I am working on so many different things that I almost feel a need to make an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all. Socks, a striped scarf, garden marigolds for dyeing the freshly spun wool, leather flowers. And everything here, along with a few other things still undocumented, and the spinning, and the new blanket, stubbornly still stuck in the Lemongrass phase --which is all frivolously for meeee—remains unfinished and is on pause while I spend a minute or two thinking about someone besides myself and tackle the holiday gifts. I can’t show you any of it yet. The finished objects are piling up nicely, though.
I also made soup, which is my favorite thing to cook and to eat. I have got soup figured out. A nice beef and barley, full of potatoes and pepper. Yum. I also went to Philadelphia where, you will recall, my girl has taken up residence, and where there is the culinarily adventuresome “cheese steak”. (It is nice. There are art murals everywhere, signs that say “Come In, We’re Awesome” and a cafe advertising “Vinyl Night—BYO Records”. Cheese Steak is a bit of all right. My girl is happy. LOVE.) I also finally got some bifocals, so maybe I’ll be able to read in the bathtub again, and I am spending every single free moment at the knitting needles. Oh, and it is snowing.
In case I’ve made you hungry for Beef and Barley soup, here’s my recipe:
Snow Day Beef Barley Soup
1 pound chopped up beef—I don’t know from cuts of meat, so use whatever you like.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
6-8 cups beef broth
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Splash of vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a big pot or Dutch oven, saute the onions and celery in the olive oil until they are soft. Add the beef, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fully browned. Add the broth, potatoes, barley, and bay leaves. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the potatoes and barley are soft, maybe about 30 minutes. Add parsley and vinegar and simmer 3-5 minutes more. Add more liquid if needed, and remove the bay leaves before serving.
I know, vinegar sounds strange, but trust me. Soup begs for a little vinegar. Okay, back to the yarn.