I’m making my mother Kale & Apple soup for Christmas.
I try to make her a soup most years. This isn’t just feeding her – she can cook plenty well by herself – it’s also test-driving a recipe that almost always has some meat product in it and making it tasty and vegetarian for her.
This year’s recipe, for instance, has bacon in it. I think we’re going to start with mushrooms and perhaps a little bit of gelatin (I know, horse hooves, but she’s only mostly vegetarian…) to get the proper umami and texture going on.
It’s also going to be made – aside from the mushrooms, which I’ve not gotten around to trying growing at home yet, and the gelatin, which, uh, no – entirely from homegrown stuff.
Apples, of course. My house is still full of apples. You can’t turn around without running into a box of apples.
Apple cider for some of the liquid. When we make it, it has stock in it; I’ll probably make some leek stock as a start. The leeks are still sitting in the garden, wondering when I’ll do something with them. And the cider we pressed ourselves, from the apples our trees produced.
And then there’s the kale. Kale is a marvelous thing. It just keeps growing. Last year, it lasted until February. This year, I imagine I might have to pull it out to plant new come June – since there’s no snow to speak of yet.
There’s something satisfying about giving homemade gifts; there’s something even more pleasing about doing it from ingredients your yard grew.
I wonder if she’d want duck egg something next year…
But first we have to get the ducks.
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