Thursday, December 20, 2012

Unexpected Day At Home

Well, our game today (trip to Swamp River Ridge and back with a load) was called because of icy roads and high wind.  We were all suited up, packed and 'bout ready to go out the door when Chicken Mama called from the road (she had left 20 minutes before us) saying conditions were not good and she didn't want us to chance it today.

Papa Pea and I stood in the kitchen looking at each other and I said, "We really should do something outside since we're both dressed for it."  

He decided to go work on our hiking/snowmobiling/snowshoeing loop on the back of our property.  It suffered a lot of blow down damage over the summer (always does) and we never got around to cleaning it up this past fall.  So off he went and I went back to the wood shed and spent an hour or so chopping kindling in an effort to (start to) fill the kindling bin which I never got around to doing this past fall.  (We must have both really sloughed off this fall, eh?)

Then I came in and made a batch of Coco-Mint Cookies (Christmas-type thingies) that I haven't made in years.  By then hubby was back and walked out to get the mail since we probably aren't going out or needing to start a vehicle today.

I had made a big batch of potato soup day before yesterday and we had a lot left over.  I've gotten into the habit of adding veggies to the potato soup the second (or third) time around which I did for lunch today.  I added (frozen from the garden) broccoli and peas.  Frozen turkey meat from Thanksgiving and corn went into the pot, too.  Tasted pretty darn good!

But that isn't the soup I wanted to blog about today.  In answer to the request for the Cheddar-Cauliflower Soup recipe from my Unknown Nephew (I still don't know which nephew.  In California?  Or Illinois?  Or Florida?  Come on, fess up, Fella!), here it is.  (Dang, I know I wrote this recipe in a blog post before, but I sure can't find it in the archives.)


1 head cauliflower
1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4-1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried parsley (fresh, if you have it, of course is better!)
2 cups chicken broth (about one can if you don't have homemade)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon  flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch each of nutmeg and white pepper
2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 (I've used whole milk and/or half cream and half milk)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-sized chunks.  In large saucepan, combine cauliflower, onion, parsley and chicken broth.  Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer til cauliflower is tender.

In a smaller saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Cook stirring until bubbly.  Remove from heat and gradually blend in 1/2 & 1/2.  Return to heat and cook, stirring frequently, until very hot (but don't boil).  

Stir in the shredded cheese until melted.

Add cheese sauce to cauliflower mixture.  Makes about 6 cups.

The above picture isn't a fair depiction of the soup because it's the batch I was going to take out for our work day today, so it's cold and has been patiently waiting in the refrigerator right now.

The flavor of this soup improves the second day and it also thickens a little overnight so you may want to add a little water or milk when reheating it.

I use the same recipe substituting broccoli for the cauliflower.  Good stuff!

Okay, back I go out to my kindling project.  I love splitting kindling.  It's kinda mindless work, but provides good thinking time.  (For me, it's mostly thinking about not whacking my fingers with the hatchet!)     


Kelly said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! I have a head of cauliflower that I was going to use for chow chow, but my tomatoes turned red, and I hate wasting food, so I'm going to make this right now, since our electricity just came back on!!!! Hopefully the wind doesn't knock it out again while I'm making it!!!!

Susan said...

Just reading that recipe warmed my cockles. I do love my cheese. And my cauliflower. I'm putting on my snowshoes and I'll be there in ... a couple of months! Is this the big storm they are now naming?

Carolyn said...

How sad is it that I've been back to this post three times and just now said "hello". I just keep looking at that pot of soup.

And make sure that Susan keeps her cockles to herself....I'm just getting over a cold.

Anonymous said...

Yum... love cauliflower. Cheese mixed in, double yum... And brrrr...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe dear aunt.

Gonna make me a big pot of it tomorrow.

Happy Holidays from ILLINOIS.

Chicken Mama said...

Ha! Told you, Mom. ;)

Akannie said...

We're having our first snowstorm's been a corker. And I was supposed to be having a solstice party tomorrow, but we've cancelled it due to ice and snow and our old country roads.

CAuliflower cheese soup--one of my favorites. That and potato soup. Yum!

Anonymous said...

That recipe looks delish! Can't wait to try it :) Hope you still have all your fingers today :P

Amy Dingmann said...

Ok, first off...the soup looks amazing and just what I need to get this chill outta my bones. Secondly...only a Minnesotan would say "Well, as long as we're already dressed for outside, might as well do something outside." You go, girl!!

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - Sure hope you like it . . . let me know!

We've had high winds that continued all during the night but no outages . . . yay! Hope you aren't "in the dark!"

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Once again, the snow stayed south of us. Just wind, cold and ice here. Yuck. Not even enough snow on the ground for snowshoeing!

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Well, if you get your little butt going, you can get here for some of the soup before it's gone! Papa Pea and Chicken Mama ate a bowl late last night (when CM staggered in from her long day) but there's still plenty left!

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - Even this guy I live with ("Where's the meat? I need my meat!") loves this soup.

And yeah, brrr for sure. We're down to the teens in temp this morning with the wind still blowing . . . and no snow cover to speak of. Not good!

Mama Pea said...

Dear Sneaky Nephew - Yup, we all voted last night and figured it must have been you with the request! Glad to share the recipe. You could even put a small amount in the blender, whiz it up and feed it to your little munchkin. That's what I used to do for baby food for CM. Whatever we were eating, I blended and fed to her. And she grew up big and strong!

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - Bummer that you had to cancel your solstice party! But no sense chancing anyone having a slippery accident!

Happy Solstice to you and yours!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - All fingers accounted for! Nary even a close call yesterday. But today is so much colder I'm wishing I had spent more time out there yesterday. Oh well, I have warm boots and long underwear!

Mama Pea said...

Mama Tea - Only a Minnesotan would KNOW why I'd say that! Heck, I even had activated foot warmers in my boots and I didn't want to waste those!

judy said...

I just happen to have a head of cauliflower and that is the second time this week,I heard white pepper and another weird spice in gingerbread cookies,they sounded awfully good ,they also had minced ginger candy pieces in them .My son is up there fishing,will you holler out the back door and tell him to clean the walleye before he brings them home-lol-have a very Merry Christmas

Erin said...

Glad you enjoyed some time outside, but I'm not so sure I believe that your woodpile/kindling wasn't all full and ready to go.... LOL!