CHICKEN SAUSAGE SOUP

Jan 21 2022, 12:01 pm in

 

CHICKEN SAUSAGE SOUP

This is a bit spicy. The Datil pepper juice is optional. The sausage will still give it a kick. Spicy is good to warm you up and for a cold.

I always have the boxed broth in my food hoard supplies as broth is in many recipes I like.  Also, chicken and the sausage in usually in the freezer.

I like the sausage because it can be added to, or served with, many dishes for a quick meal.

I like this soup with plenty of noodles and not so much broth.  

 

INGRIDENTS

One link Savoie’s Cajun Hickory Smoked Andouille Sausage sliced.

1/3 of a chicken breast cut into mouth size pieces.

A box and a half of chicken broth.

A couple handfuls of flat wide noodles.  I prefer Mrs. Millers. (I order direct from them) They are thick, hold up well and taste yummy.  I like plenty of noodles.

1/3 c finely chopped celery

1/3 c finely chopped onion

½ carrot finely chopped

1 clove garlic

A Bay leaf

¼ teaspoon thyme

4 drops Datil pepper juice or something like Tabasco Pepper or Texas Pete juice     

½ teaspoon pepper.

Salt to taste.

COOKING DIRECTIONS

Put broth into large sauce pan. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and seasonings. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook noodles in a separate pan. When half cooked, drain and add noodles to the broth along with the chicken and sausage. Cook another 15 minutes.

I get 5 large servings of soup from this. Leftovers keep well or they can be frozen.

Leftover portions can be converted to creamy soup with milk and heavy cream.     

Let me know how yours turned out.

                                                       Rita       

 

Happy 2022

Jan 1 2022, 8:35 am

So This Is Christmas

Dec 20 2021, 7:00 am in , ,

Does your Christmas taste, smell, feel and look like mine?

Doubt it. When we think of the ways Christmas and its many traditions is celebrated we think nationality and continental differences. Here in the US Christmas is celebrated in dozens if not hundreds of different ways. Maybe you go to Chandler Arizona to see the lighting of the tumbleweed tree.

To the Plaza in Kansa City (with three hundred thousand other people) to see the lights come on.

 

 

 

 

Or, in St. Augustine Florida, The Nights of Lights, to see the whole town lit up and boats in the bay decorated in their holiday finest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Christmas do you see what I see?

I grew up in Florida. Christmas never included snow. I do see white, but its beach sand. Inside and outside Florida homes are different than homes in the north. Our wreaths are fragrant cedar boughs or magnolia leaves, decorated with holly and massive pinecones. Garlands are the same material, all of which we gathered ourselves. Table decorations could be palm fronds, magnolia leaves, holly and citrus fruit punctured with cloves. 

I decorate with Santas in flower print shirts and sandals.

On my tree are twinkle lights covered with shells and plastic flamingos and starfish.

Outside I see poinsettias in gardens

 

Palm trees, not Fraser firs, wrapped with Christmas lights. After Christmas I see Santa, in his bright print shorts, riding a yellow bicycle on the beach or surfing. No joke.

How does Santa arrive at your house? In Florida, doors are left unlocked cause chimneys are few and far between. Santa can come in a boat pulled by dolphins or alligators. His helpers are big burly guys called Bubba who help deliver gifts by truck.

 

In Hawaii he goes between the islands dressed in print shorts and sandals in an outrigger canoe pulled by four pigs. His helpers are the Menehune. Little people of the islands who live in the deep forest.

In Norway he dresses in a heavy woolen red outfit and arrives in a sled pulled by reindeer. His elves help deliver the gifts.

Santa appears to some children in a Marine Corps dress blue uniform.

During Christmas do you hear what I hear?

How do you say Merry Christmas? Around here it’s likely to be, “Y’all have a Merry Christmas.” Or maybe, according to your heritage, you say one of these.

Mele Kalikimaka- Hawaiian

Feliz Navidad- Spanish

Joyeux Noël – French

Fršhliche Weihnachten! – German

Buon Natale! – Italian

I will also say I’m far more likely to hear boat motors then sleigh bells.

Do you smell what I smell?

In Florida, as I mentioned, many Christmas wreaths and garlands were made with cedar branches. A decidedly different scent than the fir and pine boughs used in northern regions. The citrus punctured with whole cloves.

Paper white narcissus. O. My. I can’t describe the scent other than to say it’s Christmas to me.

Do you feel what I feel?

Christmas here feels warm. No need for seven layers of clothing when you are out and about. Even though the evenings can be chilly and damp and a bit foggy this time of year many holiday parties are indoor/outdoor by the pool gatherings. Or, outside around a fire pit for an oyster roast.

You certainly don’t feel terrified you’ll slip on the ice and break your bright and shiny hiney or, some reindeer is gonna run you over. You might want to keep an eye out for gators though.

Do you eat what I do?

My Christmas food experience has a Spanish influence. Paella, saffron rice cooked with chicken, pork, and a variety of seafood.  Frittata, (a potato omelet) roast pork, flan, and citrus rind candy. Thin sliced jamon and Manchego cheese. Ali Oli, a garlic, mayonnaise like, spread eaten with crispy bread slices. (BTW we were never bothered by vampires.)

 

 

No Christmas was complete without a Spanish almond nougat candy.

 

 

 

 

 

Traditions

Every family has their own special tradition. My children received Christmas lifesaver boxes in their stockings and to this day they don’t think it’s Christmas without them.

Do you have your celebration Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Eve a dear auntie would smoke a stogie and drink down three fingers of bourbon.

                                                                             She did it until she was 85.

Where ever you are, however you celebrate Christmas I wish you love, peace and happiness.

With the joys of social media we get to see what Christmas is like around the globe. Please share what the sight, sounds, tastes, smell, and feel of Christmas is to you.

 

                                                                             Rita

 

 

My World Famous Tequila Christmas Cookies

Dec 13 2021, 1:54 pm in

Tequila Christmas Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup of water

 1 tsp. baking soda

 1 cup of sugar

1 cup of butter

 1 tsp. salt

 1 cup of brown sugar

 1 tbsp. lemon juice

 4 large eggs

 1 cup nuts

 2 cups of dried fruit

 1 bottle tequila

 Sample an ounce of the tequila to check quality.

Put butter in a large bowl, pour 2 ounces of tequila and drink. With electric mixer beat butter until the bowl is fluffy.

 Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.

 At this point, it’s best to make sure the tequila is still OK, so, try a half a cup.

 Turn off the mixerer thingy.

 Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

 Pick the frigging fruit and the damn cup off the floor.

 Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, just
 pry it loose with a drewscriver.

 Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity.

 Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Check the tequila.

 Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

 Add one table.

 Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

 Greash the oven.

 Turn the cake tin to 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

 Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

 Put the bowl through the window, finish off the booze and make sure to put the dirty stove in the dishwasher.

 CHERRY MISTMAS TO ALL!

 

 

Furry War Heroes

Nov 15 2021, 8:54 am in

November 11th we honor Veterans around the world.  

Those who served come in many sizes shapes and species. Yeaph. Species. 

I believe we are most familiar with military working dogs (MWD) and K9 officers. Dogs have been in warfare since ancient times used as scouts, sentries and trackers. They sniff out explosive devices saving countless lives. They are assigned to safe guard generals and political personnel on visits outside the country. Many animal veterans are also heroes. They’ve suffered severe trauma, lost limbs and been honored for their bravery with medals.

 

Sgt Stubby, a hero dog from WW1, wandered into the training encampment of the Massachusetts of 102nd infantry in 1917. When the unit shipped out to France, Stubby was smuggled aboard ship. On the battle field, the dog alerted his friends to German attacks. He was wounded by a hand grenade, gassed several times, and once found and held a German spy by the seat of the pants until the troops could complete the capture.

When his master was wounded, Stubby accompanied him to the hospital and made rounds to cheer the troops. Sgt. Stubby survived the war and Gen. John Pershing, personally awarded him a gold medal for one of his many efforts. He became a highly decorated dog, among his medals a Purple Heart, and various veteran’s awards. Stubby returned home at the end of the war and became quite the celebrity. He was made a lifetime member of the American Legion, the YMCA, and the Red Cross. He lived at the Y and made recruiting tours for the Red Cross. Stubby passed on in 1926, he was preserved and displayed with his medals at the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Layka, a Belgian Malinois, was shot four times at point-blank range by enemy forces in Afghanistan. Despite her injuries, she attacked and subdued the shooter, protecting her handler, and other members of the team.

 

  Staff Sergeant Reckless, USMC 

The Staff Sergeant was a beer-guzzling, American hero war horse who bravely transported ammunition and carried wounded Marines to safety under enemy fire in the Korean War

She served with the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company, 1st Marine Division, was bought for $250 at a race track in Seoul during the war. The marines taught her to walk over trip wires, avoid incoming enemy fire and deliver huge packs of ammunition during battle.

During the five day Battle of Outpost Vegas in 1953 in one day she made 51 solo—that’s by herself— trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites. Marine Corps history say this battle was particularly savage and Reckless was in the middle of it. Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly “no man’s land” rice paddies and up 45-degree mountain trails to the firing sites. “It’s difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy—remember she was on her own—bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain,” Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recalled.

She carried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds – almost FIVE TONS! — of ammunition), walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. She would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain, unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns. She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line. Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down.

Her heroics defined the word “Marine.” She was BELOVED by the Marines. They took care of her better than they took care of themselves – throwing their flak jackets over her to protect her when incoming was heavy, risking their own safety.

Her Military Decorations include two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

There are several books about Sgt. Reckless. She has a face book page and a bronze statue.

Let us never forget our veterans.

                                                                     Rita

 

 

 

Veteran’s Day November 11, 2021

Nov 11 2021, 7:37 am in

Honor and respect. All gave some. Some gave all. 

 

Nov 7 2021, 7:08 pm

It gets dark by 6 now and I’m not a fan. On the flip side I enjoy the later sunrises. The sunrises have been spectacular.   

Friday and Saturday most of Florida enjoyed a good old fashion Nor’easter. Coastal towns and communities like mine also experienced King Tides. King Tides are unusually high tides occurring around the new and full moon. Mix 7 inches of rain, high winds and water and you get flooding. And, it was cold, at least for Florida. In the 50s. Town and neighborhoods had two to three feet of water in the streets. A few boats anchored in the bay broke their moorings, crashed into the bridge and or sank in rough water. Beach erosion is heavy up and down the coast. But Florida has been experiencing this for 450 years. Sunday afternoon skies cleared. By Tuesday temps should be back in their normal 70s range.

Have a great week,

                                                                                    Rita

National Authors Day

Nov 1 2021, 8:22 pm

November 1st is National Author’s Day.

 

Thank you to all authors for providing the world for hours of reading pleasure. 

 

Lighthouse Ghosts

Oct 27 2021, 7:00 am in ,

 Haunted Lighthouse

                                                                                                                                                          

From William Samuels’ Journal. 

Written on a plane headed to Kansas City.

     I love lighthouses. I grew up a block from the St. Augustine, Florida lighthouse. As a kid the grounds, with its old oaks were my playground. The light and the keeper’s house were basically abandoned after the Coast Guard automated the light.

     I’m not admitting to anything but…entering the structure was—cough—hypothetically possible. Hypothetically, I spent some rainy afternoons in the keeper’s house with a girlfriend or two, making out. Occasionally, of an evening, Clay, my best friend in high school, and I would entice our dates to climb in a window and go into the light. Not up to the top, just stay at the bottom where it was nice and private. I’ve only been to the top a handful of times. Not because it’s 219 steps to the top, but up past the first 50 or so steps I got a queasy, dizzy feeling. Like vertigo. Pretty sure it’s because of the heavy smoke smell permeating the walls. Accumulated from years of cigar and pipe smoking keepers. I also hear phantom footsteps that kept my feet firmly on the ground. One of the times I did go to the top was with a girl. While we were up there she clocked my hard enough to cause a bloody nose. Why? She said I tried to push her over the iron stair railing. I didn’t lay a hand on her and I was pretty mad she said I did something like that.

     Anyhow, that’s how I got started with lighthouses.

     I went away to journalism school at the University of Missouri and believe it or not there aren’t any lights there. I was so used to the beam from the St. Augustine light sweeping past my window every minute and a half I had trouble sleeping. I tried setting a timer on a lamp to mimic the light. Roomie put an end to that real quick.

     After graduation I worked for a couple of small newspapers and freelanced. I could see the internet was killing print media and in my spare time—which had become more than my working time—I began to write the great American novel. Quickly learned I’m no Stephen King. Writing is hard. One night at the corner pub I was telling a friend my sad tale of woe and he gave me the name of a client of his looking for a ghost writer. Well, hell. I gave it a try and found out I could do it and do it well. I live comfortably off my earnings. So do two ex-wives.

     I recently traveled to Michigan to work with a client, I’ll call Sam for the telling of this, on his auto-biography. Before taking on a gig I visit with my client to gage the tempo of their speech and get a feel for where they live. This makes the ghost writing easier. Sam spent his childhood and adult life on the upper-peninsula, or thumb, as the locals call it. A nice guy, nothing earth shaking in his life. I enjoyed listening to his rich story telling style.  Some interesting stuff, like his grandfather came to Michigan from Boston on an orphan train. We bonded big time when Sam tells me about a nearby haunted lighthouse where he and his friends hung out. I’ll be honest, I never thought about lighthouses in Michigan. But, get this, Michigan has more than any other state. Michigan’s rocky shores on four great lakes are home to a hundred and twenty lights. Florida has thirty. Yeah. We shared a few lighthouse stories and a lot of damn good whisky.

     Contract signed and my business concluded, on a whim, I drove my rental to a few of the Michigan lights. At each I was greeted by enthusiastic volunteers who treated me to the stats, stories and secrets of their wards. These bastions are pretty damn amazing. Most, built in the late nineteenth century on inhospitable rocky islands and desolate land, are pounded year round with treacherous weather. Yet, they’re still standing.  Gotta tip my hat to those who built the towers without the heavy equipment we have today.  One thing they had in common with the St Augustine light, they smell of cigar and pipe smoke. I mentioned this to the woman—an aging hippie type—showing me around. She stopped dead in her tracks and put her hand to her throat, breathing hard. Eyes big as Oreos. Thought she was having an attack and was reaching for my phone to call 911 when she told me, in a halting whisper only special people could smell the smoke.

     Alrighty then.   Said my good-bys and beat feet it out of there.

     I made my way to the next Light where a great guy and his wife show me around. At the top of the light the lady, in a hushed voice, says, “The windows are clean.” I thought she was responsible and asking for an atta girl so I told her she did a good job. Although I wasn’t sure how she’d managed to do the outside. The Mrs. politely informs me she didn’t clean the windows, the ghost did.   

     Okay.

     Moving on, I mention it’s too bad the smoke smell can’t be removed by cleaning. The couple give me a hard look. The Mr. chimes in that not everyone can smell the smoke from the light keeper’s cigars. As if I’ve given them a secret handshake into a paranormal club, tales of haunted lighthouses around the country pour from them. Strange lights, music playing, cries of women and sailors, heavy footsteps on the stairs. Cleaning ghosts, like the one here, who clean light windows and brass. Specters of women in flowing white gowns and men in pea coats.      

     On the ground, outside and after the hairs on my body returned to their proper positions I was slapped alongside the head with a book idea. Thoughts swirled in my mind and I wasn’t able to think of anything else. I’ve heard writers speak of getting ideas this way but this is a first time experience for me. I’m excited. Excited about writing for myself. I can hardly sit still. The woman in the seat next to me keeps giving me funny looks. I gave her a big smile and tell her I’m going to write a damn good book about a haunted lighthouse.

     Some of this is true. Some is not. Can you tell which is which?

                                                                                     Rita

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