Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter Gardening

It's been many years since we were in Washington for the winter.  So I'm not really sure what should be happening with gardens.  I assumed they were just dormant and could wait for my spring return.  However, I discovered all the daffodils and tulips and iris that I had planted by the new house were about 4 or 5 inches out of the ground and winter hasn't really even started yet.  
Usually by the time we get home in April the daffodils and tulips are done blooming, so I haven't even bothered to plant them in recent years.  But it really doesn't seem like they should be out of the ground in December, and maybe I planted them too shallow.  So before the real cold hits, I decided to give them some mulch.
Fortunately, we still have a big pile of mulch from when the power company cleared lines in the area and dumped it in our material pile.  So I moved several bucket loads to the area I had planted bulbs a couple of months ago.
It'll be interesting to see if I actually have daffodils and tulips to bloom in the spring.  My last venture with winter bulbs left me with a plague of fat moles, but these are closer to the house, so I may have better luck.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Making Ribble Soup

My mother was always a wizard at making a hearty delicious meal out of what she could find in the fridge - even at the end of the month in the middle of the wilderness.  One of my all time favorite things she made is a simple hearty winter time soup that uses very few ingredients.

Basic Recipe:  A couple of peeled and diced potatoes (about 2 cups)
                       One onion - diced
                        A few Stalks of celery diced
                        1/4 cup butter
Melt the butter and saute the onion celery and potatoes until the onions are softened.  Add salt and pepper and a a cup of water and simmer while making the ribbles.

Ribbles:         1 1/2 cups of flour
                       1 teaspoon salt
                       2 eggs

Mix until the mixture is crumbly - leaving some chunks about 1/2" to an inch in size.

                      One cup milk - add to potatoes onions and celery and 
heat to boiling.

                      Pour the ribbles into the soup and stir to separate.  The larger chunks will be like homemade noodles and the balance of flour will thicken the soup.  Add milk until desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste.  One time I added a pint of oysters and it made the best oyster stew I have ever tasted.  Sounds simple, but definitely a family favorite.