Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye to February

I don't mind the winter. I like cuddling up in the house under quilts, reading, sipping hot tea. Wearing wool socks, and sweaters (or wearing p.j.'s all day ). Baking cakes and pies and cookies.  
Winter is the season for the comfort food I love - hearty soups, stews and pot pies. 

Winter is the season for recharging; for resting up for a busy spring.  

As February comes to an end and March roars in, I'm having a hard time being in the present.  I find myself looking forward to being outside working in the garden.

 Looking forward to soaking up the pink and the green freshness.

I'm hoping that we can make our new home as special as this home has been.
And anticipating having fun trying.

<3 Karen

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blustery Winter Days

Blustery days and and a bowl of hot, hearty soup go together. 
Busy days and soup go together. 
I've been packing. And packing. And packing.
So far, seventeen boxes of china. 
Yep - that's right - I said seventeen. Boxes of china. 
And then cleaned out the basement. There I found three truckloads of miscellany fit to go to St. Vincent's.  And three giant bags of garbage  fit to go to the road.  
At the end of the day I was so relieved to have put a pot of bean soup on to simmer.  
Try it on your next busy day. It would probably work in a crock pot too, if you're not going to be home. 

Bean Soup

In a large stock pot or dutch oven place:

1 smoked pork hock or meaty ham bone.
3 cups dried white beans or black eyed peas
2 large potatoes, halved
2 medium carrots, in large chunks 
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
rosemary or thyme ( whichever or neither ) 
freshly ground pepper 

Cover generously with water  ( start with 8 cups and add more if necessary ) 
Simmer until beans are tender and vegetables are soft. 
Remove pork hock or ham bone and pick off and chop the meat,
Use a potato masher to chop up the potatoes and carrot in the pot.
OK - now the secret ingredient - pour in about 1/4 cup or so of molasses. 
It improves the colour and makes it super yummy.
( it's even better the next day )

<3 Karen