In lieu of blog posting I have been feeding the woodstove.
Ah. The woodstove. Such a romantic thing, the woodstove.
Soups bubbling away on top, children playing board games, basking in the warmth.
When temperatures dip down to the teens (we were at 10 degrees one night), and only rise to mid 20's in the daytime, it isn't quite so romantic. More a matter of life and death. The boys cart in many apple boxes of wood for me. Five typically get us through the evening and the first load up of morning. We take turns sleeping in the living room to do the three refills at 11:30, 1:45 and 3am. The wind howls and the coyotes yip. The mom gets kind of sleepy. She truly loves heating with the woodstove, but the record lows this early in the winter season are trying.
All that said, it is rather nice to get back to woodstove soups. This week's special was split pea barley soup with turkey. I made a huge batch so we could freeze half for later. You might want to make a smaller pot. Here is the basic idea:
Saute a chopped onion, two stalks of celery, two or three carrots in a little bit of olive oil. Add 3/4 gallon of the wonderful stock you made from your leftover turkey bones. Or some broth you buy at Krogers. Or plain water. Throw in two or three cloves of smashed garlic. Add one cup of rinsed split peas and one cup of pearled barley. Add one generous teaspoon of dried thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Place pot of soup makings on top of your woodstove (or kitchen stove if you have other ways of heating your house.) I let this concoction cook for two or three hours or more. If your soup looks too thick, add more water or broth. Simple, but so yummy on blustery days. If you had a leftover ham bone, throw that in the pot and add some chopped up ham. Be sure and give a stir occasionally to keep everything from burning on the bottom once it gets thick.