Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Soup Time

,Woke up this morning with the head stuffies having turned into a full fledged cold. This being the case, I took what seemed like a medicine chest full of help then relaxed on our "reading chair" while drinking a cup of cold care tea. David came downstairs and I shamelessly asked him to make me some breakfast. I ended up breaking my fast with a nice plate of eggs, toast & apple slices. After breakfasting with David and the U.S. vs. Germany World Cup game, I thought I'd get around a bit and make some soup. I had split pea in mind, but alas, with all the assorted legumes in my cupboard, there was nary a pea to be found. Thanks to our CSA produce from Pitchfork & Crow, we have an abundance of yummy veggies, so I decided on a ham & veggie soup instead.  Here's what I made-

Simple Ham & Veggie Soup
2 tablespoons oil of choice - I used a blend of untoasted sesame oil & olive oil
3 carrots
1 onion
5 stalks celery
2 garlic scapes
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cabbage
2 cups diced red potatoes
8 cups chicken stock - you can use vegetable broth if preferred
2 cups chopped ham
2 tsp. mixed herbs of choice - I used marjoram and thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2-1 tsp. salt, to taste
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Chop all vegetables into bite size pieces. In large pot, heat oil over medium high. Add vegetables, garlic and herbs & reduce to medium heat. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Add ham, pepper and salt to taste. Let simmer 10 minutes or so. Garnish with parsley.

This works great with any assortment of veggies. It's also terrific with some grated Parmesan cheese over the top. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Just Keep Posting

One of my favorite lines in Pixar's Finding Nemo is when Dori sings, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming". I so often think I should just get rid of this blog, but then something happens and I find myself inspired to write again. The latest inspiration would be the changes that have happened in our family the last couple of months along with what I've been reading. Because of this, I've decided to "just keep posting" even when I am dreadfully inconsistent.

I'll start with the kids- 
Cari moved back home in the spring. Mostly good, but sometimes a bit tough for her to not have her own space. It's been great to see the beautiful and creative things she's making while working at The Quilted Forest. She's also been singing a bit more at Sunday Mass which has been a blessing for all who hear her lovely voice.
Josh graduated from Thomas More in May. We all got to attend his graduation (which is a whole post in itself). He's hoping to go to seminary this fall at Mt. Angel and start the road to becoming a priest for the archdiocese of Portland. 
David finished his first year at Christendom and is enjoying watching World Cup soccer with his dad plus working part time.
Mary's finished her first year at Chemeketa, and is teaching at the salle along with working over the summer.
Now to Brian- he's been helping out around the house while I've been gone so much (see next paragraph). He's also spending the summer figuring out what classes to take this fall at Chemeketa to get his vineyard management degree next year.

As for me, work has been a bit busier over the last few months. In March, I started helping my mom with her business, 
She's been sewing since she was a little girl, and her latest venture is a longarm quilting/fabric art business. It's been really fun learning how to machine quilt, and it helps me use both sides of my brain which doesn't always happen. I actually have to do some math-like work while at the same time be creative when figuring out just what we are wanting a quilt to look like. It's a great new experience for me & getting to work with my mom has been a special joy!  


My seasonal baking  job out at Fordyce Farms started a couple weeks ago- it's taken me a bit of time to get back into the hang of Mr. F's kitchen, but I am glad to be back.
Of course, I am still teaching fencing which has been great this year. We changed our name in May to Salem Fencing Club-
be sure to check out our new very cool website! I've gotten to work with some terrific people and look forward to going to the salle every day that I work there!

Thankfully, even with all if this going on, I have been able to keep my devotional life, such as it is, going. I've read some amazing books over the last few months, including The Power of the Ring by Stratford Caldecott, Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin, and Jesus of Nazareth part 3 by Pope Benedict. The latest to earn a place on my dresser is The Little Oratory by David Clayton and Leila Lawler. It is not only a charming book, but it contains much more wisdom than I had expected.   

Speaking of charming, I've also discovered Leila and her daughter's website, Like Mother Like Daughter. If you only have a few minutes to read a blog during your day, make it this one. Filled with insights, advice (really good advice like you'd get a from a dear friend or auntie), great ideas and lovely photos. 

All of this has helped me realize why I am really keeping the blog. I am able to record my "life journey" and hopefully offer some inspiration to those of you who chance upon Mangia Mamma. I plan on adding at least a recipe or two a week as we are always trying new things at the Keatley house (aka The Burrow according to most of my children.) Plus, I think it's helpful for me to be able to write in order for me to put down some of my thoughts on what it's like to live as a Catholic revert, semi-empty nester and woman who has the opportunity to do so many different things that she loves. With that all being said, take some time today to find inspiration in the everyday parts of your life~ Just keep doing whatever it is you are doing!