We went to the fair on Saturday with J and L. Mostly this involved walking around and lots of eating. (Mmm...reindeer hot dogs! Strawberry shortcake! Elephant ears, and gyros!) Because of L with her full-term pregnancy (she could go into labor at any time now) and me with my broken nose, we had to be somewhat careful, and slow. And no rides. But we did get to see the animals ("Shane, Shane! Can we get a pig? Look at how cute they are! ...But it's wagging its tail at me!") and we saw the giant vegetables. (Actually disappointing this year--the biggest cabbage was only about 42 lbs. Last year it was well over 60.) And then we ate some more.
To be honest, neither Shane nor I has really felt like cooking very much the past couple of weeks. I've been exhausted (healing a broken nose takes a lot of work) and Shane's been tired from picking up my slack. (Isn't he wonderful?!) The vegetables I bought at the farmer's market last weekend still hadn't been eaten, so I didn't end up going to the market on Saturday. Mostly, we've been making a lot of smoothies. They're very good, and good for you. Especially for breakfast since you're getting most of what you need first thing in the morning: protein, calcium, and tons of vitamins. We just make them with a bunch of fruit, blended, and then added vanilla yogurt. Some of my favorites lately: cherry-blueberry, and cherry-blackberry. Shane also tried avacado-pear. It was weird, but kind of good too. We think. It certainly had a creamy texture.
Last night I decided that I should actually cook something. Being a chilly, rainy day, it was perfect for chicken soup.
Mom's Chicken Soup
Salt and pepper
Brown the chicken in the oil (I also season it here), then add the garlic and onions. Cook until the onions start to go translucent. Then add the other veggies EXCEPT the potatoes, and the water. Simmer until the veggies are cooked, then add the potatoes and finish seasoning. It's done when the potatoes are cooked.
This is one of those recipes that my mom has memorized. Super easy to put together, a lot of the cooking can be done while you're doing something else. Like reading, and laundry. It's her go-to recipe for rainy days, and it's been a family favorite for always. She always makes it the same way, with the same vegetables. I'm the one who's been experimenting. Last summer, needing to use up some cabbage, I added that in place of the celery. Last night, we didn't have potatoes. (I haven't dug mine up yet, waiting to let them get a bit larger before I snag them. And I refuse to buy potatoes.) What did I have instead? Turnips. I bought them at the farmer's market last week, along with some beets, because I've never tried them. (I can hear you gasping.) I don't know if my mom just didn't like them, or she never thought to use them, or what. But as far as I can recall, I've never tried either beets or turnips before. (I still haven't tried beets, they're waiting for me to cook them up sometime this week. If I don't like them, I can give them to L who loves them.) I was a little unsure about my experiment (should I have tried them in soup like that without even tasting them?! and what will Shane think?) but it actually turned out really well. It turns out, turnips have a cabbage-y taste, and I've already said how much I like cabbage. It added a sweetness to the soup, too, that was really yummy. Now I want to look up more turnip recipes! According to Wikipedia, turnips can be bitter. Or maybe it's just the turnip greens? (I threw mine into the compost. I know, such a waste! But I knew we wouldn't get around to eating them.) I kind of wonder if my bitter tastebuds are all mixed up. Bell peppers are bitter to my tongue, but parsnips, turnips, and things of that nature are incredibly sweet and flavorful. ??
In any case, I'm looking forward to what other new flavors I can try. Last year my one new taste was kohlrabi, which tastes like a cross between cabbage and radish. It's good, but I'm not sure what I'd do with it. (I think the most common use around here is to put it in a salad.) It's nice being able to try these from the farmer's market, so that I know what I want to have in my own garden. Next year, there will definitely be some turnips in it.