Monday, January 11, 2010
Warm in the kitchen but cold outside
Saturday was intended to be a day I worked on a few in-process projects here at home. It was (and is) extremely cold and the roads were icy in spots. However, my son called to ask if I wanted to have lunch with him. He was working opening-to-closing at the bookstore and his dad would be joining him to work around noon-ish. Hmmm... the offer of lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant. He'd bring Dad home in the evening if I wanted to drive him to work and take the car back home. I couldn't resist.
We had such a nice time chatting over spicy curry dishes... spicy by my Midwestern American standards but "not so much" with our Indian friends. Hubby doesn't "do" spice or curry so he had no desire to join us before he started work (his "beginning of semester" work week). I am blessed to have grown children who like to talk to me. I am even more blessed when either feeds me.
Christopher reluctantly returned to work after lunch and after we'd discussed the problems of the world. He's getting all the hours in he can while the semester is starting and before his class load is too heavy with homework to earn income. This semester may end up as the most difficult class-wise of his four years, which means most hours spent on campus and little time available at home. Having lunch chats over Indian food will not be as easy to arrange.
Since I was already "in town", I stopped by the library to check out A City of Bells and to peruse the room that carries donated books for sale. A stop by Starbucks on the way home to take advantage of a gift card made getting home and out of the cold even nicer as I had coffee to sip and books to peruse.
The aroma of baked beef bones and onion met me at the door. I had just placed the makings for beef broth in the oven when Christopher called so I let them bake until I left and then turned the oven off so they could continue browning in the residual heat. The browned beef, soup bones, onion, and carrots went into the stock pot and simmered for hours until removing in time to let them cool and drain the stock into the LeCruset dutch oven to be kept in the refrigerator overnight.
I stayed home Sunday as hubby had to leave for work immediately after church (Sunday is a required work day during this week, even for seasonal employees like him). I only had to add the veggies to the stock and let the soup simmer on the back burner all afternoon. My mother's vegetable beef soup is a family favorite and always reminds me of her.
It is the only recipe I made her show me step-by-step as a bride. The difference in our recipes is my browning the stock ingredients before simmering them in the stock pot to make a darker and richer stock. As she grew older, she placed the beef and soup bones in the Crock Pot to make stock.
I'd left the butter out overnight to soften (just barely in the cold kitchen) enough to make chocolate chip cookies, partly as a treat for hubby and son but an additional dozen or two to place on a plate and take to my neighbor who plowed our driveway when he cleared the gravel lane.
The guys arrived home after a long day at the bookstore, glad to get out of the cold to homemade soup and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Cooking and baking warms us twice... once as it warms the kitchen and again as it warms those who enjoy the meal. :)
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 1:18 PM