Cooking, Family, Homestead, Lifestyle, Mindset

Soup! Because I Love You

I truly enjoy cooking! Not to the level of opening a restaurant or a cafe, but to the level that I want to cook the best food that I can for those that I love. Fortunately, it’s something that I get to do everyday for my most favorite people on this planet, my children. Today was no different.

Much like many other areas in the country at the moment, we experienced a bit of unusually cold weather, for northwest Georgia. The low this morning was about 27 degrees Fahrenheit with a few snow flurries. It was so cold that my sliding doors on my minivan would not open until it was sufficiently warmed up. I believe the high was a sunny but cold 33 or 34 degrees. Yikes!

With the temperature hovering so low, it only made sense that our dinner would be some type of soup. Let me just say that soup, is my love language. I could absolutely eat soup year round! But what I love around this time of the year is the memories of my childhood that come flooding back when I am in the kitchen. I reminisce on how good it felt to eat at my grandmothers’ tables. I can almost smell all the smells and the joy I felt to when I was in their kitchens.

Both of my grandmothers were wonderful cooks. My dad’s mother, was more of an Iron Chef type cook. That woman could make the most amazing meals and so to us it was always a treat to eat at her home because you knew, no matter what it was, it would be delicious!! My Nana (my mother’s mother) on the other hand was a bit more straight forward with her cooking, her one signature dish was fried chicken. But her hugs and conversation was what drew you in. It saddens me that my children, have never experienced those moments. Perhaps one day, when I become a grandmother, I’ll be able to create in my grandchildren’s lives abundant and colorful memories of love.

Tonight, in honor of serving and all things winter, I decided to make my version of a minestrone soup minus the pasta and beans. What emerged was a flavorful burst of summer squash, chicken sausage, chopped tomatoes and a mixture of herbs that not only make the soup taste delicious, but are also good for you as well. Think, any boost I can give to my immune system, I am in!

Summer Winter Soup

The one drawback here is that I am not good about writing things down, because I never really know what is going to come together when I start, but today was an exception. Here is what I used:

One pound of mild chicken sausage (gluten free) with casing removed. One medium yellow onion, five cloves of garlic (fresh), three sticks of celery, and three carrots peeled and chopped. I sautéed that mixture together in my Instant Pot and once cooked through, I started layering in the spices.

Two teaspoons dried oregano, one teaspoon of thyme, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one half teaspoon of dried rosemary, one teaspoon of dried basil and one teaspoon of dried parsley. I then added in a box of chopped tomatoes, a bag of frozen yellow squash and two fresh peeled and chopped zucchini followed by two boxes of chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste! I then put on the lid and let it cook at pressure for about 20 minutes. It was a hit! And we still have plenty for lunch tomorrow.

If you find cooking challenging, start with soup. It’s probably the one meal that you can make that will turn out well, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. But more than that, you will create some lasting memories for the ones you love when you take the lid off that (instant) pot!

With love and soup!

AngelaChristine

American, Freedom, Homestead

Creating Home

Twenty First Century Homestead

It’s the twenty first century and almost everywhere I look, there is a magazine or blog or website devoted to the idea of homesteading. What is going on? Why is this lifestyle so appealing to so many? With a point and a click we have convenience at our fingertips… literally, yet there is a growing group of Americans seeking to create a life of early America.

So, I decided to do a little research of my own to find out why this lifestyle is making a comeback and to determine if perhaps this recently divorced mother of two, could handle the “simple life” too.

For many it’s the idea of connecting with nature. Having control over where their food is coming from and knowing that if income is reduced or lost, sustainable food may be steps away. In this article, the author gives several reasons, why one might take the leap. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/homesteading-self-sufficiency-lifestyle/

For anyone seriously considering, moving from urban or suburban to rural, take a look at this website before you head down to your local Tractor Supply store. Research and planning is important, but not to the point of paralysis. Make the plans and arrangements and then go for it!!https://homesteadersofamerica.com/why-homesteading-awesome-lifestyle/

If I could boil my research down to one theme or two, I’d say that connection and self reliance resonate across a broad swath of people. It’s quite apparent that more and more people want food security particularly after this past year. I can certainly appreciate that!

While I am not yet ready to dive full steam into homesteading, I am certainly ready to begin the preparations. I envision myself and the kids starting our day digging in the dirt followed by breakfast, Bible study and books ( we homeschool), I see so much joy, laughter, gathering of friends and family and overflowing peace. I can totally see our little farmhouse surrounded by flowers, dogs, cats, chickens and maybe a couple of goats, just because.

Just writing about homesteading makes me happy, perhaps it’s because of the memories of summers spent in the country, picking cucumbers, green beans and zucchini from my great aunt’s garden or perhaps it’s the memory of the fresh mint that grew alongside the path that led to my grandmother’s back door. Or just maybe, it’s the memory of my father coming home at the end of a long day of work, taking off his suit to go and spend an hour or so working in our backyard garden before coming in to eat dinner.

Whatever it is, I believe that it will be wonderful!

With love,

AngelaChristine