Happy New Year, Everyone!
Well, my blogging efforts in 2011 seemed to have started with a bang and then fizzled as quickly as a New Year's Eve bottle rocket! Wow! I always seem to have so much I want to share about our life here at Breaking Away Farm and somehow I would get writer's block each time I attempted to write. This year I resolve to get on track and STAY on track with this blog.
The most noteworthy topic for us right now is our continued amazement at the Fall garden. In Decembers past we've been desperately grubbing around for another carrot or another few kale leaves to complete our CSA orders in the final week or two of the season. This year however, the garden is still going full steam as we change calendars! I'd like to take full credit for this but I must give Mother Nature kudos for making it possible. The temperatures have been ideal for growing fall vegetables and they've certainly thrived.
But, all good things must come to an end and I'm concerned about this week's weather. Though we expect a balmy 70+ degrees today, by midweek we are expecting lows in the teens. Yikes! This old barn of a house is gonna be COLD! And even though lots of the leafy greens will survive, many will not. So sad.
On a brighter note about cold weather, I'm excited for soup weather to finally arrive! We love soup around here (in fact, soup is Will's favorite winter breakfast food!) and with that in mind we stocked our freezer last summer with soup ingredients. During the onslaught of summer squash season, we took many of the over sized ones and pureed them with plans to turn them into soup. Cream of squash soup is such a yummy thing. If you've never tried it you should! I don't use a recipe, I just add chicken broth to my squash, along with an onion, and simmer till the squash is done. Then season to taste and add milk till it "looks right." You can add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it also. If you want a heartier version, potatoes are a good addition and if you REALLY want to take it up a notch, adding bits of ham, bacon or sausage would be delicious.
Another soup trick of mine: when we have leftover southern greens such as collards or mustard that have been cooked with seasoning meat (ham hock or smoked turkey) I add a quart of chicken stock, dice 3 or 4 potatoes into it, add sausage or cubed chicken and an onion. Simmer for a half hour or so and serve. You can also add beans to this for a truly hearty one-pot-meal.
Well, now that I've made myself hungry, I'm going to have a snack and then go pick some collards to go with our New Year's day black-eyed peas. I try to never miss this tradition--the black-eyed peas are for good luck in the new year, the greens are for prosperity. I need all of both I can get, and I wish all of you the same.
Happy New Year!