Friday, March 18, 2011

Beautiful Days and Robins

Today is one of those days that even before I opened my eyes I knew was going to be great.  Even though some guy flipped me off at a stop sign because he thought I wasn't going to stop, it couldn't ruin my good mood.  It started yesterday..I HEARD A ROBIN.. This is the day I wait for all winter long.  As soon as I realize they've left, its the saddest day.  I love their song, I love seeing them jump around the yard, I love to see them fly around the trees and sit upon the wire and tree branches singing away.  Well, yesterday I heard one, for sure.  I thought I had been hearing one for a few days previous, but I couldn't be sure, it was too far in the distance and too intermittent.  Anyone who is close to me, or a good friend, experiences my joy with me.  They all hear about it - I practically shriek it to them!!
To celebrate my delight I filled the bird-feeders this morning after I took the kidlet to school. *note to self - buy more birdseed* and wandered around the still very crunchy garden looking at what needed doing when it warms up more.  The hubby has LOTS to do!!
There's nothing better than a great treat, especially when things look like there's no end - like winter.  I love that I have a God who brings special treats that are often tailored just for me, but are shared by many, to our world.  The return of robins in early spring mean so much, its hope and its blessings and it says I love you.  It happens every year, but you never know exactly when, and its always a surprise - a treat.

Happy Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Soup

So often I find myself with so many things I want to say I find myself overwhelmed.  I think I lack the organizational skill to sift through them all and pluck out what I should blog about!  What would be interesting, what wouldn't cause someone to think *gaaaag* ..as I often do at myself.. we ARE our worst critics.

I settled on soup. I loooove soup.  Currently there are two pots of soup bubbling away on my stove, and they smell lovely.  They're both the same kind, but they taste slightly different.  One has a bit more meat to bone ratio than the other and I love that about soup.  Subtle differences make the whole pot change flavour.

I make lots of different kinds of soup, but generally I will stick to two different ones.  Chicken and a beef/tomato that we call Grandma's Soup.  Its an old family recipe, handed down for many generations.  Its rich, full of body, and if you use the right kind of meat you can make a whole two course meal out of it.  The soup first and then meat and veg after.  Just cook carrots and potatoes in some of the broth that you take out and there you have it. Save the rest of the broth for more soup later.  Always serve the soup with fine egg noodles!!  Those are the rules! ;)  Its an old Italian dish, and its fab any time of year.  I make it often.

My chicken soup goes through many growing pains.  Sometimes it stays as chicken soup.  Deeeelish.  Sometimes I add a pig's foot to it.  The herbs and spices vary from time to time too, but I usually use cloves, onion and bay leaves.  Occasionally it gets a special treatment.  Savory.  Sage even.  Depends on my mood.
I only use really good chickens.  Those grocery store ones don't cut it.  There's no flavour in those!

My soup takes a long time though.  It can't be rushed.  It has to simmer for hours.  If I cook it at too high a heat, all it does is boil away and most of the liquid is gone.  If I rush it and boil it fast but don't let the liquid disappear and then try to eat it, there's no taste to it.  Its like that with people. Think about it.  We get a great nugget, or learn something and figure that's all there is to it.  We don't take the time to really think about it, really investigate it.  Often we just swallow what we've been spoon-fed and accept what we're told.  We rush through things, and never learn to appreciate, really appreciate, things around us.  We need to marinate in learning, grow, and learn some more.  We need to do more than just 'be', and we need to aspire to simmer on things, slowly letting them grow in flavour and deepen in our lives, not be those things be weak and watery - without substance.  Our world is a rushed one, and in that we can never hear that small still quiet Voice that leads us to knowledge, peace and truth.