My Big Give results for the week were pretty exciting! I was able to clean out a little of the pantry, and decided to bless another family with some of my abundance. I also cleared out several clothing items from our closets, and a few odd dishes that really were not necessary. So since the new year, I've given 23 items away!
Sadly, I also broke an antique lamp because my giveaway box had become lodged under the bookshelf where the lamp was sitting. So, my house is actually 24 items lighter, but I'm not counting the lamp in my total since I could only throw it away after the disaster! Needless to say, I was not a happy camper after that little incident, and the 30 minutes it took to clean up the glass from my concrete floors.
As far as the Pantry Challenge, I've done really well this week. We finished off the last of the fresh strawberries from the wedding, but still have plenty of other fruits. One night we had Crockpot Swiss Steak, and I saved half the package of steak to marinate and grill. We also had a turkey soup made with the frozen carcass from Christmas. It stretched into lunches for two days for the whole family! I'll include the recipe below.
We had the steaks I set aside on Friday night with baked potatoes, and steamed cauliflower, and watched a bit of Little Dorrit. If you like costume dramas, keep reading as I have links and news for the latest BBC/PBS films now airing.
My overall spending for the week was $26.34 but the breakdown reveals I actually did quite well. I purchased lunch for myself, my dd17 and a friend we picked up after car trouble for a cost of $8.65. I also purchased 2 gallons of raw milk ($7.50), because my friend was going to the dairy (about 45 minutes away.) I also was given another gallon of milk the same day, so I have enough now for two weeks! Overall, that puts my spending in the $10 range for Week 3! It's my best total yet!
If you're interested in free entertainment, I have great news! In case you haven't heard, Return to Cranford is playing now on Masterpiece, Sunday nights on PBS. If you missed the first episode, you can watch it online here. The second episode will air tomorrow evening. Check your local listings for times!
When it concludes, I believe the new Emma with Romola Garai will begin the following week. We have seen it once already online, and it was excellent. This is another great BBC/PBS movie we will own!
Here's the recipe for Gramps' Chicken Basil Soup and then directions on how I modified it.
Gramp's Chicken Basil Soup
In crockpot, assemble the following:
1 chicken leg/thigh portion or 2 thighs
2 carrots, peeled or scrubbed, and diced
3 cloves garlic
3 chicken bullion cubes
lots of basil, dried or fresh. We like fresh best, leaves only, chopped fine. *
cayenne to taste (about 1/2 tsp. is my preference)
water to cover everything plus two to three cups
Reserve the following:
1/2 cup cooked barley**
2/3 cup cooked rice***
Add ingredients except rice and barley to crockpot. Cook all day on low. Stir in barley and rice about 30 minutes before serving. Can also be cooked on stove.
Now here are my notes and modifications:
*basil ~ I prefer to use fresh from the garden, and because of the bulk of fresh leaves, the measurement is probably about 1 to 1/2 loose cups of leaves. If using dry, use at least 1 Tbsp. crushed, (meaning crush it in your palm before adding to soup!). Let it cook all day, then add more to taste at end, if needed.
**barley ~ I don't prefer barley, but will use it occassionally. Don't add uncooked barley, as the starch will make the soup slimey and thick, like pudding. Not a good texture for soup, trust me.
**rice ~ If cooking on the stove, you can add uncooked rice, and let simmer until the rice is tender. Just make sure you have enough liquids to keep the soup from getting too thick, as rice absorbs 1 1/2 cups or so of liquids for every 1 cup of dry rice. You may also use frozen rice, or leftover rice from another dish and add to crockpot during last hour or so of cooking time.
This is a very "forgiving" recipe and a family favorite here, when served with a crusty bread and green salad.
I used the carcass of my Christmas turkey to make the broth for this soup, by using the Bone Broth recipe that includes a little bit of vinegar to draw the nourishment from the bones. The one I use is actually from Nourishing Traditions, but the one listed above looks about the same. If you haven't made this recipe, you really should try it. It's especially great if you've had any type of illness because the nutrients are bio~available. I make my bone broth in the crockpot for 18 hours, or on the stove for about 6 hours.
13 hours ago