Sunday, September 9, 2018

August Has Been Cancelled

I really wish I could permanently cancel August!!  The last 3 Augusts have been really bad for my husband and I.  In 2016 he had to have open heart surgery and a by-pass.  In 2017 I had surgery for lung cancer and this August I had Cataract surgery in both eyes.  The good news is we both survived the surgeries and I CAN SEE!!  I didn't realize how bad my eyesight had gotten until I had the second surgery.  What a blessing eyesight is!

Even with the eyesight problem and the surgeries I did get a lot done.  We started a new quilt for Lydia Circle at the church.  I had to get the pattern done before the first surgery so my cohort could do her lesson plan.  It is a really pretty quilt - a log cabin variation that ends up with curves when you assemble it.  I haven't done the second month's pattern yet so I don't have a completed block. 

I've gone on a mug rug kick - using up some of the scraps that are laying around the quilting room.  This one is for my chair side table for the fall - or at least for September.

I'm also into making drawstring bags.  This one was made to carry all the crazy eye drops and assorted things I needed for my surgery.  They would also be great as gift bags as they could be made in any size you want - they are cheap and quick.  I'll post the pattern as soon as I get it transcribed.

My reading list for August was extensive and varied - when you realize I couldn't see well after my first surgery.

Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler
A Skeleton in God's Closet by Paul L Maier
Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flowers
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Gone Gull by Donna Andrews
The Girl on the Train by Paula Harkins
Waves of Deception by Hope Callaghan

There are some old favorites like Clive Cussler, Donna Andrews, Hope Callaghan, and Janet Evanovich.  There there are some new ones like Sara Gruen - Wow I was impressed - very good book.  Paula Harkins was also a surprise - good mystery - even I was shocked at the ending and I usually have them figured out by chapter 2!!  Paul L Maier was a very interesting author - I had the mystery figured out - but how he got you there was great.  He has another couple of books with the same characters so I may try them also.

Looking forward to September and some cooler and hopefully dryer weather.  It's only the 9th and we have already had like 6 inches of rain.  The farmers are having fits because the crop won't dry down well if there is too much rain.  It is dry and sunny today but the ditches are still full of rainwater. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Chicken Gumbo Soup

I found a recipe for Chicken Gumbo Soup years ago and lost it and then found it in my files a few weeks ago.  I've always used Chicken Gumbo Soup to make my version of Sloppy Joe's,  but found out I'm terribly sensitive to MSG so could no longer use canned soup.  The Organic soups didn't include Gumbo Soup and they just didn't have the flavor I wanted.  So I took the old recipe and reworked it for my family.

Chicken Gumbo Soup
Servings 10

1 whole chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 - 3/4 cup carrots, sliced thin
4 cups diced tomatoes or tomato juice
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice - Not Instant
3 quarts of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups fresh or frozen okra
2-3 tablespoons broth base (*see note)

Place chicken in a large kettle or stock pot, cover with water.  Bring to a boil and turn down to medium/low heat and simmer until done.  Remove chicken and allow to cool.  Set the broth aside to use in the soup.  When chicken is cool, remove from the bones and chop.

Strain the broth and measure.  If you don't have enough broth, add a little water and a little extra broth base.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and tomatoes bay leaf and bring to a boil - add rice and turn the heat to medium.  Cook until the rice is done - about 20 minutes - stirring occasionally.

Add okra and chicken.  Simmer until okra is well cooked.  I like to simmer mine for several house.

It is great in recipes or as a main course for dinner.

*Note:  I prefer Orrington Farms Broth Base, it is organic and has no MSG or unpronounceable ingredients,  and it has wonderful flavor.