Wednesday 12 October 2011

Words fitly spoken . . .

What would you expect to be the hardest words to say in the English Dictionary??? I have no doubt that they have to be, "I'm sorry." They sound like really simple words to say . . . but just think of the amount of marriages that break down . . . or the number of friendships that are lost, simply for lack of saying those two little words . . . "I'm sorry." They must be the hardest words to say . . . or why the heavy price for not saying them??

What do you think are the sweetest words in the English language ever spoken??? I would have to say they are, "I forgive you." Just think of all the marriages and friendships that could be saved were those three words spoken more often! Three little words . . . easy to say . . . seldom spoken.

Words . . . there is much power in them.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
~Proverbs 25:11

I couldn't wait to show you my lastest piece. I think it turned out really lovely. I like her invisible crown, and I love the way her clothes turned out. Oh, I do love being creative! As always she is available as a print or a card. Just send me a message to find out how. This dress she is wearing reminds me of one I had as a child.

When I was a child, nothing was ever wasted. All the leftovers, and anything that couldn't be made into a proper meal, always went into the soup pot and that is what we had for supper. It seemed there was always a pot of soup bubbling on the back of the stove.

You could always tell what day of the week it was in my childhood home by what we were having for supper. Each day had it's own supper special and they rarely varied, with the exception of special occasions. On Sundays , we'd always have a roast dinner of some sort, be it ham or chicken, beef or pork. On Monday, we would have whatever meat was left for our supper, reheated . . . perhaps with some gravy, or if it was pork, just sliced cold and served with mustard and boiled potatoes. On Tuesdays, the leftover bones and whatever scraps of meat that was clinging to them, would go into the soup pot. Afterwards, my mother would freeze whatever soup that didn't get eaten on that day, in colourful margarine tubs to be brought out at some future time whenever we needed some tender loving care. My favourite was always the Pea Soup she would make after our Easter ham. Even now, when we go home to visit, her freezer is full of little containers of soup, and that is one of the first things we all ask for her to make for us.

My mother made beautiful soups and she didn't have a recipe. The bones and scraps would go into a pot, and then covered with cold water. In would go a carrot, some celery (she favoured the heart with all the leaves) a whole onion, cut in half (she left the peel on telling us it gave the soup colour) some peppercorns, a TBS of summer savoury, a bay leaf or two and some salt. That would be brought to the boil and then simmered for hours, until a really rich and flavourful stock was created. The stock was then strained and she would use it to make soup. In would go vegetables . . . peeled carrots, cut into small cubes, chunks of potato, grated turnips, peas, beans, tomatoes . . . literally whatever was at hand, the end result being, a delicious lovely soup that stuck to our bones and warmed our insides like nothing else ever could.

I used to make soup for my kids in much the same way when they were growing up, only we called it stoop, kind of like a cross between a soup and a stew, because the end result was always so full of good things that it was too thick to be a soup, and yet too loose to be a stew . . .

Soup is one of those wonderful things that immediately conjures up images of comfort, and there it nothing more wonderful or medicinal when you have a bad cold or the flu, than a nice steaming bowl of hot chicken soup. Hot soup has the power to brighten up rainy days and on a cold winter's day it helps to make the heart feel warm and cozy. Soup, in short, is home in a bowl . . . it's comforting, just like a soft blanket or a loving hug.

This is a delicious soup I like to make when that bunch of celery in the bottom of the vegetable drawer starts to looking a bit tired, and I know that I need to use it up right away or I'll soon be tossing it out. It's really easy and we quite love it. Homemade soup really is so very easy to make, and so much tastier than anything that comes in a can. This delicious meal can be on your table in about half an hour. Who doesn't have a tired bunch of celery laying around that needs some loving . . .

*Celery Soup*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

The simplicity of this soup belies it’s rich flavour and texture. I use my stick blender to puree it at the end, and it ends up with a lovely frothy top . . . almost like a celery cappuccino, but a whole lot tastier, and probably a whole lot better for you!

5 cups minced celery and leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 TBS butter
3 TBS plain flour
2 cups milk
1 cup single cream
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need any)
Dry Sherry (optional)

Combine the celery and chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and then simmer until the celery is tender. In the meanwhile melt the butter in another saucepan and sauté the onion slices in it until tender without colouring. Once soft, blend in the flour. Stir in the milk slowly and then cook, whisking until thick. Carefully pour in the cooked celery along with the stock you cooked the celery in. Add the cream. Season if you need to. (Taste first. I often don't need any salt or pepper in mine. It all depends on the stock you use.) Process with a stick blender until smooth and frothy. Reheat to serve, and serve with a dash of dry sherry on top of each bowl if desired. I like to serve this with some lovely Kracky Snacky crispy cheese sticks . It's delicious!

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, some delicious Sea Salt Chocolate Snaps!

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