Monday, March 18, 2019

Winter 2018 - 2019

We had barely 10 inches of snow, grand total, most of the season. There were a couple of bitterly cold days in January. Below 0. Maybe 2 or 3 days. I don't mind the snow so much but I really hate the cold!

It wasn't all that bad overall. I never did get out my quilted Carhartt overalls. Or my sheepskin hat. That's my real measure of how bad the winter was!

We had barely any plowable snow until 12 February.

12 February

Oh. Pretty enough. Not much of it. It does have a certain cozy charm. Nice day for hot chocolate!

And then, interestingly, on 3 March, 5 inches of snow was forecast. The snow hadn't even started at 11:00 pm and then, by 6:00 am, 4 March, we had this!

4 March

It really must have been snowing to beat the band! I'd guessed it was maybe 12 to 15 inches of snow fell in what was, at the most, 7 hours. That's a pretty good steady rate.

Turned out to be 18 inches

Of course it's not over yet. We have plenty of severe wintry weather in March and April but the worst of it is over. And it never ever goes below 0 after the first week of March!

And I did manage to make lots of soup this season. That was a goal!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mushroom Soup

I'm not crazy about the wintertime. I don't mind snow so much but I *really* hate the cold.

The only two redeeming things about wintertime are rich hot soups and all kinds of comfort food. Last year I was off my soup game. I'm not sure why really. I was distracted sure. Between farm work and the ice I just hadn't fixed soup like I'd wanted to.

This year I was determined not to have that happen again and have made soup frequently. Lentil and cabbage soup are probably my favorites. Tortellini soup is right up there and of course there's always chicken soup. And here in New England there are all kinds of chowders.

And then there's this.

Wild Rice and Mushroom soup

I made this a week or so ago and I swear it's just about the best soup ever. I'd made a vegetarian Bolognese with mushroom duxelles and I had some leftover mushrooms. Here, loosely adapted from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman appearing in the NY Times:

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Half a medium onion, chopped
  • One carrot, sliced
  • One celery rib, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Minnesota wild rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth (no salt added, I used homemade)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 t thyme, 1/2 t parsley, 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Cider vinegar, to taste, a t or two
It looks like a long list of ingredients but this is easy. I don't do anything that's hard.

  • Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 1/3 cup boiling water from a kettle for 30 minutes or so. Strain and reserve the liquid for later. Some people run the liquid through some cheesecloth or a coffee filter. I don't bother.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until they soften, maybe 5 minutes.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the saucepan. With a pinch of salt. Cook them over high heat until they start to soften, maybe 3 minutes or so. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, after a minute or two, add the thyme and the parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Add the wine and reduce to at least half over high heat. Add the reserved porcini mushroom water. Add the chicken stock, water, and bay leaf, bring to a boil.
  • Add the re-hydrated porcini mushrooms, wild rice, bring back to a boil reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an hour, covered.
  • Add the peas.
Season the soup to your liking. I splash in the cider vinegar at serving time. Best soup I've had in a very long time!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boring winter!

This has been a *very* boring winter.

I fell off my horse in December just before Christmas and broke a rib. Oh that hurt like hell! I'm getting a little too old for that and I don't heal as fast as I used to. I've been way off my game. I think I'm just going to have to start using a much as that disappoints me.

Of *course* it was my fault. We'd had a good ride and we were cooling off just shuffling around and...*boom* she's off and running for her life. Leaving me in a heap. I got caught off guard and yes I know better. Ain't that always the case. I used to be pretty good at falling off a horse but now? Not so much.

We've had a couple of *really* cold days but not hardly any snow. Sloppy ice storm a week or so ago. As much as I hate the wintertime a blizzard would be exciting right about now. At least...this time of has a certain charm that's hard to describe.

Speaking of which. I pack in Chef Boyardee ravioli and Beefaroni for my "storm" food. In case we lose power for any length of time. At least I'll have a lantern, a book and my Chef Boyardee for the duration. But. It came to my attention some time ago that Chef Boyardee ravioli and Beefaroni use HFCS! And no. I do *not* knowingly eat HFCS.

But...thanks to FoodTalkCentral this also came to my attention! Throwback recipe!

Yes, it uses sugar and no, it's not like I eat a lot of this stuff. I don't think added sugar is good for you either. But hey, with this stuff in the pantry I might just look forward to a power failure!

A childhood favorite! And still a guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Happy trails!

Our new home has some trails out in the back.

Thursday 8 November

We can easily spend 45 minutes in the woods and it's mostly easy going. As you can plainly see this a most beautiful sparkling pleasant fall day. No bugs!

And..on the other side of the woods...


L knows the field is on the other side of the woods! She really enjoys these trail rides! On the other side of the field, beyond the trees are power lines. I used to ride those power lines 25 years ago. There's been a lot of construction out there in the past 20 years. Entire neighborhoods with 30 and 40 houses sprang up almost overnight. Said really. People still think of this as being "out in the country" but it's not at all like it used to be.

But we can still ride for hours out under the power lines!

Monday, October 22, 2018

America in Crisis!

OK. I typically avoid political commentary in my blog. But. Oh. Please.

There's a caravan of a thousand migrants in Mexico! Heading north! To America! It's a crisis! George Soros paid them! It's those democrats! Better call out the army!

<rant on>I'm sorry. So sorry. But really. They're mostly hardened criminals! There are MIDDLE EASTERN people with them! Call out the army! Um. That's not legal, btw.

But. seriously. Jesus H! This has reached a completely absurd level. OMG! They might want to clean toilets! Or wash dishes in restaurants! Or pick lettuce for a dollar an hour in the hot sun! They're going to take your jobs and make bombs! They want better lives for their kids! They don't want to be murdered by gangs!

I lived through the 60s. This is crazy. I am just so appalled.

Seriously. This is so completely ridiculous. So much so it's hard to believe adults are exchanging rhetoric over it.<rant off>

America's in crisis alright.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Last ear!

I always track my first and last ears of corn. I love corn and I'll eat corn almost every day during the local corn season.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Actually, that was my last ear. The very last of the season was the next day. So. Next 4th of July you can bet I'll be counting the days!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Polo 2018

The annual polo match to help fund the Norfolk Hunt Club was Sunday 9 September. As always everyone had a wonderful time. The event of the season!

Biscotti and lemon muffins

Air Force flyover

I guess so long as they were up there they went and flew over Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots' season opener...

Now this was absolutely hilarious. The county sheriff's office and the National Park Service always have mounted representatives on the grounds. It's wonderful PR and everyone just loves the horses. But this year...Godzilla was in attendance.

And to see this big 18 hand Percheron snorting and huffing and crow hopping over Godzilla was a riot! Oh. Ya. You give a big spooky horse like that a lot of room!

Note the posture. Horse on left.
Pat on the nose?

To be fair that sherriff's department horse was a young horse still in training. The Park Service horse could not have cared less! It was great fun watching them work.

And there was good action on the field making for a high scoring match.

And the half time show was a musical dressage presentation by Katie Robicheaux. I'm sorry, I don't remember the horse's name. I should have taken notes! But make no mistake they were just lovely together.

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