Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bruce County Weather Tricking Its Plant Life But NOT Me !

Become an explorer and view the world as your jungle. Stop and observe all of the little things as completely unique events. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try to experience as many different environments and sensations as possible. This world has so much to offer, so why not take advantage of it?

It is so difficult to believe Winter is peeking out at us just around the corner here in Bruce County, but there is other evidence to the contrary .....

"One of our Clematis has decided to come back to life by making headway up its trellis."

"A Snap Dragon appears out from underneath leaves long dropped from the tree now crisp and browned."

Truly amazing how some plant life can be "tricked" out from their slumber to make one last display of colour before the Winter comes to permanently make claim to them.

I have to admit, I really enjoyed the warmth and sunshine yesterday brought with it, by also having my bedding dry outside on the clothes line.  What a "treat" crawling into the freshness of my bedding last night!  I LOVE it !!!!

Still I have not been tricked by the weather's little bursts of warmth and sunshine, as I well remember the wrath of the Winter months from last year, along with the length it decided to stay with us first beginning in the month of November and staying until we thought there would be no Spring ......

"I started arming myself with some "goodness" in anticipation of Winter's arrival, as yesterday I set myself to making a pot of "Big Batch Chicken" soup."


"This soup has to be up there with one of my most favorites along with Best Ever Potato Leek Soup.  It truly is a meal in itself as it's aroma and flavor gives warmth and nutrition to both the body and soul."

I know I have shared this recipe before, but it is too good not to share again, so I have copied it from "Cindy's Recipe Exchange" on Facebook to do so.

Recipe Compliments of Maxine Cameron who is the wife of my High School Principal Mr. Cameron.  Mrs. Cameron is also a member of my Aunt Gladys' Church, and had this recipe in the Church's 150th Anniversary Cookbook 2011.

A real favorite of mine, and it does mean "Big Batch" !  A wholesome full bodied soup that is a meal in itself.

Big Batch Chicken

8-10 chicken drumsticks (skin removed), or any chicken with bone (skin removed)
12 mushrooms sliced
4 stalks of celery, diced
4 leeks (white & light green part only), chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 large tomatoes (chopped) or a can of diced tomatoes (I used 2-28 (lg) cans of diced tomatoes)
1 large onion chopped
1 can (5 1/2 oz) tomato paste
10 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt, Pepper, dried thyme, and sage to taste (I omitted the sage & added some seasoning salt)

In large pot saute in 1 Tblsp oil heat over medium heat add celery, leeks, carrot & mushrooms; then add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or longer until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken (before falling off the bones), debone chicken & return to saucepan. Simmer until all is cooked.

Yields 20 - 1 cup servings.

This is also an excellent soup to freeze.

I love "batch" cooking, as I have found as a working Mom, doing the "juggling" of everyday living it was so nice to do up a batch of meals for the freezer in preparation for those days I didn't have time to throw something "good" together.

I still frequently batch cook in ways of soups, chili and stews,  in preparation of maybe unexpected company giving short notice of a visit (children & grandchildren usually), for a day when I feel I have been busy with not enough time to prepare something, or maybe for a day when I am just "under the weather" and can make it easy by pulling a container from the freezer that will go right into the pot to be ready to go in no time at all.

Batch cooking can be another solution for those of us who are now only cooking for two, as myself and Rob, or only cooking for one, but still wanting to enjoy making a "pot" of one of their favorites, as most foods already having been prepared usually freeze well.

I do believe if Winter has not yet arrived in Bruce County, the Flu/Cold Season most certainly has.  The Golden Dawn retirement/nursing home in Lion's Head, where my Mother resides, has been shut-down as there has been a Flu outbreak there.  "Shut-down" meaning no outside visitors until the virus has made its course throughout the home.

I am hoping the "outbreak" runs its course and is done by the time Christmas has arrived.  How awful if residents were not able to see their families at Christmas time.

I just recently read an article on how one's immune system can be boosted with foods, which I am of the opinion this is true.  The article was done by RealAge ~ Live Life to the Youngest, and can be found at the following link, should you enjoy such a read, as I have:

After their Point 5, there is another link to a recipe for a Chicken Soup Recipe, which I have not yet tried but intend to do so as I have added it to the Recipe Exchange.

Lately in my travels, I have been hearing so much about a Movie called "The Help".  Of course everything now at our fingertips should we have a keyboard beneath them, a screen in front of us and a PC at our side, so what would be the excuse not to find something out?????  I googled the trailer for the movie, enjoying it... much I can't wait to find out where I can rent it to watch the whole movie !!!  I will be on a mission now to see if it can be rented from the Wiarton Video, where else located then of course downtown Wiarton.

There is so much going on today with Christmas / Santa Claus Parades , a Christmas Bazaar at the Hepworth Legion and also Dejong Farms out at Lake Charles having their Christmas Open House from 2-4 with more information regarding directions, Epicure Products available, or the ordering of Christmas Ducks  being obtained by calling Anita Dejong at 519-534-1211.

I had best be checking in with my favorite Wiarton Airport Weatherman guy to see what he has to say about the weather in my day ahead.

Wow, 10 degrees with YELLOW peeking out at me all day long ..... I will keep it, so please pack it up and make sure you deliver Mr. Weatherman guy !

As always there is lots to do and hopefully people to see in my new adventure as I go further into my today, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

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How nice of you to drop around to have a wee visit with me to see what I have been up to from time to time. I look forward to your comments as they add much brightness to my each and every day to know there are such wonderful people out there.

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