I realize that I have been out of the loop for a few days. We have had a crazy week here. In North Dakota where my husband and sisters, Kathy and Melissa, teach and I substitute there were no classes because of the annual teacher convention. This year they focused on Common Core, which according to Melissa is great. She told me that as English teachers, she and I had always taught that way, but no one had named it anything. Funny how all of that works. I have found in 30 years of being around education off and on most things get recycled with a new name every so many years. I will let you in on one secret about people living in either of the Dakotas, we get real upset about teaching “fads” coming at us from the coasts or the south. We believe we do a darn good job of educating around here, we just don’t do much about tooting our own horns with it. Anyway, I don’t know how I got onto this except the days off thing.
As for the days off, mostly we all went to those conventions in the past. This year with the Common Core thing, you had to be part of the “team” that your school sent, and you had to attend all sessions. Talk about a turn off. I understand that you should learn the whole thing, but…choices…?? Also my sister Kathy’s father-in-law passed away. His funeral was on Friday, and we decided to show a little family support, etc… Cal had been a school bus driver in his district for 49 years. I believe he finally decided to retire this year when he had some health issues. He was a man who loved children, and I would guess much of the school gymnasium (No church could have held the 600+ people who attended.) was filled with people who rode his bus or were parents of such. In our part of the world, we rely on experienced drivers who are mostly retired from other professions to drive our children to school through sometimes not such great weather on gravel roads to and from home. Anyway the point is, no one in the family could attend this year because of the circumstances.
So even my place had some extra family on some days, and it was less than conducive to sitting down and writing blog posts. Thus, I will give you a brief update on what we accomplished. Lots of visiting. My sister’s son was home from the military on a funeral leave. Paulina took a test early and explained circumstances to another professor, and left school to be here Thursday afternoon and Friday. Victoria packed up herself and Jaxon and showed up a few minutes after Paulina and so we had a house full. Jessica, unfortunately was out and about with work and a wedding obligation, and wasn’t able to make it. We would have found room for her, but such is life.
On Thursday, I decided to attack another five gallon pail of beets. They really do turn into 14 quarts of frozen, diced beets. Though I am not sure that my quart bags are really only one quart in volume. All I know is they are one part of the ingredients of my vegetable soup. On Friday afternoon, after the funeral everyone except Paulina, Victoria and me went to the local football game. We stayed home and cooked Vegetable soup, Knepfla soup and fry bread. I peeled and sliced, Paulina diced and did some flavoring, and Victoria made the bread dough and the fry bread and did some soup flavoring. I think we should get a food cart and hit the Baaken.
So here is the vegetable soup recipe on that day: As much as I had or felt like peeling of diced beets, potatoes, carrots, shredded cabbage, at least one quart canned whole tomatoes, two portions of frozen tomato paste and two cups of pre-boiled rice. The girls threw in a little beef base, but sometimes I leave that out. Let is boil up a bit as the vegetables have great flavor of their own to add. I was bragging about how it all was from the garden until my sister Adrienne pointed out that we don’t raise rice. I was horrified to remember that. Well another addition to the garden next year. Ha!
I will quit for now as this is getting really wordy. I will leave you with the pictures from Thursday when Paulina and I did up that pail of beets. I have two more pails of three gallons each to go. If they produce at the same rate, it will yield 52 quarts of beets, which doesn’t account for all the earlier batches I did. Anyway 52 quarts equals one pot of vegetable soup each week. Perhaps that is what I will make each Wednesday in memory of my mother’s soup Wednesdays at her café.
The smartest purchase I ever made in my life was the set of steel bowls I bought before I was married. I also received three more at my wedding shower. It is great to have them at canning time. OK, I promise I will quit as this is way too long.