Enjoying the Seesaw

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Growing up, I thought seesaws were great, but only if I was on with my sister who was roughly the same size and weight as I was.  When I got on with a friend who weighed a drastic amount more or less, well, then it wasn’t so fun, especially when I got stuck on the bottom.  The fun is in the back and forth, the up and down, the stomach-flying-into-your-throat excitement of it all.

As I write this, snow is falling with rain.  35 degrees and falling slush in April is not my idea of spring!  It’s kind of depressing, really.  These last few weeks have been long, and no matter what I seem to do, my time slips away.  I’m beginning to think the answer to the age-old question of “Where does  the time go?” is our shadows.  No matter how much I look ahead, my time is like my shadow: always behind me, haunting me, thumbing its nose at me with the minutes it’s stolen.  And no matter what I do, I can never catch my shadow.  I’m presently stuck on the bottom of the seesaw, eager to go up.

And while I impatiently await spring and warmer weather, I also stand in my kitchen a little sad.  I love grilling weather, but it also means that I say goodbye to a good deal of baking for a few months.  Baking bread in the middle of July is just not a smart idea.  So as I kneaded a batch of cinnamon raisin bread this past week when it happened to be 60-plus degrees out, I got a bit sad.  (The bread turned out superb–some of my best shaped loaves ever!, as you can see.)  I need to enjoy these weeks of seesaw spring weather, as it means I have the best of both worlds.  I can go out and grill pizza and brats and steak, and I can still knead and mix and measure and bake bread and cookies and other shapes of complex carbohydrates that make me so happy.

Perhaps on a sunny day soon I can share the grilled pizza.  But in honor of the slush falling outside of my window, here’s a recipe for Chicken Potpie Soup to keep you warm on the inside.  🙂   

Chicken Potpie Soup

  

  • 1-2 lbs. chicken (bone-in or boneless dark and/or white meat works, though bone-in dark gives best flavor)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped thick
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed lightly and cut in half
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups water

Place all above ingredients in large pot and simmer for 15-30 minutes or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken to cutting board; cool slightly and shred into larger chunks with two forks.  Strain liquid into measuring cup.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • cooked chicken and broth from above
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 -1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1-2 cups milk

Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until almost tender.  Add water, chicken, broth, potato, vegetables, pepper, salt, oregano, and basil.  Simmer until potato is tender.  Add cornstarch mixture to thicken.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add evaporated milk, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.  Stir until cheese is all melted.  Add enough milk to thin out to desired consistency and amount to feed your crowd (that’s the beauty of soup–you can always add liquid to make more; just be sure to add more spice and herbs and cook a few more minutes to maintain a good flavor).  Serve with Savory Crumble Topping, adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen recipe for their potpie casserole (they say not to use milk, but I do and it works). 🙂  I make half of the recipe for the topping. 

Here’s the link for that recipe:  http://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/detail.php?docid=25876&extcode=M**ASCA00

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One response »

  1. I never let warm weather stop me from baking bread! We bought an Oster counter-top oven just for that purpose. I can fit two loaves of bread in there and it doesn’t heat the house up like my oven does – and it’s more economical to run.

    I love your blog. Keep it coming!

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