DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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13 July 2015

Winter cooking on a cold day

There is a cold front sweeping in from Antarctica and the wind is gusting outside making the tall trees that surround our home sway back and forth. The wind is playing havoc with the Willie Wagtail that lives here in winter. He usually darts here and there, running and hovering low over the front lawn and I guess he's looking for beetles and grubs while he does it. But today the wind is blowing him sideways and he can't quite maintain his direction. I've decided to stay out of the wind today and I'm cocooned inside in warm clothes and a knitted shawl around my neck.

I picked a big bunch of curly kale and parsley for Sunny yesterday. This year is a very good one for kale. We've been growing it here for a long time and this year's crop is one of the best yet.

I enjoy days like today for the unusual experience of being effected by unpredictable, wild weather. On days like these my home provides a safe haven and a warm space but I think about the homeless people I know and hope they find a cup of hot coffee and a spot out of the wind. For many years I volunteered at our local Neighbourhood Centre and on days like these we invited people in for hot drinks and a respite from the cold. It never fails to amaze me how lucky I am and I always feel gratitude for the situation I am in; it could easily be otherwise. It could be for most of us.

One of the things that makes cold weather a joy is winter food and the warmth cooking brings, both physically and emotionally. Overnight I made a batch of pea and ham soup in the slow cooker so when we woke this morning the house was full of the aroma of warm nourishing soup. That alone made me feel warmer.

    A ham hock cooked in broth, cooling down to be cut up so the meat could be returned to the soup.


 Pea and ham soup.
 Pork, potatoes and kale.

We have Jamie with us today so he and I are having the soup and Hanno is feasting on his annual pork and kale meal, which usually lasts about three days. It's a traditional north German meal of boiled pork - kassler, pork sausage, ham hock - in a green swirl of kale and potatoes  It's thickened with rolled oats. Hanno swears it gets better with each passing day. We all had dessert of marmalade and pecan slice with warm, homemade custard. 



Tying up the peas that came loose in the wind.

Plenty of tea was consumed, the wind whistled through the trees and we all felt warm and cosy together inside. I spent the morning on the computer and sewing machine, Jamie and Hanno were gardening and when lunch was over, we spend the afternoon inside, out of the weather, with drawing, colouring in books, naps, knitting and music. It was a lovely Sunday.

29 comments:

  1. What I would do for a plate of Hannos stew and that pecan slice!

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  2. Dear Rhonda, I spent a quite hour this afternoon adding up my shopping receipts over the last six days. This is not something I have ever bothered doing but after reading your blog over the past weeks and others a like, you have all given me room for thought to start to make the changes I have wanted for a while, so thank you. I then matched prices at other supermarkets and small shops, it was an eye opener. Your ham and pea soup looks delicious, best wishes :)

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    1. Hi there...we downloaded the Track my Spend app from the governments ASIC Smart Money Web site. It makes it really easy to track how much we spend and what we spend it on and puts it into categories. It is free and works best on our phones but can be used on a computer or tablet. You can very set a weekly, monthly or yearly budget which is very helpful. Cheers G

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  3. looks like a wonderful day! it's funny, I never see kale here in Germany except for the very occasional wilted tiny bunch at the organic markets

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    1. The surprises me, Cate. I lived in Hamburg for two years, many years ago, and it was everywhere then. When we came home, the only time you ever saw kale in the supermarket (or anywhere else) was when it was used as a decoration in between different vegetables.

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  4. What a nice bouquet of kale and parsley, Rhonda. When I was a kid my mum used do make a stew with pork, potatoes and kale very similar to yours. Let me say it wasn't my favorite. Now I really like it, but it is hard to encourage my kids to eat some. Maybe it is mother's karma.

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  5. We are basking in very warm temperatures and high humidity today so it was wonderful to read your cooling post. Everything looks delicious! Sounds like you had a lovely day.

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  6. What a delightful setting. I love winter so I should come to your country in our summertime when we are having 101 degrees! I find great encouragement in reading your blog and I have your wonderful book "Down to Earth". I do work, but the little things that I do at home bring a sense of contentment and happiness...a tablecloth, a home cooked meal, a handmade quilt to sleep under. Thank you for all you that you do on this blog. I love your little family. Have a good day and stay warm.

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  7. A lovely day! My heart goes out to the homeless on bitter, cold days too. There is no greater blessing than home.

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  8. Your winter looks better than our summer xx

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  9. I love to read your blog posts. I own both of your books too. When I do my daily check in's I am always thrown for a few moments by your titles. Like today's, Winter cooking on a cold day. It is 100 here and dry as a bone. Going to my clothes lines this afternoon made me almost sick to my stomach with the heat. (my body does not tolerate heat well at all) Then I remember you are half away around the world from me and I get the OH YEAH, moment. Thanks for the blog, the encouragement to be thrifty with a dollar, and generally sharing your life style with others.

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  10. Certainly chillier than we're used to Rhonda, but good hibernating indoors weather. It was sadly brought home to us here last week about the plight of the homeless in this kind of weather.....a homeless man was found dead in the doorway of the gym in town, an early patron found him. I volunteer with a local soup kitchen and make as many knitted hats and mittens as I can to hand out on my daily walks with my dog. There's a lot of disused, derelict old buildings in this area of south Mbah where homeless people find a bit of shelter, and so many of these people are known to me, I really worry about them when the temperature plummets and make sure to go round and offer whatever I can. Like you, I feel blessed and very fortunate to have a roof over my head and a warm and comfortable home to enjoy. I'll be staying in today to knit and sew, and there's lentil soup bubbling away. Stay warm.

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  11. HI Rhonda. What a beautiful bunch of Kale. I never thought of adding it to a soup before. In Hanno's soup is it cooked in the soup liquid or cooked and added separately?

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    1. Hi Therese, it's added to the soup and cooked with the meat. The potatoes are added 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

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  12. Pea soup is a fav of mine. The dessert looks yummy too. Glad it was a lovely Sunday at your end.

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  13. It does sound quite lovely! Even though here in northeast Ohio it is summer, hot and very muggy, you describe your weather so well I can imagine the comfort of being in your cozy home, safe and snug and well fed.

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  14. Your soup looks delicious. It's been years since I've had pea and ham soup. I've been making a cheesy potato soup lately (for my sister who had some dental work done, and also for a shared dinner at our church over the weekend), it's definitely the weather for it. We went and did our groceries before and I think it was 8 degrees at lunch time! I think the expected top today in Melbourne is 12, but I doubt it will get that high! Winter is truly here!

    Stay warm :)

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  15. I love that last photo of Jamie with Hanno attending to the peas....adorable. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  16. It sounds like a perfect Sunday. Warm soup, sounds delicious. Our Summer is so cold this year that I have been making several warm meals. Nothing like a homemade warm meal. Hope you all have a lovely new week, all the best, from Pam in Norway

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  17. It certainly is soup weather Rhonda, hope yours went down a treat, it certainly looked lovely, and that marmalade pecan slice, now that got my mouth watering, nothing lovlier than a pudding like that, takes me staight home to Mum's cooking.
    Must admit , I also love your blue and white chiba, very pretty.
    Take care Rhonda, and keep warm,
    Jane.

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  18. Home made custard - brings back the very best of childhood memories.

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  19. Hi Rhonda
    I do think that it is very strange when you are experiencing winter when here in the U.K we are having summer. And I still can't get over when you post your blog it is tomorrow for me!!! weird!
    Anyway your soup looks delicious and I would love the recipe for the marmalade and pecan slice - Mmmmm!!
    You are so right to make us stop and think about people less fortunate as it is very easy to want more than we have.
    Reading your blog provides me with warmth, inspiration and lots of valuable information to make life easier - thank you!
    Stay cosy and safe Rhonda-
    hugs from the other side of the world!
    xx

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  20. Can you please post the recipe for the marmalade and pecan slice :-) Thanks

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  21. What a wonderful day! Sounds delightful.

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  22. I love seeing the delicious soups and stews you make. Delicious!

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  23. Oh my, Hanno's soup looks so good. Do you think somewhere you could post how he makes it? I'd love to try it.

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  24. We've been having lots of soup too - I love pea and ham with a poached egg in it :) The pork, kale and potato soup looks heavenly, you couldn't share the recipe?? Snuggle up and keep warm, Jan x

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  25. Your kale looks amazing. I'm a bit envious. Here in the heat of summer the little kale that remains is bug-eaten and way past it's prime. I'm sorta looking forward to the cold dark homebound days of winter. Of course when they arrive I'll be yearning for long hot sunny days. :)

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  26. Sounds like a perfect day. The pea and ham soup looks divine, what I wouldn't give for a lovely joint of boily bacon, can't get it here in BG.

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