Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Have to Use the Mushrooms

The Children's Home schedule has gone something like this, we take over sometime shortly after 5:00 PM on Thursday night and stay until after church on Saturday night. For a long time it was, we took over after church on Sunday morning and stayed until shortly after 5:00 PM on Tuesday night. Numerous times we stayed a week or more out at Casa Betania. My point being, essentially we live in two different places, all in one week.  I haven't seen a children's home with house parents, so I don't know what that would look like, but I like Casa Betania's hands on approach.
However, this makes grocery shopping tricky, so even on a week when I had carefully planned, one Thursday morning I woke up and looked in the fridge. And there stared up at me two large packages of mushrooms that had not been turned into soup, plainly stating that when I returned Saturday night they would be less than prime.
This is what followed. I said to myself, "Self, you don't have a lot to do today, it won't take that long to make mushroom barley soup, then you can stick it in the freezer and it will be ready for next week." Now whose the smartie pants, thank you very much. Down came one of my favorite cook books, Soup Bowl.  This is my recipe finding process, especially when I am familiar with the recipe.  Instead of going to the index, I begin flipping through the book to find the picture of mushroom barley soup.  I know it seems counter productive, but sometimes you thumb past recipes you might not have notice otherwise and so really it is an exercise in inspiration.  So the first recipe that caught my eye was Mushroom & Sherry Soup.  I had all the ingredients, but the sherry, which I omit anyway.  Hmmm....marked page and moved on.  Next I noticed Bacon & Lentil Soup.  Hmmm....actually I need to use up that package of bacon also and I have lentils that have been waiting to be used for several weeks, marked and moved on.  The picture of the Curried Chicken Soup looked so warm and yummy and it called for turnips, which I have in the garden, all other ingredients accounted for, marked it too.  Then the Garlic and Chicken Soup jumped right out at me and reminded me I had a little bit of leftover cooked chicken and garbonzo beans, marked and moved on.  Finally I made it to the Mushroom and Barley Soup, it was at the beginning of the book and I had started at the back, who knew.
Next I photo copied all five soup recipes, laid them out on the counter and got all the ingredients, only to discover I was about 15 carrots and 5 onions short.  Not to worry, because the little tienda down the street had both and the walk felt good!  With all the ingredients laid out and a little strategical planning I began chopping, stirring, and simmering.  Three hours later I had five yummy meals stashed away in the freezer and was ready to head out the door to Casa. 
I know what your thinking, boy that was random!  That is exactly what I was thinking as I looked at my jars of soup, but whatever it was a nice day.  Well the day before Thanksgiving, my back started hurting really bad, we had guest and by evening I was glad to get into bed.  I though I was mending, but a stupid move on Sunday brought me to tears.  We had planned a trip up to the States for Sam's annual VA check up and he made sure I made it to a chiropractor, the diagnoses was a herniated disc!  If I want to get well I can't lift, bend, strain, you get the idea.  Anyway, yesterday Sam was able to pull mashed potatoes and Chicken Curry Soap out of the freezer for dinner, so even with a herniated disc, my family still ate well.  Maybe it wasn't so random after all!

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