You'll have to pardon me for not typing this week, I was very busy! But that doesn't mean I didn't have anything to type. Every time I tried to sit down and log on something would come up and I had to put it off once again. I'm sure you've all had days...and weeks(!) like that.
Last Sunday I had finished putting the veggie garden to bed. There is absolutely nothing else to do in it until next spring (not counting mulching and caging berry bushes for winter, I still need to do that). That Sunday, since things are tight, I tried something new for supper from the pantry. A while back someone gave me a bag of lentils they didn't know how to use. I've never really cooked lentils beyond that 15 bean soup bag which had them in it. I also had a bunch of beans but wanted something much faster then beans. What I came up with was surprisingly good, hearty, and cheap to make and i had left overs for days between the two of us. If you've never tried them, this is what I did, though I did not follow a recipe I just tossed in what I had, kind of like "garbage soup".
1 lb bag of dried brown lentils (Reading up on lentils later, I discovered they come in different colors)
1 can condensed tomato soup (normally I would use tomato paste but this is what I had)
7 cups of water
8 chicken bullion cubes
1 can of sweet corn
Garlic greens (I missed some garlic in the harvest and it was sprouting in the garden..had to dig em up anyway so why waste em eh?)
1 bay leaf (I used a fresh one from my little potted bay tree!)
dried thyme (amount? I just dumped some in)
ground black pepper (again, I didn't measure)
chili powder (nope...just poured it on it again)
I combined it all in a big soup pot and let it come to a boil, then simmered for about 40 minutes until the lentils were tender. This would be really good with sausage in it if you wanted to add meat but as it is, there is plenty of protein and fiber just in the lentils. I also made some white bread to go with it in my $5 thrift shop bread machine.
When this was all ready to be served, Brandi dog decided to get into some mischief but not the usual kind. This time it was VERY SERIOUS and SCARY. Mike was on the computer watching hockey while I was fixin' supper when Brandi decided to charge right through a screen window and go running off. Mike ran after her but this dog is FAST. We were frantic. We took turns searching by car but Brandi had run into adjacent farm fields and open areas. We called everyone we could think off, the police, animal control, humane society, the Houndsong rescue group whom we adopted her through. She is of course micro chipped but we didn't want her to be lost! It started to get dark. We kept hoping she'd smell her way home before dark as it was getting cold. Brandi HATES cold.
After searching and searching, I finally came home, feeling awful about losing our dog. But then the phone rang. It was the police dispatcher. They had found a dog and wanted to know if I could go see if it was mine. She couldn't give me a description but gave me a location. I hopped back into the car and drove as fast as my little Accent could go. I pulled up to two police cars. The police men were standing outside with a very happy and pleased with herself looking hound dog. It was Brandi, doing her best to impress the police with good behavior and acting very sweet. Apparently, when she got lonely and bored with tracking critters down, she went to the first people she saw for companionship. She really does hate to be alone, even more then she hates being cold. I was VERY glad to get her back. Thanks Portage Police!!! I am also glad she didn't go to one of the neighboring farms to harass livestock. I was afraid she would try that.
Since then, Brandi hasn't wanted to let me out of her sight at all. I can't even disappear into the bathroom without her getting frantic. I'm hoping she learned her lesson. She's been sticking to me like glue whenever I am home. I think being alone out there probably scared her silly.
It was a good thing she came home, as the next morning a first light frost coated the grass on the north side of the house when I got up. Its been very chilly these past nights but the days have been warming nicely. This year, the leaves on the trees are spectacular. Very bright and colorful. In fact, I think it's the best leaf year I've had since moving to Indiana. This weekend I have to work, but next weekend I most certainly will squeeze a hike in to take in some of the leaves and maybe I'll pack a picnic to enjoy.
Well, I hope you enjoy your weekend!
7 months ago