Posts Tagged Soup
The weekend is a good time for grazing. This is a summary of some of the delightful Blog articles I have been reading during the week. I invite you to graze through these, and also through the archives of the creative writers who have written about appetizing recipes, food preparation, gardening, canning and preserving, aspects of nutrition, homesteading and life’s choices, hopes and lessons.
You can access the entire Weekend Highlights series to date by clicking on that category in the sidebar at left.
Let’s begin with something new. In fact, there are two new Blogs on our list this week.
Living in a small space certainly puts things in perspective, a perspective only those who choose this lifestyle can discover and fully understand. “A Dozen Other Places Doesn’t Exist in a Small Home” is precisely about the occasional disconnect between two worlds, but it is always with good humor that they reconcile each other. It is not a battle, after all, but simply a difference in lifestyle and there are as many styles as there are personalities.
The author’s small-scale living was featured in a Mother Earth News article. The Blog is titled Living Large in Our Little House. It brings to light that people who choose to live small often have a very broad vision of the world. Living small changes our attachment to things. We cherish the afternoon reading in the corner chair for the peace of the moment and the joy of reading, not because of the chair! It is a matter of personality though and at some point in life we all downsize some aspect of our circumstances; sometimes it is our living quarters, sometimes it is how much time we spend at work.
“If you live in a small space,” asks the author, “what is the biggest misconception you face about the size of your home? If you don’t live in a small space, what do you believe to be true about a small space?… It is a trade-off, this small house living, and it’s why small home dwellers embrace the William Morris quote, ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful…” [Read Full Article]
“Something has to be done about the fighting,” casually announces Cecilia of The kitchen’s Garden, or Miss C for her current audience, which happens to consist of roosters, hens and sheep. “I had a discussion in the barn last night about the cockfights in the farmyard,” she begins and they promptly respond. Little Chick: “It wasn’t me! I never broke it! I didn’t even know you had one! I never did nothing!” Miss C: “You never did nothing is a double negative.” Little Chick: “Yeah, yeah I never did that neither…”
No worries, every one of the creatures in this cast of characters is pampered and loved. This is why they are so nonchalant, carefree and playful. This visual blog, interspersed with dialog between Miss C (the author) and her farmyard friends, is a pleasure to read. It seems it could be the beginning of a long series. I pictured her standing amidst the creatures, speaking out loud as she imagined the conversation, inspired by the looks on their faces. Perhaps when she walks away they make up a story of their own. [Read Full Article]
“While searching for a can of soup in my pantry at the last minute before running out the door, late for work with no leftovers from the night before,” recalls Canning Granny, and finding nothing to my liking… the idea popped into my head… why don’t I can up some GOOD soup, with ingredients I recognize… The idea progressed… I could can the soup in wide mouth pint jars… reheat at work IN THE JAR, and eat. How easy would that be? *Head Slap* Why had I not thought of this before???”
In the three Grab ‘N’ Go Canned Soup articles that follow this head-slap realization, the author offers her own recipes. We are familiar with dried soup mixes in jars in country stores. These make elegant and useful gifts, but they require an extra step: cooking. We all make large batches of soup at some point and store portions in the freezer for later use, but how often does it occur to us to make soup portions to grab ‘n’ go? This idea takes a common practice to another, even more practical level. It combines convenience and wholesomeness.
Each recipe includes a printable version that may very well inspire your favorite concoctions. “There’s also no rhyme or reason for the order the layers go in,” points out the author about her own process, “I chose by color, light colors and white, followed by bright colors of carrot, green been, etc.” Soup in a jar that shows me the wholesome ingredients I have poured into it myself seems far more appealing than the best of soups hidden behind a commercial label, and just the sight of it surely brings to mind the aroma that permeated the kitchen while it cooked. True comfort to go!
Part 1: Hamburger Vegetable Soup
Part 2: White Bean Chicken Chili
Part 3: Layered Chicken Veggie Soup
Thank you for stopping by to read this Weekend’s Review. Please take a moment to leave a few words on the Blogs you enjoy, if you feel so inclined that is.
Food beliefs are not limited to the kitchen. Ancient Egyptians believed onions kept evil spirits away. When they took an oath, they placed one hand on an onion. Can you see this in a modern courtroom?
Throwing rice at a wedding is a superstitious tradition believed to bring prosperity, happiness and wealth to the couple. If you think about it, with the amount of money people spend on weddings nowadays, would it not be more sensible to throw cash at the newlyweds, rather than rice?
Food and dining have long been the source of countless beliefs and superstitions. If you think about it, perhaps this is because food is so closely related to human relations. Food preparation and consumption are a process, one that demands rules (do not open the oven door before the cake is baked or it will flatten) and decorum (hold your fork just so).
From proper food storage and preparation to table manners, food-related superstitions and beliefs abound. Some are based on fact: the cake will flatten if you open the oven door too soon. Others are based on accepted rules: clutching your fork with your fist simply does not look very distinguished. Others yet defeat explanation, but remain entertaining nonetheless.
Consider salt. We all know the one about throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder for good luck, but why salt and why the left shoulder? It was believed that evil spirits dwelt on the left-hand side of the body, thus by throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder you might actually throw it into the devil’s eyes. We continue this tradition to this day, almost automatically and often playfully. Surely the devil is nowhere near the kitchen and surely getting salt in his eyes might irritate rather than overpower him. But Granny digresses.
The ancient Greeks, famous for their lavish feasts, believed that due to its preservative abilities salt was the repository of life itself. They also believed it to be a symbol of friendship. Thus spilled salt foretold the end of a friendship. In Britain and Europe, country folks often carried a small salt pouch on their person for luck in their dealings. Incidentally, the word salary originated from the Latin, Salarium, which is the allowance given to Roman soldiers to purchase salt.
Other beliefs about food and dining defy explanation. “If you drop a knife on the floor, a man will knock at your door; if you drop a fork, it will be a woman.” Why not a stork for a fork? Should it not rhyme? Precisely; no rhyme or reason. Let us enjoy a few more.
“She that pricks bread with fork or knife will never be a happy maid or wife.” However, when peeling an apple in one continuous peel, a maiden should toss it over her shoulder, the peel that is. Upon landing on the floor, it will be the first letter of the name of the man she will marry.
When pouring tea, bubbles in your cup represent money, thus, “You’ve got money in your cup. Take your spoon and drink it up!” This one conjures up a funny memory. Granny had been invited to join a friend to lunch at the home of an elderly couple. She had never met these fine folks before, so she was on her best behavior. The conversation was light and cheerful. The woman did most of the talking. She was the lady of the house, after all. She served a deliciously aromatic soup.
Eating in good company, her husband seemed to relax a bit and began to join the conversation, but every time he raised his head from his bowl of soup to say a word his wife, who had up until this moment appeared good-natured, slammed her spoon down on the table and commanded, “Eat your soup!” A few more words from hubby… “Eat your soup!” One more attempt; he looked like he had something very interesting to share… “Eat your soup!” Granny lost her appetite on the spot. My friend seemed unperturbed. To this day, I almost believe they were putting on a show and enjoying the look on my face. I am certain they laughed uproariously when I left.
The table is the source of many beliefs and superstitions also. How about this one? When rising from the table, try to not move your chair, for this is a sure sign that you have lied at some time during conversation. Furthermore, to fold your napkin or place your chair back against the wall after a meal will prevent you from ever being a guest at that table again. Granny must have inadvertently folded her napkin or moved her chair at the soup luncheon, for she was indeed never invited again.
Perhaps the man was deaf and unaware of this belief, “If you are deaf, eating onions mixed with ant eggs will cure your deafness.” Now I wonder what was in the soup.