The cold weather has got me craving soup. Last night I threw together a potato/kale soup that was really good. I sauteed the kale, bacon and onion together while I cooked finely diced potatoes in some chicken stock. Then I mixed the whole mess together and added som rich milk, salt and pepper. At the last minute I added a shredded carrot for a bit more color. It was delicious.

Meals like this, although hearty and cheap, can seem a bit plain which is where the pickles, bread and canned fruit come in. Adding those insures that no one leaves the table hungry and that this humble fare still feels like a real meal. It also helps to set the table nicely.

I had the strangest experience this week. I went to get more flour and discovered I was out! Me! I had no flour. I had loads of wheat but only a few cups of ground flour in the freezer and not one pail of flour could be found. I have no idea how this happened. I guess when you buy flour 100 pounds at a time, it looks like so much that it feels like it will last forever. Well, when you use as much flour as I do, 100 pounds will last about 10 weeks, a bit shy of forever. And that’s with the whole berries we grind too. I have remedied the situation but I need to be a lot better about keeping up.

I’ve been hoping to get the carrots, beets, potatoes and turnips pulled but it looks like record breaking heat this weekend so the root cellar stuff will have to wait. I’m also waiting to put in the garlic and the multiplier onions. I just ordered more onions from Territorial Seeds. The multiplier onions will provide me with a perennial supply of onions, terrific as onion seed does not store well, saving our own onion seeds is a chore and we consider onions a staple crop. The multiplier onios will not store as well as some other cultivars but I can always dry some to be certain I still have some in late spring.

I have been looking over the garden and planning for next year. Raspberries and strawberries are good, reliable producers and I need to enlarge those patches. I will use all the potatoes, squash and dried beans I grow. Haricot Verdes are a fabulous green bean and I will use a much as I grow. Cabbage matters as does garlic. I do love broccoli and cauliflower and both dry pretty well. I’m looking not just at what we love but at what dries well, root cellars or is good pickled. I’m also looing at yield. Peas just don’t produce enough for me. Cucumbers in the same space provide a lot more food. Corn is so darn finicky. I may just buy several bushels nest year and put in more potatoes in that space. I know I have posted this before but I’m still mulling it over and putting it down clarifies my ideas. Thanks for listening.

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