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Falling Back

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My favorite weekend of the year is coming up. Back to normal time. That extra hour to sleep, so to speak. Getting the clock back to matching the rhythm of my system.

I am not a morning person so Daylight Saving Time in the spring drives me nuts.

Other than that, what has been/will be happening around here? Much cooking and reading, through this massive book. Thanks to Howard County Library for long renewals I might make it through the entire 1000 or so pages and learn more about the science of cooking.

 

My blog turned six yesterday. Still going, but not as often. I did start it to record local eating and to promote Howard County Conservancy events.

To honor those goals, today’s posts focuses on both those topics.

First, the conservancy events.

Wanna play in the meadows? Drink cider and run around playing a fun game? Sunday, there are games in the meadow. SCAG, to be exact. What is that? Here is the description for this event at Mt. Pleasant. November 5, 10-noon.

Then, on Thursday the 9th, a rare opportunity to see a first rate performance transporting you through history.

Forging Frontiers: Rachel Carson, Sacagawea and Louise A. Boyd – Women Who Made a Difference

Appropriate for families with children age 8 and up, here is a chance to see a riveting musical performance that teaches while you enjoy the show.

As for the other main reason I started writing, the local food scene, I am pledging to continue to reduce my carbon footprint by eating more meals primarily using locally sourced foods.

From my CSA, I am back to buying a flour and grain share.

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Every other week I get a bag of flour and some type of grain. This past week it was grits. Now that I have perfected that shrimp and grits recipe from Deep Run Roots, Vivian Howard’s homage to east Carolina cooking, I have used grits frequently for variations.

shrimp and grits

Simple to make. Three cups milk. One cup grits. Double boiler, or a pan above a pot of water. It takes time, but is forgiving when it comes to stirring. The gentle heat means no burnt places. Heck, you can even just buy the shrimp from Boarman’s and make the grits. Add some hot sauce.

I have been busy cooking these days but forgetting to write about it. Right now, I am cooking my way through The Food Lab. For the cookbook club. New techniques. Old favorites updated. Using the bounty from my fall CSA.

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Now you can see why I am focusing on soups, stocks and stews. Many, many ingredients here. Those are white carrots. There is celery. There is a large leek. Escarole, chard. Soup in the fall. My go-to meal.

Here’s to a few more blog posts in my future. I haven’t given up writing yet. Just slowing down.

Chicken Soup

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The perfect thing to make when it’s cold out. Only it isn’t cold out.

But it is the perfect thing to make if you are in full bore cookie making mode. Which I am.

This is a different soup recipe. Compliments of the Amish Market in Laurel. J.R.’s stand, to be exact.

We picked up some packages of organic bean soup mix there when we visited a while ago. Yesterday I wanted to make a simple soup to use up one of the chickens in the freezer. To make room for Christmas cookie dough.

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The recipe called for a small whole chicken. This local one came in a recent Friends and Farms protein and dairy bag.

As for the rest.

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I had celery, carrots and onions from a CSA delivery at Thanksgiving. I had chopped off the tops of the celery and kept it in the freezer to use for soup.

This is slow cooked, six hour simmering chicken soup. With broth so rich it is amazing. Perfect for dinner with one of the breads from SheWolf bakery.

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I soaked two cups of the mixed beans overnight. Rinsed them and put them in a pot with water, the whole chicken and spices. This recipe called for turmeric, savory, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I added some tarragon. After the chicken was pretty much done, you take it out and strip it off the bone. I put it back, added carrots, celery and onions, and let it simmer on the small burner for three more hours.

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Look at how thick and rich the broth got. This recipe made enough soup for three meals for the two of us.

Tomorrow, while I am a cookie making machine, I can just heat it up and have an easy dinner.

I need to get back to the market and buy some more of these beans. It is the organic “harmony” mix.