Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bread & Soup

It sounds odd, but we didn't seem to really have a good chunk of time to cook over the three day weekend. Saturday was errands and chores and then a movie & dinner, Sunday was laundry and football and a family dinner, and Monday was taking the car in for its 15,000 mile check up (or, um, 20,000 mile check up and an overdue oil change) plus we went out for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week plus we went shopping because SP desperately needs new boots (we were unsuccessful in finding new boots). We wanted some time for relaxing, too. So our solution to cooking dinner for this week was to throw together vegetable soup ingredients in the crock pot Saturday evening and let it slow cook overnight.

The ingredients were the usual: chicken stock, can of tomatoes, green beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion. This time, SP decided to toss in a bundle of rosemary & thyme from the bags of frozen fresh herbs. Last October, we washed and froze a bunch of our fresh herbs from the deck and we've been slowly using them over the winter months.

I wasn't too keen on the rosemary idea, but I didn't say anything. Now I wish I had. The soup has way too much rosemary flavor for me plus a lot of the rosemary needles fell off the stem and are now swimming in the soup.
That is just half of the rosemary I plucked out of my one small bowl of soup. Ugh. Now imagine how much must be swimming the a whole large crock pot of soup. We decided last night that while we love the smell of fresh rosemary and while it grew well on the deck and looked pretty, we just don't much enjoy fresh rosemary taste. I confessed that all the fresh rosemary we used in lamb marinades and other dishes over the summer didn't impress me as much as the dishes made with dried rosemary. I expected more from fresh rosemary. SP confessed he felt the same way.

So I'm not much enjoying the soup. But I am enjoying the bread SP made Monday morning. He tossed all the ingredients into the bread machine before heading out to the car place. I listened to the bread churn and smelled baking bread aroma for about three hours - it finished right around noon, when SP got home from the car place.
I like this bread much more than the bread we made last Christmas Eve. SP used the same recipe, but he set the machine for a low crust setting instead of medium plus he used real milk instead of powdered milk with water. So much tastier and not as dry. This bread almost makes the soup taste good.

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