Sunday, November 22, 2015

time well spent

As we creep closer to the shortest days of the year, the time change effects linger as early risers crash,  sometimes even before a morsel of breakfast reaches their mouths. Afternoon naps for young girls still happen most days so that the pre-dinner hour does not turn into Meltdown City which has a surprising number of ways of manifesting itself. None are pleasant.

Soup is back on the menu as summer eating habits have been bid a gentle adieu, until we meet again.
Borrowing heavily from my friend Jacqueline's potluck soup offering last year, I made a delicious Sausage Vegetable soup a couple of weeks ago which will be made often. I have figured out that for many broth based soups, I start with a fat and sauteed aromatics such as onion, garlic, celery, carrots and thyme. If the meat needs to be cooked, I throw that in with the aromatics. If it just needs to be reheated, I throw it in later with the broth.
My fat choices varies with the soup. I buy picnic hams so I get a lot of ham fat to work with or chicken fat from roasting whole chickens or just their thighs or legs and later, bone broth from the bones or carcass in my crock pot anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on what else I have to get done. If I have no meat fat to work with, I use olive oil. Then I dump in any bone broth I have stored or I use bullion or ready-made bullion and add in a bay leaf along with any other vegetables I am adding to the soup. Sometimes before serving the soup, I use my immersion stick right in the soup pot to blend up a bit of the ingredients to give the soup a little heft. And I usually add in extra carrots and other veg that I can easily mash up for Kate's bowl.

Our lessons are going well, perhaps I can showcase some of their work in another post. We will be finishing up our fall sessions of soccer and swimming in the next few weeks.  I don't usually sign the kids up for anything again until March when most of the snow storms are over.

I have been shopping for Kate's birthday and Christmas already and am finished for the kids. I have some crafting for them I would like to do, which is tricky because we both live here and keep mostly the same hours. Right-o.
I try to enjoy the process and not worry about what I do not get done. Laura is my up and coming craft kid and enjoys making all sorts of things usually involving metric tons of any adhesive that will make her creations stick together. She has an eye for design that I sorely lack. I look forward to what she makes as she gets older even if we go broke buying tape, hot glue, staples and whatever else she uses.

If you're on Facebook, I have a page for this blog that I use to share links, photos, etc.

I'm also on Instagram under americanadiangirl. And I still loosely maintain my Tumblr blog, Whatever is Lovely.

And lastly, here are some new-to-us books I picked up this week. The Album of Horses replaces a copy we gave to one of our dear friends, a young horse enthusiast, earlier this year. And that copy of Rascal is a good reading copy to preserve our hardback from too much handling. I took a chance on the Big Red series, getting four of them without having even read one, but they were not very expensive and they fall into that vintage era of children's writing that we enjoy.

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