Archive for October, 2009

A Good Day for Homemade Soup

Tonight I made the most delicious soup I have ever eaten. Thank goodness I made a big pot full (is there any other way when you’re making soup?).

It rained so much and so hard all last night and today that I was eyeing my wood pile and wondering if I had the makings for a raft for Buddy and I.

Good day to make soup …


1 lb bacon cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 large onion – diced
1 small bag of baby carrots
1 head cauliflower – broken into florets
1/2 head broccoli – broken into florets
1 small bag snow peas, cut into 1″ pieces
1 can peas – not drained
1 can niblet corn – not drained
1 can peas and carrots – not drained
1/2 bunch celery, diced
about 8 big cloves garlic – sliced
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste (actually, I never taste anything until I sit down to eat it)

Cream of Veggie Soup

Cream of Veggie Soup

Fry the bacon until transparent. Remove from fat and put into large heavy soup pot.

In the bacon grease, fry the onion and garlic until browned. Add to soup pot.

Throw in everything else. You shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid because you use the liquid from all the canned veggies.

Boil it all up until everything is tender.

Remove from heat and blend it in a blender, food processor or with a mixer or immersion blender until smooth. All the liquid will get mixed in and will be creamy.

* * *

Make a white sauce in another big heavy pot – big enough to hold the whole soup mixture.

I am not sure if I know how to tell you how to make a white sauce because I do it by feel and have been making it for years without a recipe. But it basically goes like this:

In your big pot, melt 1/2 lb. butter (or marg)

When it starts to sizzle, add a little bit of white flour – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in. I use a whisk.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Keep doing that until it gets very thick and looks really dry, but don’t let it burn! Stir constantly!

When it gets really thick, add a bit of milk (I used whole milk but 2% is okay) – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Keep slowly adding milk and stirring constantly until it looks like thick cream.

Then dump the blended veggies into the cream sauce and mix it all together. Adjust the salt and pepper and serve it up.

What could be better on a cold, wet day? I ate so much my tummy hurts.

Hope you enjoy this one, too


Blau Kabis

I made my German cabbage recipe a couple of days ago …

Blau Kabis (Blue Cabbage)


1 large head red cabbage, cut in 1″ chunks
2 or 3 apples, cored, peeled and quartered
1/2 lb bacon, cut in half strips
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste


In a large heavy pot, throw it all in and add water just until you can see it. Set on the stove and bring to a boil. Simmer for several hours.


Drain and serve hot as a veggie with pork chops or pork roast. I got lazy and just put mine in a bowl this time and called it supper. Love this stuff. The bacon cooks as it simmers and gives a smoky flavour, the apple gives the sweetness and the cabbage is well, just cabbage, but all the gassiness (sp?) is removed by the sugar that was added.


The German people quite often mix fruits and veggies together for a main meal. I have another recipe called Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (Pears, Beans and Bacon) that is super good, too.

Hope you try this one – it is delicious and a new way to enjoy cabbage.


The List Grows to 112

At Chichester today I added to my Bird List. The list I keep is a little different from most birders’ lists in that my species only count if I have photographed them.  Some birders keep Life Lists, some Yearly Lists and some Monthly Lists – or all three. While I may see them and identify them, or hear them but not see them, they don’t count until I get a picture of them and add them to My Bird List. Simple, eh?

It is always exciting when I can add to my list.

I have five new birds to add today, plus new pictures of some already on my list.

Here’s the new ones:


common yellowthroat-2009-10-06-DSC_8145

common yellowthroat-2009-10-06-DSC_8147

common yellowthroat-2009-10-06-DSC_8158

common yellowthroat--10-06-DSC_8159


Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8106

Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8638

Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8644

Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8676

Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8679


Rock Pigeon-2009-10-06-DSC_8349

Rock Pigeon-2009-10-06-DSC_8353

Rock Pigeon-2009-10-06-DSC_8365





I already had a Male Downy Woodpecker on my list from last winter when one visited my suet feeder but I got this new one today, too …










Among the other birds I saw and photographed today, but which were already on my list, were Black-billed Magpies, Yellow-rumped Warblers,  Song and House Sparrows, dozens of Mallard Ducks, Northern Flickers, Gulls, Oregon Juncos (the first I have seen since the spring so winter is coming :( ), …

… and this scene from “The Birds” …




A Gift from the Wild Birds

Wandering around today outside my shack, I found this gift from the wild birds.



I love sunflowers! My kitchen has a sunflower theme.

Thanks,  Birds!!!

*I’ll fill your feeders in the morning!*

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I’ve been cooking again …………

Super simple and oh, sooo filling. One was more than enough for me! The rest will go into the freezer for when I get too lazy to cook.



4 zucchini about 8-9 inches long (and kinda fat around)
1 lb ground beef or mild Italian sausage meat
1 medium onion – chopped fine
4 cloves garlic – minced
1 small green pepper – diced
8-10 medium mushrooms – sliced thin
1 680mL (15 oz) can tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Wash and slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut off ends. Place on foil- covered cookie sheet. Hollow out the seed part of the zucchini with a teaspoon to make a “boat”, leaving about ¼ inch all around. Chop up the pulp and set aside.

Brown meat in frying pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add green pepper and mushrooms. Add pulp from the zucchini. Add tomato sauce. If it’s too runny (you want it firm) add some torn-up bread (I used a hot dog bun).

Spoon mixture into zucchini boats. Top with shredded mozza.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes for firm zucchini or 35-40 mins for softer zucchini. You can also nuke the zucchini for a few minutes before you fill the boats.

Serve with salad or noodles.

Hope you try it.