Monday, October 13, 2014

The Really Late Saturday Post

I woke up with the alarm on Saturday. I know, I know, but Jake and Carla were coming up to get the Triumph (or some of it) and I had a lot to do.

So, I swept the kitchen and downstairs. Then I did the office, my bedroom and the living room.

I shaved, showered and got dressed. I put all the kitchen chairs and the rolling cart in the living room. I mopped the main bath and the kitchen floors. Then I did the downstairs bath and the downstairs floor as well.

At that point, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place (well, a wet kitchen floor and a wet downstairs floor). So, I exited and left in the truck for a few quick errands. I went to Westborn for fresh bread and Kroger’s for a few odds and ends.

By the time I got back, the floors were dry. But, I decided it was more important to get my soup started that putting the kitchen back together, cleaning the sink, etc.

So, I got out the oval slow cooker. I peeled and diced three pounds of russet potatoes (1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces). Into the pot they went. Next, I fine-diced a medium yellow onion (about one cup). That joined the potatoes. I added three (14.5 oz) cans of chicken broth and one cup of evaporated milk. I added a little salt and a lot of fresh ground black pepper.

I stirred it up and, since it was already 11:00 a.m., turned it on HIGH.

Sidebar: The recipe says HIGH heat for four hours or LOW heat for eight.

Just then, Jake and Carla pulled in!

Sidebar: When Jake said they were driving up on Saturday to get the bike, I assumed they were leaving early Saturday morning. Since it’s a 12 hour drive, I assumed (again) they wouldn’t be here until 4 or 5 o’clock at the earliest. But, what I did not know was they had left on Friday, stayed the night in a hotel half way up and then drove the rest of the way on Saturday (hence the early – to me, anyway, arrival).

They unloaded the car and then helped me put the kitchen back together.

We chatted for a while and then Jake got started on sorting out bike parts into two piles: One of parts that he definitely wanted to keep and the other of parts that were too far gone and must be replaced.

Meanwhile, I baked some thick-sliced bacon on a rack in the oven and Carla fine-sliced three green onions. When the bacon was done and cooled, she diced up three slices of that. Those went into separate ramekins along with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese in a third.

When the potatoes were fork tender, I ladled out two cups of liquid from the soup mixture into a measuring cup. Carla took over at that point. She melted 1/3 cup of butter in a medium saucepan. She added 1/3 cup of A/P flour and cooked it about two minutes, stirring constantly. Then she whisked it, slowly pouring the two cups of liquid into the butter/flour mix.(it will thicken quickly, BTW). Once it was incorporated, she poured it back into the slow cooker.

I used my immersion blender (you could use a potato masher as well) to break down about a third of the diced potatoes. Then we put the cover back on and cooked it on HIGH heat another 10 minutes or so to further thicken it.

I turned the heat onto warm and Carla stirred in 1/2-cup of sour cream.

Jake washed up and served out the soup while Carla sliced up some of the fresh, Rustic Italian bread.

We each added the toppings to our bowls as desired and sat down to eat a hearty “Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup.” It was delicious and I had two bowls, myself.

We cleaned up the mess and then Jake and Carla took showers and got the office turned into a bedroom.

I sat in the living room reading a book after I scrubbed the kitchen sink.

Later on, a mutual friend came over and we visited for a while. When he left, we all decided it was bedtime. I read in bed for a little while and then went to sleep.

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