Thursday, April 27, 2017

Storm and shine











On Tuesday, we were in and out of storms all day long. As you know, I am a pluviophile (love that word!), or a person who really, really likes rain. Tuesday's weather was a nice change of pace from the sunny, warm weather we've had here for weeks. February, March and April were all fairly dry and the temperatures were mostly above average, day after day. Don't get me wrong - I love beautiful weather too. However, I find it gets kind of boring to have nothing but. So when the weather turns stormy, I'm really happy. I find myself going outside just to look at everything while it's wet, because it really does look different. I especially love to see water on the flowers and leaves. Raindrops on roses, and all that.

It was lovely. There was steady rain all morning, then things got more exciting in the afternoon with occasional thunderstorms. In the morning, I stayed home and crocheted, while watching Heir Hunters on Netflix, to which I'm a bit addicted at the moment. It's fascinating. I wonder if it's hard to become a probate researcher...I think I'd be good at it. I'd certainly enjoy being nosy for a purpose. I'm working on my crocheted Maybelle squares right now and loving them so much. I'm making a lot of progress. I think we could be using this blanket by next winter! I don't want to rush but they're so pleasant to make, they almost crochet themselves. It feels so good to have a project I love again. I went so long without a good crochet adventure. Last year without crochet was surprisingly frustrating, though I did complete three large cross-stitch projects. I enjoyed them a lot but I really missed crochet. A rainy morning for quiet crochet was just the ticket after a hectic and stressful couple of weeks.

The weather on Tuesday reminded me a lot of the lake-effect storms we had when we lived near Lake Ontario. The rain seemed to come in bands, much like lake-effect snow, interspersed with periods of broken clouds and bright sun. We had two separate thunderstorms, with lightning and small hail, in the afternoon and evening. The sky turned dark and the wind howled. Both storms lasted just a few minutes but they were thrilling. The small Bears and I stopped what we were doing and watched from inside the house. After the first storm, we spent some time in the backyard and let the hens out. It was chilly outside, damp and windy, but the sky was pretty.

Before we knew it, the weather turned again and we went back inside. I started dinner - Chicken Pot Pie Soup, an easy favorite we don't have very often but oh so perfect for a stormy day. I sat down with a magazine under the family room skylight just to listen to the raindrops and tiny hail hit the glass. Our soup was delicious. After dinner, I sat looking out the sliding-glass door at rain-soaked flowers, hummingbirds dipping and darting, and the last few raindrops splashing into patio puddles.

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Have you ever had Chicken Pot Pie Soup? I got this recipe from a friend years ago, one of those concoctions that uses canned condensed soup as a base with lots of fresh ingredients added. I try to cook most meals from scratch, but sometimes this soup is just the thing. It's especially good with a biscuit or bread roll on top, just like a pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive or other oil
Black pepper
Dried herb poultry seasoning (or dried sage and/or marjoram)
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced potato
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup*
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of celery soup*
2 soup cans water
1 soup can milk
1 cup frozen peas

On medium heat, brown the chicken in oil in a large stockpot that has a lid, seasoning with pepper and poultry herbs to taste. Remove the chicken to a plate. 

Add the carrot, celery and potato to the pot. Cook them for 5 minutes until they're just starting to become tender. Remove the vegetables from the pot. 

Put both soups into the pot, adding cans of water and milk. Whisk the soup and liquid until well-blended and add the chicken and vegetables back into the pot, stirring to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer with the lid tilted, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and the soup is thickened a bit. Stir the frozen peas into the soup about five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

*I prefer Campbell's Healthy Request varieties of cream soups, for lower sodium and fat.

21 comments:

  1. You know I am right there with you on the rain thing. Totally love it. I miss the really hard rains we had in Texas sometimes. It never rains very hard here, just little easy showers, but it does rain more often. I already copied the soup recipe. Sounds so good and right up my alley as far as effort. Ha.

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  2. It sounds like a blissful Tuesday all round! I am glad you found some happy crochet moments. I am not a pluviophile (we get rather more rain than I like here in Scotland) but I do like a good thunderstorm (which we rarely get, not warm enough). Isn't it really fascinating watching lightening? Your soup looks lovely. Thanks for the recipe, it looks like a good dish to make on a weekday evening. I would have to adapt it though, I am a bit 'funny' with tins of cream of chicken soup. The smell of a freshly opened tin of cream of chicken reminds of of stressful and difficult times in my life. Silly, eh? I would happily eat the soup but can't open the can... maybe I could use chicken stock and double cream instead! Anyway, I am off to check out heir hunters on Netflix. Have a lovely rest of the week. x

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  3. lovely! a great chicken soup is always a treat! and this one sounds delicious! *** I love a good rainy day too! love the picture of the flower petals with water; there is so much beauty in the world! How blessed we are to see it!

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  4. It's ages since I watched Heir Hunters. I find it fascinating. It's like being nosey in an okay sort of way, somehow. Your chicken soup looks amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :o)

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  5. I'm envying you your rain, I don't remember the last time we had some proper rain here, the ground is so dry. And a morning spent crocheting while the rain falls - blissful, and very well deserved I think. I miss yarny projects if I don't have one on the go. I've started a small blanket for the living room for those chilly mornings when the little people come downstairs to read a book. Not sure if it will be ready for the autumn but it would be nice if it was. Although of course then I'd have to start something else... CJ xx

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  6. Your recipe sounds delicious!!! I like a rainy day too, as long as we don't have too many. We've had a very dry winter and spring. I'm so envious of your iris! What a beautiful color.

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  7. Yesterday afternoon a bolt of lightening shot earthward across the street, followed immediately by a crack and rumble of thunder! We rarely get either lightening or thunder here so when they visit we gather to watch and listen to the show. Your soup looks yummy, and I have not tried the recipe before. Maybe I will try broccoli soup tonight as it is raining off and on here still. Thanks for the Netflix suggestion. I just found a British show last night on Netflix, Out in the Country [I think] and love the scenery from around England, plus they include craft demonstrations and house tours. So far I have watched bobbin lace making, and sausage and leather making. I have been fiddling around with watercolor painting this week and a little bit of crochet. I still have to watch YouTube every time I want to make a magic circle....more practice will make perfect? xx

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  8. Beautiful photos, Jennifer!
    Soups sounds scrumptious. It's cold here again.

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  9. I did not know that word pluviophile, but it is lovely enough to make a pluviophile out of me. I do remember "Il pleut" from French class, which also promotes a more appreciative attitude about wet days.

    After going outdoors to enjoy the rain, why not come back in and eat some Chicken Pot Pie Soup? That would be the perfect rainy day.

    I think our rain is just about gone for the season, here in finally-sunny California. But I am saving the recipe and the word from your post. Thank you!!

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  10. We need both sunshine and rain. You captured it beautifully!

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  11. You would love the spring we've had here. Lots and lots and lots of rain. In fact, the weatherman said that we have already had DOUBLE our normal YERALY amount of rainfall. Plus last night we had a real thunderstorm with lightening and hail, which is very rare here. Your soup looks amazing and quite the things for these chilly spring days.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  12. Such beautiful photos so always a delight to visit. Love the sound of the soup, its always good to have a quick recipe to hand. I am missing not doing some crochet, sewing is taking priority at the moment, making curtains and such for our new home. Have a great weekend.

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  13. Not heard the word pluviophile before, I will test it out on my husband later and see if he knows what it means. He's always so knowledgeable. My son may like the word too as he adopted discombobulated (disconcert or confuse) from a book he read by Anthony Horowitz.
    I'm not keen on 'lots' of rain myself. When we lived south in the UK (Hampshire then Kent) my husband wanted to move 'up North', he wanted to live in The Lake District but I couldn't, I appreciate it's beauty definitely, but all that rain. Not for me. So we moved via a 2 year rental in South Yorkshire to Lincolnshire, which I'm told is the Midlands. I love it and am happy with the weather. Like you though, I do absolutely love a jolly good thunderstorm, the louder the better.
    Like Christina, I don't like the smell of condensed soups, I don't like to eat stews with a spoon either. Don't know why, think it harps back to childhood illness recovering.
    I have this cookery book below, and love to make the chicken broth in it. It uses a chicken carcass and vegetables and you can add extras such as pearl barley or other dried soup bulkers such as dried peas. I love my pressure cooker and could never be without it. The other day (I) dinner was late, so I pressure cooked the filling - meat part of the shepherds pie with some extra liquid for 10 mins instead of the usual 30 mins approx simmer. Then topped with mash and oven baked to brown in the normal way. Enjoy the weekend, love your blog. Cathy x
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pressure-Cooking-Kitchen-Sue-Probert/dp/0706429788/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493368708&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=sue+probert+pressure+cooking+recipes

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  14. Lovely photo of the bird nest building, is it a robin? Our European robins are so different from the American ones. I haven't watched Heir Hunters for a long time but I used to enjoy it, I loved seeing how they tracked people down, sometimes it was very similar to the methods I've used when tracing my family tree.

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  15. Beautiful photos, Jennifer! I'm a storm lover too, but not so much a rain lover. Maybe that's because the rain we get here is incessant. A sudden, passing burst of the stuff I can handle. :-)

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  16. I love the rain too just not everyday, love your photo's Jennifer have a great weekend. :) xx

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  17. You have some lovely shots of the rain, clouds and mountains. The shot of the rain soaked roses makes them look like wet velvet.
    Up until the time our basement flooded from an extremely violent thunderstorm I used to love rain and storms too. I still like them, but there's that underlying worry "is the basement dry?!". I like it when we're camping and we're snug in our trailer and we listen to the rain pelting down and the drops continue off the trees long after the storm has passed. I don't really want to emerge from our cocoon ;)
    Your soup sounds like just the ticket for a stormy day. You could make some quick dumplings and boil them on top of the soup for the last 15 minutes. I do this with our stews - even quicker than making biscuits! I'm saving your recipe for our next storm, thanks for sharing it.
    Enjoy your weekend ... I was hoping for hot 'n sunny, but we got cold 'n cloudy instead. blah
    Wendy

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  18. Gorgeous photos, Jennifer. And such a delicious soup recipe! We have plenty of rain where I live....but in the summer especially I am glad of it for the green landscape and lots of beautiful flowers. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
    Helen xox

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  19. I love your chicken soup recipe, which we would enjoy too. I loved ready about your storms and being a pluviophile. We are right there out on the deck looking when a storm comes here too - love watching the skies and what happens in a short time. Hi to the chickens and the robin on the roof!

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  20. Morning Jen. It is nice to be all snug inside with soup when the weather is doing its thing outside. Hope you are having a good weekend. Jo x

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  21. You know, we actually had about three weeks without any rain and I was so happy when it did come. The garden instantly looked better and everything seemed to grown an extra inch. I love how you described your stay at home day with the rain outside, it felt so cosy. And that soup sounds delicious, thank you for the recipe.

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