Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The home maker in me

   Before I was even fully potty trained, I started staying summers at my grandma Shirely's home. We would spend our days baking cookies and moon pies, gardening, cleaning and sewing. She taught me hard work and responsibility at a young age, she also taught me how to cook. I can remember standing on top of a stool, (as I could not reach the stove) making my first dish ever, scrambled eggs, I was just four. When she would make supper I would sit on the counter top, watching and mostly had the job of official stirrer and mess maker.
   If you have ever had the delight of tasting one of my grandma's meals you will remember her whipped potatoes. Fluffy, full of air, made of potatoes dug from her garden, butter and evaporated milk. So simple, yet nothing else like it. All that time spent with my grandma in the kitchen naturally made cooking one of my favorite things to do.
   After moving 2,000 miles away from everything that I knew in Idaho to Alabama, I started to become home sick for my grandma. I talk about her all the time, with anyone who will listen. I call her regularly and before she went on her annual trip to California, I ask for her potato soup recipe. Its just so good there had to be some kind of secret, not the case at all. This soup is good anytime of the year, and it freezes well. I hope you enjoy it.

Grandma Shirely's Potato Soup 

  • Left over mash potatoes or 5lbs of potatoes, cubed into 1 inch squares and boiled for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. of low sodium bacon, cut into 1 inch squares 
  • About 4 cups of skim milk, add enough until you the thickness you want.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 
Boil your potatoes in a large heavy pot, cover with lid, making sure they don't boil over! Cook bacon in a sauce pan, (so the bacon grease doesn't pop on you) on a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Next add the onion and celery cook until onion is transparent and the bacon is just barely crisp. Drain your potatoes and mash, add onion, celery and bacon, (you can drain the bacon grease or add it in, your call) Add the milk and salt and pepper, bring up the heat and serve hot.
This recipe can also be made into a clam chowder by replacing the bacon with clams in juice.  ENJOY!

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