Soup’s On!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013



We had a glorious fall weekend, with mild temps and just a slight breeze. It was the kind of weather that calls out for chores to be done more out of the pleasure of being outside than the necessity of getting the job done.

Vines that once fed our pumpkins and squash were pulled up and composted. Garden soil was turned over and amended and made ready for a late Fall planting of cool weather crops. There was cleaning around the barn, but not actually in the barn. A stack of rabbit cages needed to be cleaned and made ready for their new owners.

After years of raising meat rabbits both for fair and freezer I have decided to stick with meat chickens. So, I popped up a post on Craigslist and within hours the whole lot was snatched up by a family eager to turn their backs on GMO fed and factory raised rabbits. We had a nice chat on the phone and by the end they seemed more excited than ever to start their own rabbitry, or maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t put off by the idea of raising one’s own meat.

As the day lingered I worked my way, slow and steady, through picking up, cleaning up and reorganizing the barn and tack storage, and a little bit in the garage. I always feel so much lighter and in control when my farm is organized and makes sense.

As I shoveled the last pile onto the compost pile the sun threw a golden cast over the whole farm. It was glowing with peace and tranquility, if not cleanliness. It was a signel though, that the end of my day was coming. I worked well past dark finishing up chores and picking up tools because I knew there was a hot meal waiting when I was through.

Earlier in the day I had started a batch of beef barley soup in the crockpot. I’m a huge fan of crockpot cooking because it allows me the freedom to tend house and farm without watching over a stove.

Tonight’s meal would be a combination of leftover steak, hearty vegetables and a rich aromatic broth. Paired with fresh picked pears from a local farm and some crusty bread fresh from the oven it would be the perfect fall meal to the ending of a perfect fall weekend.

My recipe is simple, just like the meal. 6 cups of beef broth, 3 diced carrots, 3 diced potatoes, 1 diced onion, 4 chopped mushrooms, leftover steak, chopped, ½ cup pearl barley and ½ cup frozen peas. Throw the whole mess in the crockpot and set on high.

The weather has turned off blustery and cold; the kind of cold that bites at you and cries out for multiple layers, thick and warm. Its days like these that make me grateful for the simple pleasures of a hard job done well and the meal waiting like a reward.

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