Boy am I enjoying my time off work this week! Finally got in some knitting. Got past the heels on my socks and am working on the cuffs. I can’t wait to have more time to knit after I retire. I know my days will fill up with other projects, but knitting will be high on my must-do list.
Made a pot of potato soup this morning and let it simmer while I was knitting. Nothing better than a pot of homemade soup on the stove while you’re making handknit socks! I love it!
I don’t have a specific recipe for potato soup. I make it differently every time, depending on what I have on hand. If you’re interested, this is what I put in it this morning. Sorry, I have no idea on the amounts of most of the ingredients.
Dice 7-8 potatoes and cook them 8-10 min in the microwave while prepping the stock.
In the soup pot, saute chopped onion, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and a little chicken broth to the mixture, then a couple tablespoons flour (I use self-rising) and let it cook a bit, like making a roux or gravy. Stir in more chicken broth, gradually. Add milk and a slice of raw bacon, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and let simmer for 30 minutes or an hour so the potatoes have time to soak up the flavors in the stock. Garnish with green onions, cheese, crispy bacon. Even more delicious when served with fresh baked crusty bread. Yum!
That’s it, folks!
Made a jar of pepper sauce today with some beautiful habanero peppers my mom gave me while we were in MS last weekend.
Love chopping food with my Ulu my sister Glenda gave me some time ago. I normally would use my wood cutting board, but I didn’t want to have habanero embedded in my cutting board, so I just used a saucer. This pepper is H-O-T, folks.
I sliced through each pepper once and put them into a quart canning jar. Then I covered the peppers with white vinegar, added just a touch of canola oil, and popped the jar, sans lid, into the microwave for about 5 minutes. I have no idea if the oil is necessary, but that’s the way my mom showed me once long ago and that’s the way I’ve done it all these years. Something about the oil draws out the hot in the peppers.
Aren’t the colors pretty?
Once cooled, I put on the lid and popped the jar into the fridge to “steep” for a few days. Can’t wait to try it on some turnip greens or peas in the near future.
Spent the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend in MS and got in lots of visiting and eating. The grandkids are growing like weeds and enjoyed playing with each other. I’m so proud of my kids and their spouses for being wonderful parents to my grandkids. I truly am blessed. Danny and I made the 3 hour trip back to AL today in the rain and, in preparation for the colder days ahead, we decided to put on a pot of soup.
Our favorite kind of soup is that made from leftovers stashed in the freezer for just this purpose. Tonight’s soup began with some leftover roast, potatoes, and carrots to which I added tomato sauce, corn, peas, and ROTEL. Rotel makes anything taste good! Wish I’d had some home-grown tomatoes and okra to throw into the mix. Man, I miss my garden since I came to AL. The black biting gnats here make it impossible to enjoy being outdoors in the summertime. Hey, gotta go check the cornbread. Smells like it’s almost done, too!
Last weekend while Danny was here, I made chicken and dumplings…..the easy way…..with canned chicken and chicken broth…..and dumplings made using my super-simple biscuit recipe (twice as much milk as oil plus enough flour to make a dough thick enough to handle).
Although we also had peas and corn on the cob, we needed a little extra ZIP, so I fried up a batch of Mexican Okra. Now, I rarely fry anything these days, but Mexican Okra MUST be fried. Besides, it’s an easy-peasy dish to prepare and it adds a little extra fire to the meal.
Start with jalapeno slices similar to these.
Toss them with a little cornmeal.
Now, into a skillet of hot oil and cook them until they turn your favorite shade of brown. Drain them on a paper towel and grab a big glass of sweet tea before digging in!
GOOD STUFF, I GARE-OWN-TEE!
Just as I thought it was getting to be “soup weather”, it turned warmer and we’ve had some beautiful days lately. Not that I am complaining. I don’t like cold weather. I really, really don’t like cold weather, but I DO love soup, so I made a big ole pot anyway.
A great big pot of O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup,
with fresh chives and real bacon on top.
I found the recipe through a Google search. Pretty basic – potatoes, half-and-half, cheese, onion, flour, salt, pepper. Of course, I couldn’t follow the recipe verbatim. We Southern girls can’t do that. The recipe called for chopped onions just mixed into the other ingredients; I had to cook the onions a bit first, in “real” Amish rolled butter, until they were transparent. Also added some of that same “real” butter to the pot of diced potatoes as they were cooking. And the recipe called for Velveeta cheese. No could do. Had to use extra-sharp cheddar; Cabot is our favorite.
No, this soup is not low-calorie and to add insult to injury, with no crusty French bread in the house, I decided crackers just would not do for this soup. This soup called for CORNBREAD! Beings as I waited til the soup was almost done to decide this, there wasn’t time for cornbread to bake so I stirred up the batter and poured it into the skillet and by the time the soup was ready, I had…
A little more of that “real” Amish rolled butter on this cornbread and I had a feast that O’Charley himself would be proud of. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar; I got caught up in the moment.)
Ever had spaghetti squash? I hadn’t until this past weekend. During our last trip home to Mississippi, my mom gave me a spaghetti squash she had grown. Now I love trying new foods and will eat pretty much anything that doesn’t eat me first, but I wasn’t so sure about this unassuming-looking squash. I decided to wait and try it while Danny was on another trip to Mississippi for the weekend, working on our property there. I knew he would NOT be interested in trying any squash that wasn’t yellow. Lo and behold….It was delicious!
I put it on my little plate that I made at a wonderful pottery workshop in Gatlinburg. There’s just something about eating and drinking from handmade vessels. Even better if they don’t match each other. It’s so soothing and organic and natural………OK, I digress………so, after adding some Mississippi-grown tomatoes, it looked so pretty that I had to take a photo before digging in.
Cooking spaghetti squash is SO easy: Slice it lengthwise and remove the seeds/pulp. Lay it face down on a plate, stick it in the microwave and cook on high until tender. I cooked half a medium sized squash for 8 minutes. Let it cool to the touch, then scrape out the “spaghetti” with a fork. I dressed mine with butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and…….Tony Chachere’s! Yum!
Mom told me to try it with butter and brown sugar, which I tried tonight, and that was great, too! Just pretend it’s pasta and the possibilities are endless. Now get out there and try some spaghetti squash…..preferably on a handmade plate.