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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homemade soup from homemade chicken broth

Yummy, healthy soup for the season.
This is the only photo I got as I didn't think to take one while making it. I used the vegetable/chicken broth I made yesturday. I used a regular sized saucepan, filled it about 1/2 full of the broth, added 3 medium sized quartered yukon gold potatoes, 3 carrots cut in thirds, 1 sliced small onion, and about a cup of frozen sweet corn. I brought it to a boil and then turned heat down to low and cooked for nearly an hour. Dumped it all in the blender, added about 1/3 Cup shredded cheese (that was all we had, or I would have used more) and blended it (as shown above). It made a DELICIOUS creamy soup. The kids both loved it. They cleaned their bowls. I just used the vegetables we had, I had planned to throw in brocolli too, but didn't have any. Yum!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Broth

It has been weird to not have any animals here. I had no idea how much food scraps the dog and chickens ate back home! I started saving all of my vegetable cuttings, like the ends of carrots, brocolli stems, celery base, etc... in freezer bags in the freezer and just kept adding to it for about a month with the plan to make vegetable broth with it. Then I got a chicken back from Sea Breeze Farms (which is basically just what is left of a chicken once it's breasts, thighs and legs have been cut out to sell separately), so I decided to throw that in too. I didn't have any seasonings so I didn't add any, but I would have at least put in Bay Leaves if I did it again. But it tastes great.... smell's DELICOUS! And it was so nice to make use out of vegetable scraps that would have otherwise been thrown away.

I filled this pot about half full of water, brought it to a boil and threw all the vegi scraps and chicken back in. I turned the temp to low and cooked it for about 6 hours. (I read you want to do it for at least 4). 

Then I placed a strainer over a large stainless steel bowl and scooped it all out and poured into that, straining all the solids.

It has nice deep color, full of all the nutrients from many vegetables and the chicken, smells incredible and tastes delicious... I added some salt after- which maybe I would add during the cooking process next time- I had no idea how much they must salt the store bought broth to get it to taste as salty as it does. This was not salty at all... so salt to your preferred taste.
I would have loved to pour this into Mason canning jars to store, but I can't find a store here that sells them, so I just poured it back into the big pot and put it in the fridge. I will use as much as I can in my cooking in the next three days and then freeze the rest. I read that it will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days and can be in the freezer about 3 months or longer. A great idea I came accross was to let it cool and then pour it into ice cube trays to freeze that way, then once frozen you could put them in a bag and easilly just grab a few for a recipe...
Super easy, smell was heaven, tastes delicious and perfect for the season... even if we are in Miami...

"We're being mischevious!"

The kids were having so much fun in the kithen, I thought they were playing with toy trucks...however....

Believe it or not, that is a happy face...

How could I say "no, stop" ? They were having so much fun!

So I decided just to laugh and get the camera.

Elle says, "Look mama, we're being mischecvious!" (One of her latest new words)

Thank you Quaker Oats.... they had a blast! =)

Elle's Soccer Ball

Elle made this at the park! It started with the grass thing on the right... she wanted a ball and we didn't have one so we made one with grass stuffed into a leave wrapped around and tied with long grass- it actually held! And then it just went on from there... Elle found all this stuff and made her own "soccer ball"... Looks kind of like a canoe to me... you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

1 degree to 75 degrees

BRRRR... Wisconson was FREEZING... actually well below freezing... 1 degree actually. What a neat little farm and a wonderful family. The dad had just had brain surgery and they thought he would be "down and out" for weeks, but he miraculously healed SO FAST and was super capable even by the time I got there. It was such a fun visit, not nearly as much work for me as I had anticipated. Their two girls were PERFECT playmates for Elle, she had a blast. They were so sweet to her and shared all their dolls/toys, they taught her how to sew and helped her make a little stuffed fish, it was adorable how well they played together. Christian was a bit of a wreck, which was tough, but they understood (they have 5 kids and the 5th in particular is a tough kid) and after the first day we realized that his ear was bothering him and putting slightly warmed garlic oil in it immediately helped him.
They have the CUTEST baby Jersey cow ever. I have never seen such an adorable animal. Their mama pig was about to give birth and they had the sweetest pony. Elle got to ride her and loved it. Their older boy, Miles, was so fun to watch ride her- he loved to make her run. They road bare back of course- in the snow and it was a terrible photo opportunity to miss... They had another horse that wasn't quite broke yet and I was in love. My grandpa had horses when I was young and so I know a little about them. I have a real special place in my heart for horses. They don't seem realistic as they cost a lot and don't make any money- but I just love how they become your friend and I love their spirit and energy. There is something wonderful about brushing them, petting their soft ears and noses and of course the thrill of running them. Maybe someday... My aunt and uncle have a horse that will massage you with it's lips! It is the wierdest, most wonderful thing! The family also had the dada pig (boar) and a bunch of chickens. All these animals live in the barn in the winter- as there was about 16'' of snow in their pasture. It made me thankful for Washington weather- our animals can be out on pasture all year round. If you think 5 months of rain can drag on- could you imagine 5 months of snow on the ground and temperatures that rarely reach above freezing- often getting so cold that if the kids went outside to play without gloves, they could easily get frostbite!? For us, it was so fun to see snow- Elle was begging from Tennessee on (where we first saw snow on the side of the road) for me to pull over so she could eat some. She had fun sledding and eating snow to her hearts content.
The family had so much love from nearby family and friends. So many people brought meals. It was an incredible example of how willing people are to help and support one another. I was so glad to be a part of it. We didn't stay as long as we had thought we would, as they were so well taken care of and we missed Michael since we had just been gone the week before in Washington. It was a lot of driving in one week, but the kids did remarkable.
 Love to the Harrison family- thank you for having us!