Sacramento Shorts: Muth’s Potato Soup

The Beatles, A Day in the Life

A few snippets of a day-in-the-life in Sacramento:

Last weekend, we rested on a bench in the Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden watching two wedding parties: one pink and girly with yards of airy, voluminous tulle and the other a more restrained white satin pant suit for the bride and sleek beige dresses for the bridesmaids. The rose-covered trellis, classic fountain, and white pergola beg to be including in wedding pictures, so in the summer, it’s line up first, then marry. 

After pink tulle and white satin each wed the man of her dreams, two large horses, carrying the Sacramento Mounted Patrol, lumbered up to the fountain. They were late for the ceremonies, but back on the job after a long, loud drink.



Our eleventh floor room faces west, so at around 6:30 am, sunrise reflects off skyscraper windows and at 6:30 pm, a dramatic, golden sunset lights up the darkening sky. 

At sunrise I noticed black-ribbon drifts of crows flying east, away from downtown and at sunset, dense black crow clouds coming back toward the west. Of course, Mr. Google knew what was going on. He estimates that every night during the warm months, between 10,000 and 20,000 crows roost in downtown Sacramento. In the 1980s, the suburbs became hostile to crow crowds, using dynamite to roust the birds from their evening perches. The refugees retreated, liked city nightlife, and spend their summer evenings downtown, returning to suburban roosts in the fall. 


This spring, Ginny gave me a few “Grandpa Ott” morning glory starts and after coaxing, cajoling, plenty of sun, and a few Miracle-Gro bribes, Grandpa finally flourished, covered our trellis, and provided privacy for our patio area. 

The Sweetie came back from his Saturday morning walk and said, “You won’t believe the hedge of Grandpa Otts in the park.” We went back and sure enough, the park’s brick administrative office was surrounded by a six foot tall, square block of dense, purple morning glories. 


It’s never to late to get advice from your mother. When I was organizing my recipes from newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and restaurant-pocket notepads, I came across this handwritten recipe from Muth. It was dated 1965, when I was a young wife trying to feed three on a military budget, and asked her for a few tips. She wrote me a sweet, encouraging letter with this recipe.  

Muth’s Potato Soup

“Slice three or four potatoes and a few onions. Boil until tender in a small amount of water, salt, pepper and butter. Add milk, bring to a boil. Add processed cheese if you desire. That’s all there is to it.”

Two line recipes are just what I currently need, so I brought it out this week, added some leftover salmon and corn, and thanked her again.

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2 Responses to Sacramento Shorts: Muth’s Potato Soup

  1. Jenni says:

    That soup was Saturday lunch at my house in Liberty Township, just north of Youngstown, Ohio, in the 50s! Love this recipe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love the recipe. Makes me want to make some soon. My mom used to add bacon. Miss you much. Love Barb

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