Slathered the bird with a butter/EVOO garlic herb sauce, under the skin and on it. Roasted the bird on a bed of dressing. I thought it a fair idea but the chicken grease (and all that butter and oil) turned it into a greasy slop. I put the dressing under the broiler for a while to try to crisp the top some and that helped a little. I managed to eat a spoonful without gagging. The chicken was great!
Roasted some cauliflower while the chicken rested and made a lemony butter sauce (beurre blanc) that worked very well on the veggies and on the chicken.
About being tired of turkey yet, I mean. This soup worked about as expected, the only thing I wish I had done different was adding the broccoli as early as I did. Should have waited but ran ran into the “simmer the soup for a long time” mindset. You know what I’m talking about-start it at a simmer and wander by now and again to stir it around a bit. Some veggies just can’t stand long simmers, and broccoli is right there at the top of that list. Bean, carrots, onions, potatoes? Sure you can overcook a carrot but an overdone carrot still looks pretty good. Overcooked broccoli? It’s just sad looking.
Used a couple of those parsnips I bought, never put any of those in a soup before. They held up fine but the very nature of the dish means that their particular flavor was lost-melded with the flavors of every other veggie in there: Carrots, potatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. I spooned some parsnip chunks out individually just to see what I could tell, texture little different from the potatoes, I could tell it wasn’t a carrot by taste but that was about all.
I made the usual loaf of bread to go with the soup. Used the machine with the basic recipe for white bread but I added lard rather than the butter the recipe called for. I’m not going to make a judgement on the basis of a single loaf but I can say that this loaf turned out just fantastic. I wish I could say that every loaf I’ve made in this unit turned out just the same but that would not be true. There have been few outright failures and different loaves have risen differently. Not sure I can attribute any particular change to a certain thing like bad yeast, or too much flour, or some other technical item-when a loaf fails I generally shrug and make the best of what comes out. I will be making the next loaf with lard again.
Mrs J was rummaging through the big freezer, looking for something for dinner tonight. She found a corned beef brisket but set it back. Then she found a bag of lamb chunks that I had put back for more gyros and had forgotten all about. Lamb sounded good so we thawed it. Wasn’t sure what to do with it but it never hurts to marinade it so I mixed up a marinade and poured it over the chunks in a plastic bag and refrigerated it while I surfed some recipes. This one looked pretty good. It was for lamb shanks but it seemed easily adapted for the meat I had. Do I have pictures? You betcha!
The rain continues, so soup sounds good for the weekend. I’m also going to make a batch of skillet biscuits to go with this. I think the weekend will consist of rain, old movies, a good book and a very warm comforter. The bedding plants will have to wait.
Chunky Vegetable Soup
- 6 mushrooms, washed & sliced
- 1 onion, peeled & sliced
- 2 red potatoes, cubed (peeling opt)
- 8 oz baby carrots
- 1 turnip, peeled & cubed
- 15 oz can white beans
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ to 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp marjoram
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 6 oz Ruote (wheel shaped pasta)
- 4 oz shredded mozzarella
Saucepan or Slow-Cooker
In saucepan, sauté mushrooms and onions in 1 tbsp of butter. Add all ingredients, except cheese, bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer on medium to medium-low for 20-30 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese.
If you are using a Slow-Cooker, add all ingredients, except pasta & cheese, to Slow-Cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours (check manufacturer’s directions). Add pasta 20 minutes before serving, turn up to high and let boil, uncovered. Once pasta is tender, serve with shredded cheese.
Herb gardens are easy, fun and tasty. You’ll need the following:
- Large container (large pot, basket or wash tub) – a 16″ pot can hold 5 – 6 plants, so the larger the container, the more herbs you can have.
- Organic potting soil (no fertilizers, no chemicals, no soil polymers – those beads that hold water in soil)
- Broken pot shards or large stones
- Assortment of herb seeds and herb plants
Start by placing the pot in a sunny location near your kitchen, so you’ll be more likely to step outside and use your herbs as needed. Place large stones on the bottom to encourage drainage. Fill with soil.
Now you’re ready for your herbs. Herbs grow quickly, but you may want to add basil, oregano and rosemary plants, as they grow more slowly and it will give you some instant herbs to use while you wait for your other herbs to mature. Plant herbs you know you’ll use, but try a few different ones to experiment with. Chives, dill, Italian parsley, sage, thyme are good to start with. Add any of the following: Lemon Thyme, Cilantro, Marjoram, Mint for some additional flavors.
Once the container is planted, water well and keep moist, but don’t over water. Harvest often, by pinching back an inch or so of leaves to use in your recipes. For chives, give them a haircut, again about 1-2 inches at a time. Frequent harvesting will keep herbs growing and from going to seed to quickly. Once plants bolt (develop seed heads) their flavor diminishes.
I tried to find a video to embed on planting, but most used chemically enhanced soils or polymer beads for moisture retention, neither of which I recommend. Herbs will grow well in good soil, no need for chemical fertilizers and the jury is still out on if polymers become toxic when they breakdown. Why take chances?
If you’re going on vacation, water your container well, then take a 2-liter soda bottle, fill it completely with water, turn upside-down and bury the open top in soil. It will release water over a week or so. If you can, move the container out of direct sunlight while you are away. Better yet, ask a neighbor to look after your pot in exchange for fresh herbs they can harvest while you are away.
It’s easy, it’s fun and if you have kids, it’s a great way to introduce them to gardening.