Thursday, February 3, 2011

More than you want to know! "wink"

In fact we did have a good time being snowed in.  I felt like Little House on the Prairie!  big smile  Unlike The Long Winter we had wood for our stove and didn't have to sit around braiding straw.  (Thank you Lord)  And----like Farmer Boy we had lots of good things to eat! 

I woke up and decided to do an experiment and cook on the wood stove!  Have you ever done that before? So I made one of my favorite things - - - soup.  First I had to brown the meat that took forever and it only thawed and didn't brown. 

I finally just added all the other ingredients.  It cooked up beautifully for supper.

I had a new ingredient that I had never used before - - Okra!  There was some fresh at the store, I couldn't resist.  I know nothing about Okra.

This morning here is what I found out:
The name "okra", most often used in the US and the Philippines, is of West African origin and is cognate with "ọ́kụ̀rụ̀" in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria.  Okra is often known as "Lady's Fingers" outside of the US.   In various Bantu languages, okra is called "kingombo" or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese,  ("quiabo"),Spanish, Dutch and French, and also of the name "gumbo", used in parts of the United States and English-speaking Caribbean for either the vegetable, or a stew based on it. 

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, (What a wonderful word.  Can we use it when the kids have colds?)  resulting in the characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains a usable form of soluble fiber. While many people enjoy okra cooked this way, others prefer to minimize sliminess; keeping the pods intact and cooking quickly help to achieve this. To avoid sliminess, okra pods are often briefly stir-fried, or cooked with acidic ingredients such as citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar. A few drops of lemon juice will usually suffice. Alternatively the pods can be sliced thinly and cooked for a long time, so that the mucilage dissolves, as in gumbo. 

So I guess that my stew was a gumbo?  (I'll have to research that one a bit more.)  The okra was not at all slimy.   The soup was delicious.  The okra gave it a slightly different flavor that we all liked.  I guess that I'll be trying okra some more.

We also cooked baked apples!  Oh those were good.  I wonder what I should try cooking today????

Tete you inspired this post.  Thank you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard . . . . . .

 View from my bedroom window.  I love to feel like I'm snowed in.  In fact we were, really!

 Ken tried to get out of the driveway at 2AM to take wood to mom and Dad's house across the field.  But it took more than an hour to clear a path down the driveway with the tractor!  Then we discovered that the road had not been plowed.  He tried to head over on the tractor, but the drifts on the road were too deep to get through!!  Unbelievable.  

 The kids went out and found the snow up to their waists.  In some places they had to crawl or roll to get around.  Haley found a 9 foot snow drift in the field next to the house.  SMILE

 Front Porch

 Look at the drifts beyond the porch!  Fun fun fun.  Haven't seen any squirrels or birds out today.

 The swing is way down under the snow.  Don't worry Alaina, we brought your swing in weeks ago.

By the way,
Happy Ground Hog Day everyone!  Do you think that we will have an early spring???