Saturday, December 30, 2006


Well, after picking on Chris about his lack of blogging, he has made up for it and then some... So now it's my turn again :-)

Christmas is pretty much over now. I had a great (busy) day, with lots of good food and friends and music and no homework, just like I asked for. I guess I also got a few presents, too... A few good books, and lots of things for the apartment (crock pot!). Wine glasses and a wine rack (oh and some wine), corgi socks, coffee and chocolate. Bjorn gave me this goofy thing called a Labbit... a bunny that comes with various accessories to put in his mouth. I thought Labbit was silly, but he's been sitting on my night stand and gets a different accessory every day... *hugs Labbit*

The Pooh Bear got a squeeky penguin (you can see it in the picture of her snoozing on Christmas day). I also got the soundtrack to the movie "Curious George", which is surprisingly good and uplifting. Remember to share and recycle, and isn't it fun to go on a bus ride? It always makes Winnie fall asleep (aw).

The Schommer Christmas party was great too. Crab cakes and Swedish meatballs, and Christmas crackers (I got a fish in mine). I gave some St. Paul Dairy cheese, which I thought was kind of a strange gift at first, but I think it worked out well. It was a thing that was related to vet school, but didn't come from Veterinary Student Supply (who really needs another coffee mug, anyway?). I also gave a creel, which is apparently a more distinctive shape than I though (I should have put it in a box...). I got an awesome Daiwa reel, bathy-lotiony-girly things (perfect for after having to do stinky things at school, like play with cows), a beeswax candle, chocolate (three different kinds!), and the most incredible hot chocolate I've ever had. Making it is a little labor intensive, because you're supposed to warm the mug, heat the milk on the stove, and whisk the chocolate in, but oh it's so worth it. Swiss Miss will never be good enough anymore...

I've been fantastically lazy ever since Christmas. It's great. Reading books for fun, playing with the puppy, and shopping marathons at Ikea (thank goodness we don't have to buy all that other stuff, like cabinets and countertops and appliances). My goal for today is to make soup. Beef and barley soup, specifically. Here's the recipe I'm gonna try:
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 beef soup bone
1 lb. lean beef stew meat, cut in sm. pieces
1 to 2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped (include some leaves)
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. salt
1 bay leaf
3 peppercorns
3/4 c. pearl barley
Brown beef (cut up in small pieces) in oil in a large kettle or Dutch oven. Add water, soup bone, and herbs and spices and bring to a boil. Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove bone, skim fat from top of soup. Add vegetables, cook about 30 minutes. Add barley. Cook about 10 more minutes until barley is done and vegetables are tender. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Freezes well. Tastes best on second and subsequent days.
Wish me luck! It's a very soupy day in Northfield, wet and gray... Hopefully this will make enough soup that we can have "second and subsequent servings." Yum.

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