Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Soupday

This weekend's soup selection for is Chicken Vegetable-Noodle, which (I am happy to say) did not force me to run to the grocery store. This was due to some good buys in previous weeks, and a surplus of frozen garden veggies; I love my freezer! I started the broth last night, and completed the big pot this afternoon. Peter will be able to deliver our usual 2 gallons to the kids at The Caring Place tomorrow.
What I AM running out of is celery. Last year, I grew it for the first time. While my greens were good, and I used them until they were gone, the stalks were puny, and I don't know of any way to preserve them for winter use. I hate buying celery grown 3000 miles away; I'm going to explore this conundrum. Does anyone out there have a way of keeping the stalks? I know you can dry the leaves, and I'll do that with next year's crop for my winter soups. Maybe the answer is celeriac; celery root instead of celery. I could keep it in my "root cellar" (the back steps from the basement to the back yard). I've been monitoring the temperature down there this week, and it's hovering right around 32, give or take. I'll keep watching for awhile to determine how useful that space might actually be. I came upon a blog called "Living the Frugal Life" by a like-minded writer named Kate, right here in PA. She offers some helpful links if you're as interested in this subject as I am. **********THIS JUST IN: Celery can be dehydrated. RIGHT HERE'S the most-excellent site I just found describing how to dehydrate many common vegetables.*************
Day 4 of the Week On-Hand Pantry Raid: in addition to the big pot of soup today, dinner was interesting and good. I thawed a chunk of meatloaf from the last time I made it (I always make 2 and freeze one; why do extra dishes or waste extra fuel cooking it twice?). There were some mushrooms left that needed to be used, so I made a really good gravy for the meatloaf with them. Here's my recipe:
Buttermilk Mushroom Gravy
  • Mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 1 Scallion, chopped fine
  • Butter or olive oil or some other sauteing material
  • Buttermilk
  • a little flour
  • Beef bouillon cube (if using with a chicken dish, use chicken bouillon, or vegetable bouillon if you're a vegetarian)
  • Pepper

Saute the mushrooms and scallion in the oil or butter until tender. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on top, then pour the buttermilk over the mushrooms. Begin to warm the mixture, then add the bouillon cube, and cook until the liquid begins to thicken, stirring gently. Cook until gravy-thick. Add pepper to taste (the bouillon cube should provide enough salt).

Come to think of it, this would be a great way to make mushroom soup. Hmmmm.

Along with the meatloaf and gravy, I broiled two spinach cakes and made some egg noodle dough from flour and egg-whites. There was some mushroom/vegetable mixture left from last night's stuffed fish, so I made some ravioli from the dough and the mixture. That went into the freezer, but the scraps made some darn good noodles for Peter's dinner.


When I took the chicken and ham scraps to the farm for the dogs today, Kathy presented me with a half gallon of fresh milk and a nice chunk of cheese she had made earlier. I usually take over a quart or two of my weekly soup, as it's pretty easy to just make a little more, and I know she's feeding hungry volunteers every week. So, thanks to her generosity, Peter will have his cereal this week and we'll put that cheese to good use. Little does she know that she's helping me meet my 1 week non-shopping goal; I'll tell her when it's over. What a great, intuitive friend!

No comments:

Post a Comment