Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beef Barley Soup for the Soul

I'm slowly getting back into my kitchen to cook and bake beyond using the microwave to reheat restaurant left-overs.

Before the craziness of the past month started I was rooting around in the pantry and found that I had a package of seasoning for slow cooker pot roast. I also had a 2lb roast in the freezer left over from cutting my own steak tips. Since I'm still following the Pantry Plan as much as possible, I made a great meal that I could eat several times and still have some left overs to toss in the freezer to make soup at a later date.

While my mom was here Indian Summer gave way to late fall; which means soup and stew season is officially here. Using the left over pot roast, another container of home made beef stock, a package of stew meat I found on sale at Stop and Shop, and a large bag of frozen mixed veggies I had in the freezer, I threw together a large pot of beef barley soup for us to have over the course of several evenings.

Beef Barley Soup

One of the other things I love about using freezer left overs for soup is it always makes enough that I can share with the neighbors too. The soup and a loaf of Irish oat bread were a perfect way to introduce myself to my new upstairs neighbors.

I still have a little left over and tonight, after a long day in the city on a construction site and coming home with the beginnings of a cold, I heated the last of the soup up, fixed myself some toast after I fed Curley and Larry, two of my starters who are happily bubbling away on my counter for some serious bread baking over the weeekend, and settled down to watch Keith Olbermann and Rachael Maddow.

All in all, a pretty darn good evening...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Banned from the Post Office By A Burger Joint

After being here by my side through the past month to help me through the loss and aftermath of Wren's death, my mom left for the family home in Michigan today. I can't believe how quiet my apartment is tonight after the evenings we've spent cooking, watching old romance movies on video/DVD, and laughing and crying together. I couldn't have made it through this without her and I'm so thankful she was able to be here with me.

If you've been a long time reader, you know my mom and I are more than mother/daughter but also best friends and traveling companions. One of the things I can always count on my mom for on any visit or trip is a moment uncontrollable levity and unplanned hilarity.

Considering the reason for her trip this past month, I wasn't really expecting to have one of those moments but today, thankfully, my mom provided not only me but the entire counter staff at the Saugatuck Post Office with the ultimate verbal slip-up and the best laugh I've had in a month.

We were at the post office to mail the last two of eight boxes we've shipped back to Michigan this afternoon before leaving for the airport and having a grand conversation with one of the clerks who has visited my home town in Michigan. We were discussing air travel and the trails and tribulations of airport food when the subject of good burger joints near airports came up. While trying to remember the name of a regional burger chain from Michigan my sweet, innocent, crap is a dirty word mother uttered the following:

"OH I know what burger chain you are talking about Muddfu@#ers!"

"Um...Mom, I think you mean Fuddruckers."

Between the clerks trying not to burst out laughing and the sudden dawning on my mother's face when she realized what she had actually said I didn't think I would get out of the post office without peeing my pants.

Thanks Mom! I needed that and the clerks at the Saugatuck Post Office can't wait until you come back in the Spring. I've already booked you for two shows daily...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some Changes...

First, thank you everyone for your kind comments, emails and phone calls expressing your care, sympathy and concern about the loss of Wren. It has meant so much to me, my family and his family. Your support has been one of the rocks that we have clung to during this really difficult time of grief and now recovery.

I'm not quite ready to come back to blogging full time as there are still many things I have to do to finalize his affairs and the estate. But, very soon, I think I will feel the knead (yes, a little bread humour there) to come back to baking and cooking.

Unfortunately, one of the changes I have to make is finding a hosting service for the Sour Dough because this site has been hosted since it's inception on a server located in our living room. On this up coming Saturday, October 18, I will be shutting that server down for the last time and my site will go down until I can take a bit of time to move all the files to a new server.

So, I'm going to be redirecting to my blogger backup site for a bit starting tomorrow on Friday, October 17. Don't worry, you won't have to do anything drastic to find me because, if all goes well and I don't do a boo-boo on the name servers on Go Daddy, when you go to it should redirect automagically. It also means that my email address will be redirecting as well. I hope it won't take too long to catch up with me! But, if you don't get a reply back quickly, understand that there may be a little delay.

Again, thank you all for your care and concern.