Soup’s On

09/09/2010 § 2 Comments

NOT Campbell’s, this is my first ever Beef Stew from last year.

Growing up we ate soup. Chicken noodle (w/saltines), tomato (w/grilled cheese), vegetable beef (w/club or saltine crackers)…but they all came in a can, that bore a distinct red and white label with a gold seal and the words ‘Campbell’s condensed soup’ elegantly displayed. We would even go around the house singing the jingle, “Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good!”. Just add a can of water and there’s your meal. With 6 hungry, growing kids, one small can wasn’t enough, but it was still cheaper to get a few cans of soup and less time consuming than making homemade. No one had time for that in the 70’s/80’s, not with all the Miami Vice watching, shoulder pad adjusting, double-income-so-we-can-have-toys working, Atari-thumb acquiring, mix tape making, fast food eating, hair teasing and crimping, MTV video lip-syncing, Star Wars light-saber dueling we needed to accomplish. Grab a prepackaged box, stick it in the microwave and you were good to go.

So, that’s what I grew up with, in a nutshell of sorts. If you can’t nuke it, excuse me, microwave it, or make it in less that 10 minutes, you’re wasting time. Label reading? What’s that? Serving size? Isn’t it one package per person per meal? Preservatives? Micro waves are safe otherwise ‘they’ wouldn’t have let them be sold…right? Stop confusing me with the facts! Ahhhhhhhhh!

Simmering my first batch of Tomato Soup.

Now, lest you think I’m a food nazi, I want to clarify. If you have or use a microwave, I’ll still love you. If you buy prepackaged food and the fast food drive-thru clerks know you by name, I’ll still love you. Even if you frequently consume mass quantities of preservatives and like it, I’ll still love you. There’s always room for grace. This is my personal perspective and the road I am traveling, feel free to join in any capacity, you are more than welcome!

The beginnings of my Potato Soup. Shhhh…it has a secret ingredient.

Now where were we? Ah yes, soup. These past few years of having a house and a husband have really changed me. For the better (right honey? Honey?). I have learned so much and have grown so much I barely recognize myself. It’s as though I have been slowly emerging out of a cocoon in order to become the child of God I was always meant to be. It’s been hard. It’s been tiring. It’s been bittersweet. It’s been real. It’s been good.

I consider part of that role to be feeding my family and actually, truth be told, this is one of my most favorite parts! I feel like I am loving my family when I take the time to prepare hearty, healthy meals for them. It’s my gift of love to them. It’s the least I can do for them living with me year-round. Besides, it’s in my genetic make-up to help, provide and take care of those I love. They are my gifts. My blessings. Anything less than my all and my best isn’t good enough for them.

When I first started making soup I was completely clueless and actually put it off for a very long time. I was afraid to mess it up. I was afraid it would be more than I could handle and if it wasn’t going to turn out like the best soup that was ever created since the dawn of time and beginning of making soup, well, why bother? (Did mention I’m a recovering perfectionist?)

Then, one day, with my nose shoved in a cookbook (a rather frequent occurrence) and all the self-talk and courage I could possibly find to muster, I tried. And you know what? IT WORKED. Yep, totally. It seriously worked. I made chicken noodle soup from my own homemade stock, oh and by ‘worked’ I mean, it was delicious, edible even. Here’s the proof:

Meet my first ever from scratch Chicken Noodle Soup!

Here it is in my pretty pink bowl.

And here it is with some yummy organic ginger peach tea and a sleeve of saltines, naturally.

That was a great day for me. A momentous, milestone of an occasion. Nervously standing over the hot stove, chopping all of the celery, carrots and onions into uniform, bite-size chunks, measuring just the right amount of sage rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, clinging to my cookbook and reading it over and over again to make sure each step was painstakingly taken in precisely the exact manner the author intended…(recovery takes awhile) all for the love of my family. *happy sigh*

So do you make your own soup? Thinking about trying it out? Happy sticking with the canned variety? What are your favorites? Any fun memories you’d like to share that come to mind?

xoxo

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Got Dill?

01/09/2010 § 7 Comments

“Darling, can you please pick me up some fresh dill from the store?”

(my darling husband is about 6′ tall…)

New Family Adventure

08/08/2007 § 4 Comments

So I’m sure you have all heard about family devotions and many of you probably already have them. Well, my husband and I have been thinking for a long time this would be a great way for him to exercise his headship and for our family to do something wonderful together. It has been a ‘planned’ thing that we keep meaning to get to. Until now…

 

We have now joined the ranks of family devotion-ers! It has been so wonderful! Asa is really taking the lead on this and it has been a blessing. To be real with you, it has been a bit awkward for my daughter and I. For 12 years it was just her and I and I was the ‘head’. Sure Asa was there for a lot of that, and he would help, but it was still my responsibility until we got married to be the head of the house. Folks, that is a LONG time to be operating in independence, not to mention the very liberal, hippie, jezebel  upbringing I had.  

 

Fast forward to being married and having to learn how to be a helpmate and not the head has been a bit challenging in some areas. It is so natural at times to just do what needs to be done and be the ‘alpha parent’. The one who does the most of the parenting all by herself without dad’s input or help. Yeah, it’s not easy. It doesn’t help when your husband is a sweet, generous loving man who has a hard time saying no. It’s amazing what happens when I step back though. I just have to keep reminding myself to be quiet and step back to let him parent and lead.

 

Well, we had a great first devotion time last week. Asa chose ‘the beatitudes’ in Matthew to start with. We are going verse by verse and trying to memorize the passage. We are doing it right after meal time while we’re all together. Asa reads the passage, gives his take on it and we have a discussion and possibly some looking up of words for deeper understanding. Then we each pray, trying to incorporate the passage we just studied. And that’s it! We keep it short and sweet and around 15 minutes. It’s been hard to keep it up on a regular basis. There are so many other things that want our attention. It is a habit that will take time to get used to, but one we want to make!  We’re just so used to running around and doing other things! It has been such a blessing to see Asa step out and do this. It has been great for me to work on letting him lead. It has been good for Lovebug to have a father that will lead her in God’s word. I am such a BLESSED woman! Thank you Lord Jesus!!

 

blessings to you and yours,

traci  🙂

 

So, what do you do when…

23/03/2006 § 6 Comments

…you look at the clock and realize it's getting way too late to really prepare the dinner you wanted to, but you have to do something before you give up and go to the nearest drive-thru?  

 

Heere eez dee recipee for success:

 

Traci's Mas Rapido Mash 

1 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken…)

1 can corn

1 can beans (red, black, kidney, pinto…)

1c cooked rice per person (white, brown, instant, regular…)

1 jar taco sauce/salsa

Seasonings:cumin, cilantro, chili powder, black pepper (salt if you want to)

 

Brown meat with seasonings(to taste-we like a lot of flavor) in skillet. Add rinsed beans, corn and already prepared rice. (You can make the rice as you're browning the meat.) Warm all ingredients in skillet and add jar of taco sauce/salsa. Simmer until warm. Ready to serve in a few minutes and feeds about 4-6 people(?)!

(There are 3 of us and we each had seconds and there was some loft over.)

 

Now, the cool thing is that this recipe can be tailored to your family's preferences. For example: make it spicy, don't use beans, don't use meat, etc.

 

There's also adding more to it when you do have time to prepare: fresh peppers, onions, jalapeno, 2 different kinds of beans, etc.

 

 You can turn it into Taco Mash and put the whole thing on a shell and add your favorite condiments for taco night.

 

Go the salad route and fix your favorite greens in a bowl, add the Mash, top with black olives, sour cream, more salsa, etc.

 

I hope you and your family enjoy this. Tell me if you try it and let me know how it worked for you!

Vaya Con Dios!!!!

Traci 😉

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