Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ruminations on Ukrainian Prairie food and Sick PreSchoolers

Well folks just when we were finally on the road to recovery Abby found herself another virus. March has been the worst month in recent memory for sickness around here, both the kids  had back to back viruses and missed over two weeks of outings and school between the two of them. Then Seth got sick which immediately was an ear infection (also loads of fun should you ever wonder fleetingly about infecting the ears of a man who has a broken ear drum and a compromised immune system- vote yes- vote a total riot.)

And just when we thought that things were looking healthier around here, Kablammo! Abby is sick again. Hopefully Norah can avoid the extreme fever and chills that had Abby ( and subsequently Seth and myself) up until 5am this morning. I do suppose that the one really really good thing about one of us being sick is that it immediately trips my 'soup trigger' and has me thinking steaming bowls of tasty stoup. Oh yes that "t" is in there for a reason, I cannot actually make a soup per say, but I am a master craftsman of the Stew+Soup=Stoup. My Stoup is always intended to be a soup, but alas far more vegetable, meat and rice/noodles/potatoes fit in than I ever expect. If there is room in the broth it just doesn't look full enough to me and so I add, and add, and add until... Stoup. I suppose the only real reason that it isn't just called a Stew is that I intended  it, however briefly, to be a soup when I began.

This particular stoup was a great hit and even had Abby munching away despite the non-appetite of a cold. Let me introduce: Ukrainian Prairie Soup, otherwise known as the best damn soup I have ever made. This was such a great meal, and it immediately reminded Seth and I of growing up in Alberta with the huge Ukrainian population and all the tasty yummy delectable food that should be eaten and available everywhere... but isn't. I must admit that I took it for granted that I could go to the store and buy a 5 kg bag of perogies for 7 dollars, did you hear that 5KG of PEROGIES? Or how about a tray of cabbagerolls, tasty rolls of meat and rice covered with that great tomato sauce, seriously!! I mean the trouble I could get into with that these days!

But alas, not here in warm and rainy Spokane, perogies and cabbagerolls are simply the stuff of harsher winters where the only reason you leave the decently warm bus to walk home in the freezing/windy/icy/snowy/wasteland is because you know that there is 5kgs of perogies waiting for you. Or at least I tell myself this so I won't spend every hungry moment bemoaning the lack of perogies and cabbage rolls. Anyway back to the stoup, here we are folks a stoup that tastes just like cabbage rolls and then some. Granted it lacks ground beef, but I am sorta picky about ground beef in soups and I would have told you I hated that the lovely fatty tasty amazing ground beef that should be a hamburger or a meatloaf is floating in a liquid. BUT then I had some ground beef soup at the lovely Sarah's house and well.... she may have changed my mind a little, or a lot, that was damn good soup too, but I don't have that recipe I have this one:

1 tblsp each of butter and oil
2 large chicken breasts diced with salt and pepper to taste
Half a head of Green cabbage chopped
1 cup of chopped green beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of tomato soup
3 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked rice ( remember the stoup, you may want less if you can't handle the STOUP)
1 tblsp of dried dill

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, brown in butter and oil, add cabbage and saute until slightly translucent, add beans and tomatoes, soups, broth, rice and dill. Bring to boil and simmer for half and hour or so until the stoup has thickened and you are clamouring for food.

It is seriously good folks!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The best kind ever

This is Real Love

The best kind ever
Just being, and doing, together

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Snowy Day

Ah Spokane, what a fickle winter you weave. Sometimes it snows and then it rains and then it's cold, no warm, and then cold, and then spring-like... the only place more indecisive in winter is Calgary. BUT I do really love living here, and the variety has made it more fun. I grew up in Edmonton where the winters were polar, bitter, freezing and ridiculous. At least one week of minus 30-40 celsius and on top of that freezing winds, lots of snow.... you get the drift. ha ha get it? snow.. drift.. okay lame, but the point is that I am really enjoying winter here! On our last snow day I was out with the girls trampling that newly fallen blanket of pristine white flakes into a strange highway of boot tracks criss-crossing our huge yard.
There was much excitement about shadows for some reason and Norah spent a lot of time exclaiming about the location of her shadow and it's neat trick of following her around

Abby and Nemo were digging for ... well.... something

And now for this dog, I have to tell you, this dog is so damn cute. And especially when he is all covered in snow and NOT banging on the back door to be let in, then he is extra cute.

Our loyal doggies, featuring Snow dog and Old dog who is far too dignified to actually prance in the snow, I mean really!

Lastly.. our tracks, Norah was most impressed that people make tracks just like animals do, thank you Diego.