 at 11:41 AM

  6. As a Raven, the concept of “dining with the Dead” typically has different nuance, as so many of the deceased have previously featured in a Raven’s feast. Neither would we feel the need to remain silent to show reverence, when “saying Grace” over the main corse is both benediction and eulogy.
    There’s not much idle chat amongst the living when only the cook qualifies. Whilst I certainly do speak on occasion to remind myself about something important (like remembering not to remove things from the oven bare handed) or to dissipate emotion (after not remembering not to remove things from the oven bare handed) most of my comments are directed across the veil, one way or the other, to whatever entities are present. They come and go as they please, and there is never any shortage of respect, or food. Quite rare for more than four to gather at any one time. Sometimes it really is just me and netflix.
    To be sure though, lose no sleep worrying about the correct form for the invitation – often a nod will suffice. Just be crystal clear that you know a swift and effective banishing, because there really is no correlation between being dead and being ‘nice’. It might be the living who are not the ‘loved ones’.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 5, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    • Oh dear- hadn’t thought about the banishing part. What if they are the type of revelers who don’t know when to leave the party? Then they’ll be following me around the apartment, pointing out dust bunnies and laughing each time that I, too, remove something from the oven barehanded.

      Maybe there’s a one that works on the dead as well as the living, sort of an all-purpose banishing.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 5, 2016 at 3:20 PM

      • I find the Dead, and far too many of the living, do not respond to hints and subtlety – it pays to use explicit language, sometimes very explicit.
        And people are welcome to laugh at my dust bunnies, but for your own safety please stay away from the soot panther, and whatever you do, don’t provoke that… wolverine thing… in the corner. Did you really think it was me that bit the broom handle in half?

        Liked by 1 person

        November 5, 2016 at 3:55 PM

  7. Your soup looks fab. How many does it serve?

    Liked by 1 person

    November 5, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    • Thank you!

      I would say there is roughly 6-8 servings… I personally had several days worth of leftovers using this recipe. I had wanted a thicker soup so I used only 3-4 cups broth, but sometimes I add a little more, which of course may up the serving amount.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 5, 2016 at 2:58 PM

      • I thought it looked like too much for a solo supper, but not enough for 13, let alone 37. 😉 And I’m sure you know I thoroughly approve of planning for leftovers!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 5, 2016 at 3:06 PM

  8. I enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 6, 2016 at 11:32 AM

  9. By my estimation, there are at present about 17 of the deceased who visit your abode with some frequency. So you really needn’t worry about no one showing up. Your company is rather favored by those lost souls who wander the earth, not yet fully ready to surrender to their ultimate fate and forever forego a good bowl of broth.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 6, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    • Why, thank you for telling me this just as the day gets grotesquely dark, while I cower in the corner wondering why the radiator has never made THAT noise before…

      …wait, just HOW do you know about these 17 entities?

      Liked by 1 person

      November 6, 2016 at 6:36 PM

  10. locksley2010

    That is a recipe I want to try out! Let me know if do it again next year….. If I start now, I might be able to walk all the way over from the UK to join you and help count the dead. Still working on building a canoe using fast food straws however……

    Liked by 1 person

    November 7, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    • Already started planning! And by that I mean I put 2 pennies in a jar… need to save up some cash so it won’t be a feast of Pickled Beets!

      How far along are you with that canoe?

      Liked by 1 person

      November 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

      • locksley2010

        And that’s a great start!
        Ummmmm…. I have five straws, it’s going to be a while….

        Liked by 1 person

        November 7, 2016 at 2:45 PM

        • 5… well, if you are unable to build the boat in this lifetime, we can always crash a Supper as one of the Uninvited Dead!

          Liked by 1 person

          November 7, 2016 at 3:59 PM

        • locksley2010


          Liked by 1 person

          November 8, 2016 at 1:22 AM

  11. Will have to pass this recipe onto my Hubby. He’s the cook, i am the baker. Can you recommend the best kind of bread to serve with the soup?

    Liked by 1 person

    November 7, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    • When it comes to bread for soups, my go-to is either French Bread or Soda Bread (which I have to purchase from a bakery because, unfortunately, I am not much of a baker- you are quite lucky to have that talent.)

      If you come up with another pairing, let me know! Would love to try it out.


      November 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  12. Had to listen to that song you cited at the end of your post… “Death is not the End”…. I have never heard it before

    Listening to the words, I realized it is not very a comforting music while eating dinner… at least its not Disco…

    by the way that recipe sounds tasty you put on here…I might just actually try it one day… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 9, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    • Funny you should mention disco… another song I considered was “Stayin’ Alive”!


      November 9, 2016 at 1:26 PM

  13. Snarky girl…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 9, 2016 at 2:01 PM

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