Soup’s On!

As you know, we’ve had some pretty busy days around here.  With the ups and downs that have been happening figuring out who is going to be here for supper is really a crap shoot.

We often have Kalissa’s family and often Kelli with Georgia here for meals in the evening.  The same group plus the childcare kids are often here for lunch too.  It’s put my cooking skills back in use.  For those of you who are empty nesters, you likely know what I’m talking about.  When it’s only cooking for two I’ve slacked off on cooking.  Leftovers, out to eat, and or a simple meal of omelets had become the norm….no more.  I’ve had to cook for more again…and that’s okay.  We appreciate the help and support that the girls offer.  Feeding them is the least we can do!!  On the same token, we’ve tried to tighten up the budget so expensive food is out…so what’s a mom to do?  Go back to the old fashion from scratch food that we all love.

Tonight it was homemade homemade French bread,  vegetable beef soup, and bologna from the meat market in New Albin, IA.

Here’s the French Bread….Recipe HERE.

The bologna we like sliced and fried on the griddle.

The soup was home made and came from the Instant Pot.  I still use the Instant Pot all the time.  Seriously ALL THE TIME.  I use it a minimum of once a day.  I’ve seriously contemplated getting another I use it so much and often find myself using it, and having to immediately wash it so I can immediately use it again.

Today it was vegetable beef soup.  I have soup bone so I put the into the Instant pot with a quart of water.  I added spices to our liking including:
Worchestire Sauce
Celery Salt
Onion Powder
Beef Soup Base
Chopped onion
Beef soup bone

That went into the Instant Pot for 55 minutes manual.  That’s a long time but I wanted the meat all tender and I wanted it to fall apart.

While that was cooking I added a quart of cut up veggies.  Whatever you have is great.  I used potatoes, carrots and celery.

Once the meat was done I opened the pot, took out the meat, and added the veggies along with 3/4 cup barley.

I shredded the meat and added a little more water to make the soup as “soupy” as I wanted.

I put the lid on the Instant pot and used manual pressure for 3 minutes.  I was skeptical that the barley wouldn’t be finished but it was.

I opened the pot and there was some greasiness on the top.  UGH.  Time to remove that.  The best way I have found to do that is to add ice…lots.

The fat adheres to the ice and they I scoop it all out.  
At this point I stirred the soup and realized it needed color so I opened a can of green beans and dumped it in.

Then I had the PERFECT Vegetable Beef Soup.

The upper picture is Kramer’s bowl.  He doesn’t like soup the best so I strain off a lot of the water to appease him.

My bowl looked more like this….
It was a wonderful supper and the beauty of it…It is really flexible on how many the meal can serve.  It turned out we only had three for supper but we easily could have had a few more.  Like I said at the beginning of this post, I never know how many I’m going to be feeding.

So best news ever….I can have soup for breakfast.  Oh my…I love it!!

I think reverting to some good homemade, from the heart, from scratch food is just what I need for my hands to stay busy, my mind to be occupied and my tummy to eat.  With chemo patients often lose their appetite.  I’m trying to keep tempting Kramer…how am I doing??

9 thoughts on “Soup’s On!”

  1. Well, homemade bread probably got Kramer’s attention. Did he eat some? I bet it smelled wonderful too. I guess it’s hard to predict how someone on chemo/radiation may react to certain smells and tastes, but I would say homemade bread was a good try! And you made those apple pies too. Did he eat any of the pie? (You can have soup…I think apple pie would be good for breakfast!) You said he wasn’t real keen on soup, so guess that wasn’t a big hit.. I bet the bologna was good! I think you made a marvelous effort!

  2. Penny Holliday

    Your dinner looks delicious and somewhat of a sense of normal with you back to good ole home cooking! Kramers serving looks like a yummy stew! Keeping you all in my prayers! Take care!

  3. Jo,

    When my mom had cancer, I made her smoothies for breakfast and would often set out food on a small plate in front of her for snacks . She hated to waste food, a smaller plate makes a person feel like they ate more than they did. It was a way to get her to keep eating even if it was just a small bit at a time. It’s a new normal you are getting used to. Having family and friends to journey along this part of life with you is always a gift. Hang in there, you have lots of love and prayers coming for Kramer and your family.

  4. I cook at least once a month for the older members of our church, and a good many of them don’t have a strong appetite anymore. I find baking bread or having anything aromatic cooking when they come in gets them talking about what we’re having and then they’re anticipating it and next thing they know, they’re hungry. Of course, aromas may be a tough thing for Kramer some days with his nausea.

    I also cook for someone who isn’t a soup fan. Sometimes, I boil up some noodles and then use a slotted spoon to serve their “soup” portion over the noodles. They think of it as being more of “a real meal”. I’m sure whatever you’re cooking will keep ’em happy, because nobody cooks like Mom.

  5. Yum!! I love soup, especially when it’s cold outside. We don’t have it much in the summer. I will have to remember your ice trick to get the fat out. So ingenious! I’m going to have to try that french bread recipe. I looked it up and was astonished that you put it in water. Makes me think of bagels and how you have to boil them a little before baking.

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