Peace & Quiet

Today, I realized the luxury of my circumstances. I’m free as a bird. I have no strings: No Job. No Children. Minimal Bills. Nothing and no one to invade my serenity. I am in a warm and loving environment. It dawned on me how at peace I am. I’m a hippie!!! Free spirit. Having pressured myself to be successful for so very time, this is so liberating.

I recognize that life being how it is, it will not always be this way. But, I am so thankful and blessed that it is.

I’m sitting here in glorious silence with just the tick tock of the clock in the background. I was knitting my scarf and my thoughts were jumping. I didn’t know what I wanted to write after the hugely revealing last couple of blogs, which were very popular. I was not expecting how the tale of a fallen lawyer would be so interesting. I got a lot of supportive feedback and that was very nice.

I have to warn you. My serene disposition could be the result of mega cold & flu medication. I have been struck down by a wicked sore throat.

I’ve have been sipping Throat Coat tea with ½ teaspoon of raw local honey.

http://traditionalmedicinals.com/products/throat-coat/

Man, is it soothing running down my fiery larynx. I’m having the tea right now.

I would like to be more productive today but it might not be in the cards. It’s all I can do to drag myself to the grocery store and do my basic chores.

If this gets any worse, I might have to bump the tea for some Theraflu.

http://www.theraflu.com/index.shtml

These two products are what I know to whip a cold fast. The remainder of the recipe calls for fuzzy slippers, soft pajamas and maybe entertainment in a box: some books, some magazines, movies, a knitting project, etc. Then, sleep.

Oh, you know what would be good? Soup. My favorite soup is this surprisingly awesome celery soup recipe. Very healthy and tasty. I found it when celery kept coming in my co-op veggie box.

“What am I going to do with this?,” I thought. I only knew “Ants on a log” (putting peanut butter on the celery stalk and then raisins on top).

So, I googled some recipes and found this one. From the first time, I loved it! And, I have been making it for years.

I did change it up a bit to make it my very own recipe.

Celery Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
• About 4 thick slices of bacon. Cut into pieces (you can leave out to make it totally veggie)
• 1 batch of fresh celery
• 1 medium sweet potato
• 2 Tbsp coconut oil
• 2 leeks
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
• 32 oz carton vegetable, chicken or veal stock
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:
1. Cut leeks into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Dump them in a large bowl and fill with water. Let them soak. The dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl and you will just need to scoop the leeks out. Leeks can be very dirty vegetables.

2. Cut celery into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Don’t worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.

3. I do numbers 1 & 2 in double batches since leeks are usually sold in a bundle. Then, I freeze in a freezer bag. Just pull out the bag when you are ready to make the soup.

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4. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the celery.

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5. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, fry the bacon and remove when done but keep the fat.

6. Add coconut oil (you can use both the bacon and coconut oil or either one) and heat over low-to-medium heat.

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7. Add the leeks, garlic and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.

8. Add the stock and the potato. You should add enough stock to cover the vegetable, which may or may not be the whole quart. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the celery and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don’t let them get mushy, though.

9. Remove the soup from heat and purée with an immersion hand blender. I have the Cuisinart hand blender and I love it. http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CSB-76W-SmartStick-200-Watt-Immersion/dp/B000EGC9SG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395839544&sr=8-1&keywords=cuisinart+handblender

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10. Return to the stove and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Yes, your soup will be green but it taste good and it is healthy.

11. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

12. Add the cooked bacon back to the soup. Sometimes, I will leave out the bacon and make it plain. Again, without the meat, this would be a vegan soup. Sometimes, I will fry up a hot Italian sausage link removed from casing. I just crumble it when I am cooking it and add to the top of a bowl of soup.

13. I divide this into 4 servings.

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MEET PINKY!!! My first knockout rose bush. It reminds me of my Sr Father. He had roses all over his yard. He was even guilty of throwing in some fake ones so his rose bushes looked even better. I have high hopes for this little Rose bush.

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