Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Halloween Special from the road.

The Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino in Henderson, Nevada is hosting a pumpkin carving contest. These are the ones I really liked. Hope you enjoy them.

“I eat twerps like you for breakfast!”

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This is me when I’m PMS’ing.

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“Witchy woman, see how high she flies”

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This one needs no introduction.

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“Sorry mister. I can’t serve you another drink. You’ve already had too much if you think my head lights up each time you look at me.”

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The bartender at the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Leslie

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Hurricane Sandy has claimed 16.

My heart aches for hundreds of thousands of people this morning. The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is wide spread along the eastern seaboard of the US.

As you go about your daily life today offer up a prayer.

Many have lost everything in this storm, including a much loved member of their family.

There will be many with no home to return to. Once the storm is over they will find a ruin which once was a place of safety, comfort, and family.

I know the feelings and emotions they will have. The overwhelming feeling of loss and briefly feel their life is over. Tornadoes in Oklahoma are my experience.

Thousands will be without electricity. Those whose homes were spared. The daily comforts will be gone. A warm house, a hot shower, worry over food in their refrigerators and freezers, no coffee or tea. Stumbling around in a darkened familiar house that has become foreign to them.

Hospitals and nursing homes will have an influx of patients as they take in those from facilities flooded or where generators have failed.

Family members will squabble with each other as each of them come to terms with what they face.

There are many who live safely away from the devastation but are now faced with being jobless or just unable to get to work because much of the public transit has been shut down.

Raise a prayer of hope and comfort to all who are dealing with fear and hopelessness today.

Contact your local Salvation Army and ask how you can help. Gently used clothing, coats, shoes. Kitchen goods, i.e. pots and pans, dishes, cups, drinking glasses, tableware, and cooking utensils. You will be given a general list of things you can donate.

I must confess about a bit of selfishness. When I heard the news of the force heading to the east coast my thoughts went to my crafting friends and suppliers of goodies. I prayed each would be unscathed and remain whole so I could watch tutorial videos on YouTube they create or hunt their websites for my next “Must Have” item.

So with my heart heavy and my head hanging in a bit of shame I offer a prayer to all whose lives are now shaken and turned upside down.

Leslie


“Angry Birds” on the highway!

Just picture in your mind these blocks of wood flying through the air and coming right at you.

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Joe and I left home, this morning, around 8:30. The cooler temperatures and seasonal changes have a bearing on my bladder. The first week, or two, of autumn seem to be the time my body sheds water frequently.

About noon I told Joe I needed to find a rest area, again. This would be the third time in nearly as many hours. We were passing mile marker 83 on I-40, heading west on our way to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Joe called back on the radio asking if I could wait until the 11. Is he crazy?! I couldn’t wait 72 miles!

Just as I told him I couldn’t wait that long I saw a big truck, going east across the highway, shudder and throw up dirt. Then huge chunks of wood were flying through the air in projectiles. These chunks of wood nearly bombed cars in the left lane passing me. The wood bounced off the pavement and splintered into wooden shrapnel everywhere.

It was then I realized the truck had hit the guardrail on his side then move back into the driving lane.

Joe, driving in front of me, was my concern. I asked if he were alright. “What the hell just happened?” he asked as he pulled off the road and onto the shoulder of the highway. I followed him off the road.

Following is a photo of the guardrail the guy hit. I was told to go chase the guy down. Fat chance of that! I had to continue west for 9 miles before the next available exit would allow me to legally turn around and head east. Then 9 miles back and then some. I did as I was asked.

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Joe was on the phone with the Highway Patrol before I pulled away from the shoulder to get back on the highway then exit to return.

Once I took the exit, nine miles later, and was in hot pursuit of the errant truck driver I received a call from the Highway Patrol dispatch asking if I had caught up with the guy. Man, I’m good but I’m not that good.

Before the dispatch officer ended the call she informed me the officers had found the guy. Parked beside the road. All the outside tires of his truck and trailer flat and torn up. The guy told the officers he didn’t even know he had hit anything.

So here is the damage to Joe’s truck from flying pieces of wood.

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Thank God the wood pieces hit the big truck and not a car. That piece of wood would have gone through a car windshield and hurt someone.

Joe had adrenaline jitters for a couple hours. The truck no longer has air conditioning, along with other damage, but it is still driving down the road.

You guys, be careful as you drive your roads. You never know what the other yahoos are about to do to you.

As for the other truck driver. All I’ve got to say is I’m glad I am not him. He will be spending some unplanned time with the other inmates of the jail in Weatherford, Oklahoma for “Fleeing the scene of an accident”. Plus he gets to explain the cost of 5 tires at $600 each ($3,000). As well as any other damage to his truck. He might not have a job to go to once he gets out of the clink. AND he lives far away in Florida. He’ll have to figure out how to get home.

Man, sometimes the consequences of not paying attention to your driving get costly.

Signing off with one of Joe’s old CB radio phrases. “Be well and do good things”.

Leslie


Days are getting shorter, nights are getting colder.

This trip is reminiscent of the days when I first started doing Drive-Away. Moving trucks from one dealership to another.

We are moving 2011 Freightliners from Knoxville, Tennessee to Las Vegas, Nevada. From one Freightliner dealership to another.

We haven’t had a run like this in a long time. Most of our trips over the past few years have been to ports or to auction lots.

We are back to four trucks, once again, since Joe’s hospital stay for his Pulmonary Embolism in August.

He was feeling pretty strong the last couple weeks and decided to put my boom back on the trailer. Will this hard headed German give himself time to fully heal? What? Surely I’ve lost my mind.

We hooked up yesterday and he was weak, rung out, and slower than normal by the time we finished. The one extra truck and messing with my boom was almost more than he could handle.

The day was nearly over at 3:30 in the afternoon when we finally completed the 5 hours of working to hook up. It didn’t help that a lot of the time was spent waiting for new batteries to be installed in my back truck and the daytime temperature was still on the hot side.

We drove about 130 miles before Joe said he had enough for one day.

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It was on the chilly side when we left Lebanon, Tennessee this morning. Not long after we encountered a fall rain.

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There is a hurricane off the east coast that was reaching ever westward.

By the time we reached West Memphis, Arkansas the rain had become a mist with some really cold winds that chilled us uncomfortably when we stopped at a Wal-Mart for vitamins and batteries. Standing near our trucks it looked as though the misty rain was changing to flakes.

We have nearly 2,000 miles to travel over the next few days.

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It is time to dig out the long pants. Albuquerque, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona are going to be really cold. Winter’s cold fingers are reaching out and will soon have a grip on us. Until then it will be business as usual.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming weekend. Get your warm sunlight hours in before they are gone until next year.

Leslie


Don’t run for cover!

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Today’s post is about Nitrogen Refrigerated Liquid.

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What, exactly, is Nitrogen Refrigerated Liquid you might ask?

When it is in the “Free State” it is 75%, more or less, of the air we breathe.

When it is in “Liquid State” it is about -278 degrees Celsius.

What is this scary Nitrogen stuff used in?

It is used in the welding process of steel, plastics, and other exotic materials. It is also used to make micro chips. It’s best known use, by you, is probably when the doctor “burns” off a wart. The nurse brings a thermos jug, of sorts, into your examination room and the doctor carefully removes the lid. A long wooden stick Q-Tip is inserted into the flask by the doctor. When withdrawn the stick is smoking. He then presses the tip on your wart. Your reaction is to immediately say “Wow, that burns”!

What the process actually is is freezing the non standard tissue, I.e. your wart, and probably some of the good tissue around the bad area. The good tissue will regenerate and voila the bad tissue is gone.

The reason for the wooden Q-Tip is the -278 degree Celsius temperature of the liquid will damage the “elasticity” of other materials to the point they instantly fracture when stressed.

Do you remember when Mr. Wizard bounced a rubber ball on the floor and then, with his heavily gloved hand, carefully slid the ball into the bowl of this steaming liquid? He used tongs to remove the ball after the boiling around it had ceased. Then he dropped the ball on the floor. The result was the ball shattering into a gazillion pieces.

Nitrogen Refrigerated Liquid has many uses. One other medical use is in microscopic examination of tissue samples. Biopsies for example.

The lump, bump, growth, mole, or other questionable piece of you that needs in depth examination will be sent to a lab where the sample can be immersed in the liquid and then pieces will be shaved for microscopic examination.

There are probably tons of uses for this liquid gas but Joe and I can’t come up with more.

Strict safety measures are demanded in the transport of this product.

Orange cones are placed at the front and rear of the parked vehicle.

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The cones are to alert others driving near the tanker of the possible dangers involved in an accident.

Wheel Chocks are placed between the rear axles of the truck to stop it from rolling away while unattended.

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I have posted about the “Day Cabs” we have driven. This is one of the trucking industries uses for day cabs.

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Now that wasn’t a bad lesson in trucking today, was it? 😀

Leslie


Hoarders. Cringe and squirm in your seat television, maybe even some gagging going on.

Holy Cow!  As if Zombies and horror movies are not enough for the general population of the United States television and movie viewers.

The ultimate in horror shows, in my opinion, is Hoarders on the A&E network.

While home this week recuperating from that nasty cold/flu bug, and catching up on my blog reading I have read several posts where the author(s) claim to have sat through a marathon of the Reality TV show Hoarders.  Curiosity got the better of me.  I had to watch one.

People!  Seriously?  You watch hour after hour of this horror show?

I sat through just one hour.  It was the longest hour I’ve spent in my life!  I was a raging *itch for hours after.  My heart was pounding fiercely, my brain had images of the nasty show flitting around in my  head, my adrenaline was cranked on full throttle and I was just steps away from pitching everything in our home out the door.

Poor Joe!  He was totally dumbfounded by my stomping around the house and grumbling.  He had dinner cooking out on the grill and was going about his business quite happily.  I would hear little snippets of “I finally get to do something for my wife”.

“Are you ready for dinner?” Joe innocently asked.  In his food prep he left corn silks in the sink drain, cracked ground pepper crumbs on the counter, smears of butter on the counter and a bit on the toaster from the corn he prepared to cook on the grill.

I have to confess.  I went off.  I went bonkers.  I was possessed by a demon.  I snapped at him with some pretty harsh words over the mess he left for me to clean up.

Needless to say I will not be watching another episode of that show.  A&E you can count me out as one of your viewers.

I know, I know.  A&E wants the publicity in anyway they can get it.  My rant here only increases the likelihood of sending someone running to the television to watch the show.

Do I watch Reality TV?  Yes, indeed I do.  Shows that have a value.

SyFy Network’s “Face Off“:  This show is a contest for makeup artists.  Each artist puts together a full costume and makeup each week for a chance to break into the movie industry.

Spike Network’s “Ink Masters“:  This show is a contest for tattoo artists.  Each artist has a “canvas” (person) to work on in each episode for a chance to become recognized as an INK MASTER.

I’ll stick with the Reality TV shows that actually have something to share instead of the crap like Hoarders.

Okay, RANT over.

Maybe I’ll see you on the highways in my travels.  Stay safe and watch out for those looneys that finish their grooming in the rear view mirror as they drive.  Also watch out for those that have to text or read the Tweets while they are driving.

Leslie

 


October Soup.

October Soup

October Soup and a hard roll

I will not take credit for this recipe.  This recipe was featured on a noon news program in Salt Lake City, Utah back in about 1994 or 1995.  The noon cooking segment was titled “The  Gabby Gourmet” and what follows is the very best soup that I have ever had, in my life.

As soon as the weather begins to cool off, even slightly, the first thing Joe says is “When are we having October Soup?”  This can happen as early as September in some of the places we get to in our travels.

Joe is not a fan of squash.  Zucchini in particular.  He ABSOLUTELY HATES SQUASH.  So this might give you a clue as to how good this soup is if he begs for it frequently 😀

I don’t care for soups with a tomato base.  Tomato soups give me heartburn that won’t quit and I am miserable for hours.  This soup DOES NOT bother my stomach.

This soup is chock full of big chunks of meat, vegetables, and yummy goodness.  While it is in the final stage of cooking your house will smell like pizza 😀

There are a couple things I want to say first before getting into the recipe and the cooking instructions.

MEAT:

For this soup to be super tasty and have everyone in your family raving about it, even if you serve it to a large group of friends that will be clamoring for the recipe, the meat can not be substituted.  Trust me.  I know what I’m talking about.

The meat HAS to be Italian Sausage.

I’ve tried bratwurst, smoked sausage, hamburger, and other cheap types of meat.  This recipe FAILS badly.

ALCOHOL:

This recipe calls for 1-1/2 cup of a red cooking wine.  You can use table wines instead.  You can also use white table wine or cooking wine.

For those that have an allergic reaction to alcohol – leave it out.  This recipe will not suffer if you do not include the wine.  Increase the beef broth from 3-1/2 cups to 5 cups.

COST PER SERVING:

The cost of this recipe is around $12.  The Italian Sausage is the most expensive part of the recipe.  There are approximately 16 cups of this soup in a batch.  One serving is 1-1/2 to 2 cups and the cost is a little more than $1 per serving.

This soup freezes well.  After it cools we put about 4 cups in a FoodSaver bag then put it in the freezer.  The Bow Tie Noodles – you will see that later in this post – don’t freeze well.  They get mushy and kind of grainy so for Joe and I the noodles only go in when I reheat the soup.

4 cups of October Soup

Freezer bags (FoodSaver)

Let freeze on a cookie sheet

Stand on end after frozen solid

I transfer about 4 cups of this soup, when first cooked, to a sauce pan and add the noodles to the sauce pan.  Cooking further until the noodles are done.  Later I freeze the remaining soup.

Transfer to a sauce pan and add noodles

CALORIES AND NUTRITION INFORMATION:

I have entered the items used in this recipe to “My Fitness Pal” and had it calculate the following:

Calories per serving:  441

Carbohydrates per serving: 43

Fat grams per serving:  19

Protein grams per serving:  19

Now on with the business at hand.  Tools you will need are:

  • Large stock pot – I use a 9 quart pot.
  • Chopping mat for vegetables.
  • Chopping mat for meat.
  • Sharp knife for cutting the vegetables.
  • Sharp knife for cutting the sausages.
  • Wavy chopping tool (optional)
  • 2 cup measuring cup
  • 4 cup measuring cup
  • Tablespoon measure
  • Wooden spoon or other utensil to stir the pot
  • Can opener.

Stock pot

Food prep tools

Now that the tool list is out of the way, it is time for the ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One package of Johnsonville HOT Italian Sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • One package of Johnsonville SWEET Italian Sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3 – 14.5 ounce cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes – tomatoes squeezed to break them into small pieces
  • 3-1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 1-1/2 cups of red cooking wine – NOTE:  The wine substitution can be a red or white table wine instead of the cooking wine.
  • 2 yellow squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Kosher salt is okay)
  • 2 Tablespoons of black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried basil flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano flakes
  • 8 ounces of Bow Tie Noodles
  • Kraft Parmesian cheese sprinkled over the soup in the serving bowl

COOKING DIRECTIONS:

Italian sausage is, by far, the best meat for this soup.  As I indicated up above I have tried different types of sausages and ground beef.  The whole taste is altered and it is not very good.  Unfortunately this is one of those recipes where the little bit more costly item is the best.

Sweet Italian sausage

Hot Italian sausage

You will use all 10 of these links in this recipe.

My personal preference is to to remove the skin or the tubing from the sausage.  Leaving it on or taking it off doesn’t change the taste of the dish, nor does it change the consistency of it.  During the cooking stage I find the skin (gut) will stick to the bottom of my stock pot and tend to burn in spots.  Removing the skin helps to keep the sausage from sticking.

Slice through the tubing

Remove the tubing starting at the bottom

Peel the tubing off

One sausage at a time, cut it in half lengthwise then cut it in about 1/2 slices.  You want these to be about “bite size”.

Cut sausage in half lengthwise

Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch pieces

Sausage cut into bite sized pieces

With your soup pot on the stove over a medium low heat, add the sausage to the pot.  The medium low heat will allow the meat to cook and not stick to the bottom of the pan.  There is no need to add any additional oil to the pot before cooking the meat.

Medium low heat

Add meat chunks to the soup pot

Once all the  meat is added to the pot, give it a good stir once in a while to keep it from sticking and burning.  I had a little bit of a scorch going on while trying to photograph the steps to this recipe 😦  I had to enlist the aid of my fantastic husband to be the photographer 😀

Stir the meat once in a while to keep it from sticking

While the meat is cooking it is time to prep the onions.  Once the meat has nearly fully cooked you will add the onions and the garlic.

Just in case there are new cooks that come to this blog I have requested my “photographer” to do step by step photos.  Those of you that are skilled you can skip down to the garlic bit.

2 Medium onions chopped.

2 medium onions

Using a different cutting mat or board – or if you only own one cutting mat then give it a really good wash in hot soapy water and really good rinse in hot, hot water.  You don’t want to use a cutting mat that has raw meat on it.  Good way to make you and your family sick.  Use a clean knife as well.  If you don’t own two chef knives, then wash the one you used with the sausages really well in hot soapy water and rinse well with hot, hot water.  I’m using a different knife.  Wash your hands well with soap and water if you do have a different cutting mat and knife.

Wash your hands well before going on to the vegetables

I can hear you all now.  *eye rolls and a loud blow out of breath* “Yes, MOTHER”!

This is MY preferred method of chopping onions.  Joe says my way is totally whacked and he has tried it but does NOT like it.

Cut off the leaf section of the onion.  NOT the root end.

Cut off the leaf end first

You will have a flat surface to cut the onion in half.  (Joe cuts both the leaf end and root end off then peels the onion while still in the ball stage).  I find it takes way to long to get the first peel layer off doing it this way.  I usually end up with a really tough skin left on that ends up quite chewy in the dish.

Turn the onion over with the root end up.  You will have a stable base to cut the onion in half.

Turn the onion over to the flat side to cut it in half

Peel the onions and tear the skins off at the root.

Peel the onion skins and tear them off from the root

Holding the onion between your finger, slice it from top to bottom.  Holding the onion firmly while slicing will keep the whole thing together (most of the time)  and will keep the slices from falling over.

Hold the onion firmly as you slice through

Slice the onion down to the root.  Make that your last cut and it can be thrown away then.

Slice down to the root

Turn the sliced onion so the slices are aligned left to right then cut through the slices to create your chopped onions.  If I need to have “Small Diced” onions I put them in the food processor.  Watching the cooking experts make lengthwise slices in the onion then cutting down through the top and over scares the fool out of me.  I’m going to slice my hand open or stab myself in the belly.

Cut the onion across the slices you cut to create the chopped onions

3 Cloves of Garlic.

3 cloves of garlic

There are two ways to clean garlic.  The long way and the short way.

The LONG WAY:

Cut both ends from the garlic clove.  Top and root ends.

Cut away the top end and the root end of the garlic clove

Peel away the outer skin of the garlic.

Peel away the skin from the garlic

Peeled garlic clove

The way I do it is to whack the fool out of it using the flat side of my knife blade.

Lay the flat edge of your blade over the garlic clove.  This is accomplished by using a large kitchen knife, one with the broader blade.  No initial cutting of the stem or root end, leave the clove intact for this procedure.

Flat edge of the blade covering the garlic clove

Once the clove is fully covered by the knife blade and a small amount of pressure is applied to keep the clove from rocking and rolling on you, smack the blade fairly hard with the ball of your hand.

Whack the blade with the ball of your hand

The peeling is totally dislodged from the garlic clove by this treatment.  The clove is a bit smashed but that makes the chopping part easier to accomplish.

Garlic clove is peeled at one time

This method takes about 15 seconds to do, the first one takes about 5 minutes to peel the garlic.  Next is chopping the garlic cloves.

First slice through the cloves to get them into more manageable pieces.

Slice through the cloves into manageable pieces

With your knife blade held firmly at the tip with the palm of your other hand you will be doing a rocking motion – up and down – with the blade cutting through the garlic.

Hold the tip of the blade firmly with your other hand

Rock the knife blade up and down, moving right or left each time you raise the handle end of the blade to cut into the garlic.  Work left to right in this manner until you have all the garlic chopped into ever smaller pieces.

Rock the blade up and down as you move from side to side chopping the garlic

Chopped garlic

I have created a video showing how to use a Garlic Press vs the Chef Knife.  You will see how I chop garlic.  Maybe it will help to clarify the photos above.

When the meat is nearly cooked through add your chopped onions and garlic to the pan.

When meat is almost fully cooked.....

Add the onions and garlic

Put the lid on your pot and leave the heat on medium low.  Continue cooking the meat until the onions are translucent.  For those that are new to cooking….”Translucent” means that you can sort of see through the onion pieces.  They get kind of a glassy look instead of being totally white like they are in the photo above.

Put the lid on your pan

This is what “Translucent” looks like after the onions have fully cooked.

Translucent onions

After the onions, garlic, and meat are fully cooked you will see the grease in the pan.  The Gabby Gourmet recipe says to leave the grease in the pan.  It flavors the soup.  You can choose to drain the grease or leave it in.

Drain the grease if you choose to

At this point it is time to add the wet stuff.  Italian stewed tomatoes, beef broth, and the wine (or additional broth if you will not be adding the wine).  First 3 – 14.5 ounce cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes.

3 Cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes

Next will be 3-1/2 cups of beef broth.  OR 5 cups of beef broth if you will NOT be adding the alcohol.

3-1/2 cups of beef broth

Finally, 1-1/2 cups of either table wine (white or red) or the same amount of a cooking wine (white or red).

1-1/2 cups of wine

Starting with the Italian Stewed Tomatoes.  Joe wanted to make sure I showed his much prized kitchen tool 😀  It is a can opener that runs along the rim of the can.  Cute little thing that latches on and buzzes around doing its intended job.

Joe's favorite can opener

This gizmo is cordless and Joe has fun watching it move all by itself around the can 😀

Cordless can opener

If you like chunky pieces of tomato in your soup then skip the next steps.  If, however, you don’t then follow these steps.

Holding your hand over the top of the can drain the fluid into the pot while stopping the tomato chunks from getting out.

Hold your hand over the mouth of the can and drain the liquid into the pot

Dump out a small amount of the tomatoes into your hand.  You will be crushing them with your fist to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.

Dump a small amount of tomato into your hand

Squeeze the tomatoes in your fist breaking them down into smaller pieces

Repeat this step with each can of tomatoes until you have all three emptied and the tomatoes crushed.

It will begin to look like soup 😀

Starting to look like soup

Next is to add the beef broth.  3-1/2 cups of beef broth.  Remember if you will be opting out of the next ingredient then this will be increased to 5 cups.

3-1/2 cups of beef broth - or 5 if not using alcohol

Also add 1-1/2 cups of wine.  I, personally, don’t like wine.  Red wine is stronger and bitter in this recipe (in my opinion) so I use white wine.  Whatever you like, use it.  Table wine or cooking wine, doesn’t make any difference.

Add the 1-1/2 cups of wine

Now you need to cook off the alcohol in the wine.  Crank the heat up on your stove.  You want this to come to a full rolling boil and continue boiling for 15 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium high

Bring the pot to a rolling boil

For those new to cooking a “Rolling Boil” is when the liquid contents of the pot is boiling so quickly the bubbles are large and don’t pop.  The contents of the pan seem to be rolling around in circles along with the bubbles.

A “Simmer” boil is when bubbles come to the surface of the liquid and pop.  It is slow bubbling and popping.  A “Rolling Boil” is really fast and furious and the bubbles don’t pop.

While the tomatoes, broth, and wine are cooking away and your kitchen smells heavy of alcohol it is time to tackle the squash.

2 Yellow squash and 2 Zucchini squash

Cut both ends off the squash, the stem end and the bottom end.

Cut both ends off the squash

Next slice the squash in half down the length.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise

Say, where did Lynn go?  Did anyone see?  Oh, she ran gagging and muttering from the room you say?

My friend, Lynn, from the UK ABHORS squash.  She calls them “courgettes” I think she has mentioned to me in several comments.

Well, she might return after while.  She may have had to take a tipple to get the sight of squash out of her brain 😀

Now where was I?  Oh, I remember.

Turn the squash over so the flat sides are on your cutting board.  One at a time, cut the small end away from the body.  You will be using this whole squash but cutting it into bite sized pieces.  The neck part (the smaller and skinnier part) will make “shavings” if you do this step all at one time.

Place the squash on the flat sides

Cut the neck from the body of the squash

The next step will be to cut the squash into bite sized pieces.  First start by cutting the squash lengthwise into strips.

Cut the squash into strips

Squash cut into strips

Turn the squash strips on your cutting board because you will now be making the cuts that will turn the strips into chunks.

Cut the strips into chunks

Do this to both of the yellow squashes.  Cut them both into bite sized pieces.

If you wish to have a more, shall we say, oooh and aaah look about your chopped up squash you can use this little device.  I have no idea what it is called but it can be purchased at any store that sells kitchen ware.  It makes corrugated or ripply cuts to your vegetables.

A ripply cutting device

Squash is firm but quite tender.  This ripply tool cuts easily through squash.  Use this in the same manner as I did with the chef knife.

Cut the squash piece in half lengthwise

Ooooh, pretty.

Cut your strips

Cut your chunks

The difference between the two cutting tools will be what you prefer.  Oooooh, pretty or just plain.

Wavy or plain

You will do the same cuts to the Zucchini.  First cut the stem and bottom ends off.  Cut it in half lengthwise, then cut the squash into strips, then into chunks.

Cut the ends off, cut the squash lengthwise in half, then cut it into strips

Then cut the strips into chunks

Set the chopped squash aside in a bowl.

Put the chopped squash aside in a bowl for now
Go check out the boiling pot to make sure it has not boiled dry.  Give it a stir to make sure nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pan.  The 15 minute cooking time is just about up.

When the timer goes off, turn the heat back down to medium low temperature.

Reduce heat back down to medium low

Now add the chopped squash to the hot pot.

Add the squash to the hot pot

Give the pot a good stir to incorporate the squash well.  Next will be the addition of the salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper

One TEAspoon of salt will be added to the soup.

One teaspoon of salt

One TABLEspoon of black pepper.  I use coarse ground pepper and Kosher salt in my cooking.

Add one tablespoon of pepper

Give this soup a good stir to incorporate the salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the pot and set the timer for 15 minutes.  Let this simmer to cook the squash.

Let the pot simmer

When the timer goes off it is time to add the dried herbs.  Your kitchen will smell like pizza in a little bit and the wine smell will vanish.  You will be adding dried parsley flakes, dried basil flakes, and dried oregano flakes.

Dried herbs

1 TABLEspoon of dried parsley flakes.

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

2 TABLEspoons of dried basil.

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 TABLEspoons of dried oregano.

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

Give your pot a stir to incorporate the herbs, set your timer for 10 minutes and put the lid on the pot to simmer in all the herbal goodness.  Enjoy the smell wafting around your kitchen 😀

If you will be serving this soup to your family for dinner then the last thing to do is add the Bow Tie noodles after the timer goes off.

Bow Tie noodles

You will add 1/2 a package of the noodles, or about 8 ounces to the soup pot.  Give the noodles a good stir in, put the lid on, and let this simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes.

I have taken some of the soup out of the big pot and put it into a sauce pan for Joe and I.  As I said earlier, way up top in this post, cooked noodles don’t freeze well.  If you will be freezing the soup and eating it in small batches then one or two handfuls of noodles is more than enough for 4 cups of the soup.

Stir in the noodles to the soup

Once the noodles are done then it is time to dish up this hearty soup.  Sprinkle the top of each serving bowl with a little Parmesian cheese and stir it around.

Add Parmesian cheese to each serving bowl

Hope you enjoy this soup.  Lynn, maybe you won’t be enjoying this soup.  The wine and dried herbs make the squash more palatable to those that don’t like squash.

This soup is really good at warming you up after spending time outside in the cold *now (I’m not saying the “S” word).  It will fill your belly with scrumptuous goodness 😀

If you do give this recipe a try leave me a comment and let me know if you will be passing this recipe on to your friends and family.

Leslie

This cook would also like to thank the tireless endeavors of the photographer.  Waiting patiently for the  next step in the process, or while occupied with his own things being called over to assist me.  Good job Honey Bunny :D, my readers appreciate all the hard work and deft skills you displayed in getting these amazing shots 😀