For As Long As the Winds May Blow
Made some homemade soup on Saturday, and it was not bad. It’s been a bit chilly out lately, but warm enough that the frogs sing through the twilight hours, and unless there’s rain comin’ down, we’ve been sleeping with the windows open. Last of the hot soup weather, I’d say, and a good time of year for cleaning out the pantry and the freezer, and that’s exactly what I did Saturday afternoon.
And Sunday we grilled out. Three kinds of brats from a place called “Grundhofer’s” on Hwy 61 down near the Twin Cities. Hugo, I think, is the town. Drove through there a while back and picked up some Whiskey Peppercorn brats and Apple Pie Moonshine brats and – my favorite – Beer, Bacon and Cheese Curd brats. (And yes, if you’re wonderin’, I DID have one of each.) We had potato salad, too, and five bean hotdish (more bacon) and pasta salad and corn on the cob, and a chocolate cake I made as an afterthought, which quickly became a forethought as Mr. S lit the charcoal and my stomach got to rumbling.
A bit of a somber weekend, as always, this one. Thoughts of our grandfathers long gone and the time they spent in service to our country, along with friends of friends and family members and people all along the way who have given up time, peace of mind, limbs, lives…so that we may continue on in this land we love with our good lives, our families, our own peace of mind.
Went to the Memorial Day service Monday, and it was lovely in quiet ways. The wind blew and there were clouds and children hollering and people in lawn chairs gathered round the gazebo in the center of the park. The pastor led us in prayer, and we sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and people stood and were acknowledged as the clouds spilled out of themselves over us in shades of blue and grey. And a man spoke, a soldier, who has been out and back twelve times. He was decorated and composed, even as he named the many friends he’d lost. What he read was a quote from David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives:
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”
And we stood for him and clapped, and then a longer list was read, men and women who have served and passed away in the last year. There were so many, and their names rang out in the quiet morning, over the people in their blankets and lawn chairs, over the parking lot and the boat landing and the lake. Off in all directions, those whispered names, rising up into the blue, where they entwine with the winds, and circle the planet for as long as the winds may blow.
Here’s one last hurrah for comfort food. Chicken soup, homemade. For a windy evening after a day of rain. This one goes with a light salad, or some fresh rolls, and a little pat o’ butter.
Homemade Chicken Soup
3 T butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
3 T flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cups heavy cream
1 cup wild rice
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated, 6 minutes or so. Add chicken and cook until golden, 10 minutes, then add thyme and garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add flour and whisk until golden.. Pour over chicken broth and milk and season with salt and pepper. Add rice and bring to a simmer until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
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