Ok, duh. I wrote this last Sunday, and I never posted it.
Lately, I have felt that I needed to go in a different direction, so here it is. I am going to write more about food and crafts. It took me this long in my life to realize I had craft talent. I cannot knit, because that takes too much discipline, and if you know me, you know that is something I proudly lack. But, there are things other than knitting. So on with the show!
Oh, Boogie showed up to protest the “No Cats on the Table” rule!
Seems years ago, and I guess it was, that I would make soup each Sunday. I would then bring it to members of my English department for lunch on Monday. I enjoyed doing it, as it made me try out new things. Some worked. Some did not.
Now that I am retired, I find I have no time for anything. Who would have thought??? So today I am cooking for the rest of the week. I see so many recipes on Facebook, and I try a lot of them. Most often they do not workout for me, so I alter them. NEVER does my final product look like the posted photo. I don’t care.
I am making:
Chicken Barley soup in the crock pot
Split Peas soup on the stove
Turkey meatloaf with the side, German Spaetzle Mac and Cheese
Mini cakes in half pint Mason jars (I do not hold out much hope for those.)
A nice thing about cooking the week’s food in one day, is that you only have to clean up a mess once. And I sure do make a mess.
Chicken Barley soup in the crock pot…my friend Jan sent this recipe and I followed it to a T. We did not like it, mainly because of the lemon I added at the end. ICK. However, a friend of ours loved it, so she got it all.
I have changed it a bit, and this is what I do now. It is really a yummy stew type soup and very easy.
*3 pounds bone in chicken thighs, skin removed ….
Note: I like to use thighs because I think they give the best flavor. Your choice.
*salt and pepper
*oil, I always use olive
*1 onion, chopped
*2 carrots chopped
Note: We love cooked carrots, so I usually put in about four times the amount in the recipe.
*2 ribs celery
Note: I hate cooked celery, but I like the flavor, so I put in celery seed instead.
*garlic...add what you like
*1 cup dry white wine
Note: Are you going to waste a bottle of wine for a pot of soup? No, thought not.So, use Vermouth instead. It is a great substitute, and there is no waste. Oh, I only used a half cup.
*1 cup pearl barley
Note: I had some left in the box after measured out a cup, so I just tossed it in.
*9 cups chicken broth
Sear the chicken thighs in oil. Salt and pepper as you do it. I had to do it in two batches.
Transfer the chicken to the crock pot.
In the pan, now saute the onion, garlic and carrots. It says to saute them until the carrots are soft, who has that much time?
Add the wine/vermouth and a little of the chicken broth. Let it simmer for a while. Go put the wash in the dryer, and it will be ready when you get back.
Note: It is also done when the smoke alarm goes off. North Carolina code requires a smoke alarm outside and inside the door of a bedroom. Our small cabin has the guest room off the kitchen. How many times do I cook and have that damn thing go off? Every time. Every time.
Dump that in the crock pot. Add everything else. Mix it up a bit and put it on low for four or five hours, depending on your plans.
The black flecks are garlic that got a little too done. I think it will be fine. I will tell people they are bugs.
Just before serving, take out the thighs. Take off any of the meat you want to put back into the soup, or don’t. I put back only the lightest of the thigh meat.
Split Pea Soup
Ok, so I cheat. I like the spices that come in the packaged dry soup mix for Split Pea. There was once one I adored called “Thick as Fog Pea Soup” but they went out of business. I was depressed for weeks.
Now I doctor it up myself.
Lots of carrots, cut into large chunks
Six cups of chicken broth, though I usually have to add more near the end. You could use water, but why?
Smoked Turkey wings….Yes, smoked turkey wings. Most people put a ham bone in pea soup, but I have not eaten red meat or pork in almost fourteen years, so that was out of the question. Once in a while I can find these smoked wings, and they add a fantastic flavor. I usually take them out when the soup is done, but if they are especially meaty, I will pick the meat off the bone and put it back into the soup. This is really a thick soup, best eaten with crusty bread instead of a spoon.
Simmer for a few hours until the peas are soft. I keep it on low medium. Works for me.
This has gotten to be a bit longer that I had planned, so I will have to do a second blog this week covering my meat loaf, spaetzle mac and cheese, and cake in Mason jars.
Update: The meatloaf was great, but I over cooked the spaetzle and it was too crunchy to eat. The Mason jar desserts were fantastic, and the chicken soup was good also. However, the pea soup was just too salty to eat. I guess I had a 50% success.
It is now Saturday night, and tomorrow is another cooking and craft day. I promise not to wait a week to post the big event. lol
Just a side note: I played in my first bridge tournament today, and we placed. lol Honestly, I just started playing bridge in October after a twenty-five year break from it, and I really do love it. It is contract bridge, and NO IT IS NOT JUST OLD PEOPLE!!!