You just never know what is going to happen. Last week one of the ladies during breakfast said that she had to make a dish for her church supper. She was having a hard time figuring it out. Then a light bulb went off and she decided on Strawberry Bisque. Sounds a little strange but it is great! This morning I was given the recipe and a big mug that I drank like coffee. Delish!!
This one was a joint effort tonight. I cut up the veggies and Mark did the rest.
Joint Effort Chicken Noodle Soup
1 yellow onion, minced
half a bag of those little carrots, diced
four pieces of celery, diced
a few Tablespoons of EVOO
1 package of boneless chicken thighs
two boxes of chicken stock
a little bit of thyme
salt and pepper
I cut up the onions, carrots, and celery and left the kitchen. Next time I came up I saw Mark working the veggies in the cast iron stock pot in EVOO. It smelled wonderful! He then added one box of stock and the chicken and let it cook on medium-high for about an hour. He then took out the meat and shredded it. Then he threw it all back in the pot and added everything except the noodles and cooked it for about two hours. Then he called me into to put in the noodles. I brought everything to a boil...then added the noodles I used an entire bag! Then we let it all cook for about 10 minutes.
I start by going through the freezer and grabbing up all the opened vegetable packages. Then I head for the pantry for canned tomatoes and macaroni. I also found some good vegetable paste that comes in a little squatty jar stuff way back in the back of the fridge behind the pickles. Add a few cups of water, some garlic salt, and pepper. Everything but the macaroni goes in a cooks for a bit and then about 10 minutes before it is time to eat I throw in the macaroni. It turns out pretty good all the time.
We love a good bowl od hot soup on a cold and dreary day...you know one of those days when they say we are going to have bad weather and it never really happens. That kind of day. We have had a few of those in the last week or so.
Mark's Navy Bean Soup
4 pounds of cottage ham, scored
3 Tablespoons of EVOO
1 minced yellow onion
1/4 cup of minced celery
1 pound of navy beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
In a large stock. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add navy beans pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add ham hock, onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add navy beans and stir. Continue simmering for 45 minutes to one hour or until the beans are almost cooked and ham hocks are very tender..Season with salt and continue to cook for 15 to 30 minutes, until beans are done and ham hocks are beginning to fall apart. Remove from heat. Cut the meat from the bone and stir into pot.
(I took two pints of soup to my dad's last week and he couldn't say enough about how good it was. I think if I had let him he would have licked the jars clean!)
I saw a post on FB about Appalachian Americans (Which I am very proud to say I belong to) have a tradition of cooking cabbage with money in it for luck in New Year's Day.
So I found the recipe used by my husband's grandmother and mother for cabbage rolls.
These puppies take forever to throw together. And evidently, I was supposed to use the old roaster that they were always cooked in. Sorry, I wanted to use my cast iron pot.
They looked exactly like I remember but the taste just wasn't right. They needed a little jazz to kick them up a notch.
I was the only lucky one. I found two quarters in my cabbage rolls and kraut.
Tomorrow Cabbage Roll Soup.
Mamaw's Cabbage Rolls
Blanch one head of cabbage being careful when peeling the leaves apart.
2 pounds of ground pork
1 pound of ground beef
1 cup of uncooked brown rice
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 (32 oz) can of tomato juice
1 (28 oz) package of sour kraut
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl. Steam cabbage for 5 minutes in 1/2 cup of water in the microwave. (I did mine on the stove top). Place a handful of the mixture in the cabbage and roll like you would a burrito. (One roll over and the tuck the sides in and then continue to roll until you reach the other side of the cabbage leaf.) Secure with a wooden toothpick. Place in a roasting pan. Cover the bottom with the rolls and then cover with half of the kraut and half of the tomatoes. Repeat. Bake covered for 2 1/2 hours on 350 degrees.
We have a friend family (that means we all are friends, not just the parents being friends) that live up the street. They and Mark are very willing to try just about anything. The Marks family love Ethiopian food. Tom knows a great place...can't tell you the name, or even where it is...or how wto get there. I am clueless on this one. The Marks' are good friends with the Ethiopian family. Mark can call and say he is bringing so many people and order what he thinks everyone would like. And then the magic happens.
Never in a million years had I planned to eat. I was just going to sit there and enjoy them all eating. I am a chicken when it comes to trying new foods. Family, you would be soooo proud of me!
And there is a little taco stand right out the back door.
The front of the building is a store.
The bathroom and handwashing sink. When eating this food, one must eat with your fingers using a spongy pancake-like bread.
The girls...minus Katie.
The food...the rolled things are the bread that you tear pieces off..going left from bottom middle...cabbage, spicy beef, chickpeas, beef tips with onions, two types of lintels, potatoes, and more beef tips. In the middle were three deviled eggs covered with some sort of sauce.
Almost finished...but wait there is more. There is a huge pancake as big as the plate that has soaked up all the juices. Oh my!
We licked her clean!
And with this meal you get a drink. I mean a bottle of something that you mix with mineral water. You get a solo cup with no ice.
We headed back to the Marks for sitting in front of a fire, hot tea and dunking cookies and we played Apples to Apples Jr. Fun time to unwind for my stay in WV with my dad.