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…


  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!

  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

  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.

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

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