Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cactus Rose

It's another sunny day!!!

The farmer and I are having
a lovely get-away from the crazy Winter
weather back home.

We couldn't have planned it better...
it showed -27 on the dashboard as we headed for 
the airport at 4 a.m.!!

Temperatures of +26,
sunny skies,
Palm trees,
fragrant flowers,
and friends
greeted us at our destination.

We are blessed!

The best part is
that after a week of struggling freaking out
with my computer
(upgrading my software, crashes, etc. - it's a long story)
I have figured out a 
complicated way to post pictures 
onto my blog again.

I was beginning to turn into a
Cactus Rose instead of a Rhubarb one.

Till next time .......... stay warm and safe!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Split Pea Soup - Memories of NFLD

The other day I made
and we've been enjoying
the left-overs!

This cold stormy weather is
perfect for making
split pea soup,
reminiscent of one that
we enjoyed several years
ago on a fun trip
to Newfoundland!

Split Pea Soup

2 Cups dried yellow or green split peas (I like to use the yellow ones)
8 Cups light chicken stock
Trimmed ham bone plus 2-3 Cups cooked ham
1 Cup onions – finely chopped
1 Cup celery – finely chopped
1 Cup carrots – finely chopped or sliced
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp. savory
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
Preheat heavy bottom pot, add the oil and butter and the chopped vegetables, simmer for a few minutes or until translucent.  Wash the peas and strain them well – add them to the pot along with the bay leaves and savory.  Add all the stock and the ham bone – simmer gently for 1-2 hours or until peas are softened and begin to melt.  Stir often so it doesn’t burn.  Add water to make it the right consistency if it becomes a bit too thick.  Remove the bone from the soup and save any meat remaining on the bone – trim and chop or shred. Set aside.  At this point you can use a stick blender if desired to slightly blend the peas (I like to leave it a bit chunky).  Add the meat back into the soup and heat through. Serve with dumplings and chopped chives.
To make the dumplings:
2 Cups Flour, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, 1 Tbsp. butter – crumbed together.  Knead together with a little water or milk.  Make small rolls of dough, drop balls into hot soup and cook for 20 minutes.

I can't believe that
our trip to that
beautiful island was over
6 years ago.
I'd go back anytime.
It was one of our most memorable

The farmer and I are planning
another wee trip.
This time to a sunny and warm
spot, due South from here.

My next post may be an inspired
guacamole or perhaps some

Till next time .............. stay warm wherever you are and for goodness sake - have some hearty soup!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Storm Day Ham Supper!

Today was a very stormy day
and I was "dog tired"
I felt like having a Macie day
laying in front of the warm wood stove.

Macie, our sweet granddoggie!

However, I forced myself off the couch,
took a deep breath
and decided it was a grand day instead
to take down the Christmas decorations!
A few trips to the basement
to gather up the storage bins
and the undecorating began.

While unwinding the garlands
and carefully placing the trims
back in their boxes,
the house filled with the aroma
of the Bone-In Ham Roast
(recipe below)
that I had popped into the oven
an hour before.

The storm raged on, the
school buses were cancelled,
and highways were slippery and 
snow covered.

I was thankful to be "stormed
in" at home and happy to have
found the energy to make it
a productive day!

Bone-In Smoked Ham Roast
This ham roast has been a family favourite for many years. My mother made it often.
used my sister Marie's dry mix recipe to rub on the roast. It was delicious!
1 Tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp. thyme, Paprika, and Garlic Powder

Carefully trim the rind from the roast leaving a layer of fat on the meat - discard the rind (this is optional).  Score the remaining fat left on the roast into diamond shapes.

Rub the seasoning mix all over the trimmed roast and stud with whole cloves.

Put prepared meat into the roast pan, fat side up, add a sliced onion, 2 Cups apple juice or ginger-ale.   Cover and roast at 400F for about 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325F for 3-4 hours.

Of course, a Ham Dinner
isn't complete without
Scalloped Potatoes!!!

I made a small casserole of Scalloped potatoes the way my Mom always made them (without a recipe)!

Grease bottom and sides of roast pan.  Divide the ingredients to make 3 layers starting with the sliced potatoes in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle each layer of potatoes with some flour, salt, chopped onion, pepper, and dollops of butter.
Pour scalded milk over all (enough to fill pan approx. 1/3 full).  Bake for 1 1/2 -  2  hours at 350F.

The storm raged on
and by the time the farmer came home
for supper,
the decorations were mostly taken
down and our evening meal was 
almost ready!

Just made a quick batch of
a broccoli slaw salad,
and we were ready to eat!


Whew - now I'm definitely
ready to hit the couch.

How was your first day back to 
the real world since Christmas???

Till next time ...... bracing for some more stormy and record breaking cold days ahead.
Stay safe out there!

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