Saturday, October 27, 2012

It’s a Soup Day!

It’s colder today, and a bit drizzly, which makes it the perfect day for soup. In my previous post I gave the recipe for my vegetable soup. I’m sure you all have your own versions of veggie soup, so I’m just hoping to give ideas to add to your recipe.

Today I have a 5-quart pot of vegetable soup cooking on the stove, and my husband just took a few photos.  Here’s that warming, comforting soup -

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The vegetable assortment is a good one….potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, green beans, corn, peas, hominy, baby lima beans. And I failed to mention in the recipe that I add a 16-oz. can of beef broth to give it a “home-cooked” flavor, as well as a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. The perfect go-with will be cornbread.

This afternoon we’ll be going to our grandson’s soccer game, which will be a lot of fun. Hope they win - go Diamondbacks! We’ll definitely be wrapping up and taking along a thermos of something hot.

Have a great weekend! As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. And thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Musings

It’s officially fall, which is probably my favorite time of the year. The leaves are starting to show their seasonal colors. The cooler air is so pleasant after the heat and humidity of the summer, the colors get brighter and it’s time for wonderful fall foods. Festivals are continuing, and I’ve seen signs advertising upcoming Christmas events, in addition to the usual Halloween Haunted Houses.

Now I’ll be bringing out the warmer clothing and putting away the summer things. Those pretty sweaters have just been waiting for me!

Do you decorate for Halloween? Or just fall? I haven’t decorated for Halloween since our children were small – just go straight into fall with all the beautiful flowers and leaves in shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. Those decorations will take me through Thanksgiving. It’s such fun to do the floral arrangements and put out all the artificial pumpkins and scarecrows. And the crochet refrigerator magnets made many years ago – the witch is my youngest son’s favorite! :-)

I think everyone is ready for all the usual fall/winter foods – soups, chili, more hearty foods. This soup is one I’ve made countless times, and it’s always different depending on what I have on hand. I keep small bowls of leftover vegetables in the freezer just for soup. And I’ll clean out the refrigerator – we sometimes call it “Clean Out the Refrigerator Soup”. It does freeze well, but the potatoes could be removed before freezing because they tend to get soft.

SHARON’S VEGGIE SOUP

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

1 46-oz. can tomato juice

1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 medium onion, diced

any combination of vegetables you’d like (carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, corn, green beans, peas, etc. – no broccoli, cauliflower or beets)

1 16-oz. can great northern or other type beans (optional)

1/2 cup quick-cooking barley, rice or small pasta (optional – add during last hour of cooking)

salt

freshly-ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Combine and simmer for several hours – the longer the better. Remove bay leaf before serving. Delicious with crusty bread or spooned over cornbread.

Today is such a beautiful day that I think I’ll take a walk now. I hope you all enjoy your day and your week!

As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Patriotism

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful day. I made the time this afternoon to take a long walk, and enjoyed the vibrant colors of the leaves and the bright, crisp air. What a gorgeous time of year!

A little while ago I read an article about a WWII veteran – many of you probably saw it as well because it has been all over the internet for several days. Even though he is in hospice care he made it a point to vote, no matter what. The story is touching, and his patriotism wonderful. Here is a link to the article: http://news.yahoo.com/photo-second-world-war-veteran-casting-ballot-captures-082154483.html

This also made me think of my father, who is a 92-year-old WWII veteran himself, and just about the most patriotic man I know! He proudly displays all his medals and mementos from his service, as well as the articles written about him and congratulatory birthday letters from dignitaries all the way up to the President. He was scheduled to go on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. next month, but has delayed it until next spring – when he’ll be 93 years old! I know the whole experience will be extremely touching for him, as it has been for all the veterans who have been able to take the trip to see their memorial. And he never fails to vote.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, these brave men fought for our right to cast our ballots. And many more men and women still serve all over the world today for our freedom to do so. The man in the article above – and my Dad – illustrate that there is no excuse for not voting.

And while I’m on this subject, I heard a recitation on the radio earlier by John Wayne called “America, Why I Love Her”, and it was very moving. You can view it on You Tube. Might be a good idea to have a tissue handy!

This post has been a little off my normal subjects, but was just in my head this afternoon. I hope you all celebrate this great country we live in, and be sure to vote.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. And thanks for reading!