Moxie & Mel











{September 21, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Wow what a whirlwind the last couple weeks have been! I have lots and lots to tell you, but I’ll try to stick to the important stuff.

First, working for 911 is really…challenging.  I’ll still be in training for the next five weeks, but I’ve already been answering non-emergency calls and will start taking the emergency calls on Friday night. Handling the calls/callers isn’t difficult; the problem for me is memorizing all of the vast amount of information you need to know. Dispatchers really do have their own language and learning it is really a challenge.

My schedule for the next few days is a bit wonky- I will be working Friday through Sunday 7pm-7am and then I will have Monday and Tuesday off, so if you don’t hear from me before those two days off, know I’ll get back with you as soon as possible!

One thing I have been enjoying is the early morning ride home. I’m not usually someone who is up with the sunrise, so getting a glimpse of it has been nice. I snapped a quick shot for you the other day, but it’s not very good (no tripod so it’s rather fuzzy).

Morning

Bubba is doing much better, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. He was thoughtful though and shared his illness freely with everyone around him. I’m still fighting it and on some pretty good doses of sinus medication which make me feel like I’m floating around in a type of other-worldly fog. Fun times!

I haven’t had much of a chance to be creative lately as all my time has been devoted to working, sleeping and trying to recover from this icky illness, so I don’t have any crafty goodness to post right yet. However, I AM gearing up to make the shower favors for Miss Christine’s baby shower- duckie soaps. Should have those pictures soon.

As for the day of cooking, I’ve never been one to stock up on food. I believe that leftovers are evil and I am totally against thawing food to cook…lol. I know it’s a time saver and all that, but … ick. However, I do love me some fresh soups!

Here’s a recipe I’m quite fond of that you ladies might enjoy adding to your list. Keep in mind that you can add all KINDS of seasoning to taste as the base is somewhat ‘bland’ to those with an herb addiction like myself. I tend to be a little free with the garlic, rosemary, basil..Everglades Seasoning..you name it.. *grin*

Broccoli Soup With Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients ~

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
61/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Instructions ~

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute.

Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in cream.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup.

Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold.

Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.
I’m off to spend some quality time with my blankee and a cuppa tea. MMM. Hot tea.

~Love as always

Moxie



{September 21, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

I was just wondering if you or any of our readers have ever done this. My cousin and I spend one day each Fall cooking and then freeze our creations in smaller portions and use them for quick meals during the winter when fresh vegetables aren’t readily available. In the past we’ve made cheesy potato soup with ham and vegetable soup with beef. Of course this long day of cooking usually requires a bottle of wine (a little for the soup, a little for the people) and involves a lot of giggling and sharing memories. That’s probably the best part, but the food is nice too. Especially for her. She has 3 girls at home and sometimes the hour it takes to make dinner is hard for her to find!

I wanted to share my vegetable soup recipe with you in case you’d like to try it!

2-3 lb. beef roast

1 large can of tomato juice

1 large can of beef stock

4 lbs potatoes

2 lbs green beans

12 ears of corn

1 large bag of frozen peas

1/2 pound of carrots

2 packages of celery hearts

2 large onions

1 large head of cabbage

2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes

Place roast in a slow cooker with 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1/2 an onion cut into chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add just enough water to cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours until the roast falls apart. While that is cooking, peel and cube potatoes, clean green beans and cut the big ones in half, cut the corn off the cob, chop celery and carrots, onion and cabbage. When meat is done, take it out of the cooker and reserve broth. Let meat cool until you can handle it. Pick it apart discarding any fat or other undesirable parts. Strain the reserved broth and add it to a large stock pot with the canned broth and tomato juice. Add carrots and celery and bring to a boil. After about 10 minutes at a rolling boil, add the meat and the rest of the vegetables and reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 1 1/2 hours. (of course frozen vegetables can be used and cooking time reduced, but that kind of defeats our purpose! LOL)

Now here’s the very important part. Let your soup cool completely before freezing. Someone once told me that if you put warm food in a cold place it will spoil much more quickly. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m not taking any chances! LOL

I hope you enjoy!

Huggz-

-mel



et cetera