Happy New Year Began On Christmas Day - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 215093

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Happy New Year Began On Christmas Day 
Jan. 3, 2011 6:30 pm 
Updated: Jan. 11, 2011 4:00 am
Christmas gave us a surprise, this year. Among many wonderful gifts was a Kitchen Aid Mixer- Professional Model- from our daughter and her family. When we first saw it I told my wife to keep her hands off of it and she promptly told me where to go and what I could do when I got there. She can be so unreasonable. I guess I must share it with her.

The only counter top appliance that we still want is a toaster oven. Beyond that, will be building the island and the cabinets around the new fridge, ovens and range top. I do want to work in a food dehydrator, also. Not a Ronco style or size- more like an Excalibur for large batches.

Our son and his family gave me a copy of "The Joy of Cooking" and I have been studying it. I didn’t realize it is an "encyclopedia" of cooking. Within a few minutes I had learned a few things that will make my cooking better and/or easier. Also, from them was a LeCreuset 5 ½ quart porcelain coated cast iron Dutch oven. Right now, the Dutch oven is cooking a Minestrone recipe from "The Joy of Cooking". That has to be the best Minestrone recipe I’ve ever cooked. Taste will be the final judge.

                                              All Day Minestrone

This is my adaptation of the Minestrone recipe found in the 75th edition of "The Joy of Cooking". That recipe is very good but this one suits my taste better. It can be made Vegan just by not using the sausage.

1½ cup diced onion
3/4 cup minced celery including leaves
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 cups cabbage, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 four inch sprigs rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dry basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tsp dry parsley or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 qt home canned tomatoes, crushed, juice reserved
1 15 oz can white northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp salt
1 qt home canned vegetable broth or fresh made vegetable broth *
1 lb Italian sausage links *
Add all ingredients except for the tomatoes, beans and sausage and bring to a boil then reduce to rolling simmer.
Remove casing from sausage links and divide links into even fourths then roll each quarter link into a tight ball. Add the balls to the simmering stock.
Add remaining vegetables and simmer for one hour.
Turn off burner and let soup set undisturbed for two to four hours. (The longer it sets, the better blend of flavors.)
\Reheat and serve.
This makes almost four quarts of soup. It will disappear quickly.
* Save the parings and peelings of the vegetable preparation as well as any vegetables in the fridge that you won’t be using or are getting old. Chop all and place in upper unit of a steamer pot and process for two hours.
* Bulk Italian sausage may be used. I find dividing the links into fourths to be more accurate.
I have two favorite blog posts for 2010. Here they are.



Check them out. You’ll be glad you did. Have you a favorite?
Jan. 3, 2011 7:10 pm
Oh, Mike. Thank you so much for sharing bits and pieces of your life, and a glimpse into your family. I always look forward to reading your blogs. And thank you for sharing the blogs of two very well grounded women, both of whom I admire. Looking forward to a whole New Year of sharing in the life and times of Mike Harvey. Heres to having a Happy and Healthy New Year. Toni:)
Jan. 3, 2011 7:39 pm
After all your blogs that I've read, it's so wonderful to see your positive attitude, your humor and your kindness to your fellow man. Sheesh, sounds like a Hallmark greeting card. However, I am always impressed by your thoughtfulness, whether mentioning another's blog or reminding us all to think of others that may be having issues/trying times. What's For Dinner Mom's post was especially poignant to me as my mother also suffered from Alzheimer's. I wish her the best. And to you, Mike, to have a happy and healthy New Year.
Jan. 3, 2011 8:14 pm
After re-reading my post, thought maybe I had better clarify the "greeting card" remark. I meant that I was beginning sound just a little bit on the mushy side.
Jan. 4, 2011 3:12 am
Good morning! I recall both of those blogs and also enjoyed them immensely. Sounds like your kids know just what makes you happy, too! I always enjoy reading your blogs - the humor and upbeat attitude always sets me on the right track. Thank you and looking forward to reading more about you and your family this year!
Jan. 4, 2011 9:25 am
Happy New Year Mike. Glad Santa brought you a useful appliance-you will love it, if your wife ever lets you use it. The soup sounds great (also try Ox tail it gives a very rich flavour to minestrone soup). Santa was practical at my house too and the family received some kitchen accesories-that rarely happens-I have been enjoying them daily. I cannot access the first blog, it is missing the second set of numbers, I can only tell it is Eake's blog but not sure which one, help? Have a great time playing witht he KA, it can be addicting.
Jan. 4, 2011 10:15 am
Thanks, Toni Jo! Each of them has displayed their own special kind of courage and thoughtfulness. I'm always willing to pass that on.
Jan. 4, 2011 10:17 am
Thanks, Magnolia Blossom! As long as I am not described as a Hallmark Greeting Card...
Jan. 4, 2011 10:37 am
I suspect I'll have a few things to post, Mother Ann. My wife has joined me on the quest for healthier eating and we have started a modest exercise program. And, there's the kitchen rebuild, shop restoration and spring trips coming up. Whatta life!
Jan. 4, 2011 10:39 am
I will try the oxtail, RG! I fixed the broken link. Each time I make a post, I have to make corrections that get jumbled in the process. I missed that one. Thanks. I use Word Perfect. It might not be wholly compatible with AR, after all, it is Canadian! ;)
Jan. 4, 2011 10:43 am
Wow! You got some great Christmas gifts! Enjoy the minestrone. The recipe sounds wonderful.
Jan. 4, 2011 1:44 pm
Congrats on the KA! What a great gift! The soup sounds delicious. Happy New Year!
Jan. 4, 2011 5:01 pm
We did enjoy the Minestrone. How can I be modest and yet tell you it is waaaayyyyy delicious?!! Thanks, maggie!
Jan. 4, 2011 5:04 pm
Hi, Nurse Ellen, and Thank you! Tomorrow will be the first time it will be used. I'll be making some pane to get the feel of the machine.
Jan. 4, 2011 5:18 pm
Happy New Year Mike! I missed Eake's blog the first time I'm glad you pointed it out. I remember WFDM's clearly. Enjoy your mixer. If you are redoing the kitchen, you might look into a slide out shelf that adjusts up to counter height for the mixer. I want one for mine, but there is no cabinet that lends itself. I must take a copy of the most recent Joy of Cooking from the library and see how it compares with the copy I got as a wedding gift 40+ years ago.
Jan. 4, 2011 5:39 pm
Happy New Year, BigShotsMom! I'm thinking of making an island that will be the prep area for the kitchen. I have planned one of those shlves for a KA and another for the food processor. Each machine is used frequently yet take too much counter space to leave out and is too heavy or bulky to be liting much. I would be curious to know what you find in comparing the editions of Joy of Cooking. Happy New year, BSM!
Jan. 5, 2011 11:29 am
I came back to see the link, thanks for correcting. Huh Canadian eh? If I didn't know better I would feel picked on or somthing:P That blog Eake wrote was a humdinger all right.
Jan. 5, 2011 12:45 pm
I love minestrone, and that recipe sounds delicious... I will have to make a batch this winter. Thank you for being the first to post on the blog I started. I have been an allrecipes.com fan for years, but finally decided to become a full member and start a blog of my own. Thanks for the advice and I will add you to my favorite blogs!
Jan. 5, 2011 1:11 pm
Please rg, don't feel picked on...well...uhhh... go ahead! I will likely never meet Eake but I'm happy to know what I do know of her.
Jan. 5, 2011 1:15 pm
Welcome, JMISSNER! I finished the leftover Minestrone today. It was even better! I'll be using that recipe a lot! We have a friend that gloats on being Italian and she thinks Progresso makes good Minestrone. We'll be taking some of this to her and see just how Italian she is!
Mrs. C 
Jan. 5, 2011 4:59 pm
Mike, I had to smile at THIS blog! A great start to the new year, goals for the kitchen, AND a new tried and true soup recipe.... YUM! (And, I am just a tinge envious of the KA, yep, I am) Thanks for the Minestrone recipe!
Jan. 5, 2011 5:35 pm
Hi, Mrs. C! I'm gloating over the KA every time I pass it. I used it today for a small batch of Pane to see how it worked. It accomplished in less than a minute what used to take me 10 minutes or more. Now, I must get my shop in order so I can get the cabinet built for it.
Jan. 6, 2011 7:48 pm
Congrats on the KA. My DH did very well getting me gifts for the kitchen. Now if he could just enlarge the kitchen. :)
Jan. 7, 2011 4:43 am
That is exactly what is going to happen here, Cat! I'll be spending much more time in the shop for the next four months just building the cabinets and island. I have been considering expanding the kitchen outward but the soil and elevation problems are being difficult to correct.
Jan. 7, 2011 7:12 pm
Oh Mike, you touched my heart! What a very kind thing to say. That was my last blog to have written. I read it often to remind me of that special day. We have been having a rough time since then, so many changes and setbacks mom has gone through. We are managing, doing what needs doing, like too many others must do, I think. Thank you, Mike, for all of your inspiration and candid honesty this past year. Your blogs have been a source of encouragement for many of us for a wide range of reasons. I have benefited from it myself. Thanks again for the kind mention! {hugs} Jan
Jan. 9, 2011 8:59 am
Hi, Jan! Your posting of your special day with your mom, gave me thought before I had that surgery. The possibility that I could become wholly dependant on my family was very likely. Your post gave me some hope as to how my kids would react if I did. Your own reaction for your mom is how I wanted my kids to react for me. We have drawn from each other, Jan. Thank you!
Jan. 11, 2011 4:00 am
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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