Winter and Spring had a SmackDown! yesterday

Someone has been looking for the post I did about Arthur Lobel’s Frog and Toad books. Here’s that link – you used too many words in your search, next time just punch in “frog and toad”.

Cause Frog and Toad are not just for kids, that’s a great story about friendship, enjoy!

And a great story for this time of year, when Spring is busting to get in, but Winter says, “I’m still in here!” – two sisters fighting over the bathroom.

That’s what it looked like here yesterday. One minute gloomy, black skies, threatening clouds, the next minute so bright a dummass like me might hang out a load of wash. And them swooosh! Rain comes pouring down out of a perfectly  sunny sky. 

Yes, I did hang laundry yesterday. Towels. I’d been wanting to do laundry for days.   So I ran out there with my washing and hung it up on the clothesline, where it flapped in a fresh breeze for about two hours, not getting dry maybe, but dry-er.  I like to have them outside for a few hours, and then leave them hanging over the stair railing over night. Instead I found myself bounding out to yank them down. That’s always a comedy, with the dogs yacking me back to the garage.  I would guess it had been raining for about 5 minutes when I noticed the splash on my upstairs window, and they were already so wet I had to run them through the dryer for like a half hour before I could bring them in the house

Dammit! $$$$$$$$$$$$!

As I was running back and forth outside – all morning, really – I saw one after another line of geese moving North, headed for the feeding pools at Tule Lake, I assume. They fly back and forth all day in the early Winter. That’s when you can bag yourself a big fat goose, or maybe a few ducks. But now they are just flying North, all morning, big big lines, sometimes two or three groups tagging each other. When we were up in the hills the other day, we watched them circle and circle and circle in Butte Creek Canyon to get over the Sierra, they have to spiral  themselves up that high. As I watched them through my binoculars it occurred to me what an awesome thing it is they do, every year.

So when I realized this is it, it’s going to rain.  The skies over the mountains were absolutely black.  I went back in the house to make some soup.

I’ve been trying to get in the habit of saving bits of green vegetables – like the core from cabbage or the heart of a head of romaine, celery heart, etc – and making vegetable broth. I keep these bits in a clean ziplock bag and when the bag is full it’s time to make a pot of broth. I wash and sort the stuff and dump it in my big enamel pot. I barely cover it with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt, and put a lid on it. I bring it to a very low simmer and leave it for about an hour. When the vegetables are faded and limp, it’s done. Yesterday I added spinach stems, which gave it an herby smell. 

I  strained out the soggy vegetables, and got about three cups of broth in a second smaller pan, which I brought to a boil. When it was bubbling away, I turned it off and set a raw boneless, skinless chicken thigh in the water, set the lid back on, and left it for 5 minutes. Voila! – that’s French for, “wow, smells like chicken!” 

Then I put the chicken thigh, which is almost cooked on the outside but still raw on the inside, into the first pot, where I had sauteed some onions and garlic with a little oil. As I sauteed the chicken I cut it up with a fork and knife. This is how my husband cooks taco meat. Somehow it’s different than cutting it up raw and putting it in the pan.  

To this I add about a quarter cup of cheap white wine. When the chicken still looks a little raw, I add the broth and get it going to a gentle simmer. Now I add chopped carrots and celery. In about a half hour I put in some egg noodles from the store, or maybe I have some homemade pasta leftover. Within 10 minutes it’s ready to eat.

I did this while I was working on my taxes – very soothing! By the time my husband came in from work, cold and wet (he did a job in the hills today, where it snowed), the aroma had made it down stairs to the front door – Welcome Home Honey!  We washed up and brought the dogs in and sat down for a hot bowl of soup. 

So we sat looking out the window at the two sisters fighting, treetops swaying, clouds of different colors moving in a swirl. We had Kris Kuyper on the tube, and he said there had been a funnel cloud spotted over O-ville! 

Yeeeee-haw Babee! Welcome to Northern California! 






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