Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday's Soup


I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday (what else?) I checked outside, but didn’t see any snow.

When I checked again at 6:30, I saw some flakes. Nothing was sticking on the road or the grass, though. But, when I looked out back, the snow was building up on the sail boat cover.

6:30 a.m.


10:00 a.m.
I was a little lazy (snow does that to me – I tend to gravitate to hibernate) so it wasn’t until after 11:00 a.m. when I left the house. By then, the snow was coming down hard!

Sidebar: Admit it! “I tend to gravitate to hibernate” was brilliant!!! Damn, I still got it. (ctfu)

My first stop was George’s Lawnmower. I had to laugh as I parked next to an elderly black gentleman who unloaded the exact same snow blower that I had! I held the door for him so he was first.

Sidebar: I am not a racist, I am merely describing him. As you might have noticed, I have described my little friend at the gas station as an Arab. It don’t mean shit to me, I am just trying to explain my life here!

Also, at nearly 67 years old, I am not sure I can describe people anymore as “elderly.” But, in my mind, I am still 27 years old. I will have to think about that…

Anyway, I listened closely as they explained he needed new rubber paddles, a new skid bar, a carburetor cleaner, a spark plug and so on. It came to $200.00! He had bought it there some years ago (there was a tag on the machine) and said, “That’s more than I paid for it when I bought it!”

They went into a long explanation of the cost of the rubber paddles, the labor, etc. and he finally agreed to get it repaired.

He left and it was my turn. Now, I had visited their website (just to get the hours they were open) and found a coupon for 10% off on snow blower repairs until 11/30/2015. So, I thought $180.00 was a decent price.

But there was a leak in one of the gaskets, I was missing a front plate and the priming pump was gone. So, my price to repair was $280.00. Since a similar unit costs $320.00 new, that seemed ridiculous. Especially as I don’t “need” it.

I loaded it back up and drove away. As I left, I was thinking I wish I had given the guy before me my 10% off coupon!

Sidebar: I am an ASE-certified mechanic in engine rebuilding so I’m thinking rebuilding a snow blower might not be that much of a problem.  So, I guess I’ll check out the cost of replacement parts before I put it out to the road.

I went to the Post Office on Merriman and dropped off my birthday card to Logan Garcia, my great-grandson.  Then I went to Kroger’s.

I lucked out with parking, but the store was a mad house!

At first I didn’t know why, but then I saw people buying tons of sweet potatoes and it dawned on me: Thanksgiving dinner shopping!

In spite of the snow and as crowded as it was, people still seemed quite friendly, though.

I got everything on the list, and made one impulse buy: A turkey breast on sale for $1.29 a pound! I’ll stick that sucker in the freezer and bring it out one day in February for a feast.

On the way home, I stopped and topped of the truck’s gas tank. I still had half a tank, but gas is down to $1.82 a gallon and who knows when it will go back up.

By the time I got back home, it was after 1:00 p.m. The snow was still falling. It was a heavy, wet snow here and took some pictures before unloading the truck.






The truck unloaded, the cat treated and my clothes changed, I went out back and filled the bird feeder, the squirrel feeder and the suet cage.

Sidebar: Why is the “Easy Off” tab on a suet cake never “easy?”

Back inside, I took a nap.

I woke up after 5:00 p.m. I checked out the kitchen window and it looks like one or two pine branches snapped under the weight of the snow. In the twilight, I couldn’t really tell…

Then I started my Saturday soup. Now, I like broccoli and cheese soup and I like the broccoli and ham soup at Big Boy. So, I thought, why not combine the two?

Sidebar: Before anybody sends me any broccoli, ham and cheese soup recipes (and I’m sure there are a bunch of them online), I am making this one up, okay? Let me pretend I am creating a new recipe, please!

So, I sautéed about a cup of fine diced onion and two cloves of minced garlic in the Dutch oven, until they were tender (about three minutes). I added one 16-ounce package of frozen broccoli florets, three cups of chicken broth and about four ounces of Smithfield small diced ham. I brought that to a bubble, then reduced the heat to medium and cooked for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I heated 2 1/2 cups of whole milk in the microwave. Then I whisked in 1/3 cup of A/P flour until it was well-blended. I added that to the broccoli/ham mixture and, stirring it constantly, cooked it another five minutes or so (until it was slightly thick). I added in some fresh crack black pepper.

I took the Dutch oven off the heat and added in four ounces of cubed Velveeta cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese melted.

I took out one-third of the soup and, using the stick blender, processed it until it was smooth (you could use a blender, too). I added that back into the pot, stirred it well and ladled out a bowl.

It was pretty damn good. I think it could have used either more ham or a bigger dice of ham, though.

I cleaned up the mess and put the leftovers away. I went in and started watching taped shows (they are building up again).

The nap let me stay up for the 11:00 p.m. news and then I started watching Saturday Night Live. But, I fell asleep before it was over…

5 comments:

  1. "Sidebar: Admit it! “I tend to gravitate to hibernate” was brilliant!!! Damn, I still got it. (ctfu)"

    That was actually hilarious! Nice job!

    "Sidebar: I am not a racist, I am merely describing him. As you might have noticed, I have described my little friend at the gas station as an Arab. It don’t mean shit to me, I am just trying to explain my life here!"

    You are not racist dad and anyone that knows you knows that so no sidebar needed. :)

    The soup sounds excellent. I love making up new recipes. Good on you mate!

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  2. Soup does sound good....
    You got the same amount of snow that I did....everything on cement has melted....just a nic dusting in the trees and grass.
    have a great Sunday

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  3. @Carla: Thanks!
    @ GPF: No, no! That was the snow pictures at 1:00 p.m. It snowed hard all afternoon and into the night. We "officially" got seven inches of snow here (although I think it was around five inches, myself). They had to plow my street this morning! Wait for Sunday's pictures and you'll see.

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  4. The snow blower project sounds like fun. Happy building. :)

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  5. @ Jyl: I dunno... I'm still thinking about it...

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