I’m not sure how much blogging I’m going to do going forward, but the mood struck me today so here’s my first of the year.
Our lives have changed so much in the last year. Lee tore up his rotator cuff and had unsuccessful surgery. He had to sell all of the hogs because they’re just too much for him now. We have our small flock of sheep and the 2 remaining elderly ponies to care for. Lee has a lot of time on his hands these days….eeeek! I bought a couple of jigsaw puzzles to hopefully give him something to do on the cold winter days. So far we haven’t had much snow, so no snowmobiling for him yet.
I made a delicious cream of mushroom soup. Rich and satisfying. I adapted a recipe from eatingwell.com, but mine doesn’t resemble the original much. This is made in the slow cooker and takes about 5 hours.
1. Sautee 2 cups of diced shallots and 2 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil.
2. Add a little more olive oil and add 1 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms. Any kind you like. Continue to sautee until mushrooms are slightly browned and softening.
3. Add 1 cup of sherry and bring it to a simmer to burn off the alcohol.
4. Add 4 cups of beef broth. Pour soup into slow cooker vessel.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme.
6. Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and add to soup.
7. After 4 to 5 hours on low, add 1/2 pint of heavy cream. Bring to serving temp and serve.
It’s been a long and difficult summer. We did have some high spots, but also several lows.
One of the highs was the unexpected birth of our little kitten Henry. He’s been so much fun to watch and play with. The kids love going to the barn to play with him. He’s a barn kitty, but tame and not afraid of anyone. I plan to get him neutered when he’s old enough.
My daughter Kay, and granddaughter Regan were here for a week. They hadn’t been back to Wisconsin (they live in CT) for 4 years so it was great to have them. Our visit was a good one. Their trip was not so good as Kay’s suitcase was lost and never found. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures! I have no idea why I didn’t.
The summer has been long and hot, and humid. We’re now into mid September, and still dealing with temps in the 80’s. That’s not normal for Wisconsin. On August 28 Our area of the state was hit by a crazy storm system. When all was said and done, the weather folks counted 19 tornados in this area. One of them hit our farm and we lost lots of trees. An ancient black walnut, and an equally ancient giant maple tree. Several pine trees that we planted 30 years ago. Too many trees to count. The property looks so changed and because it’s been so hot, we sure miss the shade.
Oh my gosh, the mosquitoes! I’ve never seen them so thick. They rise up in heavy clouds with each step across the yard. The bites are numerous and itchy. We’ve found that the only relief is a 40% DEET spray. The regular 25% spray does nothing. We’re waiting for some cold weather to kill off all the nasty bugs.
Our old mini horse stallion died in July. He was nearly 31 years old and had lived here for 25 of those years. He choked and although we (with the vet) worked on him for over 2 hours we just couldn’t resolve it. He was also suffering congestive heart failure and our efforts to break up the choke just became to hard for him. We made the decision to euthanize him. It was a very hard day. Our vet was amazing. Artie was loved by all who knew him
I decided that I’m done expanding my Christmas village. I have filled my available space. Merry Christmas !
We had our annual fall visit from the Michigan cousins last weekend. We always have a good time with them.This time we took a day trip to Wisconsin Dells on Saturday, which Ron had always wanted to see. We went on the Upper Dells boat trip and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. Temp was 68/70, not a cloud in the sky, light breeze. We were on the top (open) deck. We wandered around town for a short while, had big,juicy burgers in a bar, and bought fudge for our dog sitter.
On Friday night we went out for fish fry at our favorite tavern in town. The food was good, as always.
It was a fun weekend.
No real resolutions for 2017. I would like to get serious about playing my ukulele so that’s going to be a goal for me. I’d like to do a better job of blogging too, but I can’t figure out what direction to take with it. I do enjoy sharing recipes so I know I’ll continue to do that.
I have some milestones coming up this year. My 70th birthday in March, and our 30th anniversary in October. No plans yet for either event.
I made a delicious lentil soup last night. Here’s what I put in it. I used the slow cooker, but it could be made in an Instant Pot or on the stove top.
Lentil with Ham Soup
1 pound lentils
1 ham bone or smoked hock
2 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes with celery/peppers/onion
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
I used the ham bone just to flavor the soup. I didn’t pick the meat off into the soup.
Happy New Year!