Monday, November 3, 2014

The Gift of a Good Meal

It's not easy to stay motivated to cook three meals a day every day.  It definitely takes work.  It is work, although there isn't pay exchanged. What it adds in financial freedom, and personal enrichment to the family is beyond measure.

So, how do you not get burned out with the fact it is never ending?  Well, you do get burned out.  But in those times, you dig a little deeper and look a little harder to find inspiration for meals.

I know that I can give my family a gift of a good meal three times a day.  It can promote their good health, nourish them physically, and enrich their lives with this work.  I can do these small things every day, which upon reflection later in life, create a rich and hopefully happy home life.  That's what keeps me going, the promise that I can make their lives better each day with what I do.

The comfort of a cozy home, the warmth of a wood fire, the satisfaction of a good meal, and someone to share it with.  Who could ask for more?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Using What's On Hand- Leftovers Soup

I am lone on the range today.  Don and my son Ryan are helping friends work cows again all day.  So the day stretches before me, and I can do with it as I will!
We had pasta for supper last night, with a bolognese sauce.  It made a lot of leftovers, so I needed a way to use up that sauce.  I could have just made ziti bake for the freezer, but then I still have to come up with something for dinner today, that will yield lunches for the week.

I am going to make a leftover soup.  I just cleaned out my fridge, but there is a lot of food to use still in the fresh food bins.  A bag of small multicolored sweet peppers, a head of cabbage, some turnip.

I have big amounts of carrots, celery on hand always.  I keep them in long green tupperware containers, stacked.  They last and last like that.  That along with my stash of potatoes, onions, and garlic in the pantry are the foundation of my meals.

I was wanting some version of hamburger soup.  The pasta sauce we made has lots of crushed tomatoes, hamburger and onions.  It's seasoned with garlic, basil and marjoram. I can go so many directions with it.  I could add the peppers, and v-8 juice, some rice and make stuffed pepper soup.  I can add cabbage and rice or barley, a little cayenne pepper, and make stuffed cabbage soup.  I could add taco seasoning, corn, kidney beans and v-8 for taco soup.

I think I'll go for a beef vegetable soup.
Leftover meat sauce (there is about two quarts left)
1 quart beef stock
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 huge turnip peeled and diced
1/2 head chopped cabbage
2 C diced sweet peppers
2 carrots peeled and diced
3 potatoes scrubbed and diced
1 pint/can green beans and their liquid
1 pint/can calico corn (corn with peppers and onions)
Bring it all to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook long and slow on the simmer burner, in a slow cooker, or in a 250*F oven.  Several hours.  When I cook soup with cabbage, I like to add a pinch of caraway seeds.  It's optional if you don't like the flavor.  We have some beautiful black rye bread that we will butter and enjoy with the soup.

I don't know when the guys will get done working cows, so this can be hot and waiting for them when they get home.