Well, I made it through week 6 of social distancing by focusing on this years garden preparations. I am moving my compost piles to a new location and giving up on my composters. I had a not so windy day to spread peat in some of the garden beds. I ordered seeds and am trying to patiently wait to plant the seeds leftover from last year.
One of the things on my todo list today is to do a little organizing in my big freezer. At the start of the social distancing I had to add some items that did not fit in the designated sections I have in the freezer. Do you have certain spots were you put like things? I have a shelf for leftovers and prepared foods, a shelf for bread and “raw materials”, a shelf for soup prep, and a shelf for finished soup. Often the raw material and soup prep shelves house similar items or overflow from the other. Now that I have a flow to what is going in and out of the freezer I need to rearrange a few things that are in the wrong place.
I am trying to menu plan a week in advance. This helps me since I am trying to get more produce from Imperfect Foods and I have to have my order in a few days before it is delivered. This is also true with grocery deliveries. Grocery deliveries are stressful for those of us with food allergies. Our last order had a box of chocolate almond milk, not something I ordered. We DO NOT bring nuts in the house. Thank goodness it was a shelf stable box and not something from the refrigerator section that might be more likely to leak. I always specify no substitutions, but this wasn’t even on my list.
The weather has been a little dreary and cold so I have been enjoying making some soups I have not make in awhile. One was this Carrot Soup that I make often around Easter. I add a parsnip for a little zip and don’t feel the need to thicken it with any root veggies, but you could easily add one if you would like a smoother soup. I enjoyed this soup with Gluten-Free Sourdough Discard Crackers after working in the garden.
Here in Illinois we are at the start of week 5 of social distancing. The weather has mostly been cloudy and rainy. The few nice days I have tried to get out and walk but my daily step counts have been abysmal. I have been working in my garden, and today am cleaning and roasting some dandelion roots to use in making tea. I have also been trying to grow some veggies from food scraps.
I have a few more started in water but I have run out of pots.
All of us are looking for comfort and grounding. Many have turned to working in their yard or potting plants on their balcony. I was so happy (there may have been some tears) when heard my favorite garden center would be open and delivering! One of the items on my to do list this week is to go through all my seeds and order more. I know I am out of radishes and am thankful to a neighbor who had some extras for me to use until I can order some online.
Another way many are looking for comfort is with baking. I have successfully created a gluten-free sourdough starter and am experimenting with new recipes. I have also been making some new soups. This soup is the best soup I have made in months. It will definitely become a regular in my food rotation.
Rutabagas are my go to replacement for potatoes. They do usually need to be cooked longer than the potatoes in a recipe when making the substitution
We are expected to get a snow storm over the weekend and that means SOUP!
I hope to have both pressure cookers going most of the weekend making Chicken Bone Broth and a vegan version with just herbs and veggies.
Besides shoveling I will enjoy some of my January 2019 Wish List there will be lots of hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, and a walk in the snow.
I am simplifying my holiday decorations and plan to spend some of this long weekend going through some of the Christmas and Valentines decorations. Today I am dropping off a load of things I have already sorted and decided to donate. Then off to a grocery store or two to pick up the ingredients for the multiple batches of soup.
I have started buying dried beans and making them in my pressure cooker. For the black beans for the quinoa soup I put about 2 cups of beans in the pressure cooker and covered them with water about two inches above the beans. I then cooked them for 25 minutes on high pressure. I let it depressurize for 30 minutes then spooned then out into mason jars and covered them with the cooking liquid.
Making the Chili helped me check one thing off my January 2019 Wish List. And the rest of the black beans will be made into brownies!
Tomato Soup and grilled cheese was one of my favorite lunches (and sometimes dinner) as a child. And something I still like to make for my family even though I can’t partake anymore.
Tomatoes are readily available year round and are easy to grow in a garden or pot on your patio. I alway grow tomatoes in my garden even now that I can’t eat them. A garden doesn’t feel complete without at least a few tomato plants.
I have been making Tomato Soup by roasting the vegetables for a few years now and it is alway good. I’ve used every type of tomato and many combinations of herbs. Roasting everything together in the oven gives the vegetables a nice depth of flavor.
Enjoy this soup with some toast, grilled cheese or the current favorite in my house hold quesadillas.
The end of May always is full of endings and beginnings. So many of the school year activities are ending while summer activities are beginning. The schedule seems to be topsy-turvy very day with extra events and tasks. Keeping my online calendar up to date and making lists help me keep things going smoothly.
What I’m cooking…..
I’m cooking things that are fast and easy. We’ve been having a lot of bone broth with noodles and fast breakfast food. All the extra events and long nights mean you need an immune boost, be sure to be taking your vitamins and supplements and a lunch or dinner of bone broth will help.
What I’m organizing….
Chicago weather, one day it’s the hight of summer and the next we are back to fall. I’m putting all our winter outerwear in bins and donating anything that is too small. Now if I could find all the PAIRS of gloves.
In the garden…..
I’ve been spending time weeding, and hauling compost and mulch to the garden. I have a few areas ready to plant and bought some seedlings and seeds. I hope to get them in the ground soon. I bought more of my favorites lemon balm and lovage!
If you have read my blog you know I make bone broth almost weekly. As a gift to myself I bought an 8 quart pressure cooker. Today I will do a test run with some rice for lunch. I can’t wait to make my first batch of bone broth tomorrow.
I could make a batch of chicken bone broth a week and it still would t be enough for my household. I had been using freezer bags but was loosing one or two bags full a month when thawing them out in the fridge.
The last two batches I made I froze in Ball jars with plastic lids. What a game changer. Getting the soup into the jars was not as messy as trying to get it in the freezer bags. The one going to remember is you do need to make sure they are room temp before putting them in the freezer. Both batches have worked great!
Do you have a favorite way to freeze your homemade broth? -SB