Back to Regular Life
November 28, 2018
I have returned from sunny Florida to somewhat grey and gloomy northeastern Montana. It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, although I found it rather chilly the first couple of days. Of course, I was lucky enough to be away for the record-breaking cold days the rest of you endured. I’m perfectly fine with that, having endured many record-breaking cold days and numerous blizzards in years past. Missing a few from this year doesn’t detract from my “Montana tough” credentials.
At the time of this writing, I’m sitting in a holding pattern at the Yellowstone Surgery Center in Billings. Dennis is undergoing corrective surgery for a torn bicep tendon (rotator cuff). It’s an outpatient procedure, and so I’ll become his caregiver this afternoon. He says he hopes to be a “good” patient, not too needy, and to not wear out my patience. He’d been my caregiver a few times, so my hope is to be as good at it as he was. (I’ve always said he’s the better person.)
There have been a few times I’ve wondered who would be there for me. I’ve decided to not worry about that but to be thankful I don’t need a caregiver at this time. I should restart my exercise regimen and watch what I eat in order to continue avoiding the need for assistance. The operative word in that sentence is “should.” I’m not mentally ready for “will.”
By the end of this week I’ll be back in the routine of actually cooking the food we eat. It’s been too easy to dine out lately. There are so many dining out options when you’re in an urban setting. Those options range from fast food joints, to mom and pop establishments, to food trucks, to fine dining. Of course, while babysitting young grandsons, “fine dining” wasn’t an option I utilized.
I think I’ll be making more soups. I haven’t made my dad’s seafood chowder (recipe shared in the past) for quite some time, and that needs to change. It’s basically glorified potato soup, with the addition of grated carrots, onions, bacon, canned clams with their juice, and shrimp. A couple of my siblings always have a large pot of it for their Christmas Eve gatherings.
Then there’s hamburger soup, which is different every time I make it. I brown about a pound of ground beef, drain off the fat, then start adding whatever I have on hand. I always have onions to saute, and usually garlic, sometimes shallots. Grated carrots, green beans (canned), and diced potatoes are good additions. You could add chopped celery and cabbage, maybe fresh spinach. Sometimes I use chicken stock, but usually I add better than bouillon to the water. I’ll grate lots of fresh black pepper onto the beef as it browns. I use salt sparingly.
You can get very creative with soups. And they’re always so comforting when it’s cold and gloomy outside. Experiment and enjoy.