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It is cold.

January 24, 2011

Really cold. Like sub-zero, feels like I’m back in Fargo cold.

Yesterday the boy and I had a lovely lazy day. I spent three hours making Old Order Amish bread again, except I doubled it and used three normal-sized bread pans and put the dough on the radiator to rise and it turned out even better this time. A little softer and squshier, which I’m not sure I like, and I cut the baking time by 10 minutes, which didn’t make the crust so dark (nor so caramely).

We slept in and cuddled all day and the only time we left the house was to run to the grocery store to pick up some shaving cream (for the boy) and three loads of firewood. Then the boy proceeded to burn through an entire bundle and got the living room temperature up to 83 degrees F, despite the fact that we’d turned the heat down to 66. I love manufactured steel fireplaces. They are toasty.

We ate radishes and salt on bread and butter on warm bread and turkey sandwiches on bread (roasted turkey, not sliced stuff).  Breeeeeaaaaad. So good.

We meant to go snowshoeing, but didn’t. Instead we stayed cooped up inside and I played guitar and sang in front of the fire in the dark (I’m getting quite good at guitar) and brainstormed ideas for the magazine my friends and I are going to launch this summer (keep your eyes peeled on this blog for the link).

We had leftover soup for dinner. I made chicken and collard soup with bread a few days ago. It was delicious. Here’s the recipe:

Chicken and Collard Soup

1 bunch FRESH collards
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (or 2 cloves)
frozen sweet corn (optional)
olive oil
1 quart prepared or homemade chicken broth

Plop a glug of olive oil into the bottom of a 5 qt., heavy-bottomed stock pot. Not too much, just a couple tablespoons. Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat, then brown the outsides of the chicken a bit. Turn down the heat and add about three quarts of cold water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add chicken broth. You should have about 4 quarts total (I like my soup brothy). Add herby-type seasonings (I use an all-purpose blend) and garlic and let simmer.

While broth is simmering, wash collards and cut off stems (but do not separate stems from leaves). Diced stems without leafy bits and add to pot. Then slice up leaf parts with center stems intact and add to pot. Cover if you like and simmer until the diced stems without leafy bits are tender and the chicken is done, about 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken and cut/shred into bite-sized pieces and return to broth. If using, add corn. Heat all thoroughly. Serve with crusty bread.

*TIP* If you have leftover bread that will get hard, tear it into chunks and add to leftover soup. The bread will soak up the broth and become deliciously soft and silky.

Tonight we’re going to be old people and go walking in the mall (since it is once again sub-zero out tonight) and hopefully the next few days will not find us snowed in. *sigh* I am getting sick of snow days – is that possible? Yeah, probably because I don’t get paid for snow days and all this cold weather is eating up our fuel oil and costing us money! Grrr…

At any rate, if we do get a snow day, I will be baking. 😀

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